Raw Story Fake Newsed by… Russian Hacker (Maybe?)

Security News ThreatsCybercrime Uncategorized

So somebody sent me a link to a piece on Raw Story:

Top Florida law enforcement official plotted to abduct, rape and murder ‘a black man or a Jew’

The Chief Deputy of the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office has been outed as a white supremacist who corresponded with other members of the now-defunct website Stormfront and plotted to abduct, rape with a metal pipe and then murder “a black man or a Jew.”

According to D.C. Weekly, Chief Deputy Micheal Gauger has been exposed as “Krieger” — a frequent poster to Stormfront, which has been linked to as many as 100 hate crime deaths.

Pretty appalling right? At first glance, it seemed odd to me that an outlet I’d never heard of, “DC Weekly,” would be breaking a story about a Palm Beach sheriff’s deputy being arrested. Nonetheless, I clicked the link embedded in the article’s text and boom… 404 page.

Not at all what you’d expect for a 404 page from a news site called “DC Weekly” right? I Googled the sheriff deputy’s name and “DC Weekly” or something like that and got a working link, here. (appears to be clean, don’t access if you’re squeamish)

Start reading the article realize it’s saying that the police report was leaked to this unfamiliar site, purporting to be in Washington, D.C. and thought to myself, “what kind of True Pundit horses# is that?” Then there was the not particularly authentic looking “police report.” So back to Google, quick search of news turns up older stories about the sheriff’s deputy but noting about him being arrested for plotting to kidnap anyone and rape them with a pipe.

Not looking good. Then I noticed a piece from Gawker from 2016.

Russian Hacker Accessed Email of Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office Investigator Accused of Surveilling Journalists

A Russian hacker who claims to have broken into the personal computer of a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office investigator named Mark Lewis did have access to Lewis’s email account at one point, an email released to Gawker this week shows. The hacker, who goes only by the pseudonym BadWolf, previously claimed to have obtained a document from Lewis’s computer that seemed to implicate Lewis and the PBSO in the surveillance of local journalists.

Last month, Gawker published an investigation into alleged corruption at the PBSO, based in part on a text document that BadWolf supposedly hacked from Lewis’s computer. The document was titled “Reporter Sabotage Campaign,” and it contained what appeared to be logs of Lewis conducting detailed surveillance against Lawrence Mower and Katie La Grone, two Palm Beach journalists who had given critical coverage to shootings of civilians by PBSO deputies.

Notice something about that email?

“Greetings! I am Russian hacker BadVolf!”

Put it all together? Raw Story clearly got fake newsed. Possibly by a Russian hacker ironically enough. Then again, maybe not. Who knows? I contacted Raw Story, located the author of the RS article on Twitter and DM’d him what I found and left a heads up in the comment section and in the RS tweet for the story — I figure I’ve done enough.

edit on 2017-10-28 by theantediluvian because: (no reason given)