Hacktivists ransack Hitler defender's email
David Irving's private musings bared
Self-proclaimed anti-fascist hackers have struck a major blow at controversial World War II historian David Irving by taking down two of his websites and publishing scores of his emails and private information.
The 16,000-word missive posted to Wikileaks contains the names and contact details of supporters of Irving, who - among other things - claims that Adolf Hitler was unaware of the Holocaust. It also includes passwords for accounts Irving used to receive email, administer his websites, and process online purchases of his books and tickets. Its posting over the weekend coincided with the outage of his two websites, Irvingbooks.com and Focal Point Magazine.
"I committed the usual error of using the same password for two internet applications," Irving told The Register on Tuesday. "It's not very pleasant for the people whose own data has been compromised."
The contents from Irving's America Online email account showed contemporaneous messages with supporters and assistants as Irving toured the United States promoting his latest book. Many of the emails reveal locations of appearances that were generally kept secret until just hours before they were to begin.
"We trust you to keep this location confidential," the messages conclude.
Irving avoided wide disclosure of the locations to prevent the events from being disrupted by protesters.
On Friday, Irving had to cancel a talk in New York City that had been reserved under the name "Michael Singer". When the venue learned Irving planned to speak, it revoked permission, according to Tablet Magazine.
Many messages list the names, contact details, and donation amounts of Irving supporters. Others, such as an email Irving sent a supporter in late October, reveal tensions during his recent tour.
"I am sorry to inform you that we cannot allow your attendance at my future events," Irving wrote. "Among your guests, it appears, were some who caused a serious affray and damage to hotel property."
The intercepted communications also include bank identifier codes Irving used when wiring money.
The "hacktivist" stunt is the latest example of people attempting to silence or disparage a political opponent by attacking its digital assets. Irving has long been the target of protesters for his writings about Nazi Germany, which many view as anti-semitic and sympathetic to the Third Reich. Some of this views have been adopted by various neo-Nazi organizations.
Over the past year, protesters have launched denial-of-service attacks against conservative radio talk show host Michael Savage, music industry websites and sites linked to Hamas. In August 2008, web traffic in much of the Republic of Georgia came to a standstill just as Russia tanks rolled into South Ossetia.
"We did this to expose this Nazi-sympathizer for who he is and to shutdown/disrupt any possibility of Irving rearing his fascist head in public during his tour," the Wikileaks posting stated. "To David Irving and all aspiring white-power, anti-immigrant, queer-bashing, racist pigs - give it up! We will fight you on the streets and on the internet until you are swept into the dustbin of history."
Irving said he received word his accounts were pillaged on Friday evening during a talk he was delivering in New Jersey. The pages of his websites were changed to add "offensive content" that has since been removed. The attack came as his webhost, Aplus.net, is undergoing maintenance that prevents content from being updated, he said. ®