This falls into the category of “you don’t know what you’ve got until it is gone”.
I have been reading the writings on this blog since 2008.
Here is what the author wrote to me after the site disappeared;
The Aging Rebel, a website located at www.agingrebel.com, was hacked twice on Friday March 27. The attacks were blatant acts of cyber-warfare intended to silence reporting published on the site.
The hacks followed approximately a month of distributed denial of service attacks that began on or about February 23. The DOS attacks were intended to overload the site’s servers with thousands of simultaneous hits. The impossible volume of hits would cause the computational resources of the servers to overload and the servers would shut down. The point of the attacks was to make the site unavailable to its audience. During February and March, the site experienced numerous spikes in computational demands as a result of these attacks and crashed and shut down numerous times.
Many of the bogus hits appear to have originated from servers in or near Frankfurt, Germany that I have long associated with harassing comments made by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. I first noticed the Frankfurt servers about three years ago when a commenter I believed to be an ATF agent commented from an Internet Protocol (IP) address in Chicago and two minutes later commented from an IP address in Frankfurt.
Insulting comments made after the murder of Patrick Eberhardt in February that I believe were intended to bait members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club into committing violent or criminal acts originated with servers in Frankfurt. Similar harassing or inflammatory comments have originated from servers in Chicago, Kansas City and New York. I now believe that all these IP addresses both in and out of the United States are either spoofed addresses or are proxy servers
Distributed and other denial of service attacks on a niche journalistic site like The Aging Rebel are very rare. Most DOS attacks are aimed at large institutions like banks and credit card gateways. Many hackers view these attacks as a kind of social protest against large institutions and powerful corporations. The attacks on The Aging Rebel were clearly intended to censor my reporting and to dictate what free people can and cannot read.
In response to these malicious attacks, I attempted to double The Aging Rebel’s server capacity on March 27. The process of doing that lasted about four hours and it was during that time that the site was hacked. The site was first hacked at about 4:15 Pacific Daylight Savings Time. The site administrator’s “user name” was changed so I was unable to access the site. Visitors to the site found only an obscene photograph depicting a white woman regarding a very large black dildo. Superimposed on the photograph were the captions, “Rebel sucks big fat cocks” and “I take it in the rear end by faggot pedophiles.” The file was uploaded as “douchebag3.jpg.”
The first hack appears to have been a test run. The obscene photo disappeared in minutes and I was once again able to administer the site. The second attack began between two and three hours later and prompted me to take the site off line.
Themes, plugins and other features of the site were all up to date. Nevertheless, the site is more than six years old and apparently contained several documented vulnerabilities. As of Monday morning, about 60 hours after the first hack, the site still contains at least 41 hacked and unrepaired FTP content files. Repairing the site will be tedious and expensive.
I believe the hack was accomplished by members or associates of the Iron Order Motorcycle Club in direct retaliation for three recent story threads covered on the site. The first reported on a gunfight between members of the Iron Order and members of the Banditos and Pistoleros Motorcycle Clubs in Meridian, Mississippi and the club’s response to it. The second reported on a fight in Baltimore between members of the Iron Order and members of the Iron Horsemen and the Chosen Sons. The third was a single post published on March 25 titled “More Business For Shark.” The story reported on a law suit filed in Illinois by a woman who was beaten by members of the Iron Order. That post quotes numerous vulgar, public comments made by former Iron Order president Ray “Izod” Lubesky. I believe the hack was in direct retaliation for that post. “Shark” is John C. “Shark” Whitfield, who serves as “Director of the Division of Legal Affairs” for the Iron Order. Whitfield is a Madisonville, Kentucky accident attorney who served as the Nortonville, Kentucky City Attorney until late last year.
The hack was almost simultaneous with the release of an Iron Order graphic that announced, “Fuck with us and you open the gates of hell!”
Because of the extent of the Distributed Denial of Service attacks and the timing of the hack I believe that either Department of Justice or Military assets may have been used to silence the site. The Iron Order currently is the largest motorcycle club in the country. It was founded by a United States Secret Service agent. According to a published statement by Whitfield the club includes members who are ATF agents. The club also includes numerous active duty military personnel, sworn peace officers, government contractors and prison guards. Iron Order club officers include multiple, American military field grade officers. Those officers include Major Darrell “Tracker” Robinson of the Marine Corps Logistics Command, who is currently Associate Division of Legal Affairs for the Iron Order and Army Lieutenant Colonel Michael “Cgar” Crouse who is presently club vice-president. I believe Crouse has previously used military assets to locate and spy on critics of the Iron Order and to relocate an Army reservist and Iron Order member who shot and killed a member of the Black Pistons Motorcycle Club in Jacksonville Beach, Florida last June.
The possible involvement of the United States government in the hacking and silencing of The Aging Rebel is problematic.
Please stay tuned. Spread the word. The pen may yet prove mightier than the sword.