Last week, hackers claiming to be affiliated with the hacktivist group Anonymous (as well as a lone vigilante) threatened to publish personal information and "dox" members of the racist group the Ku Klux Klan.
Over the weekend, the hackers delivered on their promises. An Anonymous-affiliated group called YourAntiSec, in reference to a famous hacking operation launched by the Anonymous offshoot LulzSec in the summer of 2011, published a list of phone numbers and email addresses that they claim belong to members and admins of KKK websites.
The hackers released the information in a series of Pastebins. It's unclear who the phone numbers and emails belong to exactly, or how the hackers obtained them. (The hackers declined to say where they obtained the information.) Some of the numbers, however, appear to be inactive.
The group said the goal was to "draw attention" to its operation, dubbed OpKKK, according to a representative who spoke to Motherboard via Twitter direct message, and also to allow people to call and email these alleged members to tell them "what they think."
At the same time, a vigilante hacker only known as Amped Attacks released his own dox. This one is a list of political figures, four senators and five mayors, allegedly affiliated with the KKK.
Amped Attacks told Motherboard that he found that information by breaking into a "few sites," where he found databases with emails linked to the politicians named in the list. Amped Attacks only named them, but didn't release any emails, phone numbers, or home addresses.
"I do not want anybody to easily see this and take criminal action against these racist scum."
"The reason I do not list the addresses of these people [is] I do not want anybody to easily see this and take criminal action against these racist scum," the hacker wrote in the Pastebin release.
Amped Attacks told Motherboard that he is not affiliated and did not work with Anonymous.
Meanwhile, some of the senators and mayors named in the list have denied the accusations.
"The claim is 100% false," a spokesperson for Sen. John Coryn (R-TX) told Motherboard in a phone call. "I don't know what evidence that he's provided. He's provided none. It's just ridiculous."
Jim Gray, the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, tweeted a denial as well, saying the accusation is "false, insulting and ridiculous" and that he has "never had any relationship of any kind with the KKK."
Tom Henry, mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana, also denied, tweeting that the claims "are totally false and irresponsible."
Paul Fraim, the mayor of of Norfolk, Virginia, echoed these denials.
"The claim [...] is absolutely false and defamatory, Fraim said in a statement emailed to Motherboard. "There is no truth to their statement whatsoever. I am not and have never been affiliated with any such organization. I find it incredulous that these people can hide behind their computers and create such an inaccurate and hateful statement."
Sen Dan Coats (R-IN) reportedly called them "baseless Internet garbage of the worst kind."
Motherboard has reached out to the other people on the list, and we will update the post when we hear back.
This article has been updated to clarify that the hackers declined to specify where they obtained the information regarding the alleged KKK members.