- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 9, 2020

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said Wednesday that he believed a hacker used his internet connection to download child pornography. Then he stated he was likely scammed.

“Well, I’m on the phone with my computer security service, and as I understand it someone compromised my IP address and is using it to download child pornography,” Mr. Krugman wrote on Twitter.

“I might just be a random target. But this could be an attempt to QAnon me,” Mr. Krugman continued, referring to a far-right conspiracy theory. “It’s an ugly world out there.”

Mr. Krugman later tweeted that his employer was “on the case” before deleting his original posting.

“Times thinks it may have been a scam,” Mr. Krugman added. “Anyway, will have more security in future.”

Danielle Rhoades Ha, vice president of communications for The Times, said in email Thursday that the organization’s information team investigated Mr. Krugman’s claim and “confirmed that it was a scam.”

Mr. Krugman, 66, has been an opinion columnist for the Times since 2000. He is also a professor of economics at the City University of New York and a recipient of the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

Proponents of the QAnon conspiracy theory allege that a “deep state” plot exists against President Trump and his supporters. A bulletin issued by an FBI office last year warned about the possibility of its adherents carrying out “criminal or violent acts,” Yahoo News previously reported.

Mr. Krugman has been critical of Mr. Trump’s in his columns for the Times, calling him in an article published earlier this week “just a bully with delusions of grandeur.”

He has publicly complained on Twitter in the past about computer problems, including in October when he said Apple spent hours removing a “crippling” virus.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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