"This is the mother of all data lodes."
After a huge hack on Epik, Nazis and other far right extremists have their information released. Now, they are facing the consequences for their role in spreading hate speech, violence and racism online.
Some, like former Florida real estate agent Joshua Alayon who also paid for websites like theholocaustisfake.com and whitesencyclopedia.com, have already lost their jobs, The Washington Post reports, as researchers and activists pore over the flimsily-secured trove of data. Although the breach is alarming in cybersecurity terms, Epik kept a lot of sensitive personal information at minimal security. However, it sheds light on extremist groups and will be invaluable to those who are trying to stop their growth.
Epik reported the breach earlier in the month. It said that around 110,000 people's financial and credit card numbers were exposed. Epik's popularity with hate groups because he takes their business without regard to ideology means that a lot of white supremacists, Nazis, and other extremists found out their online identities.
Epik is the mother of all data lodes, because it was the hub of many extremist websites and organizations that people such as me study. Heidi Beirich, an extremism researcher, said to WaPo. She cofounded the non-profit Global Project Against Hate and Extremism. Many of these sites found refuge in Epik. As the data is analyzed, we will be able to see this ecosystem in a way previously unimaginable.
Beirich said that she would spend many weeks or even months conducting the detective work necessary to find the people responsible for a single extremist website. The hacktivist group Anonymous claimed the breach and gave Beirich everything she needed.
Aubrey Cottle, Anonymous's cofounder, said to WaPo that everyone is sick of hatred. It hasn't been enough resistance, and these far-right players play dirty. They are not afraid to take on any challenge. They are now turning the tide and the current is moving in their favor.
READ MORE: Fallout for far-right trollings who trusted Epik with keeping their identities secret [The Washington Post]
Additional cybersecurity information: Bitcoin.org, which teaches users not to get scammed, gets hacked and replaced with scam
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