BOSTON — Printers at a half dozen college campuses in Massachusetts and Rhode Island were hacked with an anti-Semitic, racist flier in a breach of the schools’ computers that also turned up at several other colleges across the country.
The flier reads: “White man, are you sick and tired of the Jews destroying your country through mass immigration and degeneracy?” It also says: “Join us in the struggle for global white supremacy,” which is bookended by two large Nazi swastikas.
The source of the hacking, which occurred Thursday, is not yet known, according to Robert Trestan, executive director of the New England Anti-Defamation League. The web address of the Daily Stormer, described by the ADL and the Southern Poverty Law Center as a neo-Nazi website, is included on the bottom of the flier.
Copies of the flier were discovered in printers and fax machines at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Smith College and Mount Holyoke College, all in western Massachusetts, and at Northeastern University in Boston, Clark University in Worcester, and Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. They were also reported at Princeton University, DePaul University in Chicago and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
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“It’s concerning because it is so widespread,” Trestan told MassLive.com. He described the hacking as a troubling development because it represents a security component. “This represents a new strategy to anonymously disseminate anti-Semitism,” he said.
Trestan has been in contact with law enforcement and college officials, and reported there is no indication of any public safety threats to Massachusetts students. The FBI would not confirm or deny any investigation, the Boston Globe reported.
In an email at UMass Amherst, Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy wrote, “As a campus community, we condemn this cowardly and hateful act,” the Globe reported. The Globe also cited a communication from leaders at Smith College who rejected the flier’s message as hateful and intended to shock and intimidate.
“The contents have no place in our community,” the email said.
At Northeastern, where more than 20 printers were involved, the school put up a firewall to prevent further attacks, its spokesman, Michael Armini, told the Globe. While that mitigates the risk, “it cannot be completely eliminated,” he said.
A statement on the ADL national website said the Daily Stormer was created in 2013 by Andrew Anglin, a 31-year-old neo-Nazi.
“Regardless of whether Anglin or one of his supporters sent the flyer to campuses, the Daily Stormer promotes virulent anti-Semitism on a daily basis and attracts thousands of visitors each day to the site,” the ADL website stated.