The man behind the anti-semitic flyers found in printer trays on the Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) campus last week and other campuses across the country has spoken out about his “brief experiment” and what went into the hateful flyers.
Hacker Andrew Auernheimer, otherwise known as “Weev,” who was convicted in 2012 of hacking crimes in 2012, spoke directly to a reporter at VICE’s MOTHERBOARD publication regarding how he printed the flyers.
“I did not hack any printers,” he told Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai in an online chat. “I sent them messages, because they were configured to receive messages from the public.”
According to the reporter, Auernheimer made over 20,000 printers spit out flyers that appeared as follows:
On his blog, Auernheimer acknowledges that affected printer systems included those at University of Maryland, University of Southern California, Yale, Princeton, Smith, Mt. Holyoke, UMass Amherst and UC Berkeley.
Yesterday, Auernheimer elaborated on his motives in a blog post.
“In our chat I asked aloud a simple question: how many printers are there on the open Internet?” He wrote. “I wasn’t sure of the answer at the time. It turned out to be upwards of a million devices [...] I thus embark upon a quest to deliver emotionally compelling content to other people’s printers.”
He said he sent a script that scanned the Internet to find printers that had an open port 9100, a common port used by network printers. The script forced the printers to print the flyer. He told VICE that his actions could not be categorized as a crime.
"Of course, most of the printers that are on public networks belong to universities and colleges," he wrote. "These are of course 'safe spaces' which should never be violated with terrible wrongthink. What kind of a horrid person would trigger innocent people wrapped in a safe monoculture free of political dissent?"
CSULB immediately issued a release condemning the action and asserting the university’s network was not compromised. CSULB President Jane Close Conoley also posted the statement to Twitter.
Statement on anti-semitic flyers at CSULB: https://t.co/K7wwWKjogF— Jane Close Conoley (@PresConoley) March 26, 2016
“This kind of publication is contemptible and has no place on our campus,” stated Close Conoley. “Civil discourse among our many ethnic, racial, religious, and political groups is a top priority of our campus. We will not tolerate calls for domination of one group over another. Our campus and our democracy are enriched by the diversity of our community.”