Anonymous hacks Texas Republican Party website in retaliation for state's abortion ban

click to enlarge This banner featuring starter Pokémon Mudkip — and ... umm ... other stuff — appeared on the Texas Republican Party's website on Saturday. - Image Capture / Internet Archive
Image Capture / Internet Archive
This banner featuring starter Pokémon Mudkip — and ... umm ... other stuff — appeared on the Texas Republican Party's website on Saturday.

Anonymous, the loose-knit group of activist hackers, commandeered the webpage of the Texas Republican Party Saturday to protest the state's near-total ban on abortions.

Internet Achieve captures shows that for several hours, the Texas GOP's site displayed a banner featuring an image of a crowd of the Pokémon Mudkip, which linked to Operation Jane, a project Anonymous initiated earlier this month to "mess with Texas" over its restrictive abortion law. Anonymous also inserted a fake mission statement for the "Republican Party of Fucking Over Women," a Rick Astley video (a.k.a. a Rickroll) and a grotesque image of a man stretching open his anus to agonizing dimensions (a.k.a. goatse).

"Texas: Taking voices from women to promote theocratic erosion of church/state barriers," read an Internet Archive capture of the hacked site. (Warning: that stretched-out butthole pic isn't for the faint of heart.)

The Texas Republican Party's URL now links to a fundraising site where the party pledged to "ramp up its online security."

The hack appears to follow up on a September 3 pledge by Anonymous to strike back at Texas' Senate Bill 8, which became law two days prior.

Earlier this month, online activists also bombarded with fake data a site Texas Right to Life set up to collect anonymous tips on people who helped women obtain abortions. That site has since gone dark after a series of web hosts backed away from it.

"We are committed to taking away all the rights of women so we can live our prosperous, Bible-thumping dream," read the fake Texas GOP mission statement Anonymous placed on the party's site this weekend.

"We really loved the Handmaid's Tale and wish to enact it to it's [sic] fullest. Football!!!!!!! If you were dumb enough to support Donald Trump, we can get you to do just about anything! Now shut up and help me hogtie my sister, it's breeding time. You know, for Jesus."

The statement was followed by a link reading "Ted Cruz is the Zodiac Killer," which links to the Wikipedia entry on the serial killer who terrorized Northern California in the late '60s.

As of Sunday, the Texas Republican Party's site redirected to a page explaining the hack and asking for donations in amounts ranging from $25 to $5,600.

"We have been able to secure our website, but make no mistake, threats and attacks like this only strengthen our resolve," the Texas GOP posted.

"We plan to ramp up our online security and advocacy efforts in support of the Heartbeat Act. We will not be silenced."

After a Twitter user shared a link to the fundraising page, Anonymous-linked account @YourAnonNews responded with "Grifters gonna grift."

The Anonymous account added: "(A hacked site that needs you to login to give them your credit card or bank credentials - YAN ) #Helping #TexasGOP."

In Internet slang, YAN is an acronym for "you are nice," an insinuation that anyone making donations could be gambling with their financial security.

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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