AlexeiNavalny

Russian opposition leader's Twitter, email accounts hacked

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A prominent Russian activist and political figure had his Twitter and email accounts hacked—and he suspects federal investigators may be the perpetrators.

The hackers apparently posted a string of abusive tweets on Alexei Navalny’s Twitter account, with more than 254,000 followers viewing the messages.

Those who took over Navalny’s account wrote “Alexei Navalny is a crook and thief 2.0” in his profile, and tweeted messages such as “I’m disbanding my sect, but I’m not going to give you your money back because I need it to party in Mexico, so you can all go to hell.”

On his LiveJournal blog, Navalny claimed the hackers gained access to his accounts after computers and iPads were confiscated on June 11, suggesting that the hacks were “typical of the Investigative Committee.” He was questioned several times by police who were looking into violence at a rally on May 6.

Navalny’s spokesperson told the Associated Press he has no plans to open new accounts and made it clear that the string of tweets is not from him.

The Investigative Committee of Russia, the country’s main federal investigation authority, dismissed Navalny’s suggestions that it was behind the hack.

“The mentioned items were checked by investigators in the presence of official witnesses and after the check they were packed and sealed according to official instructions,” the agency said in an official statement. “Any access of unauthorized persons to the seized computers, their unauthorized use or transfer to a third party are completely out of the question.”

Navalny, who appeared on this year’s TIME 100 list, has organized protests against alleged corruption and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Photo via YouTube