The American host Epik, whose services were used by certain sites linked to the extreme right (Parler, Gab, 8chan), is facing a major security incident. 180 GB of data, including from the company’s customers, is at stake.
It serves, or has served, as a refuge for some of the most controversial websites of the moment, such as the far-right social networks Parler and Gab, but also the imageboard 8chan, a forum devoted mainly to image sharing, but with an execrable reputation because of the racist, child pornographic, homophobic, violent messages that can be found there. The American host Epik was the target in mid-September 2021 of a computer attack which resulted in a major data leak.
Discovered in particular by the journalist Steven monacelli on September 13, the leak suffered by Epik is very large: all the elements that were extracted reached 180 GB of data. It is already shared on the net, via sharing platforms like GoFile or with peer-to-peer (P2P) software like BitTorrent. The people behind this leak are not identified: they claim to belong to the informal and unstructured movement of Anonymous.
The motivations that led to this operation against Epik are obviously linked to its very sulphurous profile. Thus, Vice describes this company, which specializes in providing domain name registration and website hosting services, as a ” refuge of the far right And a place where extremist content can exist as well as neo-Nazis, supremacists, conspirators and deniers.
Beyond being a haven for sites whose hosting is no longer provided by other more traditional hosts for various reasons, Epik has been seen to serve as a support for a whole conservative fringe, whether it is a site very in favor of Donald Trump (which uses the nickname The Donald attributed to the American president, and which was also the name of a space on Reddit frequented by hundreds of thousands of members, before being banned) or a site opposing abortion.
Ten years of data in nature
The operation that targeted Epik is called “Epik Fail”, to use terminology that is often used on the net and in video games to point to a critical failure. The “press release” that accompanied the release of this leak promises that there is company data for an entire decade, that is, information that dates back almost to its beginnings. Indeed, the beginnings of the host, which is based in the vicinity of Seattle, on the west coast of the United States, go back to 2009.
SCOOP: a group of “hackers on steroids” gained access to a large dataset belonging to Epik, the web host of the Texas GOP website, Texas Right to Life website, and anti-abortion snitch website. pic.twitter.com/2meRX9CAPm
– steven monacelli (@stevanzetti) September 13, 2021
Among the information in the file, there are the purchases of domain names, the complete history of Whois (a service that allows you to see indications on a website, such as its host or owner), all DNS changes. , email redirects, domain name transfers, payment histories (but not credit card codes), customer identifiers and passwords for various services, internal data, but also 500,000 private keys.
Or Epik or Rob monster, his boss, have not (yet) reacted on social networks following this disclosure. But, reports DomainInvesting, a press release was sent in the days which followed, signed by Rob Monster, in which reference is made to a ” possible security incident involving Epik “. The email urges you to watch out for any suspicious activity, ” as a precaution “, And ensures that the teams of the host as well as external experts are on the bridge” to solve the problem “.