‘be gay, do crime’
Earlier this month, SiegedSec, the group of self-described “gay and transgender furry hackers” claimed responsibility for cyber attacks on five state governments in Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina, leaking documents that include police files and contact details for court officials.
The hacks – announced in a Telegram channel – are the latest in a string of hacks that began last year, all of which are aimed at states banning gender-affirming care for transgender youth. “Our motive was to ensure government agencies saw our hacks, and motivate and encourage others to protest,” they tell Dazed.
In one post, headlined “be gay [and] do crime,” SiegedSec announced that more damage would be done and that they were planning more attacks “carefully”. The group also mockingly described defacing hacked government websites with special messages, or “gifts”, and vowed “to give Texas another gift soon”.
While many of the leaked documents were publicly available or did not contain sensitive information, the private data now made public consists of the names and contact details of several hundred Nebraska probation officers. “I hope our attacks get others to protest, and hopefully help the laws to get changed. We know we can’t do much on our own, our intention was to provide additional support,” they tell Dazed.
SiegedSec first came into public attention following the collapse of Roe v Wade, when the group released more than seven gigabytes of data captured from government servers in Arkansas and Kentucky to protest the anti-abortion laws. “The original members met a couple of years ago in various hacking group chats, some joined and left, and now all original members are replaced by new,” they explain. “What binds us is our love for hacking, having fun with it and the sense that we’re all in this together.”
“I think hacking is an effective strategy to bring systemic change because it can allow us to protest in a way that will draw attention, and with the right security measures, can be safer. Although hacking alone isn't enough, it can be a good means of support.”