New York Magazine Hacked After Article On Bill Cosby’s 35 Victims Published

New York Magazine Hacked After Article On Bill Cosby’s 35 Victims Published
The World Affairs Council and Girard College present Bill Cosby The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia / Flickr CC BY 2.0

The image of 35 women, victims of sexual assault at the hands of Bill Cosby, featured on the cover of New York Magazine. Dressed in black, the picture gives faces to the women who were sexually assaulted by the comedian.


The cover presentation and individual portraits along with the accounts of the victims created online frenzy and took social media by storm. The cover for this week’s edition, which was posted Sunday night, features the women seated in four rows in an arrangement which the magazine calls an “unwelcome sisterhood.”

According to CNN, the 36th seat – which is unoccupied – is a placeholder for the victims who have not stepped forward because of either shame or fear.

Soon thereafter, hashtag #TheEmptyChair became a trending topic on Twitter.

Cosby has repeatedly denied accusations of sexual assault made against him. He has not been criminally charged.

Jody Quon, the magazine’s photography director, said she researched and put together the accounts of the women who were sexually assaulted by Cosby.

“What I saw was this community of women who really had nothing in common with each other other than this one thing,” Quon said.

When she started contacting some of these women, the response she received was “overwhelmingly positive,” she added.

“At the beginning of the project, we couldn’t know how much these women were going to really embrace this and how much they were really going to talk,” she said.

The author of the article, Noreen Malone, wrote, “The group of women Cosby allegedly assaulted functions almost as a longitudinal study — both for how an individual woman, on her own, deals with such trauma over the decades and for how the culture at large has grappled with rape over the same time period.”

(Also read: Lawyer For Bill Cosby Files Motion Seeking Relief For Victim’s Alleged Violation Of Confidentiality Agreement)

The magazine’s website, which had been receiving an overwhelming amount of traffic, went offline early Monday morning.

The women’s accounts were posted on Tumblr and their videos on Instagram while the magazine was working to put the site back on.

According to Quartz, a group that goes by the name VikingDom2016 took responsibility for the cyber attack, though the same could not be confirmed.

“Want to know a top reason?” a user who goes by the name ThreatKing said, regarding the motivation behind the attack. “We know one of them females in the cover.”

Following the attack, employees of the magazine were unable to access their corporate email accounts. While it was confirmed that the website had been hacked, staffers were trying to determine what type of attack it was.

However, it appeared that the attack was executed to receive attention.

One of the representatives of the cyber group said, “What is proof though? I just send you a picture of packets sending? That’s not really proof.

“I am not showing you my tools.”

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