A group of hacktivists, known as the ZCompany Hacking Crew (ZHC), has defaced the website of the far-right English Defense League (EDL) and hacked into the group’s Gmail account.
“We will chase you, expose your racism and even remove you from the web,” a message from the hackers read.
The defaced website also shows e-mails taken from the EDL’s Gmail account which ZHC claims shows a misuse of subscription fees and harassment of “innocent people.” The hacked englishdefenseleague.org now redirects to englishdefenceleague.net. (Screenshots of the hacked website are available here.)
The EDL is a street movement that sprung up in 2009 following a protest by an Islamist group against returning British troops. It is accused by critics of being racist -- a charge the organization denies -- and Islamophobic.
An activist from ZHC told RFE/RL on Facebook chat that the e-mails show that “the EDL Admins are using EDL funds for their own personal gain and many innocent people are being charged into the EDL fund not knowingly.”
ZHC didn’t provide any details of the nature of the exploit, but did say their team included social engineers and defacers.
The EDL haven’t responded to request for comment. Nor have the owners of the Gmail accounts highlighted on the defaced page.
The ZHC activist said that their group of hacktivists got together in 2008 to protest “oppression in Kashmir.” “We have grown tired of brutality against people in Palestine, Muslims, and the occupation of the Indian Army in Kashmir,” the hacker said.
The group received notoriety at the end of 2010 for their role in what they described as cleaning up Facebook. The Daily Beast had details at the time:
Soon, a digital flier began to appear on the Facebook walls of groups and pages the hackers say are Zionist, right-wing, and anti-Islamic. Its message: "On the evening of the 31st of December 2010 (New Years Eve), TeaM P0isoN and ZCompany Hacking Crew will clean up Facebook.”
The social network, which now boasts more than 500 million active users, was not doing a sufficient enough job deleting these Pages, it read, "so therefore we are taking action."
Starting at midnight, the two hacker groups—they called themselves “sister groups”—began working in unison. They claimed to have found an exploit—a glitch in the code much like the one Facebook admitted to today. It was unleashed when Facebook updated to its new profiles and the hackers were using it to alter the offending pages so that they appeared blank.
One of the deleted Facebook pages belonged to the EDL.
The EDL has been hacked before. In February 2011, a hacker known as TriCk, a member of TeaMp0isoN, defaced the EDL’s website. In 2010, unknown hackers breached a database containing the personal details of supporters, causing the EDL to apologize.
According to the ZHC, there may be more to come. “Details of supporters and donors of EDL will be made public soon. A racist organization like you don’t deserve to exist. And we ZHC will leave no stone upturned in exposing your lies,” the message from the hackers read.