Canadian hacktivists use Donald Trump's website to praise Jon Stewart
Members of the anonymous, decentralized hacktivist group Telecomix Canada deface Donald Trump's website
The Canadian arm of an anonymous, decentralized hacktivist group is taking credit today for sending a public thank you message to outgoing Daily Show host Jon Stewart — via Donald Trump's official corporate website.
"We are writing you today via Mr Trump's website because, seeming, the only way to get anyone to pay attention any more is to grease a Presidential candidate's website," reads an archived version of a page on Trump.com entitled "Your Moment of Zen, Mr. Stewart."
Signed by TelecomixCanada, the letter goes on to thank Stewart for his "many happy years of quality journalism and entertainment" on The Daily Show, and to extend an invitation of sorts.
"Should you ever come to wonder what the stars look like over the North Atlantic on cool clear evening, flag us. Our currency is greatly devalued at the moment," it reads.
.<a href="https://twitter.com/TelecomixCanada">@TelecomixCanada</a> with an important message for Jon Stewart: <a href="http://t.co/XMwbUAyINW">http://t.co/XMwbUAyINW</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MomentOfZen?src=hash">#MomentOfZen</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/TheDailyShow">@TheDailyShow</a> <a href="http://t.co/ofoNkdtSsG">pic.twitter.com/ofoNkdtSsG</a>—@YourAnonNews
The letter also takes aim at some of the candidates in Canada's upcoming federal election.
"Are you aware we have a federal election coming up between a belligerent cowboy Economist, an angry Irishman with a French passport and a young dad with nice hair?" wrote TelecomixCanada.
As of Monday afternoon, the note could no longer be viewed on Trump.com. It's URL simply redirects browsers to the site's landing page.
Screenshots and archived versions of the letter show that it had been live, however, since early Saturday.
Trump's web host (or "three dollar website people," as TelecomixCanada put it) removed the page Monday morning as news of its existence started picking up steam on Twitter.
Sir! We regret to inform you. Hax0red by Canuckers. cc <a href="https://twitter.com/TelecomixCanada">@TelecomixCanada</a> <a href="http://t.co/HHyhweHkQx">http://t.co/HHyhweHkQx</a> <a href="http://t.co/nRamNKCPAQ">pic.twitter.com/nRamNKCPAQ</a>—@HiveComm
TelecomixCanada provided more details about the stunt in a news release uploaded to Pastebin early Sunday evening.
"Jon Stewart, now in his final week with Comedy Central, is a long time critic of Mr Trump and his views on everything from healthcare reform, to President Obama's citizenship, to John McCain's war record," the group wrote.
The group also made a point of clarifying that, contrary to some reports, it hadn't "hacked" Trump's website in a malicious way.
"Given the nature of the many diverse Anonymous flags, TelecomixCanada wishes to again stress that no further action was taken against the server (ie data leaking or infection)," reads the release. "Nor have they shared access details with other hacktivists or repaired the problems allowing access to trump.com in the first place."
Your Moment of Zen, Mr Stewart <a href="http://t.co/erwHJi6wL8">http://t.co/erwHJi6wL8</a> With thx from all of us to all of you cc: <a href="https://twitter.com/TheDailyShow">@TheDailyShow</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/iamjohnoliver">@iamjohnoliver</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BigQuinoa?src=hash">#BigQuinoa</a> :)-—@TelecomixCanada
Vocativ backed the notion that Trump's site hadn't really been hacked so much as defaced, writing that it appeared to run on "an old and outdated content management system that is accessible to the public and that may still contain security vulnerabilities noted as early as 2009."
Trump's lawyer dismissed the defacement as insignificant, telling Vocativ it was "really weird."
"You know, [hackers] hacked into the Pentagon, for God's sake," he said. "It's unbelievable … I'm going to have to reach out to our IT guy and figure out how they got through."