According to reports, the Gates Foundation, World Health Organization and Wuhan Institute of Virology – three institutions in the worldwide geopolitical discourse and action over Covid – have all been hacked and thousands of emails, passwords, and documents have been leaked online.
According to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors online extremism and terrorist groups, anonymous activists have posted nearly 25,000 email addresses and passwords allegedly belonging to these organisation.
While SITE was unable to verify whether the email addresses and passwords were authentic, the group said the information was released on Sunday and Monday and almost immediately used to foment attempts at hacking and harassment by far-right extremists. An Australian cybersecurity expert, Robert Potter, said he was able to verify that the WHO email addresses and passwords were real.
The lists, whose origins are unclear, first appear to have been posted to 4chan, a message board notorious for its hateful and extreme political commentary, and later to Pastebin, a text storage site, Twitter and to far-right extremist channels on Telegram, a messaging app.
“Neo-Nazis and white supremacists capitalized on the lists and published them aggressively across their venues,” said Rita Katz, SITE’s executive director. “Using the data, far-right extremists were calling for a harassment campaign while sharing conspiracy theories about the coronavirus pandemic. The distribution of these alleged email credentials were just another part of a months-long initiative across the far right to weaponize the covid-19 pandemic.”
The report by SITE, based in Bethesda, Maryland, said the largest group of alleged emails and passwords was from the NIH, with 9,938 found on lists posted online. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had the second-highest number, with 6,857. The World Bank had 5,120. The list of WHO addresses and passwords totaled 2,732.