Anti-Semitic fliers appear in UMaine printers

On March 25, the University of Maine was one of a number of universities across the United States to mysteriously have anti-Semitic fliers appear in network-connected printers.

The Associated Press reported that the director of the New England office of the Anti-Defamation League, Robert Trestan, said a white power group appears to have hacked into school printers. He said that’s a new tactic for a hate group.

“This is a bigger concern than traditional fliering, because there’s a breach of security, and it’s apparently a nationally coordinated attack to spread anti-Semitism,” Trestan said in an interview with the Boston Globe. “It’s always a concern when people are exposed to hate material and lies about other groups.

The fliers target white men, asking if they are “sick and tired of the Jews.” The fliers also include swastikas and a link to an anti-Semitic website.

The website posted an entry about the hacks, claiming responsibility for the fliers. The author of the entry and the hacker seem to be different people, but the author encouraged sending Bitcoin to the hacker.

“You can also type ‘anti-Semitic printers’ or ‘hacked printers’ into Google News and get more stories from dozens (tomorrow it may be hundreds) of schools across the country,” read the entry posted.

The hacker called this an experiment in a Storify entry that was posted on March 25. He detailed the process of hacking into printers and his intent.

“I wanted to take a little time out of my day to show them how easy it is to make the world move with as little as a bash one-liner,” he wrote. “Expend the least amount of effort for the most amount of things happening.”

A spokesperson from Northeastern University said that their data security staff indicated that the hacking originated from overseas.  

Trestan also said there is no threat to the public safety of students in Massachusetts.

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