Anonymous hack of Epik web services is out.
Around 15 million names, phone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses held by Epik were revealed in the September 13 leak.
Are hackers a threat? The degree of threat presented by any conduct, whether legal or illegal, depends on the actions and intent of the individual and the harm they cause.
Anonymous hack of Epik web services
In what is being called “the Panama Papers of hate groups” by some researchers, hacktivist collective Anonymous has dumped more than 150 gigabytes of identifying, previously private data on the customers of Epik, a web service provider infamous for lending safe harbor to sites with far-right and extremist views. On Epik’s clientele list were a number of sites banned from other platforms for violating policies on hate speech and misinformation, like those associated with the Proud Boys, 8chan, Parler, and QAnon conspiracy groups.
In a statement attached to the stolen data’s torrent file, Anonymous said it’s “a decade’s worth” of company data, and includes passwords, internal emails, and clients’ home addresses and phone numbers.
Extremist researchers and political opponents say they will need time—months, perhaps even years—to comb through it all. “It’s massive. It may be the biggest domain-style leak I’ve seen and, as an extremism researcher, it’s certainly the most interesting,” Megan Squire, a professor at Elon University who studies right-wing extremism, told The Washington Post. “It’s an embarrassment of riches—stress on the embarrassment.”
In an email to customers on September 15, later shared to Twitter by the data scientist Emily Gorcenski, Epik confirmed that it experienced an “unauthorized intrusion.”
Epik’s previous clients have included the Texas Republican Party, Parler, Gab, 8chan, InfoWars, BitChute, the Proud Boys, members of QAnon, the pro-gun forum AR15.com, the pro-Trump site The Donald, and the neo-Nazi blog the Daily Stormer, according to ArsTechnica and NPR.
Anonymous said that it accessed around 180 gigabytes of archived information, saying it was a “decade’s worth of data from the company.” News of the breach was first reported by the journalist Steven Monacelli.
Last Friday, Epik CEO Rob Monster held a four-hour online Q&A to address the hack, in which he said there had been a “hijack of data that should not have been hijacked.”
Many far-right and conservative groups have struggled to maintain web-hosting services as a result of their incendiary content.
The website ProLifeWhistleblower.com, a site created by the Texas Right to Life movement that allowed people to submit tips about people helping facilitate abortions in Texas, was kicked off GoDaddy on September 2.
The Bottom Line
There are around a million different malware threats released online every single day. How does one keep up with such numbers? Ever since the dawn of the computer, we have had to deal with unethical individuals who like to create nasty viruses to wreak havoc on others. It may not be a new issue, but the craftiness and severity of these infections have only gotten worse over the years as newer technologies are being made available to the public.
Anyone with a little know-how and the ability to follow instructions found online can deploy a nasty computer infection. There are three commonly known detection methods for infections known as signature-based, behavioral, and cloud-based. It is a constant uphill battle defending against known viruses and new ones alike, making this a monumental task to tackle.