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Researchers detail huge hack-for-hire campaigns against environmentalists

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acastro_170629_1777_0008_v2.0.jpg Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Hackers for hire have targeted thousands of individuals as part of campaigns against environmental advocacy groups, journalists, and others, according to a report produced by Citizen Lab, the University of Toronto’s cybersecurity watchdog group. Citizen Lab dubbed the group behind the campaigns “Dark Basin,” noting that it specifically targeted climate-change organizations who were campaigning against Exxon Mobil.

The report concludes that the campaigns represent “a clear danger to democracy” and could allow powerful organizations to target their opponents. “The extensive targeting of American nonprofits exercising their first amendment rights is exceptionally troubling,” Citizen Lab’s report says. The group has provided its information...

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