Voters in Alaska, Pennsylvania, Arizona and Florida on Tuesday received threatening emails supposedly sent by the Proud Boys, a far-right group, telling them to vote for US President Donald Trump.
According to a report by Florida Today, the emails appear to come from the address [email protected]
“Change your party affiliation to Republican to let us know you received our message and will comply. We will know which candidate you voted for. I would take this seriously if I were you.”
Voter intimidation is a federal offense that can be punished with a one-year prison sentence. So far, the emails appear to have only targeted registered Democratic voters.
According to WUFT, Max Zinkus, a computer scientist at Johns Hopkins University, analyzed the routing information from one of the emails and said that it could be traced to a computer server in Saudi Arabia. He also said that the email seemed to have been created on a management interface used on older web servers with software vulnerabilities frequently exploited by hackers.
“It’s also possible that someone compromised a device and used it to connect to this Saudi server, or compromised the Saudi server itself, or both,” Zinkus explained.
“We don’t do mass emails. This is definitely, definitely not us,” Tarrio said, adding that the group has never been involved in voter intimidation.
“It’s just never been a thing,” he noted.
“We have spoken to the FBI and are working with them. I hope whoever did this is arrested for voter intimidation and for maliciously impersonating our group,” he added, The Hill reported.
Trump faced criticism in late September during the first presidential debate when he told the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” when he was asked about the group. The following day, Trump said the group should “stand down” and let law enforcement do its work.
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