Hackers looking for the truth behind the Coronavirus pandemic are alleged to have hacked the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Centre for Diseases Control, National Institute of Health (NIH), the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and the World Bank emails.
According to SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors online extremism and terrorist groups, the unknown activists leaked and posted about 25,000 email addresses and passwords.
SITE was unable to verify whether the addresses were authentic but said the information was released on Sunday and Monday and was almost immediately used for hacking attempts by far right extremists. Australian Cybersecurity expert, Robert Potter, said that he was able to verify that the email addresses and passwords were authentic.
Although the origins are unclear, the list appears to have first been posted on 4Chan, a noticeboard that is notorious for hateful and extreme political commentary; and later posted to Pastebin, a text storage site, Twitter and far-right extremists channels on telegram, a messaging app.
According to the report from SITE, the largest group of emails and passwords leaked were from the NIH with a number of 9,938. The second highest number belonged to the Centre for Diseases Control and prevention at 6,857. The World Bank had 5,120 and WHO 2,732. Smaller number of entries was recorded for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Microsoft Co-Founder, Bill Gates, last week announced a $150 million in new funding to combat the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Neo-Nazis and white supremacists capitalised on the lists and spread the information fast across their venues. They were calling for harassment campaigns as they shared conspiracy theories about the Coronavirus pandemic. Various screen shots of the alleged emails and addresses were also shared after a months-long initiative of the far right to weaponize the pandemic.