In hack, Wawa web turns Kawaii Hitler

A screen grab of the hacked Wawa website on Friday June 8, 2012.
A screen grab of the hacked Wawa website on Friday June 8, 2012.
Posted: June 10, 2012

Hackers attacked Wawa's website Friday afternoon, replacing images of hoagies and smoothies with a cartoon Hitler.

A hacker group called UGNazi announced that it had defaced the website. The group replaced Wawa's promotional content with a portrait of "Kawaii Hitler," an obscure Internet meme.

A spokeswoman for Wawa initially denied that the Delaware County company's website had been compromised. But late Friday, Lori Bruce issued a statement acknowledging that visitors were being redirected to a "non-legitimate Web page."

The company had taken steps to fix the problem, but visitors to wawa.com might continue to see the hacker site this weekend, she said.

"We will continue to actively monitor for any other issues that may occur and report this to the proper authorities," Bruce said.

UGNazi recently gained notoriety for taking down the 4chan message board, explaining in a statement that 4chan was targeted for not policing content related to child pornography.

A Twitter account called @UG, which is affiliated with UGNazi and has nearly 152,000 followers, gleefully declared: "How much #havoc would be caused by shutting down all of the Wawa Gas pumps? Love having access to the gas control relay centers :)."

It was unclear why UGNazi had targeted Wawa.

In previous documented attacks, UGNazi has gone after supporters of the Stop Online Piracy Act and cybersecurity legislation known as CISPA, as well as government websites.

Sam Bowne, who teaches computer security at City College San Francisco, said he believed UGNazi had no motivation other than fame.

"Any stated ‘reason' is just a gag to see who's gullible enough to believe them," Bowne said.

Contact Robert Moran at 215-854-5983 or bmoran@phillynews.com, or follow @RobertMoran215 on Twitter.

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