Update (9:35 pm EST): In comments I made a reference to a racist term being used as an admin login. That word is via the 3301 website, and the login is “ppuat_admin: niggers1.” Directly underneath that is “alan: password.” I don’t know a lot about the ins and outs of hacking, but it looked to me like that was a reference to Alan’s password/login. The first person listed on the emails list is Alan Necula, who I confirmed is Planned Parenthood’s Senior Web Developer. So this afternoon I just sent a quick message to the 3301 Twitter account asking where that came from. Here’s the response I just got:
So allegedly “niggers1” was the login/password they used to hack into the website, which was also allegedly Planned Parenthood’s Senior Web Developer’s login/password. Mr. Necula has got some serious ‘splaining to do… Just wow.
Update (6:00 pm EST): Via Gizmodo, the apparent website in question is http://3301.in/. However, questions remain about the origin and veracity of the alleged hack. Will update as new information comes in. Gizmodo has since removed the hyperlink from its article.
The number 1 topic on Memeorandum right now is a story posted by The Daily Dot about an alleged hack of Planned Parenthood, including an allegation about the posting of their employee data online. The problem is, there is zero verifiable proof that the story is true. The Daily Dot does not link to the website, and Planned Parenthood is quoted as saying that they have not detected any hack. Nevertheless, the story is quickly going viral.
(Editor’s note: The Daily Dot is intentionally not linking to the hackers’ website.)
The story includes quotes from the group, and names the group as “3301” noting that 3301 is part of the name of a famous internet meme called Cicada 3301 that refers to an alleged puzzle used as a recruiting tool by…somebody with some kind of hack connections. Or so the story goes.
At this point, the story is spreading to all the usual suspects, including The Hill, Politico, The Daily Beast, Mother Jones, and even LifeNews. All of these articles reference the Daily Dot article and use the information contained within it. None of them contain links to the alleged website the hackers allegedly used to dump the data, and no verifiable information in included in any article. The Daily Dot does have a hyperlink over the word Twitter in a reference to the alleged group’s alleged Twitter account, but the link directs to the Daily Dot Twitter community page.
Here is the quote that the Daily Dot author, William Turton, allegedly pulled from the alleged website:
“We’ve noticed quite a lot of attention has been diverted to a supposedly malicious organization known as Planned Parenthood. The actions of this ‘federation’ are not seen as right in the eyes of the public. So here we are, the social justice warriors, seeking to reclaim some sort of lulz for the years and thousands of dollars that Planned Parenthood have wasted and made harvesting your babies.”
I spent a couple of hours today trying to suss out anything verifiable about the 3301 group, looking for a website or a Twitter account, anything that might offer some proof that what the Daily Dot is reporting is real. I’m not the world’s best internet researcher, but I am pretty good. I found nothing. Even using key parts of the quote above, all I came up with was the Daily Dot article spreading like wildfire across internet media sites, none of which have done any of their own research. If the statement was posted on the 3301 group’s website, as reported, it should have popped up, and yet it didn’t.
Now I’m left wondering if the story is a hoax, and who benefits if so. What I do know is that the #1 rule on TCH Blog Rules is:
It would be irresponsible not to speculate.
I’ll leave it to you. 🙂 Let us know if you find any proof.