The hacktivist collective Anonymous claims to have obtained gigabytes of data from Epik, which provides domain name, hosting and DNS services for a variety of clients. These include the Texas GOP, Gab, Parler, and 8chan, among other right-wing sites. The stolen data was broadcast as a torrent. The hacktivist collective claims that the dataset, larger than 180 GB, contains “a decade of company data.”
Anonymous says the dataset is “all that is needed to trace the actual ownership and management of the fascist side of the Internet that has eluded researchers, activists and, well, just about everyone.” If this information is correct, the data and identities of Epik’s customers could now fall into the hands of activists, researchers, and just about anyone curious enough to take a look.
Decades of Epik stuff, now in a torrent near you
Epik is a domain registrar and web service provider known for serving right-wing customers, some of whom have been turned down by more traditional IT vendors due to objectionable and sometimes illegal content hosted by customers.
Anonymous’s activities began with what the group calls “Operation Jane” after the Texas Heartbeat Act was enacted this month. The restrictive abortion law allows individuals, not necessarily government agencies or the police, to enforce the six-week abortion ban. By law, any resident of Texas can bring a civil action against anyone who performs or helps facilitate an illegal abortion and claim at least $ 10,000 in damages.
Among the dataset are various SQL databases containing what appear to be customer records associated with each domain name hosted by Epik. Ars analyzed a small subset of the leaked data set, including what a source calls an Epik employee’s mailbox, which contains correspondence from the CEO of Epik. Rob Monster.
Members of another hacktivist group, Distributed Denial of Secrets, also made the dataset available via other means for those who cannot use torrents.
“We are not aware of any breaches. We take the security of our customers’ data very seriously and are investigating the allegation,” an Epik representative told Ars.
Hackers Modify Epik’s Knowledge Base to Mock Company Response
Anonymous also tampered with Epik’s knowledge base to poke fun at the company’s denial of the breach.
“On September 13, 2021, a group of children calling themselves ‘Anonymous’, whom we have never heard of, said they were managing[d] to get our hands on, well, honestly, all of our data and then publish it, ”said the modified KB, as seen in a archived copy. “They claim it included all user data. All of this. All usernames, passwords, emails, support requests, violating all anonymization services[s] we have. Of course, this is not true. We’re not so stupid that we would allow that to happen. “
The Knowledge Base page ends by saying sarcastically, “We wrote this ourselves, obviously this is not part of the hacked account.” Epik has since deleted the page.
Prior to this incident, Anonymous defaced the Texas GOP website by replacing references to “Help Texas Stay Red” with “Texas: Speaking Up for Women to Promote Theocratic Erosion of Church and State Barriers. “. The group also added “donate” links to reproductive health care nonprofit Planned Parenthood.