The hacking group Anonymous is starting to leak the names of and information about alleged Ku Klux Klan members.
The anarchist hacking collective warned last week that it was planning to eventually release personal details of 1,000 alleged Klan members as part of its cyber war against the white supremacist group.
On Sunday and Monday, Anonymous gave a preview, releasing some initial data through the text-sharing site Pastebin. The details — including several dozen emails and phone numbers — have not been independently verified or confirmed by the KKK.
Anonymous said Sunday it had also gone after KKK-affiliated websites ahead of a full day of protests it has dubbed “HoodsOff 2015.”
“Today we have shut down servers, gotten personal information on members of the KKK, and infiltrated your twitters and websites,” Anonymous said in a Sunday release. “And this is just the beginning. On November the 4th we will be having a twitter storm, spreading awareness about the operation. And on the 5th we shall release more than 1000 Ku Klux Klan members Names and websites, new and old.”
A prominent KKK-affiliated Twitter account suggested a possible “anti-Anonymous” march for Nov. 5 to counteract the hackers’ actions.
Anonymous has been digitally sparring with the KKK since the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., last year sparked by the police killing of an unarmed black teen.
In the protests surrounding the shooting death Michael Brown, a local KKK chapter threatened to use “lethal force” to defend itself from the “terrorists masquerading as ‘peaceful protesters’ “.
The protesters, the Klan warned, had “awakened a sleeping giant.”
In response, Anonymous-led hackers infiltrated the Klan-affiliated Twitter accounts and forced several KKK websites offline.
The digital battle has been mostly dormant since.
But this past week, Anonymous said it was planning to resurrect its online onslaught sometime in November, nearly one year since the collective first declared war on the Klan.
In a long statement, Anonymous explained that the KKK had a right to free speech but no right to promote violence.
“You are abhorrent. Criminal. You are more than extremists. You are more than a hate group. You operate much more like terrorists and you should be recognized as such,” Anonymous said. “You are terrorists that hide your identities beneath sheets and infiltrate society on every level. The privacy of the Ku Klux Klan no longer exists in cyberspace.”
Separately, a hacker claiming no affiliation with Anonymous told TechCrunch that he pilfered his own KKK data that includes the emails of several mayors and senators.
Representatives for several of these offices flatly denied the reports, with one office telling The Huffington Post the accusation was “baseless Internet garbage.”