Heritage Foundation Exec Threatens ‘Gay Furry Hackers’ in Unhinged Texts

Self-described “gay furry hackers” breached the Heritage Foundation in a cyberattack on July 2, and on Tuesday released two gigabytes of the conservative think tank’s internal data. Now an executive director at the influential organization is so hopping mad that he might as well invest in a kangaroo costume.

The hacktivist collective, SiegedSec, has been engaged in a campaign called “OpTransRights,” in which it targets government websites with the aim of disrupting efforts to enact or enforce anti-trans and anti-abortion laws. Heritage Foundation was selected due to its Project 2025 plans, seen as a blueprint for Donald Trump to reshape the U.S. with sweeping far-right reforms should he win another term as president, SiegedSec told CyberScoop on Tuesday. Group member “vio” informed the outlet that they aimed to provide “transparency to the public regarding who exactly is supporting” Heritage, and that the leaked data included “full names, email addresses, passwords, and usernames” of individuals linked to the nonprofit.

This material, as the Daily Dot reported, appears to have come from the Daily Signal, Heritage’s media and commentary site, which lists one Mike Howell as an investigative columnist. The former Trump administration official in the Department of Homeland Security is also the executive director of Heritage’s Oversight Project, an initiative focused on border security, elections, and countering the “influence” of the Communist Party of China. It was Howell who contacted SiegedSec in the wake of the breach to get answers about their motivations — and as he continued to message “vio,” his texts grew more unhinged and threatening.

After declining to talk with Howell by phone, vio described what it was that they and their hacker furry comrades sought to accomplish: “[W]e want to make a message and shine light on who exactly supports the [H]eritage foundation,” they wrote. “[W]e [don’t] want anything more than that, not money and not fame. [W]e’re strongly against Project 2025 and everything the [H]eritage foundation stands for.” Howell seemed stunned by the explanation. “That’s why you hacked us?” he replied. “Just for that?” (Once the full chat log was released by SiegedSec, Howell confirmed to the Daily Dot that it was genuine, and that the conversation had taken place on Wednesday.)

From there, Howell’s tone shifted. “We are in the process of identifying and outing [sic] members of your group,” he wrote. “Reputations and lives will be destroyed. Closeted Furries will be presented to the world for the degenerate perverts they are.” As vio expressed skepticism that anyone in SiegedSec would be identified and continued to criticize the Heritage agenda as harmful to human rights, Howell invoked Biblical authority and seethed that the hackers had “turned against nature.”

“God created nature, and nature’s laws are vicious. It is why you have to put on a perverted animal costume to satisfy your sexual deviances,” Howell wrote. “Are you aware that you won’t be able to wear a furry tiger costume when you’re getting pounded in the ass in the federal prison I put you in next year?” When vio taunted the executive for this outburst and hinted that they would be posting the conversation online, Howell replied, “Please share widely. I hope the word spreads as fast as the STDs do in your degenerate furry community.”

He went on to liken furry culture to bestiality, which he called a “sin,” prompting vio to ask him, “whats ur opinion on vore.” (Vorarephilia, or vore, is a fetish typically expressed in erotic art of people or creatures eating one another.) A Twitter user shared a screenshot of this exchange Wednesday afternoon, leading Howell to quote-tweet the post with lyrics from rapper Eminem‘s 2000 single “The Way I Am.”

Hours later, Howell learned through the Daily Dot‘s reporting that vio had decided to try to quit their life of cybercrime, and that the rest of the collective agreed it was “time to let SiegedSec rest for good,” in part to avoid FBI attention. “COMPLETE AND TOTAL VICTORY,” Howell tweeted. “I have forced the Gay Furry Hackers to DISBAND.”

But it remains to be seen whether these hackers — who last year managed to breach NATO systems as well as a major U.S. nuclear lab that they demanded begin research on “creating IRL catgirls” — will truly disappear into the shadows. Like an empowering fursona, hacking can be an identity that’s hard to give up. Before he congratulates himself any more, Howell might want to at least change his passwords.