What We Know About ‘The Jester,’ the U.S. Hacker Who Attacked a Russian Government Site

  1. Home
  2. Tech
By Kyle Foley | 4:00 pm, October 23, 2016

This weekend, in response to the massive hack that brought down most of the Internet on Friday, the U.S.-based vigilante hacker known as The Jester set his sites on the Russian government.

The Jester found a way to inject his own code onto the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’s website, leaving a message for the Russians. “Comrades! We interrupt regular scheduled Russian Foreign Affairs Website programming to bring you the following important message,” he wrote. “Knock it off. You may be able to push around nations around you, but this is America. Nobody is impressed.”

The Jester is fighting back against what he and many others believe is Russian propaganda.

He has also called out the widely assumed connection between Russia Today and Wikileaks, pointing out that RT tweeted about a new Wikileaks reveal 30 minutes before Wikileaks themselves released the information.

The Jester is not new to hacktivism. He has been at it since at least 2010, when he began a campaign to bring down several Jihadi websites. His first target was alemarah.info, which was serving as the Taliban’s main website at the time.

The Jester told CNNMoney that he “realized something needed to be done about online radicalization and ‘grooming’ of wannabe jihadis, and we didn’t have mechanisms to deal with it,” and so he “decided to start disrupting them.” In that same interview, The Jester says he stopped counting the number of sites he has taken down when he reached 179.

In 2013, The Jester took action against Ecuador and threatened any country that offered Edward Snowden asylum. The Jester is clearly not a fan of Snowden, saying he “is not a goddam hero, here to save Americans from ‘the government’ because of privacy infringements and breaches of the 4th amendment. He is a traitor and has jeopardized all our lives.” He also alluded to a plan to get Julian Assange out in the public so he could be arrested, something that never came to fruition.

When he is not fighting terrorists, The Jester has gone after other hackers and internet nuisances. Most notably he set out to expose members of the hacking group LulzSec for being “childish,” and, after a mistake on the first try, he finally exposed their leader “Sabu” as Hector Xavier Monsegur. He also temporarily took down the notorious messaging board 4chan after users attempted to (incorrectly) expose his identity and he even targeted the hackers behind several PlayStation Network attacks, Lizard Squad.

Because of his line of work, The Jester works very hard to keep his personal information private. The only known background we have on him is that he claimed to have served in the U.S. military in Afghanistan, where he says he served four operational tours.

“I answer to my conscience, and to God, sir,” he told CNNMoney. “That’s about it. I think my actions speak loudly enough of my principles and doctrine.”

Follow me on Twitter @KFoleyFL