Anonymous Hack Triggers Massive Data Dump on Proud Boys, QAnon
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.”