Epik has been a favourite web hosting company of far-right extremist groups and individuals in the US and elsewhere. Epik provides domain services to QAnon, Proud Boys, and other right-wing nutjobs. But that veil vanished when hacker group Anonymous exposed into public view more than 150 gigabytes of previously private data – including user names, passwords and other identifying information of some 110,000 customers.
In the real world, Joshua Alayon worked as a real estate agent in Pompano Beach, Fla., where he used the handle “SouthFloridasFavoriteRealtor” to urge buyers on Facebook to move to “the most beautiful State.”
But online, data revealed by the massive hack of Epik, an Internet-services company popular with the far right, signaled a darker side. Alayon’s name and personal details were found on invoices suggesting he had once paid for websites with names such as racisminc.com, whitesencyclopedia.com, christiansagainstisrael.com and theholocaustisfake.com.
The information was included among hundreds of thousands of transactions published this month by the hacking group Anonymous that exposed previously obscure details of far-right sites and launched a race among extremism researchers to identify the hidden promoters of online hate.
During the incident, hackers were able to access non-public Epik servers that stored a backup copy of the company’s domain-side service accounts. The attack happened on or before September 13, 2021, Epik said in a notification letter to customers.