Hatemail 2020-10-01: The Election is Near. Here's What We're Focusing On...

Newsletter and intel from the LaBac Hacker Collective

The 2020 presidential election is in full swing, as indicated by the tumultuous debate Tuesday night. As expected, Trump’s claims on election security and voting by mail options were mostly (if not entirely) false. Though aging election infrastructure has left the United States vulnerable to foreign cyber attacks, security concerns related to mail in ballots are minuscule

We will be working on the following objectives in the coming weeks:

  • Dispensing our resources and advocacy towards voter registration and get out to vote campaigns.

  • Studying any major disinformation campaigns, particularly on Reddit, Twitter, and Instagram.

  • Monitoring physical actions and incidents across the country, particularly those involving white supremacists groups.

  • Ensuring the physical and digital safety of our allies via the exchange of tools, training, and expertise.

If you or your organization are in any way impacted by the threats this election poses and would like to seek assistance from us on the above issues, please do not hesitate to contact us at contact@labac.dev or on our Twitter at @labacdotdev. Signal messenger available by request.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020 - CISA, the lead US agency in charge of cybersecurity, is hosting a day’s long conference regarding election security.  [Eventbrite]

Pre-Election Security Concerns and Surveillance Overreach 

  • [Bloomberg] On Monday, reports emerged that Washington state experienced a multifaceted cyber attack, and that many of the state’s agencies were infiltrated with malware. Though the attack appears to not have impacted election operations, the timing of the incident highlights potential cyber-related vulnerabilities ahead of the election. 

  • [BuzzFeed News] Palantir, a creepy data analytics company that’s helped ICE deport undocumented immigrants, was used by the Los Angeles Police Department to gather large amounts of personal data on civilians, such as license plates, scars, and tattoos. According to BuzzFeed, Palantir’s involvement came at “great taxpayer expense, and without public oversight or regulation.” Palantir also went public yesterday at an estimated value of $20 billion, despite never turning a profit

  • [Vice] Amazon employees on internal company listservs were warned that their communications were being monitored for labor organizing activities, according to reporting by Vice. A spokesperson for Amazon denied that employees were being watched specifically over labor organizing efforts, but confirmed that employee communications were monitored. 

Social Media Fuels the Far-Right 

  • [Mother Jones] A few weeks ago, we highlighted how Facebook failed to take down a call to action that went up hours before the shooting in Kenosha, despite content monitors receiving many reports about the post. What will Facebook do if a similar situation arises during the 2020 election? How will Facebook handle events requesting armed militias show up to polling booths?

  • [The Wall Street Journal] Facebook Inc. executive Ankhi Das supported far-right Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his election campaign and, according to the Wall Street Journal, some Facebook employees are concerned that her activities conflicted with the company’s neutrality pledge. 

  • [LancasterOnline] Norman “Trey” Garrison, a notorious white nationalist podcaster, appears to be behind the launch of a new publication called the Lancaster Patriot. Social media accounts linked to Garrison have published alarming posts which have raised concerns among racial justice advocates, media experts, and political analysts, according to LancasterOnline. 

On Our Radar…

  • [ArsTechnica] GirlsDoPorn was a notorious site for non-consensual sexually explicit content. While it spawned many imitators, it was novel at the time of its creation. After a years long manhunt, the FBI is establishing a cash reward for tips leading to the whereabouts of the site’s creator.

  • [The Verge] A deep dive by Christopher Harland-Dunaway into the mindset of a cryptocurrency kingpin, whose influence ensnared the attention of both Beijing and Washington—in the midst of a trade war.

  • [Forbes] The Campaign Legal Center, a non-partisan regulator of electioneering practices, alleges that the Trump campaign and its manager, Brad Parscale, conducted money laundering activities via inappropriate investments. Such an investment includes Phunware, which we have covered in the past two weeks. Brad Parscale has officially distanced himself from the campaign this week after these allegations and an incident with Fort Lauderdale police. 

Hate speech website: incels[.]co

Who hosts: Cloudflare, Host Europe GmbH

Today’s site is incels[.]co. This forum is a major hub for incels: those who identify as involuntary celibate. The discourse on the site is extremely hateful towards women, and users on the site have previously been observed for their violent behavior towards women. Their site uses Cloudflare to protect their infrastructure, but LaBac has previously observed their infrastructure to be run on IP host 62.75.152[.]61 on ASN Host Europe GmbH.