Anonymous targets N.C. government websites over bathroom law controversy

The hacking group briefly took several state government websites offline amid mounting controversy over a state law on the use of restrooms by transgender citizens.

The hacking group Anonymous targeted and attempted to take down North Carolina websites earlier this week, as controversy continued nationally over HB 2 — a law passed by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory, which requires citizens to use restrooms based on their birth gender.

In a tweet Monday, @OperationLGBT — an Anonymous affiliated account dedicated to LGBT rights issues — announced cyber attacks on four North Carolina domains.

Michelle Vaught, a spokesperson for the North Carolina Department of Information Technology, told StateScoop that several redirect domains did indeed go offline Monday, and the state was still looking into the cause.

“All of our state websites were operating as normal when the media reports first came out and that continues today,” Vaught said. “The URLs that were referenced in media reports were primarily related to redirects to the main domains.”


[Read more: Website redesign launches N.C. into digital services]

Multiple news reports also confirmed that those pages had gone offline for a short amount of time. The domains,,, and, were not main state websites, but instead domains that redirected to the main site,

These redirects are in place for older state websites that have since transitioned to the new central

Vaught also said that all main state websites were operating as normal when media reports first started circulating on Monday.

“Our state websites weren’t down,” Vaught said. “A server that redirects to those sites was impacted either due to a bad actor or something else. We’re still looking into the root cause.”


In other tweets, the Anonymous account demanded Gov. Pat McCrory reverse the law or the attacks would continue.

Contact the reporter who wrote this story at and follow him on Twitter @JakeWilliamsDC

Jake Williams

Written by Jake Williams

Jake Williams is a Staff Reporter for FedScoop and StateScoop. At StateScoop, he covers the information technology issues and events at state and local governments across the nation. In the past, he has covered the United States Postal Service, the White House, Congress, cabinet-level departments and emerging technologies in the unmanned aircraft systems field for FedScoop. Before FedScoop, Jake was a contributing writer for Campaigns & Elections magazine. He has had work published in the Huffington Post and several regional newspapers and websites in Pennsylvania. A northeastern Pennsylvania native, Jake graduated magna cum laude from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, or IUP, in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and a minor in political science. At IUP, Jake was the editor-in-chief of the campus newspaper, The Penn, and the president of the university chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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