Grimes is making it clear she isn’t going to take any Internet backlash sitting down.
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Grimes revealed what she calls her “coolest hacker moment,” reflecting on her inventive approach to dealing with some unfair press that rattled her career in 2012.
A photo snapped of Grimes at a party—where she was seen kissing a friend—had been leaked to the now defunct publication, Hipster Runoff. Grimes explained that the story Hipster Runoff published was mean-spirited and made her the subject of a viral meme during a formative time in her career.
So she decided to take action, contacting a friend at a video game company who coordinated a DDos attack on her behalf. DDos attacks are illegal in practice, so Grimes kept the story light on any revealing details.
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“My friend who worked for—I will not say which video game—had access to—okay, I don’t want to get him in trouble. But anyway, we were actually able to DDoS Hipster Runoff and basically blackmail them,” Grimes recalled. “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. It was my coolest hacker moment.”
The hack additionally laid waste to the site’s remote backups and spelled the beginning of the end for Hipster Runoff, which was sold in 2015. As cybersecurity expert Jackie Singh notes, Canada does not have a statute of limitations on cybercrime, which leads to questions as to whether Grimes’ interview could lead to forthcoming legal ramifications.