A recent report claims that as many as 25,000 email addresses and passwords allegedly belonging to the NIH, the W.H.O., the Gates Foundation, and other groups have been leaked online.
The Washington Post reports that unknown activists have allegedly posted almost 25,000 email addresses and passwords that apparently belong to the NIH, the W.H.O., the Gates Foundation, and other groups working to combat the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic according to the SITE intelligence group which monitors online extremism and terrorist groups.
SITE was unable to verify whether or not the email addresses and passwords were authentic but the information was reportedly released on Sunday and Monday and was allegedly immediately used to fuel hacking attempts and harassment.
Australian cybersecurity expert Robert Potter stated that he was able to verify that the W.H.O. email addresses and passwords were real. The origin of the information is currently unknown, seemingly first being posted to the online imageboard 4Chan and later to the text storage website Pastebin. From there it was sent to Twitter and channels on the Telegram messaging app.
Rita Katz, SITE’s executive director, stated: “Neo-Nazis and white supremacists capitalized on the lists and published them aggressively across their venues. 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.”
SITE claims that the largest group of alleged email addresses and passwords was from the NIH with 9,938 found on lists posted to the internet. The CDC had the second-highest number with 6,857. The World Bank had 5,120 while the W.H.O. had 2,732. Smaller numbers of entries were listed for the Gates Foundation, the private philanthropic group started by Bill and Melinda Gates.
On Wednesday, the NIH issued a statement saying: “We are always working to ensure optimal cyber safety and security for NIH and take appropriate action to address threats or concerns. We do not comment on specific cybersecurity matters, as such information could be used to undertake malicious activities.”
The CDC, W.H.O., and World Bank did not immediately respond to the Post’s request for comment, the Gates Foundation said in a statement: “We are monitoring the situation in line with our data security practices. We don’t currently have an indication of a data breach at the foundation.” The FBI declined to comment.
Cybersecurity expert Robert Potter commented on the W.H.O.’s leaked details stating: “Their password security is appalling. Forty-eight people have ‘password’ as their password.” Potter stated that other users had used their own first names or “changeme.”
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org