Hackers using Lil B as their mascot have vandalised the websites of Amy Winehouse and singer Lauren Pritchard, claiming they also have data onJustin Bieber, Klaxons and, er, “[a] hundred thousand hundred trillion” Lady Gaga fans. Calling themselves SwagSec (Swagger Security), the group has waded into a crowded war of hack and double-hack, declaring their rivalry with both Anonymous and so-called “anti-sec” groups such as LulzSec.
Whereas other high-profile hackers have made their names breaking into servers operated by Bank of America, AT&T or Sony, SwagSec seem more musically minded. The name itself is a pop term: “swag” is Lil B’s most notorious catchphrase, since taken up by everyone from Tyler, the Creator to Cher Lloyd. SwagSec claim to be a group of gay, black hackers, flying in the face of white hacker stereotype, and inverting the scene’s typical juvenile homophobia. “We are here to take back the internet from the white devil,” they wrote on Twitter. “We startin wid Amy Winehouse.”
In their posting at AmyWinehouse.com, archived by the Daily Swarm , SwagSec warned other hackers to stop attacking Universal Music, Winehouse’s label. “UMusic is our territory,” they wrote. “We’ve had dis box on lock 4 yearz son.” Last week, Anonymous’s Operation AntiSec dumped hundreds of files linked to Universal and Viacom, including usernames and passwords. Soul singer Lauren Pritchard, whose website was also defaced, is another Universal artist. Both artist’s websites have more or less since been restored.
California rapper Lil B doesn’t seem directly linked to the group, but his face is plastered all over their work – and the timing of his supporters’ hacks can’t hurt. Just last week, Lil B released his new album, I’m Gay. Although he has been hailed for the way his album title challenges thehip-hop status quo, it turns out to be more of a publicity stunt than a rap Stonewall. “I’m not a gay man,” he told Complex. The album’s lyrics also make no mention of homosexuality. In fact, perhaps Lil B’s most revolutionary move was to make the album available for free .
Ultimately, SwagSec’s hackings may have less to do with wreaking havoc and more to do with catching the attention of one of their favourite musicians. “Shoutout 2 Lil B,” they wrote on Amy Winehouse’s website. “We fuckin luv u. If u mention us in a new trak brotha, we give u our bitchez. Promise.”