Hackers show Gene Simmons where he can kiss it

Kiss frontman Gene Simmons suggests file sharers should be sued and have their houses and cars taken away. Strangely, this seems to have resulted in a hacker attack on two of his Web sites.

Chris Matyszczyk
3 min read

If you've ever allowed yourself to be subjected to Kiss songs, you'll know that they are jolly, somewhat empty-headed, and entirely innocent.

If you've ever allowed yourself to be subjected to a reality show called "Gene Simmons' Family Jewels," you'll know that the Kiss frontman is a man with a lovely family, experience of plastic surgery, and opinions that suggest a slight smattering of oldy-worldy self-righteousness.

How entirely stunning, then, that this wealthy aging, platform-booted man seems to have encountered a little difficulty with those who are able to put the digital boot in to whomsoever they choose.

According to the Guardian, Simmons sat on a panel recently and offered somewhat draconian views about file sharers: "Make sure your brand is protected. Make sure there are no incursions. Be litigious. Sue everybody. Take their homes, their cars. Don't let anybody cross that line."

This might have seemed vaguely quaint if he hadn't reportedly continued: "The music industry was asleep at the wheel and didn't have the balls to sue every fresh-faced, freckle-faced college kid who downloaded material. And so now we're left with hundreds of thousands of people without jobs. There's no industry."

No, it's not Gene Simmons after plastic surgery. It's an Anonymous anti-Scientology protest. CC Scragz/Flickr

Perhaps it was the sheer myopia of the words "fresh-faced, freckle-faced" that reportedly motivated a group of somewhat disaffected youths called Anonymous to show Simmons just what pain a little digital dexterity can cause.

Before he could rock 'n' roll all night (though from the evidence of his reality show, this seems slightly beyond Simmons on occasion these days), two of his sites, GeneSimmons.com and SimmonsRecords.com were placed into intensive care. At the time of writing, they still seem entirely disabled.

Anonymous had already decided to launch Operation Payback, a little DDoS action against those such as the MPAA and various law firms who happen to be staunchly in favor of copyright legislation. So it introduced itself to Simmons with a little DDoS activity.

Perhaps Anonymous--whose members occasionally appear wearing "V For Vendetta" Guy Fawkes masks in protest against the Church of Scientology--might not have done anything more about Simmons and his expressiveness until he decided to gild his lilywhite opinions.

As reported by Slyck, Simmons offered on his Web site: "Some of you may have heard a few popcorn farts re: our sites being threatened by hackers. Our legal team and the FBI have been on the case and we have found a few, shall we say 'adventurous' young people, who feel they are above the law. And, as stated in my MIPCOM speech, we will sue their pants off. First, they will be punished. Second, they might find their little butts in jail, right next to someone who's been there for years and is looking for a new girl friend. We will soon be printing their names and pictures. We will find you. You cannot hide. Stay tuned."

The "looking for a new girlfriend" line might have been ill-judged. Indeed, you will be stunned into listening to the whole Kiss back catalog, from back to front, when I tell you that certain members of Anonymous, which is reportedly loosely associated with 4Chan, decided to make Simmons their own personal bete noire.

This will not have been the first time that Simmons has experienced the sight of young people metaphorically sticking their tongues out in his direction.

And though he might belittle their being, some might say it is always best to be humble. Especially if one's claims to fame revolve around slightly naive paeans to the mob, rather than lasting, more philosophically grounded works of art.