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Anti-Semitic hackers target UMaine, other schools with fliers

Police investigate racist flyers found at UMaine Campus

ORONO, Maine (BDN) -- The University of Maine is among several major colleges and universities around the country targeted in recent days in what appears to be a coordinated attack by hackers who sent racist, anti-Semitic fliers through campus printers.

Hackers infiltrated the computer systems to send single-page fliers that included swastikas and anti-Semitic text above a link to a website classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group, according to the Boston Globe.

Among the schools hit by the hackers, according to the Anti-Defamation League, were the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Smith College, and Northeastern University in Massachusetts, and Princeton University, Brown University, DePaul University, and the University of Southern California, the Boston Globe reported.

"Several fliers were delivered to printers at UMaine campus locations this week and two fliers appeared on printers in the Memorial Union today, March 25, at which time the Division of Student Life was notified," according to a post on UMaine's website.

The post indicated that campus police and information technology officials were investigating. Anyone who finds the fliers on printers or fax machines in university offices or computer labs is urged to report them to the IT Help Center.

Robert O. Trestan, New England regional director for the Anti-Defamation League, told the Boston Globe in a phone interview that hacking was a new tactic by anti-Semitic agitators, who have historically taped up fliers around campuses or placed them on cars in school parking lots.

"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 told the Boston Globe. "It's always a concern when people are exposed to hate material and lies about other groups."

He also told the online publication MassLive.com that The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website that openly embraces Hitler and National Socialism, might have been involved because its website was listed at the bottom of the flier.

An FBI spokeswoman told the Boston Globe that her agency could not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation, per U.S. Justice Department policy.

Officials at the targeted universities and colleges denounced the content of the flier while indicating they were taking steps to prevent the breach from happening again.

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