Three days after hacker group The Script Kiddies gained control of Fox News Politics’ twitter account, a representative reached back out to Think Magazine on Thursday to address some of the questions that readers—and federal authorities—had for the organization.
The alarming tweets that were sent out in the early morning of July 4 detailing false accounts of President Obama being shot and killed has attracted the attention of the international news media and the Secret Service, which investigates all threats made against the president.
The Script Kiddies representative, who once again spoke to us on a firm condition of anonymity, said that despite the picture their tweets painted, they had no intention to directly threaten the President.
“No harm was intended, nor ever was he in any threat whatsoever, when the tweets about President Barack Obama were posted,” wrote the representative, again via instant message.
“We were not threatening Barack Obama, only hoping to attract publicity to #antisec and ruin whatever ‘credibility’ Fox ever had in the first place,” they continued. Antisec is short for anti-security, a movement that calls for greater transparency of information held by corporations and governments.
The conversation marked the first time the hacker group claimed outright responsibility for the tweets about President Obama, and the first time they admitted to an anti-Fox News motivation for the tweets.
Several references were made to Fox News as Unfair and Unbalanced, a common criticism of the conservative-leaning network that brands itself as “Fair and Balanced” in promotional materials.
Coverage of our initial story included comments from the Secret Service referencing a full investigation into the group. When we spoke with The Script Kiddies on Thursday, they had not yet been contacted by the agency.
“It seems they opened a full-blown investigation; for what purposes I have no clue…” wrote the group’s representative. “Seems to me Obama gets 30+ death threats a day. Maybe they should investiagate [sic] something else.”
The Script Kiddies offered their own theory about why federal officials were paying so much attention to their group.
“Perhaps they’ve grown desperate to try and catch SOMEONE, because, let’s face it, they can’t touch Anonymous or LulzSec,” the individual wrote, referencing two other hacktivist organizations that have made international headlines by attacking the websites of corporations and government entities over the last several months.
Secret Service spokesman George Oglivie declined to comment on the hackers’ assertions or on the investigation itself beyond stating that the investigation is ongoing.
Think Magazine has also been part of the Secret Service investigation, and reporter and Editor at Large Adam Peck met with agents on Friday. Think Magazine declined to provide any information that would help investigators identify the hackers in the case, citing strict journalistic confidentiality we maintain with those sources that ask for it. We did offer full transcripts of our conversations with the hacker organization, and have decided to publish the full transcripts from our conversations online. Our initial conversation can be found here, and our conversation from Thursday here.
The Script Kiddies made a point to clarify that they never wished President Obama harm, nor ever meant to word their tweets as threats. But while the group was backing down from their sharp words about President Obama, they ramped up their criticism of Fox News.
“We wish no harm to President Obama; The Unfair and Unbalanced Fox News though, I can’t say as much for,” the representative wrote.
Vice President and General Manager of Fox News Digital Jeffrey Misenti was not immediately available for comment on Friday.
The hackers defended their actions and have framed this as a first amendment issue.
“Freedoms are there for a reason; freedom of speech and press. Hacking is a crime, but so is propaganda and corruption; two things Fox News loves to incorporate into its media,” they wrote.
Think Magazine will continue to follow this story as it develops.