Hackers attack Wikipedia to display Nazi signs in several pages

The Holocaust is probably the darkest chapter in modern history, taking the lives of more than 6 million people killed with extreme cruelty by the Nazi regime. This is an optimistic estimate, as some historians claim that the actual death toll is much higher but impossible to determine due to the few records that were kept in some concentration camps.

An event like this happening again is one of the greatest fears of world leaders since the end of the World War II, so countries worldwide, including Germany, have taken strict measures for the censorship and condemnation of any trait of Nazi ideology and symbols. These measures also apply for most of Internet platforms.

That is why it has been especially striking for thousands of Wikipedia users to find a red screen with a swastika in the center while trying to find an article of interest in the popular online encyclopedia. This incident was reported last Monday, August 16.

According to reports from hundreds of users, Wikipedia articles by artists such as Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopex and Johnny Depp and politicians such as Justin Trudeau and Kamala Harris were modified to display these symbols of Nazi paraphernalia, in a clear attempt at provocation against political systems around the world.

In this regard, a representative of the Wikimedia Foundation mentioned that this was a particularly vile and unacceptable incident in which some individual abused the flaws in Wikipedia templates to modify the affected articles: “Volunteer moderators have already addressed this issue, permanently blocking the accounts used for this unauthorized activity and implementing new mechanisms to prevent this kind of incident from happening again,” the representative said. It should be remembered that Wikimedia foundation is the organization responsible for administering this project.

The message from the free encyclopedia adds that while implementing software to prevent any user or contributor from making modifications to these articles, although the concurrence of similar incidents can lead Wikipedia operators to change their stance: “In the spirit of open editing and assuming good faith, this is a step that is rarely taken with any area of Wikipedia unless an incident like this justifies it.”

To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.