The website of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has been hacked for the second time in memory of Aaron Swartz, the Reddit co-founder who has recently committed suicide.The website’s main page was temporarily defaced to display a message that reads: “R.I.P Aaron Swartz. Hacked by grand wizard of Lulzsec, Sabu. GOD BLESS AMERICA. DOWN WITH ANONYMOUS.”
In the background, the hackers posted a message written by Aaron Swartz back in August 2009.
The hackers somehow managed to gain control of MIT’s name servers, changing contact details.
This is the second time that MIT is hacked in memory of Swartz. The first breach took place shortly after the world learned of the young hacktivist’s death.
“Whether or not the government contributed to his suicide, the government's prosecution of Swartz was a grotesque miscarriage of justice, a distorted and perverse shadow of the justice that Aaron died fighting for […],” Anonymous hackers wrote on the defaced pages at the time.
Then, after members of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC) had announced their intentions to picket Swartz’s funeral, Anonymous launched Operation Angel. The first phase of OpAngel focused on getting WBC to drop its protests.
The second phase, initiated last week, has a much more important purpose: to get the US government to make some changes in legislation.
“We cannot pretend that our system is just when perpetrators of violence are dealt lighter sentences than those whose alleged crimes are essentially victimless. It is our conclusion that dubious laws such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act serve only to provide prosecutors with the means to selectively target and unfairly punish online activists,” the hackers said.
At the time when they announced the second phase of OpAngel, hacktivists said they would be once again targeting MIT for its involvement in the prosecution of Swartz and it appears that they’ve kept their promise.