Anonymous has waged many digital wars — against the Islamic State (ISIS), the Ku Klux Klan, and the government, to name a few. But the group has turned its attention to leading GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, after he remarked that Muslims should be banned from entering the United States.
The hacktivist group reportedly shut down the Trump Tower website, TrumpTowerNY.com, through limiting access through a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack that temporarily paralyzed it. The site is frequently used as a command center for Trump’s presidential campaign.
Trump Towers NY site taken down as statement against racism and hatred. https://t.co/n5ftLrOs1P (what you see is cloudflare offline backup)
— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) December 11, 2015
Anonymous launched the attack to condemn “racism and hatred.” The group also released a YouTube video explaining its reasoning behind the #OpTrump campaign.
“This policy is going to have a huge impact,” a masked Anonymous member said in reference to Trump’s earlier comments. “This is what ISIS wants: the more Muslims feel sad, the more ISIS feels that they can recruit them.” The attack on Trump Towers’ site appeared to be a precursor to Friday’s “Trolling Day,” a day Anonymous dedicated for its international members and the public at large to mock ISIS online. People were encouraged to post mocking videos, memes, and messages on social media.
— Anonymous (@LatestAnonNews) December 11, 2015
— Anonymous (@AnonDevastation) December 11, 2015
— Baron VonMogadon (@VonMogadon) December 11, 2015
ISIS supporters, however, fired back by releasing personal information of approximately 700 U.S. military members, including emails, names, and home addresses of armed personnel. Officials haven’t confirmed the leaked information was obtained from hacking military computers, but independent security researchers believe the information to be authentic, Christian Science Monitor reported.
Neither Trump nor the Pentagon have commented on the attacks.