Hackers attack ‘Occupy Wall Street’ opposition website

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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OWS Exposed, a blog that aggregates Occupy Wall Street news, suffered a cyber attack late last week. The site’s owner, a conservative opponent of the left-wing protest movement, discovered malicious code had been inserted into his website’s infrastructure.

“Somebody found a back door to our website and planted a bunch of PHP scripts,” Jeff Davis, president of the conservative issue advocacy group Minnesota Majority, told The Daily Caller Monday. PHP, a general-purpose scripting language, is often used for Web development and can be embedded into HTML to produce dynamic web pages.

Power Line’s John Hinderaker first blogged about the website on October 27, and Davis told TheDC that it began to experience performance problems less than four hours after Hinderaker published his write-up.

“We worked for 24 hours getting the site cleaned back up and stable,” said Davis. Distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS), the signature move of hacktivist collective “Anonymous,” are another hacker favorite. Such an attack consists of coordinated simultaneous requests to a website’s server, causing it to overload with traffic and crash.

“The inserted code was attacking some kind of a vulnerability in one of the widgets on our site,” said Davis. “These people apparently knew it and took advantage of it.”

Davis, who told TheDC he had no knowledge of the perpetrators’ identity, said he started the site because media outlets were “trying to paint this like a freedom fighter movement … They don’t report on the violence and trash, they just smooth over it.”

“The thing that really set me off was [President] Obama’s statement that the tea party was not that different from OWS,” Davis explained. “We took that and made it into a video: OWS Exposed. It’s gotten pretty good traction.”

The Justice Department declined to comment for this story or confirm the existence of an open criminal case, in accordance with policy regarding current or possible investigations.