Right-Wing Extremists Appear to Be Circulating 25,000 Stolen WHO, NIH Passwords and Emails

World Health Organization logo.
World Health Organization logo.
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP (Getty Images)

The Washington Post reports that 25,000 email addresses and passwords, allegedly from the World Health Organization (WHO), National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Gates Foundation, and other large organizations, were stolen by hackers and posted online. It’s unknown where the list came from, or who even created it, but it was first posted to 4chan and then made rounds among right-wing extremist groups on Pastebin, Twitter, and Telegram.

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The SITE Intelligence Group, an organization that monitors online extremist and terrorist activity, originally discovered the list, although it was not able to confirm if the credentials did, in fact, come from those organizations. SITE reported that the Gates Foundation had the smallest number of credentials on the list, followed by 2,732 from the WHO, 5,120 from The World Bank, 6,857 from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and 9,938 from the NIH. The Wuhan Institute of Virology was also a target on the list.

According to the Washington Post, Robert Potter, chief executive of Australian company Internet 2.0, verified that the WHO email addresses and passwords were real and was able to gain access into WHO computers using those credentials. “Their password security is appalling. Forty-eight people have ‘password’ as their password,” Potter told the Washington Post.

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Potter theorizes that the WHO credentials could have come from a 2016 hack on the organization, and then put for sale on the dark web, but SITE said that it has not found definitive proof of that. Even without a formal confirmation of most of the credentials, how quickly they cycled through extremist channels is disturbing; right-wing extremist groups like Terrorwave Refined routinely distribute false information across social media channels, including the claim that SARS-CoV-2, the name of the virus that causes the disease covid-19, was spliced with HIV.

According to Vice, Motherboard was able to obtain the list of credentials as well, and run them through the website haveibeenpwned.com, which crosschecks email addresses against other known data breaches. It found that those email address had been included in previous data breaches.

“Far-right extremists’ distribution of allegedly hacked data by organizations like WHO and the Gates Foundation is fitting to how they’ve targeted medical organizations and personnel amid the pandemic,” said SITE Intelligence Group executive director Rita Katz. These extremists are using the data they obtained in their harassment campaigns against specific groups of Americans. The New York FBI field office, for instance, has said that right-wing extremist groups were encouraging followers who tested positive for covid-19 to purposefully spread it to members of the Jewish community and police officers, and to incite violence against Asian Americans.

Last month, ABC News reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a memo to law enforcement personnel warning that terrorists could exploit the covid-19 pandemic to carry out attacks on the U.S. At the time, the DHS had no hard evidence of any active plots, except for an ISIS newsletter clipping that wanted supporters to carry out attacks on countries with overwhelmed healthcare systems.

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Staff Reporter, Reviews at Gizmodo. Formerly PC Gamer, Maximum PC.

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DISCUSSION

Right Wing folks, at this point, deserve whatever Hell comes to them.

These are people who are desperately trying to avert a disease that claims massive numbers of human life, and leaves survivors permanently scarred with lung damage that could cause late-life complications and death.

But all because some halfwitted fuckstain of a human being who would’ve been better left as a scummy, latex-encased leaving from his racist daddy at the bottom of a garbage can, we are forced into this shit.

Because some lunatic, and a cadre of sociopaths who are obsessed with holding onto their money and wealth, we have people who actually want to believe the most inane, backwards, hurtful things imaginable.

I honestly fear for Georgia, and I hope that everyone who wants to abide by NIH and CDC guidelines stays safe. The rest of you filthy fucks who want to pretend like nothing is happening can end up like the rest of the deniers.

So far in this chaos we have had:

1) a conspiracy theorist try to derail his train to destroy the USNS Comfort because he was lead to believe it was a CDC death camp

2) people pushing a horribly dangerous medicine that can outright kill folks using it, that came from a deeply flawed study, that Trump refused to back down on because he couldn’t be ‘wrong’

3) Fauci is threatened with death, physical violence, and has been removed from the daily briefings because it hurt Trump to be corrected

4) Governors being thrown to the fucking wolves, and then abused when they do their best to save their populaces (Looking at you, Maryland!)

5) Mass protests that have been proven to be astroturf campaigns to reopen the USA so that a few oligarchs can be slightly more rich than they already are

6) A laundry list of corruption in the dispensation of relief aid, and the canning of the process when McConnell found out all of his friends were paid

There are so many more examples, so many more items, of Right-Wing fuckery that have made this situation worse, but I’m exhausted by listing it. Fuck Trump, Fuck the GOP, Fuck Trump Supporters, and Fuck ANY Apologists.

In no uncertain terms, the real disease in this country is conservatism.