A website belonging to a development firm involved with “Cop City,” a controversial police and fire services training campus under construction outside of Atlanta, has been defaced by unnamed hackers.
Known as DaVinci Developers, the company, which is the primary project management firm in charge of the construction, had its homepage vandalized in recent days with a message calling to “STOP COP CITY.”
The defacement also states: “poppin shellz for Tortugita.”
The phrase “popping shells” is a hacking term that refers to when a machine is compromised. Tortugita was the nickname for Manuel Paez Terán, a 26-year-old killed by police, shot at least 57 times in January of last year while camping in a public park alongside other Cop City protesters.
Law enforcement accused Terán after the shooting of opening fire on officers, a claim that is refuted by Terán’s friends and family.
The defacement also lists a small number of usernames and passwords that allegedly belong to employees of DaVinci Developers.
The Daily Dot received a tip regarding the defacement in an anonymous, encrypted message. It remains unclear thus far who is responsible for the hack.
News of the hack was also submitted, however, to the website “Scenes from the Atlanta Forest.” The submission-based platform is used by those involved in the protest against Cop City to anonymously share content.
The Daily Dot reached out to DaVinci Developers to inquire about the defacement but did not receive a reply. Shortly before publication, the website’s homepage momentarily returned before becoming inaccessible again. At publication time, the site was back up.
The Stop Cop City movement launched in 2021 shortly after it was revealed that the training facility would be built in the South River Forest area of DeKalb County. More controversy arose in 2023 when numerous protesters were arrested and charged with domestic terrorism offenses in the wake of Terán’s death.
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*First Published: Feb 13, 2024, 10:31 am CST
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.
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