Less than 48 hours after hackers working on behalf of Anonymous defaced the website of Westboro Baptist Church, leaking personal information on its approximately 100 congregants as well, members of UGNazi have seized the personal Twitter account of spokesperson Shirley Phelps-Roper.
Westboro Baptist Church spokesperson Shirley Phelps-Roper is going to need a new Twitter account (or at least remember the password for her old one) if she hopes to keep using the popular social network to spread the views of Pastor Fred Phelps and his congregation. A 15-year-old hacker known as CosmoTheGod, has taken over Phelps' Twitter account, and something tells us that he won't be looking to relinquish control of @DearShirley anytime soon.
Update: Twitter has suspended the @DearShirley account. We still haven't received any comment from the Westboro Baptist Church on the attack though.
The Westboro Baptist Church has been using the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre as a means of forcing itself back into the spotlight, first grabbing attention over the weekend with a promise to picket the funerals of those lost in the violence on Friday. The group may have backed away from those plans in the interim, though there's no confirmation of that fact at this time, thanks to boosted media coverage following the Westboro Baptist Church's original picketing threats.
Westboro Baptist Church congregants regularly threaten to protest funerals where they are clearly unwanted only to offer to cancel if a local/national media outlet will speak with one or more of its members. The group typically pickets outside the funerals of LGBT community members and fallen soldiers; however, they commonly make exceptions for other funerals that are likely to capture public attention as well.
The group also held an "IAmA" -- the popular Q&A forums on Reddit that continues to receive attention from celebrities, politicians, and other public figures -- and received a number of interview requests from media outlets around the country. Two members of the church also appeared on Russell Brand's talk show a couple of weeks ago for a segment that went viral shortly after its airing.
Despite initial reports from Sam Biddle, Cosmo denied speaking with Gizmodo regarding the attack, though the 15-year-old has been busy re-tweeting supportive messages from Twitter users around the globe. He also replaced the inflammatory public figure's background with an image asking visitors to pray for the victims, friends, and family of those lost in Newtown last week. Cosmo has also been reminding all who visit the account that there is currently a petition on the White House' official "We The People" website asking President Obama to declare the Westboro Baptist Church a hate group.
iDigitalTimes has reached out to the Westboro Baptist Church for a comment on CosmoTheGod's hacking of Shirley Phelps-Roper's Twitter account this morning. We'll update this story if/when we hear back from Mrs. Roper, WBC or a member(s) of the church's congregation.
Update: Twitter has suspended the @DearShirley account, though we've still received no comment from the Westboro Baptist Church on the matter.