Below is the full, unedited transcript of our initial conversation with the hacktivist group The Script Kiddies. Our chat and the article we wrote set off days of coverage from news organizations around the globe.
Two quick notes: the majority of this initial conversation took place in the early morning of July 4, before any tweets about President Obama were sent out. We did not know that those messages would be sent, and if we had, perhaps this conversation would have gone differently.
Secondly, what would have certainly differed is our seeming endorsement of the group. At the time we did–and admittedly still do–stand by the message that The Script Kiddies and other organizations like Anonymous and LulzSec are trying to relay: one of transparency, openness in our government and our corporations, and at a more baser level, greater attention to security in the digital age.
Where they lose us is in some of the actions these groups choose to employ to spread that message. A hack meant to highlight gaping security flaws or uncover corruption, or even just to showcase a hacker’s skills, can be justified, if not always rightfully. But hacks that target sensitive personal information (credit card numbers, bank accounts, passwords) with the intention of revealing it, or hacks that masquerade as serious breaking news as is the case in this instance crosses a line. We take the Script Kiddies at their word that the Obama tweets they sent were not meant as a threat and were merely tools of increasing their exposure, but there was not enough attention paid to the serious implications those messages could have had not just on the people who may have seen the message and panicked, but on their own legal safety as well.
With that said, below are the unedited messages we exchanged with The Script Kiddies starting at 12:38am EST on the morning of July 4.
Think Magazine: hey were you serious abt granting interviews? I’m with a campus publication at Stony Brook University?
The Script Kiddies: i can answer a few questions if you would like
Think: That’d be great…for starters, why Fox?
TSK: honestly we are looking to find information about corporations to assist with #antisec foxnews was selected because we figured their security would be just as much of a joke as their reporting
Think: ha, fair enough. So Script Kiddies…how accurate would a description be comparing you to other well known hacktivist groups like Anonymous or LulzSec?
TSK: i would consider us to be close in relation, 2 of the members of our group were members of anonymous, i was a member of anonymous. we hope to be working with them soon
Think: So you alluded to more embarrassment for Fox News in your first tweet on the Fox Politics twitter account. What else might we expect (without getting too specific of course)
TSK: well i’m not quite sure myself, i’ve looked into their security and site defacement does not seem to be an option. everything else is fair game
Think: You know Fox is going to characterize this as an illegal act, surely will threaten litigation, their usual M.O: what do you say to people who argue that groups like yours, like anonymous, are committing crimes?
TSK: what my group has just committed i would consider a crime, however i believe the crimes that anonymous commits are justifiable. its people’s job to prevent us from what we do and to try to stop us. and so be it, i hope they try to best to find me
Think: what’s the end goal of Script Kiddies? what would you consider a victory?
TSK: good question, it will be a never ending battle. the names change from time to time like lulzsec and anonymous or scriptkiddies. but their will always be a group of people that need to stand up for everyone else and attempt to keep the governments in balance with it’s people. without groups like anonymous what is their to prevent corruption
Think: awesome. So now the most important question. How do I identify you in an article? Full name is obviously out of the question, but I gotta go with more than “person behind the Script Kiddies AIM account.” First name maybe?
first name is out of the question as well, like anonymous we all will simply be referred to as “the script kiddies”
Think: fair enough…also, the Twitter acct you’ve been linking to is suspended…is that recent?
TSK: it seems twitter has just suspened our twitter account
TSK: oh yes haha, very recent
Think: haha, clearly
TSK: i just found out
TSK: there will be a new one shortly
Think Magazine: alrighty, well thanks for your time, if anything else comes up I know where to reach you guys…best of luck, Think Magazine stands behind you and Anonymous
TSK: thank you very much your support means alot to us
Think: hey again, quick followup…the twitter stream mentioned fox news was aware of the hack. how did you find out they were aware?
1:38 AM — [Between the previous message and the following chats, the tweets about President Obama began to appear. Initially, the false reports included a bit.ly link that directed readers back to The Script Kiddies’ Twitter profile. Later tweets dropped the link, and the tweets with the bit.ly link were subsequently deleted.]
Think: Ok, now I’m confused. Does Fox News have control of its Twitter account or not, because that last tweet that just came out over TweetDeck suggests otherwise
TSK: i cannot confirm that at this time
TSK: Stay tuned
Think: Alright, I’m going to assume that in fact Fox News does not have control of its Twitter feed because they would not be tweeting the false shooting of the president then linking back to you
TSK: assume what you want
Think: haha…of course if that really is Fox, there’s a whole other story right there. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see then.
TSK: yes, either way there a new story here
TSK: thanks i enjoyed reading it as well
Think: thanks for agreeing to talk…we’ll be keeping up with the story obviously
TSK: good, i hope to hear from you again soon