Both companies’ sites were hacked, and instead of the usual hip-hop related news articles and feature stories, readers were shocked to find fake headlines and obviously photoshopped pictures saturated with racial slurs and other offensive terms; the hackers also stole personal information about employees of SOHH.com. A group or individual going by the name “Anonymous” has claimed responsibility.
SOHH was first infiltrated last week on its forum pages and shut itself down on Friday; AllHipHop.com also had its forums compromised. AllHipHop was back up on Friday evening, and by Monday (June 30), SOHH had a statement on its site similar to the one released by CEO Felicia Palmer on Friday, in which she said the company was working diligently to solve the problem and has been in contact with authorities.
“It appears that hackers are specifically targeting Black, Hispanic, Asian and Jewish youth who ascribe to hip-hop culture,” the statement read. “Other websites, including AllHipHop and DatPiff[.com's] forums have also been compromised or threatened this week. … Also, as this is an international issue, it is being addressed by the FBI and the Strategic Alliance Cyber Crime Working Group.”
In a statement released late Friday afternoon, AllHipHop co-founders Chuck Creekmur and Greg Watkings said: “Urban culture and lifestyle has come under attack by a group of cyber terrorists. AllHipHop and SOHH, two pioneering Web sites that have been in the industry for over 10 years, are appalled by the unprovoked racist attacks of these cyber terrorists. With all the social strides that we have seen for several years, it is sad to see that this sort of blatant, hateful racism still exists in 2008 — a time of tremendous possibility. Together, AllHipHop and SOHH are committed to relentlessly pursuing these attackers, using every resource available, to ensure the capture of these criminals and prevention of repeat offenses.”
SOHH and AllHipHop say they have joined forces to resolve the issue and have involved the proper authorities. Further comment is expected. Datpiff.com, which is dedicated to mixtapes, is still functioning as usual.
[This story was originally published at 5:52 pm E.T. on 6.27.2008]