Speed Reads

'my coolest hacker moment'

Grimes admits to blackmailing a blog over a 'mean story' about her

It's not often you see a celebrity interview where the subject eagerly admits to a potential cybercrime. 

But that happened when Grimes recently chatted with Vanity Fair and told a story about how she once "basically" blackmailed and hacked a blog that ran a "mean story" about her, as flagged by Pitchfork and The A.V. Club.

Grimes said the blogHipster Runoff, leaked a photo of her kissing a friend at a party, posting a "mean story" about her going "wild" that led her to get "canceled" back "before the woke era." 

"But my friend, who worked for ... I will not say which video game ... had access to — okay, well, I don't want to get him in trouble," Grimes said. "But anyway, we were actually able to DDoS Hipster Runoff and basically blackmail them. We were like, we're not going to let you put your site back up until you take the story down. And he did, in fact, take the story down, and it was like my coolest hacker moment." 

At the time, Vice published an article questioning who might be responsible for Hipster Runoff going down, and the site's creator, Carles, said, "My hosting company and support team say that there are signs of foul play on the server, and some of the last actions before it crashed are very suspicious." Carles also told Vice he couldn't "name names" when asked if there were any potential suspects, but he added, "I know that my site is frowned down upon in the indie community. All of the other sites hate me, and many artists and labels do not support my site." 

As Pitchfork noted, a cybersecurity expert, Jackie Singh, questioned on Medium how Grimes didn't "seem concerned about any actual risk associated with admitting crimes to a major magazine, despite the fact that Canada does not have a statute of limitations on cybercrime."