‘Gay furry hackers’ steal data from right-wing think tank in massive anti-Project 2025 cyber attack

Donald Trump, pictured in a red hat.

A collective of “gay furry hackers” has claimed credit for hacking into the Heritage Foundation in opposition to its right-wing political and social proposals for next year, known as Project 2025.

Hacking group SiegedSec wrote in a post on social platform Telegram that it was responsible for a cyber attack which secured 200GB of files from the think tank, which included passwords and user information for “every user” on its database.

The attack was part of its #OpTransRights campaign, which targets right-wing organisations the group believes have had a significant impact on mitigating trans rights.

Other targets include right-wing media outlet Real America’s Voice, the Hillsong megachurch and a Minnesota pastor.

“We’re strong against Project 2025 and everything the Heritage Foundation stands for,” the hackers’ co-leader, known by the username Vio, told The Intercept.

What is Project 2025?

Project 2025 is a proposed presidential transitional playbook that plans out former president Donald Trump’s first 180 days in office if he were to win back the White House in November.

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It focuses on a wide-range of subjects, from the availability of abortion pills, the “natural family structure”, a social science-reinforced, Bible-based definition of marriage and family. Other targets include diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) in higher education, and immigration.

Heritage Foundation president, Kevin Roberts.
Heritage Foundation president Kevin Roberts has vowed to end what he calls the toxic normalisation of transgenderism. (Getty)

Trump has tried to distance himself from the proposals, saying: “I know nothing about Project 2025. I have no idea who is behind it. I disagree with some of the things they’re saying and some of the things they’re saying are absolutely ridiculous and abysmal. Anything they do, I wish them luck, but I have nothing to do with them.”

However, two former Trump administration officials – Paul Dans, who was chief of staff at the Office of Personnel Management, and Spencer Chretien, who was a special assistant to the then president – have important positions within the project, CBS News reported.

In a foreword to its manifesto, Heritage Foundation president Kevin Roberts specifically targets trans people by vowing an end to the so-called “toxic normalisation of transgenderism” and the “omnipresent propagation of transgender ideology”.

This was a primary motivation for SiegedSec’s hack, although they admitted that the majority of the obtained files were “mostly useless”.

This isn’t the first time the organisation has been subjected to cyber attacks. In April, the Heritage Foundation confirmed it had been hacked after shutting down its network to “prevent any further malicious activity” as it investigated the incident. While no definitive individual or group was blamed, an official from the organisation claimed that it was likely to be by nation-state hackers.

The organisation was also the victim of a cyber attack in 2015, where hackers stole internal emails and the personal information of donors.

Who are the ‘gay furry hackers’ SiegedSec?

Two people, who are part of the furry community, dress in colourful fursuits as they pose outside in London for a photograph
Two people, who are part of the furry community, dress in colourful fursuits as they pose outside in London for a photograph. (Getty)

SiegedSec, a collective of self-proclaimed gay furry hackers, first emerged in early 2022 as a “hacktivist” group aiming to target anti-LGBTQ+ groups.

Last year, it hacked one of the biggest nuclear laboratories in the US, demanding its employees focus on research into “real-life cat-girls“. They have also targeted a number of government organisations, including NATO and Israeli companies, in opposition to the war in Gaza.

“Meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow, meow,” the group wrote in a post after it hacked NATO’s IT security for the second time.

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