(Screencap: MIT.edu)

(Screencap: MIT.edu)

Hackers have defaced the MIT.edu website in response to the death of Internet activist Aaron Swartz, who was being prosecuted with the cooperation of M.I.T for illegally downloading JSTOR files over the university’s network and uploading them for free use by the public. Mr. Swartz hung himself in his Brooklyn apartment 10 days ago, and a memorial was held for him at Cooper Union in New York on Saturday.

The MIT website has been defaced to display a black screen with the text of a blog post from Mr. Swartz’s blog superimposed overtop. “R.I.P. Aaron Swartz,” reads bolded white text in the middle of the site. “Hacked by grand wizard of Lulzsec, Sabu. God Bless America. Down with Anonymous.” (Please also note that it says “Reddit sucks k” in the righthand corner. Lulz.)

Betabeat has been unable to confirm whether or not the hack was indeed the responsibility of the hacker crew Lulzsec, though we have to guess it wasn’t done by Sabu, since the former LulzSec operative was outed as an FBI informant last year.

Upon refresh, it appears the website has been taken offline, serving the message “This website is offline. No cached version is available.”

Jessica Roy is a reporter for Betabeat and the New York Observer. Follow Jessica on Twitter or via RSS. [email protected]