Epik hack: “Anonymous” claims to hit popular web hosting company with Proud Boys

The more than 150 gigabytes of data swept through the breach shines a light on years of online activity by far-right groups, including those who attempted to overthrow the 2020 presidential election. data, Epik has historically provided web hosting services to an array of conspiracy theorists and conservative media networks like Parler and Gab.

The breach also undermines Epik’s commitment to customers that it can protect their anonymity, no matter what dangerous conspiracy theories they spread online. Because of this, experts have told CNN that the hack could impact the way far-right groups organize and try to protect themselves online.

“A breach like this will force some of these players to find security providers outside of North America, in Europe, to possibly step up their security game,” anthropology professor Gabriella Coleman told CNN. at Harvard University. Coleman said the data dump “confirmed many details of the far-right ecosystem.”

Emily Crose, a cybersecurity analyst who studies online extremism, said the breach “will be another factor causing paranoia among far-right online communities.” Crose said these groups already felt under surveillance, given their violent attempts to overthrow the 2020 presidential election.

Emma Best, co-founder of Distributed Denial of Secrets, a nonprofit that has itself published hacktivist data, said researchers could look into the Epik leaks for months to find clues about the way different far right people and organizations are linked.

In a statement to CNN on Tuesday night, Epik said information released by Anonymous included data on 15 million people that were already public.

“Epik has been a trusted resource for many years and our top priority will always be security and privacy,” the company said.

Epik said in a statement last week he had “deployed multiple cybersecurity teams” to address the breach. The Seattle-area-based company has tried to assure customers that “our top priority will always be your security and privacy.”

Troy Hunt, an Australian cybersecurity consultant, said many people who are not Epik customers also saw their data compromised during the hack. That’s because Epik has apparently collected third-party data that is publicly available on the internet, according to Hunt.

Hunt, which operates a service that notifies people if their email addresses have been exposed in data breaches, told CNN that about 100,000 of its subscribers were affected by the Epik hack.

“It’s a very messy and messy situation,” Hunt said. “Among it all, there are a whole bunch of people” who still have not been notified that their information has been compromised, he added.

This story has been updated with a statement from Epik.

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