- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The controversial “legal rape” blogger whose group is hosting an international gathering exclusively for men this weekend has told members of his website to take precautions after attracting the attention of hackers.

“Heads up to all forum members: change your emails immediately,” Daryush Valizadeh, better known as Roosh V, said to his nearly 19,000 Twitter followers on Wednesday. “Hacking group that works for media is incoming.”

Mr. Valizadeh, a self-proclaimed pick-up artist who gained notoriety last year for advocating “legal rape” on his blog, made his plea ahead of an “International Meetup Day” for readers of his website, Return of Kings, scheduled for Saturday in 43 countries, including an event scheduled for Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C.’s northwest quadrant.

“Up to now, the enemy has been able to exert their power by isolating us and attacking with shrieking mobs, but we’ll be able to neutralize that tactic by amassing in high numbers come February 6,” Mr. Valizadeh said previously of his plans.

As the big day approaches, however, Mr. Valizadeh has urged Return of Kings readers and members of his online “Roosh V” forum to be careful after ending up on the radar of Anonymous, the online hacktivist movement that has spawned offensive cyber campaigns in the past against groups ranging from government agencies to major corporation.

Twitter accounts associated with Anonymous, including some of the more widely-followed profiles, advocated for attacks on Return of Kings on Wednesday, prompting Mr. Valizadeh to declare a “state of emergency” on his website, locking down the Roosh V forum to prevent new users from viewing its content.

On Twitter, he said his website had also been the target of a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, a tactic that attempts to make a site go offline due to an overload of traffic.

“Meetup day will not be cancelled. If all my sites get taken down then i will operate on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram,” Mr. Valizadeh reassured his readers on Wednesday. “I will do my absolutely best to go all the way to ensure that as many men as possible meet on Saturday. Even if I were to cancel right now, the mob would be empowered and attack even harder. We’re on Columbus’ ship and there’s no turning back at this point. We must make landfall.”

Mr. Valizadeh said he is establishing security protocols to be published on his website soon, and encouraged followers to use throw-away email accounts that can’t easily be linked to their real identities.

“That’s not going to help,” responded the YourAnonCentral account on Twitter, which with more than 107,000 followers is among the more widely followed of the social media profiles linked to Anonymous. In a subsequent post, the account asked if the users of Return of Kings should be “doxed,” or have their identities disclosed, adding later, “if there was ever a time to dox forum subscribers, it is now.”

Mr. Valizadeh did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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