HACKER GROUP Anonymous has struck out at the Ku Klux Klan, taking down two of its Twitter accounts and a website.
The takeovers happened this weekend and were shared over the social network using the #OpKKK and #hoodsoff hashtags.
Three accounts were wrested from their owners, and now have their usual profile information replaced by a statement that they are in the hands of Anonymous. The Ku Klux Klan was told that it "should've expected" the visit.
The hacks were made after the Ku Klux Klan threatened protesters in Ferguson, Missouri, describing them as terrorists and promising a lethal response.
Anonymous reacted quickly to these threats, and seized control of the @KuKluxKlanUSA and @YourKKKCentral Twitter accounts.
The hackers made a series of tweets from the former account confirming its control, and explaining that it would release a fuller statement about the operation on 17 November.
The cause of the attacks seems to be a series of pamphlets issued by a group called the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, which is based near Ferguson.
The pamphlets suggested that protesters were terrorists who were hiding behind a mask and that this would be treated with "legal force".
Anonymous posted a video about the group online last week and began exposing members of the group through Twitter.
The group stepped up the campaign over the weekend until it had control of @KuKluxKlanUSA, @YourKKKCentral and traditionalistamericanknights.com, which is currently offline.
Just remember; This operation is NOT for fun. The reason of this operation is to bring freedom, respect, stop racism and violence. #OpKKK— #OpKKK (@OperationKKK) November 17, 2014
A Twitter account called @operationKKK seems to be taking the lead on communications here. In a brief interview an Anonymous spokesperson told us that the attacks will be kept up for some time, and that everything will be done to prevent the Ku Klux Klan harming protesters and spreading its messages.
"We have many plans and every KKK site we find will be taken down. We plan on exposing/unmasking many more members of the KKK. This protest [will] cover a wide time space," the spokesperson said.
They claimed that the Ku Klux Klan had pushed the group into this action and that, while some Anonymous activity is admittedly for ‘lulz', this is a serious campaign with a serious ambition.
"The KKK has grown [this] into a bigger issue which is where we, the #AnonFamily, have stepped in," the spokesperson said.
"We want to guarantee the KKK doesn't harm any protesters, so we'll stop them from doing anything they can even if that means shutting down their sites for the next two months.
"What we are doing is not for fun, we just want to do our job and promote freedom and stop world problems." µ
Chinese firm's week has somehow got worse
Software issue plagues early adopters
Security researcher makes good on her promise
Artificial artificial intelligence