Hackers have leaked sensitive data reportedly belonging to the World Health Organization, the Gates Foundation, as well as the Wuhan Institute of Virology, among other organizations, according to SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors online extremism and terrorist groups.
WHO, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Gates Foundation hacked
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday, that nearly 25,000 emails, passwords and classified documents allegedly belonging to the organizations first appeared to have been posted on imageboard website 4chan, before being shared on Pastebin, a text storage site, Twitter and far-right extremist channels on the messaging app, Telegram.
Shortly after news of the hack went public, conspiracy theorists didn't waste any time in sharing the data aggressively across various platforms, push the idea that COVID-19 was engineered in a Wuhan lab.
"Using the data, far-right extremists were calling for a harassment campaign while sharing conspiracy theories about the coronavirus pandemic," said Rita Katz, SITE's executive director. "The distribution of these alleged email credentials were just another part of a months-long initiative across the far right to weaponize the covid-19 pandemic."
COVID-19 spliced with HIV?
Since the leak, several Twitter users have shared posts implying that information seized through the email addresses and passwords have "confirmed that SARS-Co-V-2 was in fact artificially spliced with HIV. . ."
"The World Health Organization, Gates Foundation and Wuhan Institute of Virology were all hacked. Websites rapidly being taken down. Assertions from said leaks suggest that COVID-19 was spliced with HIV," wrote one Twitter user along with what appears to be a screenshot of the email. "This will progress beyond sanctions if true. There will be War."
This information is yet to be verified but echoes the sentiments of Luc Montagnier, the Nobel Prize winning scientist who co-discovered HIV. Montagnier recently said that he believed the coronavirus was made in a lab and contained elements of HIV, as previously reported.
Coronavirus released in Wuhan market using dry ice?
Some users tried to further the theory that COVID-19 was intentionally released by Dr. Zhengli Shi, the head of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
"On the 19th of October 2019, Dr. Zhengli Shi...stopped one time, halfway through her journey, opened her suitcase, and placed a block of contaminated dry ice near an air vent at the fish market in question," reads one of the allegedly leaked documents, as pointed out by a user.