Hackers take down $8.6M GiveSendGo set up for Freedom Convoy

Hackers take down $8.6M GiveSendGo set up for Freedom Convoy

Hackers have knocked the fundraising site GiveSendGo offline in an attack targeting a campaign that raised at least $8.6 million to support the Freedom Convoy demonstrations in Canada.

The attack on Sunday night redirected visitors to a taunting video from the Disney film Frozen, and a message slamming the Freedom Convoy as an ‘insurrection’ led by ‘known extremists.’

The hackers claimed to have stolen the list of donors who contributed to the campaign, which the leak site Distributed Denial of Secrets is now offering to share with ‘journalists and researchers.’

Meanwhile, the key Ambassador Bridge linking Detroit with Windsor, Ontario was re-opened Monday after protesters blocked it for nearly a week, but a larger protest in the capital, Ottawa, persisted as city residents seethed over authorities’ inability to reclaim the streets. 

Police in Windsor arrested some 25 to 30 protesters who refused to clear off the bridge, and they now could face up to a year in jail and $100,000 fines under Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s emergency decree.

The demonstrations in Ottawa have now continued for more than two weeks, with truckers and their supporters blockading the streets around Parliament Hill to protest vaccine mandates and other pandemic restrictions. 

BREAKING: GiveSendGo, the crowdfunding website used by the Freedom Convoy, is now redirecting to the domain GiveSendGone[.]wtf.

A video from the Disney film Frozen now appears alongside a manifesto condemning the website and the Freedom Convoy. pic.twitter.com/3TLAwfvZ3w

— Mikael Thalen (@MikaelThalen) February 14, 2022 Hackers have knocked the fundraising site GiveSendGo offline in an attack targeting a campaign that raised at least $8.6 million to support the so-called Freedom Convoy demonstrations in Canada

Hackers have knocked the fundraising site GiveSendGo offline in an attack targeting a campaign that raised at least $8.6 million to support the so-called Freedom Convoy demonstrations in Canada

The attack on Sunday night redirected visitors to a taunting video from the Disney film Frozen, and a message slamming the Freedom Convoy as an 'insurrection' led by 'known extremists'

The attack on Sunday night redirected visitors to a taunting video from the Disney film Frozen, and a message slamming the Freedom Convoy as an ‘insurrection’ led by ‘known extremists’

The US-based Christian fundraising site became the main conduit for donations to support the Freedom Convoy after GoFundMe buckled to pressure to shut down another fundraiser that had raised some $10 million

The US-based Christian fundraising site became the main conduit for donations to support the Freedom Convoy after GoFundMe buckled to pressure to shut down another fundraiser that had raised some $10 million

The hackers claimed to have stolen the list of donors who contributed to the campaign, which the leak site Distributed Denial of Secrets is now offering to share with 'journalists and researchers.'

The hackers claimed to have stolen the list of donors who contributed to the campaign, which the leak site Distributed Denial of Secrets is now offering to share with ‘journalists and researchers.’

Traffic is seen flowing across the Ambassador Bridge on Monday morning after the final protesters were cleared away. Police on Sunday arrested about 30 demonstrators who could now face a year in jail and fines of $100,000 Traffic is seen flowing across the Ambassador Bridge on Monday morning after the final protesters were cleared away. Police on Sunday arrested about 30 demonstrators who could now face a year in jail and fines of $100,000

Traffic is seen flowing across the Ambassador Bridge on Monday morning after the final protesters were cleared away. Police on Sunday arrested about 30 demonstrators who could now face a year in jail and fines of $100,000

Trucks drive down the road towards the Ambassador Bridge border crossing in Windsor, Ontario on Monday. The border crossing reopened to traffic last night after being blocked for nearly a week by Freedom Convoy demonstrators

Trucks drive down the road towards the Ambassador Bridge border crossing in Windsor, Ontario on Monday. The border crossing reopened to traffic last night after being blocked for nearly a week by Freedom Convoy demonstrators

Police gather to clear protestors against Covid-19 vaccine mandates who blocked the entrance to the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario, Canada on Sunday. The bridge reopened to traffic on Sunday night

Police gather to clear protestors against Covid-19 vaccine mandates who blocked the entrance to the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario, Canada on Sunday. The bridge reopened to traffic on Sunday night

Protestors still occupy Ottawa's Parliament Hill regardless of pleas from politicians and local residents to leave

Protestors still occupy Ottawa’s Parliament Hill regardless of pleas from politicians and local residents to leave

As of Monday morning, the GiveSendGo website appeared to be offline. Visitors to the website were met with the message that it was under maintenance and ‘we will be back very soon.’ 

A message seeking comment from the site’s operators was not immediately returned early Monday. 

The US-based Christian fundraising site became the main conduit for donations to support the Freedom Convoy after GoFundMe buckled to pressure to shut down another fundraiser that had raised some $10 million.

A Canadian court ordered the GiveSendGo funds to be frozen, but the website defied the order and said that the court did not have jurisdiction in the matter. 

The Daily Dot first reported that the site suffered a hack overnight Sunday and had its front page briefly replaced by a clip from the movie Frozen and a manifesto accusing it of supporting ‘an insurrection in Ottawa.’

The leak site DDoS claimed to have 30 megabytes of donor information from people who contributed to the Freedom Convoy, including names, email addresses, zip codes, and internet protocol addresses.  

DDoS said that, because the donor information contains sensitive personal information, it would not be making the data available publicly but will instead be offering it to ‘journalists and researchers.’

DDoS describes itself as a non-profit devoted to enabling the free transmission of data in the public interest.

People gather for an anti-COVID-19 vaccine mandate protest on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Sunday

People gather for an anti-COVID-19 vaccine mandate protest on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Sunday

Police officers stand on Wellington Street in the Parliament Hill area of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Sunday

Police officers stand on Wellington Street in the Parliament Hill area of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Sunday

Demonstrators gather around a fire during a protest by truck drivers over pandemic health rules and the Trudeau government, outside the parliament of Canada in Ottawa on Sunday

Demonstrators gather around a fire during a protest by truck drivers over pandemic health rules and the Trudeau government, outside the parliament of Canada in Ottawa on Sunday

The Ambassador Bridge was cleared, but other issues remain at the Emerson border crossing in Manitoba and the Coutts crossing in Alberta

The Ambassador Bridge was cleared, but other issues remain at the Emerson border crossing in Manitoba and the Coutts crossing in Alberta

The funding of the Canadian protests has emerged as a key point of interest as authorities in Ottawa and elsewhere try to get a grip on the rallies, which have been blockading cities and border crossings across Canada with demands that include the deposition of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

GiveSendGo became a prime conduit for money to the protesters after mainstream crowdfunding platform GoFundMe blocked donations to the movement.

The Ambassador Bridge, North America’s busiest trade link, reopened for traffic late Sunday evening, ending a six-day blockade, Canada Border Services Agency said, after Canadian police cleared the protesters fighting to end COVID-19 restrictions.

The crossing normally carries 25 percent of all trade between the two countries, and the blockade on the Canadian side had disrupted business in both countries, with automakers forced to shut down several assembly plants.

Police in Windsor, Ontario, said earlier in the day that more than two dozen people had been peacefully arrested, seven vehicles towed and five seized as officers cleared the last demonstrators from near the bridge, which links the city – and numerous Canadian automotive plants – with Detroit.

The words 'Freedom Convoy 2022' are visible on a truck that is part of a demonstration against COVID-19 restrictions in Ottawa

The words ‘Freedom Convoy 2022’ are visible on a truck that is part of a demonstration against COVID-19 restrictions in Ottawa

People demonstrating against COVID-19 restrictions stay warm with blankets and a fire during frigid temperatures on Wellington Street in the Parliament Hill area of Ottawa

People demonstrating against COVID-19 restrictions stay warm with blankets and a fire during frigid temperatures on Wellington Street in the Parliament Hill area of Ottawa

A resident holds a sign towards protesters as they participate in a counter protest to stop vehicles from driving in a convoy en route to Parliament Hill

A resident holds a sign towards protesters as they participate in a counter protest to stop vehicles from driving in a convoy en route to Parliament Hill

Demonstrations against COVID-19 restrictions and other issues have blocked several crossings along the U.S.-Canada border and hurt the economies of both nations. 

They also inspired similar convoys in France, New Zealand and the Netherlands. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security warned that truck convoys may be in the works in the United States.

Police in Windsor, Ontario, arrested 25 to 30 protesters and towed several vehicles Sunday near the Ambassador Bridge, which links Windsor – and numerous Canadian automotive plants – with Detroit. 

The bridge reopened to traffic late Sunday night, a spokeswoman for bridge owner Detroit International Bridge Co. confirmed. Canada Border Services also confirmed that the bridge is open.

After protesters began blocking bridge access February 7, automakers began shutting down or reducing production – at a time when the industry is already struggling with pandemic-induced shortages of computer chips and other supply-chain disruptions.

‘Today, our national economic crisis at the Ambassador Bridge came to an end,’ said Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens. ‘Border crossings will reopen when it is safe to do so and I defer to police and border agencies to make that determination.’

In the US, copycat protests are planned including a convoy to Buffalo and another to Washington DC planned for March

In the US, copycat protests are planned including a convoy to Buffalo and another to Washington DC planned for March 

Police gather to clear protestors against Covid-19 vaccine mandates who blocked the entrance to the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, on Sunday

Police gather to clear protestors against Covid-19 vaccine mandates who blocked the entrance to the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, on Sunday

A police officer reacts on the road leading to the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit and Windsor, after police cleared demonstrators Sunday

A police officer reacts on the road leading to the Ambassador Bridge, which connects Detroit and Windsor, after police cleared demonstrators Sunday

Police advance against protestors who blocked the entrance to the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario on Sunday

Police advance against protestors who blocked the entrance to the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor, Ontario on Sunday

Police surround pickup trucks as they clear protestors who blocked the entrance to the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor

Police surround pickup trucks as they clear protestors who blocked the entrance to the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor

Police tow a truck as they remove all truckers and supporters after a court injunction gave police the power to enforce the law after protesters blocked the access leading from the Ambassador Bridge, linking Detroit and Windsor, on Sunday

Police tow a truck as they remove all truckers and supporters after a court injunction gave police the power to enforce the law after protesters blocked the access leading from the Ambassador Bridge, linking Detroit and Windsor, on Sunday

About 470 miles northeast of Windsor, the protest in Ottawa has paralyzed downtown, infuriated residents who are fed up with police inaction and turned up pressure on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

A senior government official said Trudeau will meet virtually with the leaders of Canada´s provinces on Monday morning. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The city had appeared to have reached a deal in which protesters, who have jammed downtown streets for more than two weeks, would move out of residential areas, but those prospects soon faded.

Mayor Jim Watson said Sunday that he agreed to meet with demonstrators if they confined their protest to an area around Parliament Hill and moved their trucks and other vehicles out of residential neighborhoods by noon Monday. 

He shared a letter from one of the protest’s organizers, Tamara Lich, in which she said demonstrators ‘agree with your request’ to focus activities at Parliament Hill.

But Lich later denied there was an agreement, saying in a tweet: ‘No deal has been made. End the mandates, end the passports. That is why we are here.’

In a letter Watson wrote to protesters, he said residents are ‘exhausted’ and ‘on edge’ due to the demonstrations, and he warned that some businesses are teetering on the brink of permanent closure because of the disruptions.

A person holds a sign as people take part in a counter-protest blocking a small convoy of truckers who demonstrate against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine mandates, in the outskirts of Ottawa, in Ontario on Sunday

A person holds a sign as people take part in a counter-protest blocking a small convoy of truckers who demonstrate against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine mandates, in the outskirts of Ottawa, in Ontario on Sunday

A resident holds a sign calling for a convoy participant to remove their Canadian flag as they negotiate to release vehicles from a counter protest that blocked Riverside Drive for hours, in Ottawa on Sunday

A resident holds a sign calling for a convoy participant to remove their Canadian flag as they negotiate to release vehicles from a counter protest that blocked Riverside Drive for hours, in Ottawa on Sunday

People gather outside a police station in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Sunday, demanding authorities remove truck drivers and other protesters who have taken over the area around Parliament Hill to demonstrate against COVID-19 restrictions

People gather outside a police station in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on Sunday, demanding authorities remove truck drivers and other protesters who have taken over the area around Parliament Hill to demonstrate against COVID-19 restrictions

Truck driver Spencer Bautz (24) climbs into his cab during a protest by truck drivers over Covid-19 pandemic health rules and the Trudeau government, outside the parliament of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario on Sunday

Truck driver Spencer Bautz (24) climbs into his cab during a protest by truck drivers over Covid-19 pandemic health rules and the Trudeau government, outside the parliament of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario on Sunday

In Surrey, British Columbia, police arrested four demonstrators Sunday, and officers in Alberta said they intercepted and disabled three excavators that were being brought to a border blockade in the town of Coutts.

While the protesters are decrying vaccine mandates for truckers and other COVID-19 restrictions, many of Canada’s public health measures, such as mask rules and vaccine passports for getting into restaurants and theaters, are already falling away as the omicron surge levels off.

Pandemic restrictions have been far stricter in Canada than in the U.S., but Canadians have largely supported them. The vast majority of Canadians are vaccinated, and the COVID-19 death rate is one-third that of the United States.

A judge on Friday ordered an end to the blockade at the Ambassador Bridge, and Ontario Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency allowing for fines of 100,000 Canadian dollars and up to one year in jail for anyone illegally blocking roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration on Sunday acknowledged the resolution to the bridge demonstration, which it said had ‘widespread damaging impacts’ on the ‘lives and livelihoods of people’ on both sides of the border.

The Windsor protest began to dwindle Saturday after police persuaded many protesters to remove vehicles blocking the road to the bridge. But in Ottawa, Saturday’s crowd swelled to what police said were 4,000 demonstrators, and a counter-protest of frustrated Ottawa residents attempting to block the convoy of trucks from entering downtown emerged Sunday.

Clayton Goodwin, a 45-year-old military veteran who was among the counterprotesters, said it was time for residents to stand up against the protesters.

‘I´m horrified that other veterans would be down there co-opting my flag, co-opting my service,’ said Goodwin, who is the CEO of the Veterans Accountability Commission, a nonprofit advocacy group. ‘It´s a grift. The city was free. We’re 92 percent vaccinated. We’re ready to support our businesses.’

Colleen Sinclair, another counter-protester, said the demonstrators have had their say and need to move on – with police force, if necessary.

‘They’re occupiers,’ she said. ‘This is domestic terrorism and we want you out of our city. Go home.’

Trudeau has so far rejected calls to use the military, but has said ‘all options are on the table’ to end the protests. Trudeau has called the protesters a ‘fringe’ of Canadian society. Both federal and provincial politicians have said they can´t order police what to do.

Major-General Steve Boivin, commander of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command, said Sunday that two of his special forces soldiers were supporting the protests in Ottawa and were in the ‘process of being released’ from service. Boivin said the activity goes against the military’s values and ethics. 

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