A notorious hacker has claimed responsibility for hacking Turkey’s ruling party, the AKP, and stealing more than 300,000 internal emails and other files.
The hacker, who’s known as Phineas Fisher and has gained international attention for his previous attacks on the surveillance tech companies FinFisher and Hacking Team, took credit for breaching the servers of Turkey’s ruling party, the Justice and Development Party or AKP.
“I hacked AKP,” Phineas Fisher, who also goes by the nickname Hack Back, said in a message he spread through his Twitter account on Wednesday evening.
The hacker didn’t provide any definitive evidence to support his claims, but he posted a link to a series of stolen files totalling more than 100 gigabytes.
On Tuesday, WikiLeaks began publishing emails stolen from the party of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The anti-secrecy organization led by Julian Assange said it recently received the files from a source “who is not connected, in any way, to the elements behind the attempted coup [in Turkey], or to a rival political party or state.”
That source, it appears, was none other than Phineas Fisher.
“What better way to celebrate the release of VICE’s Cyberwar than by attacking a NATO member?” Phineas Fisher told me in an email, referring to VICELAND’s new documentary series on hacking and cybersecurity, which this week featured an exclusive interview with the hacker.
Phineas Fisher explained in his message that he attacked AKP “because I support the society people are trying to build in Rojava and Bakur, and they’re being attacked by Turkey,” referring to two Kurdish anti capitalist autonomous regions, which are located between Turkey and Syria. ”I don’t see leaking as an end in itself, so I was talking with people in Rojava and Bakur to see how best to use the access I’d gotten.”
”I don’t see leaking as an end in itself, so I was talking with people in Rojava and Bakur to see how best to use the access I’d gotten.”
Earlier this year, the hacker claimed to have robbed a bank in a cyberheist and sent 10,000 euros in bitcoin to the Rojava Plan, an organization that promotes “gender liberation, direct democracy, and a free and ecological society” in Rojava.
The hacker hinted that there was some sort of miscommunication when WikiLeaks received the files, and the organization jumped the gun in publishing them.
“To be fair to WikiLeaks, they didn’t know I was still in AKP’s network downloading files at the time they announced they were publishing,” Phineas Fisher wrote in his message. “But they did know that the source who had given them the file was asking them to wait.”
WikiLeaks did not immediately respond to a request for comment. And Phineas Fisher declined to answer more questions regarding the hack.
The leak is being hosted also by the independent security researcher Thomas White, also known as TheCthulhu.
After the publication of the emails on Tuesday, Turkey reacted by blocking WikiLeaks. How they’ll react to this new, apparently more extensive leak, remains to be seen.