Friday, January 23, 2009
Wikinews has learned that the internet group known only as “Anonymous” has hacked the website of the No Cussing Club (NCC), nocussing.com, for at least two days in a row. On day one, the group hacked into the website, replacing the content with links to images of alleged e-mail conversations. The e-mails appear to be from the founder’s e-mail account, accusing organization members of forgery and using the site for their own personal financial gains. The website was also replaced with Anonymous’s logo and a message. On January 22, they again attacked the website, by means of a Distributed Denial-of-service attack (DDoS), bringing it offline periodically throughout the day. Anonymous attacked the Scientology website in 2008 with a DDoS attack, taking it off-line for at least two days.
“It has come to our attention that the creators of the no cussing club, McKay and Brent Hatch have done so at great personal gain. Their material promotes the organization as the brainchild of their 14-year-old son, when actually the material is written by his parents, who also manage his profitable career while using his speaking events to plug their own material,” said Anonymous on the hacked website. On Encyclopedia Dramatica, a satire Wiki, they claim further responsibility for the hack and exposition saying they managed to break into McKay and Brent Hatch’s email accounts. “[the accounts got] haxx0rd and via this astonishing development passwords were got and a certain website got its shit ruined.”
According to the NCC’s website, it has 20,000 members worldwide, was founded in 2007 by McKay Hatch, a 14-year-old boy, and aims at discouraging swearing in public places such as schools. In 2008, McKay even succeeded in making cussing illegal in his hometown of South Pasadena, California and has appeared on various talk shows such as that of Doctor Phil. However, according to e-mails leaked to Wikinews, allegedly written by the boy’s father Brent, a motivational speaker also owning Dawson Publishing, the parents are allegedly using the site and their son’s material for their own personal financial gain. Anonymous also claims that the parents have forged some of their son’s writings and claim it to be his.
The e-mails allege that Brent along with his publishing company, the name which “nocussing.com” is also registered under, were trying to set up assemblies in the No Cussing Club’s name at schools across the United States for US$1,500.00 per show and would then pocket the money, doing the same for postcards they created for churches and schools.
“McKay spoke last night to a group of 40 people, and at the end of his presentation, there wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd. I know this is going to work because the message is so important. Thanks for all you do and I hope we can work together for a long time, and of course make money in the process,” said Brent in an alleged e-mail conversation on November 25, 2008. Earlier in August 2008, Brent spoke about hoping to reach a “goal” of “2.5 million dollars” by selling thousands of postcards to “schools and churches”.
On January 19, 2009, ABC News.com reported that McKay claimed Anonymous was sending him and his family hate e-mail and death threats, nearly 50,000 per day, “almost all of them filled with obscenities” and spam. On the NCC’s website, McKay calls himself the “most cyberbullied kid on the planet” because of Anonymous’s attacks.
“A lot of people were saying I was taking away their freedom of speech,” said McKay to ABC News on January 16. “All I was trying to do was raise awareness.” He says he formed the club because his schoolmates were sick of hearing people swear in public. Wikinews contacted the NCC to confirm or deny the reports, but would only say that “the FBI is [working] on it [the case]” including “our attorney and we will press charges” against those who are responsible for the crimes.
Anonymous is known to prank and hack websites and e-mail accounts. In September 2008, the group hacked into BillOreilly.com, the official website of Fox News Channel commentator Bill O’Reilly, exposing personal information of the site’s users in a document posted on the internet.
The NCC is located in South Pasadena. According to the California Penal Code §502 part C of the computer hacking laws, depending on the offense if caught, punishments could be a “fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, or two or three years, or by both that fine and imprisonment, or by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment”.
On October 20, 2008, Dmitriy Guzner, aged 18 from New Jersey, admitted to the charges related to carrying out the DDoS attack on Scientology’s website. He was subsequently charged with computer hacking crimes and faces a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment.