School caretaker harassed after Islamists hack EDL
Duped by hooligans' fake 'support the troops' button
A school received hatemail targeting its caretaker after he was wrongly identified as a fascist by opponents of the English Defence League, based on data stolen by an Islamist hacking group.
The headmaster of the comprehensive school in Dorset, which The Register has agreed not to name, summoned the caretaker to his office early last week.
He was shown anonymous emails which accused his wife of being a member of the English Defence League (EDL) and urging that he be sacked. The couple live together with their children inside the school grounds.
The emails cited data recently exposed by an attack on the EDL's website. The hacker posted his haul - lists of hundreds of members and financial supporters of the far-right group - on several sites frequented by anti-fascist activists.
"At first I was very confused and more than a little worried as the tone of one of the emails was threatening," the caretaker told The Register.
"I was sure I wasn't married to a fascist or a football hooligan as the email implied."
He investigated online and quickly found the hacked database, which indeed named his wife as an EDL donor and gave their family address at the school. He then trawled through their bank statements and found that he had inadvertently donated £1 to the group via a PayPal account in his wife's name.
The caretaker then recalled reading an article several months ago about "poppy burning or about the disruption of a military funeral". The page had a button labelled "support the troops", and he donated one pound. It gave no indication the money was destined for the far-right EDL, he claimed, but the caretaker admitted he had been "stupid".
"It would have been to show my support for our armed forces and the fallen, the same thing I do every year when I buy a poppy for one pound," he said.
"I never for one moment thought my money was being sent of to a bunch of football hooligans."
"The school and my employer have been supportive, once I explained, and have even offered to call in the police if they should be needed. However given the nature of my employment with children allegations like this could have cost me my job and my family their home."
Instead, he has spent the past week and a half issuing appeals for anti-fascists to remove his family's address from their posting of the hacked database.
"Some have been very understanding and have done just that or even simply removed my details. Where this hasn't happened or there has been no contact available I have had the list removed," he said.
"My own simple polite requests are mostly listened to. However its all been very time consuming, very disruptive and it's been a huge worry for my wife and I've had no small worry for my family's safety."
A hacker calling himself "TriCk", aka "Saywhat?", has claimed responsibility for raiding the EDL's server. In notes appended to the member and donor lists, he said he acted on behalf of TeaMp0isoN, known for defacing websites with anti-Israel and anti-India propaganda, and on behalf of "Mujahideen Hacking Unit".
"Yes I know I have broken the Data Protection Act and the Computer Misuse Act, I'm a hacker it's what we do, deal with it," he wrote.
The EDL is understood to have reported the hack to police. ®
Sponsored: What next after Netezza?