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Anonymous Hacks Epik (epikfail.win)
413 points by cbtacy 4 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 249 comments


I love how this is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the "hackers on steroids" piece from 2007 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNO6G4ApJQY

Surprised there’s no ascii art of programmer socks.

That's a 2016 meme. Much too recent.

I mean technically correct. I think cortisol would have been funnier tho.

Anonymous strikes again, this time with a well known web registration company with a decade of data. This is a blatant example how poor security management leads to the hardship of thousands if not millions of regular people. Now their private details have a risk of being public and fully open to scrutiny. And its not just some simple data breach they allegedly stole domain purchases and transfers, account credentials of pretty much all their clients. Unacceptable. Embarrassing. They should be held accountable for all this if it comes out to be true.

Epik’s lack of security is the least damning thing about Epik.

Google around for their very colorful history. These are bad hombres.

Could you share something damning instead of referring people to search, as we probably will find different information.

As far as I can tell, Epik focused on hosting and DNS management for marginalized/excluded groups on the internet, so naturally they attract a lot of groups. Not sure why that'd be bad though.

Things like this also makes me actually like the company more:

> Pharmaceutical watchdog website LegitScript reported in 2018 that they had alerted Epik to the sale of illegal drugs and counterfeit medications on websites registered by Epik, and that Epik had refused to act upon the information without a court order

That's exactly how I want my hosting company to act, and any that don't are actively fragile.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epik_(company)

I agree with you about Epik’s stance, although I believe they’re doing it for the wrong reasons.

Rob Monster for instance has expressed support for the KKK and claimed that the Christchurch shooting was a hoax.

I’ll defend with my life his right to say abhorrent things. But that also means I get to express myself and call him a bad dude.

Sure, this dude sound like nuts from comments describing him here (I can’t even be bothered to look this shit up myself) and I’m glad I dodged a bullet. However, the private info of all their customers from their inception are allegedly exposed; and lots of people here seem to be cheering the hackers on.

Does this mean we need — actually, needed — to do research on the political standings of every founder, CEO, CXO of every service we use? And somehow predict they won’t do abhorrent things in the future even if they appeared harmless at the time? Otherwise we deserve it when we get doxxed for being a customer of a disgraced person?

I believe the answer is no, that’s unreasonable. These hackers are just criminals illegally doxxing a huge number of people. They don’t deserve cheers. I hope everyone of them gets arrested, which is highly unlikely.

(This is really not a direct response to your comment; not saying you were cheering them on.)

> These hackers are just criminals illegally doxxing a huge number of people. They don’t deserve cheers.

Fully agree. First and foremost the rule of law must be blind. However, spectators need not be similarly blind.

I am not cheering on the hackers. I am merely accepting the Newtonian forces at work here. I doubt that there are many (any?) Epik customers who I would consider good people (there’s simply no logical reason to host with them otherwise). That doesn’t mean they aren’t entitled to their rights, under the law.

But it does mean that I definitely don’t sympathize with them like I might someone else. Much like I wouldn’t sympathize with a drug lord who gets robbed by a rival drug lord. A crime is a crime, and the law should be applied accordingly.

Buuut I am only human. And I only have so much sympathy.

Naw there’s a ton of fine and good people using their services.

For example, I inherited a domain 12 years ago using it. At one point I tried to move to my personal host, but my personal host has bad DNS features and I couldn’t get my site configured. I was able to move it back (panicked I just went back to the service that I knew worked). And then I was stuck in a six month period where I couldn’t transfer it again. And then life happened and it’s three years later.

That might not fit into your logical conceptions of how people make choices. But I think it’s very very safe to assume that many customers are upstanding people.

> I doubt that there are many (any?) Epik customers who I would consider good people (there’s simply no logical reason to host with them otherwise)

This is an incredibly shortsighted / insular perspective. We live in a world where conservative orthodox Jews (e.g. Ben Shapiro) are called Nazi's and conservative Black folks (Larry Elder) are being called white supremacists, simply for being conservative. Likewise, progressives and other left leaning individuals that dare utter criticism of the left are met with the milder insult of being called conservative (e.g. Tim Pool, Glenn Greenwald, Bill Maher). People are deliberately shifting the overton window to a ridiculous degree and the scary thing is that they are getting away with it.

I can imagine a lot of regular conservatives worry about censorship and may find Epik to be a safer bet than, say, Google who blocks pro-life ads [1]. I can understand that maybe from your perspective (assuming you're left leaning) you are not aware of how hostile society has become to mainstream conservatism, but you should try to see things from the perspective of a regular conservative who sees prominent mainstream conservatives being slandered, lied about, and cancelled all around them.

Aside from that, Epik did have a few differentiating features like offering single purchase lifetime Domain ownership that I haven't seen elsewhere, which by itself could be sufficient motivation for people to host with them, without the necessarily knowing anything about potential controversy surrounding the business.

[1] https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/google-blocks-ad-for-s...

GoDaddy is actively shitty with a cancerous internal culture, but I guess that’s okay as long as they don’t host Nazis.

Remember when a guy murdered 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue? When it was revealed the shooter had posted about it on Gab beforehand, every service powering the social network pulled the plug. Epik was who brought them back online.[0]

The hero of hate speech is not exactly a sterling reputation to have.

[0] https://www.wired.com/story/how-right-wing-social-media-site...

I actually agree with the comment above: good speech doesn’t usually need defending…it’s almost always bad speech that does. But then again, I tend to side with free speech maximalists.

Rob Monster and crew are bad people because they actually believe this rhetoric, that’s why they defend it. They aren’t taking on a noble cause of defending free speech. They are defending speech with which they agree, and tends to be pretty shitty…that’s why they’re bad.

I don’t think they should be forced to stop, in fact I really hope the 1A is never diluted to that level. But the 1A cuts both ways: we get to sit back and talk about how awful Rob Monster is.

So you believe that Facebook should be shut down because the Christchurch shooter livestreamed his crime there?

Sigh. Facebook would not be a willing participant in this situation.

What makes you think Gab is any different from Facebook in this regard (referring to the platforms' role in the examples of violence in the ancestor comments)? Gab wasn't created to host illegal content, but to allow all strictly legal content. Neither Facebook nor Gab is willingly participating in anything that is published on their platform, because they are platforms, not publishers.

> Now their private details have a risk of being public

They are public. A simple torrent away.

They should also be held accountable for supporting hate ideology.

Eventually the cloud is going to burst and everyone’s data will be public. The motive will be similar to this one, where a huge blast radius of collateral damage is accepted in the name of harming bad people. Seeing people eagerly download this data that surely includes countless amounts of personal info of non-Nazis shows this clearly.

> Eventually the cloud is going to burst and everyone’s data will be public

Why? This was Epik being hacked not AWS or Azure. It’s just a domain registrar. And a shady one at that. Their lack of security is not indicative of the rest of the cloud.

Today on HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28532531

Microsoft bundling a super-insecure root daemon in all their Linux VMs. They developed it, published it on Github, embedded it everywhere, but when it turned out to be a security nightmare blamed "open source supply chain".

Fortunately, given the purported scope of the hack, it seems we'll be able to actually quantify that. How many of the websites weren't hosting violent or extremist content? If this is real, we should be able to get an exact percentage.

I would assume given any hosting provider, that most content would not be deemed "violent" or "extremist". But of course, it depends on your interpretation.

For example, some people consider radical servers from the anarchist scene to be hosting violent/extremist material, while i personally consider governments and big corporations to be pretty violent and extremist themselves in how they ruthlessly dominate the world.

Actions and speech are not neutral. It's all a matter of (political) perspective.

Epik is not just “any” hosting provider. In fact, there’s no reason to use them unless you fall into the “unhostable” category elsewhere.

Their infra, peering and prices are way worse than pretty much everyone else.

> In fact, there’s no reason to use them unless you fall into the “unhostable” category elsewhere.

False. Even if your present day content is not currently censorable but you expect it will be censorable one day as cultural norms shift or speech authoritarians gain power, it is wise to put it somewhere that is censorship resistant, Epik or otherwise.

I sure hope people don't jump to conclusions re what is violent or extremist.

People jump to conclusions? On the internet? No, I don't think that likely

Someone will always be quick to point out they are wrong.

A bullet list of the logical fallacies will assure the truth will prevail.

On the internet? No way! There is only civilized discord around with people making rational arguments!

Twitter hosts violent and extremist contents. Now please give me jack Dorseys address, phone number, and social security card so we can exact justice /s

That there are people on this forum advocating for vigilantism is frightening. We are quickly approaching the point of lawlessness as a society.

There you go. Vigilantism is OK only if it doesn’t affect them. But when it does, the outrage is everywhere. To them, it seems that unauthorised access and leaking personal information even if innocents are involved is suddenly OK then?

That activity seems very extreme doesn't it over just reporting directly to the authorities.

This is best left to the authorities to deal with such issues rather than resorting to such extreme and illegal activities, no matter the cost or innocents affected.

well, we do have u.s. state governments putting vigilantism into law, and making sure the victims of this vigilantism pay the legal bills of the vigilantes, so at this point, i’m not sure we can clutch our pearls over something which after all these years has become routine (i.e., leaks)

How many just regular folks would actually pick Epik? Why?

I intend to for future domain registration.

- Register.com is an annoying cesspool of value-add upsells and is extremely expensive in the process, with added cost to not have your personal info attached directly to your domain whois.

- GoDaddy, other than the creepy ads, has shown plenty of willingness to remove domains hosting content that they don't like, even if it's legal.

- I think Google is a registrar, but I'm not at all comfortable with how easy it might be to move my domain out of their grasp if I care to host my content somewhere else. I'm sure it's possible, I'm sure it has weird issues, and I'm certain there's zero support to talk to.

- Epik has, at least as far as I can tell, a reputation for simply hosting domain registrations, not asking questions, and ignoring just about every request for information.

Of those options, I'm fine with the last. I tend pretty hard towards the "free speech" side of the spectrum, and a registrar that will ignore anything short of a legitimate legal request from the authorities of the nation(s) they operate in is perfectly fine with me. Even if they host domains I consider distasteful, I'd rather support that than someone who will bow to public outrage and go snooping around domains looking for reasons to remove their registration (GoDaddy and Arfcom come to mind here).

There are probably other options, but those are the ones I know of, and why I'm intending to register future domains with Epik. I don't particularly care if a founder of a service is a scumbag in their personal life, as long as they reliably do what they promise to do.

Epik "ended its relationship" with The Daily Stormer because of content hosted on the site and the "entanglement" (meaning PR issues). If you're not ok with that, then I don't think Epik is what you're looking for. If you are ok with it, then you can accept service providers disassociating themselves with "distasteful" clients, it's just a matter of exactly how distasteful they have to be.

Source: https://www.npr.org/2021/02/08/965448572/meet-the-man-behind...

If the only ethical way to engage with modern consumer tech is to do a full analysis of the positives and negatives of every aspect of it (which is a position I think has some merit), then the only reasonable conclusion is to simply avoid all of it, because it's all corrupted, at some point or some level, by something someone will find distasteful or worse.

I honestly haven't delved deeply into the list of domains each registrar has removed, decided if I agree or disagree with it, sat down to evaluate the severity of each violation, etc. And I fundamentally don't want to, either.

If you've got a better domain registrar suggestion that isn't full on "bulletproof hosting Bitcoin only" stuff ending in .ru, I'm open to it, but... otherwise, at the end of the day, my goal is to register a domain.

Though, don't get me wrong, I'm seriously considering ending my entire involvement in modern consumer tech and going back to a 1900s tech level once I retire...

I (and many others) have had good experience with Namecheap.

I had an extremely bad experience with Namecheap with an extremely high value domain (5 letters, dictionary word.) They had a fault on their backend and dropped my domain where it got picked up by a parking service. This happened despite me having paid in advance on time for over a decade. After weeks of going back and forth with Namecheap management I contacted an attorney. Some research hours later we find out Namecheap has absolutely 0 western presence other than some extremely low value holdings companies. In the event you have an issue with Namecheap you would need to go through the Ukrainian court system which isn’t feasible for westerners. I had to write off a domain with a 5 figure valuation due to their incompetence.

High value domains use Mark Monitor. It is their entire businesss and most importantly they’re US based.

I'm not familiar with this particular case and I'm sorry that you had a bad experience but most of you what have said here is incorrect and frankly absurd. We're a US-based company and most of our executives and owners are US/UK citizens. After over a decade with the company, I've never seen a domain "drop" because of a "backend fault." There are certainly quirky edge cases with obscure registries where bugs can occur but if we're talking a major TLD then it is highly unlikely. Feel free to email me if you want me to dig into it though: ted [at] namecheap.com.

This is what I was told by an attorney. That in (the attorney) doing an asset check they revealed that NameCheap simply has a virtual office in a Regus office space with little to no US assets. Further, that even if we went through the struggle of getting a judgement against NameCheap's US entity that getting cash out might be impossible. If anyone reading this wants to verify you can look at Namecheap's site where they list their US address as "4600 E Washington St". If anyone has ever interfaced with any staff at Namecheap it's very clear that 100% of the support and middle management is located in the Ukraine. Just because you have some executives living in the US with a virtual office somewhere doesn't make you a US organization.

I've been all up and down the contact chain with Namecheap and quite frankly every time I make a stink about it in a public forum it's always the same playbook. "Yes a mistake was made, no we can't compensate you." Here is the reply from your support where you admit a fundamental systems flaw resulted in my domain being dropped:

"My name is Oksana and I am the Shift Leader of Domains Department. I would like to follow-up with you with regard to the issue you have faced with your domain name. We are very sorry that such unpleasant situation happened. We have reported it to our Technical team and they are doing their best to fix the issue that affected your domain renewal so that similar situations would not occur again. While we cannot change what has happened, we are planning to take steps to ensure that similar incidents and misunderstandings will not occur in the future. Unfortunately, we do not have any ETA on the fix implementation. Rest assured that as soon as there are any updates on this improvement, we will inform you via the ticket. Regretfully, we will not be able to recover your domain name, as it expired and later was re-registered by another Registrant. As a compensation for this negative experience you have faced, we can offer you the XXXX coupon code. You can use it to receive a 20% discount for registration, renewal, and transfer of domains."

To add some circumstantial evidence, Namecheap currently has 52 job openings, of which 47 are in Ukraine, 1 each are in Portugal and India, and 3 are remote: https://www.namecheap.com/careers/openings/

It's 2021. Most companies of our size have an international presence. So what?

Nothing wrong with it, I was just curious about the claim that the company is legally based in the US but most employees are in Ukraine.

Take note. Calling someone's experience "incorrect" and "absurd" before you have all the details will never end well.

I was simply saying it is incorrect to say that we are not a US-based company. We have a large support team in Europe but we were founded in the US and remain a US entity. We have always been a distributed company with remote teams all around the world. It is indeed absurd that their attorney suggested that they would have to through the "Ukraine court system."

You are still welcome to email me and I will try to help you however I can.

Very few people reading your comment have high-value domains.

Also, every registrar sends you scary emails before and after a domain expires and enter the redemption period [1].

That means you failed to:

- register for 10 years in advance

- pay attention to your email for at least 60 days (including your redemption period)

- enable auto-pay

If you had done any one of those very normal measures for a high-value domain, you would have kept your domain.

1. https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/domain-name-renewal-ex...

Many domain registries allow you to send domains directly to the pending delete status (or drop them entirely.) It's how domain tasting used to work about 10 years ago before ICANN/Verisign changed up the rules.

Most users have good experiences with most registrars. It's only in extreme cases that you find out what character your registrar has.

they dumped 8chan as well

> Epik has, at least as far as I can tell, a reputation for simply hosting domain registrations, not asking questions, and ignoring just about every request for information.

Give https://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/services/domains a shot.

I'm not affiliated aside from being a happy customer for over a decade. You can read their abuse-handling terms here: https://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/help/abuse

Actually they revealed a few months ago that if you aren't politically aligned with them at nearlyfreespeech.net, they treat you differently as a customer.


They will "*not* lift one finger to help you [host your site here]" (emphasis theirs)

If you are not politically to their taste, they will look for a reason to kick you off as opposed to their other customers, "we *will* kick you off the instant you give us a reason".

In that same post, they revealed they will cooperate with police requests without any court documents or warrants being provided, putting them in the 'fragile' class of hosting providers.

Not sure of either of their policies, but I usually buy my domains from Dynadot then transfer the eligible ones to CloudFlare after the first year. Both are cheap, and I'm pretty sure CloudFlare tends to not divulge much information.

All my ICANN addresses are fake though so that's never been a concern for me.

They also have a reputation for securing your important PII behind unsalted md5 password lookups. Im not sure about the rest of their security, but if they screw up something as basic as storing passwords it does not imply good things about the rest of their infosec.

If you are concerned about getting your name off google because their systems are wierd, why wouldn't you be concerned with someone just stealing your domain from the insecure site by (e.g.) just logging in as you and initiating the transfer?

Ideology aside, shouldn't the fact that this hack exposed gigabytes of user data cause you to reconsider them as a reliable domain provider?

Why be concerned with domain providers giving personal information to authorities when Epik has already given it to the entire internet?

I moved quite a few of my domains from GoDaddy to Epik because of a) the pricing and b) the option of having "forever" domains, or at least very long term registrations as a potential choice.

...but that decision was made without knowing much about Epik. Ignoring the fact that they've potentially shielded some, uh, unsavory individuals (doxers, DDoSers, etc), the absolute stupidity in the design of their system, insecurity, and the fact that it looks now that Rob Monster tried to negotiate with the hackers to not release unhashed CC#s assuming they'd be happy with him removing the people they wanted removed...

Yeah, no. I'm moving my domains at this point. I don't want to be associated with that anymore than I already am at this point. The system "security" itself was bad enough, but having a CEO try to negotiate with the attackers? This is almost funny if it weren't so idiotic.

Gandi? Namecheap?

Maybe take a look at Gandi. GoDaddy has always been a terrible registrar. People used to recommend Namecheap because of that, but I think namecheap has limits on the length of certain records (which may be annoying for dkim).

In general there are a dozen registrars that are better than GoDaddy or Google without having to choose a right wing nutjob with bad security.

I've heard https://njal.la is pretty good.

I've quite literally never heard of them, and wouldn't click that link if it came across an email... :/


> When you purchase a domain name through Njalla, we own it for you. However, the agreement between us grants you full usage rights to the domain. Whenever you want to, you can transfer the ownership to yourself or some other party.


Njalla is Peter Sunde's project. It's a very high credential, the only possible better thing would be if Edward Snowden ran a registrar.

The ownership is a hack to workaround for some legal issues (e.g. for .es domains you're not allowed WHOIS privacy). Although post-GDPR most whois servers dramatically restricted public access, so maybe it's less important now.

Sunde gives it some credibility, but still the idea that you're not the real owner of a domain is horrible. It seems only useful for domains you believe never to get a large audience.

I on the other hand know 3 people who got stonewalled by their support and were unable to use their domains.

Google is safe, simple, and they never bother you. I'm cheap, but will pay $13 just for piece of mind.

Google Domains incorrectly banned me. I filed an appeal showing how I was indeed authorized to perform the actions I had performed, that I was not in violation of their Terms of Use, and included the contact information of the various parties that Google could contact in order to confirm my claims. None of these individuals were contacted and my appeal was rejected with their standard "unfortunately kindly go fuck yourself" message.

When they banned me, I simply lost access to the entire domains.google.com page. As such, I was unable to transfer any of my domains out. The only thing I could do was let them lapse, wait for them to become available to the general public again, and re-buy them on a different registrar.

Their UI works great, most of the time, but I would not recommend Google Domains to anybody, ever, under any circumstances.

Please write this up with more detail, it deserves a HN front page story. That is horrifying.

It's really not as exciting as all that. As a regular user, I suspect you're unlikely to have an experience like mine.

As part of my job, I perform (authorized) phishing simulations for employees of my employer. Typically this involves registering domains that look like my employer's domain (with permission), or domains that look like those of our vendors (again, with permission). I suspect one too many people clicked Gmail's "report phishing" button and their automated system took it from there. So I wasn't at all surprised that the account eventually got suspended, but I was surprised that my appeal was rejected, and closed with zero investigation. Perhaps I shouldn't have been.

Thankfully the only domains I lost were domains used for that purpose. At the time, I did use Google Domains for my personal domains as well, but thankfully I had those associated with my personal Gmail address and not my work account so I could still control them. Needless to say, though, I moved them off onto another registrar immediately.

The experience has also led me to slowly move off of Google products as a whole, with the notable current exceptions of Android and Google Fi.


* before the inevitable "phishing is a violation of their terms of service", it actually isn't. The related section forbids use that violates any laws or regulations, and lists phishing as an example. Authorized phishing simulations do not violate any laws or regulations. Unfortunately, Google failed to follow up with any of the individuals or evidence showing that it was authorized, and just rejected the appeal.

Or any other google product for similar reasons.

Without reading the registry agreement to find anything specific, I'm pretty sure that violates ICANN rules.

I would also like to hear more about it because that's scary.

I posted the story on a sibling comment. It's not as exciting as all that.

Overall it was a net positive experience, really. It led me to perform a personal Disaster Recovery exercise where I modeled losing my Google account, which was very interesting and informed a significant shift in my online behavior. If it ever happens, it'll be a bother, but not much more than that.

> I'm pretty sure that violates ICANN rules

I wonder in the end who's more powerful though: ICANN or Google.

You cannot trust google for anything like domains you rely on, unless you have a contact there to talk to a human.

If its not a free service best assure the reader legal action will follow. Then the easiest solution is to restore access.

I’m not sure why this is being downvoted

I receive email on my domain, which means that it is the root of all of my security. If you steal my domain or tweak my DNS, you can get my email, and you can reset my passwords.

I have some domains at Namecheap still. I have a FIDO2 key set up for their website, which is good, but I’m not sure that I trust their security. I trust Google more.

Google Domains actually has support, too

I bought a domain name from a domain squatter who used Epik and there's a 60 day waiting period before I'm allowed to transfer the domain away.

Their site is one of the buggiest I've ever used (no, really), so this hack doesn't surprise me at all. Now I'm trying to remember how much personal information I would have given them.

A wait period is reasonably common. I’ve ran into it a well, really annoying. I think it’s a lame ploy to drum up business.

It's an ICANN requirement, it's universal as far as I know.

If you truly believe in freedom of speech, it makes sense to support companies who enable those ideals. I'm not familiar enough with the company/drama/story here, but if Epik does not do anything "problematic" other than allow "problematic" speech, then I would consider them. A certain quote often mis-attributed to Voltaire comes to mind [0]. It appears they do have some lines drawn in the sand for free speech, they cancelled service for 8chan.

[0] : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evelyn_Beatrice_Hall

I wouldn't support this borderline nutjob. Making employees watching a video of christchurch shooting and saying it was fake? Yeah, no. He has a lot of ties to extremist right wing too.


This message to epik customers about this "alleged security incident" ends with:

> You are in our prayers today. We are grateful for your support and prayer. When situations arise where individuals might not have honorable intentions, I pray for them. I believe that what the enemy intends for evil, God invariably transforms into good. Blessings to you all.

I don't think anyone really supports unlimited freedom of speech other than as a strategic rhetorical lip service. It's a very unreasonable position. What people mean is that they draw the line at different places, usually while ignoring the law.

People disagree about the definitions of crimes involving publication. For example, almost everyone is against the freedom to disseminate child porn under the excuse of "free speech." Then, some people are against free dissemination of ISIS propaganda, especially when it contains concrete calls for violence. Then again, disseminating Neonazi propaganda with similar calls for violence is not more legal than ISIS propaganda in most countries. Revenge porn and sites dedicated to slander and libel are prohibited in most jurisdictions, too.

The US has lax application of laws against right-wing calls for violence but is well-known to enforce against free speech if other groups like Islamists are involved. In the past, communists and civil rights advocates were also not too welcome. Other countries apply laws more stringently. In various modern and democratic countries content hosted by Stormfront is simply illegal and various posters on their forums commit crimes. Their servers would be raided and shut down by the police if they were under the country's jurisdiction. The US was never governed or occupied by full-blown Nazis, so it is only natural that people tend to be more liberal about these matters there, but that's more of a historical coincidence than an argument.

Yup. The same republicans proud of their party history saw no issue with dragging people in front of congress for interrogation because they might be a communist (thought crime).

(House Un-American Activities Committee).

I almost picked them a while back because I searched for "domain registrars" and they came up. Nowhere on the website did it say anything about neo-nazis, fascism, conspiracy theories, etc. Just seemed like a simple registrar with no GoDaddy-esque sleaziness, and a neat, memorable domain name.

So so happy that I ended up not signing up. I just wanted a domain for my personal site and email, but I would've ended up on a public list next to nazis.

I registered an account with Epik in 2017 before any notoriety over Gab or whatever (though I did not ultimately end up using their services). Apparently this justifies doxxing and slandering me as a neo-nazi.

Considering that Epik have been in operation for almost a decade before a pivot to extremist hosting, I would assume that the vast majority of this """noble""" hack concerns innocent people.

Find me a service open to the public and I’ll find you “nazi” customers by someone’s definition. Hell, people were and probably still are “boycotting” GitHub (as in, they put feel-good slogans in their profile while still using it) a while ago for having U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement as a customer. I’m sure if someone manages to completely hack GitHub, they will post everyone’s private repos and billing info, and it’s a just cause because GitHub hosts code for horrible people.

I’ve ran a website non-stop for over twenty years. I intend to keep it up as long as the internet exists. It’s not really had any major changes since 2008, but it’s a major source of nostalgia in my life. Beyond that it hosts my email address.

I was curious about prepaying for years of my domain in advance, and stumbled upon Erik.

Epik offers a “forever registration” where you get a domain “forever” for something like $500. I was seriously considering it before I heard about all the negative shit associated with them.

I suspect they’ve sold that service to at least a few average Joe’s.

I’m a regular folk that currently uses epik (just as a domain host). We (actually a volunteer who donated our domain name to us) registered with them like 12 years ago.

I tried to move off of them a couple years ago, but I moved to lunarpages and they didn’t have enough dns options for my service. So then I had to move back to epik.

Um, can anyone recommend another domain host? EDIT: transfer initiated.

I know your question was already answered at this point, but I'm using Namecheap for the domains I didn't have on Epik (mostly personal and some parked that I'm planning on building out eventually).

I've nothing but good things to say about Namecheap. Some of their employees post here from time to time and seem responsive to issues.

Ugh, I did. I was unaware of Epik’s “reputation”, I’d just heard the brand name before so I thought it must be alright. I would have gone with someone else, but most registrars don’t offer the TLD I wanted, and Epik seemed to have the best price amongst the registrars that did. Obviously regretting that decision now.

You're not alone. I wanted an alternative to GoDaddy whose prices perpetually increased to the point of ridiculousness and their removal of mostly innocuous sites (ar15.com comes to mind) without prior notice was a bit ridiculous. Which, is fine honestly, because their ads left a lot to be desired over the years.

I liked Epik's offerings because of the option of "forever" domains. So, I moved a bunch over there from GoDaddy; and as a Christian, I felt it wouldn't hurt to support a Christian business owner. Had I known a bit more about Epik, I likely would've picked a more reasonable registrar.

Unfortunately, it looks as though any purchases prior to Feb 21st may infer that your payment info is in a new leak. Contemplating having my card changed at this point.

What really irritates me is that there's been zero communication from Epik. Either they own up to it, or they ruin their business and what's left of their reputation anyway. I'm already bailing, because I don't want to have my domains associated with that degree of stupidity (though, it's probably moot at this point).

I signed up a few days ago on a friend's recommendation. I have nothing to do with whatever else. It sounded good that they weren't a fragile host (hosts that mess with your stuff without court orders or warrants or whatever).

Sometimes they have the cheapest renewal rate for some of the TLDs, so if you're deal hunting on sites like tld-list.com you could end up registering via Epik.

Before today the only thing I knew about them was that they were the registrar for a few controversial domains. I didn't realize they were soliciting that market.

I had one domain there in 2017-2018 due to some generic domain forum promo codes making them the cheapest. Didn't know of reputation or it wasn't obvious then, predates Parler existence, etc.

I was considering moving my domains over. I'm tired of tech censorship, I don't want to support companies that engage in it without legal requirement.

What would be extremely funny is if a different group of fake hactivists did a similar hack elsewhere but deliberately added junk data as a way to discredit all hactivism.

It’s mostly nazis. If you’re not a nazi there should be enough pressure to stop you from associating yourself with epik.

Horrible argument. Textbook guilt-by-association, and in this case, the "association" is particularly weak.

Yea guilt by association works well here. If you’re at the klan meeting, you’re probably a klan member.

Let's take your logic and apply it to HN.

There are some Nazis here. If you do not stop posting here you are associating with Nazis. Since you post here you are either a Nazi or Nazi sympathizer.

Nazis are an unwelcome minority here and the leadership here is vocally against nazis. Can’t say the same for epik.

Do you have proof or are you just slandering Epik?

Did anyone download it and look? This is huge if it's true isn't it? I don't want to download it because I don't know what the laws are, but I'm really interested to know if it's true. Rob Monster is a really big domain investor, right?

This is really big news if it's true.

Edit: I looked it up. Rob started Epik [1]. I wonder if that's really his password. Lol.

Edit 2: I wasn't aware of Epik's reputation either. I just knew they're a big (ish) registrar.

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rob_Monster

I heard about it yesterday but only the release on Twitter, I haven't seen the torrent.

It will be interesting to see which media outlets report on it after so many adopted a policy of not reporting on hacked info.

The torrent is on her website, a few people tweeted that they finally had seeders, but I'm unsure if they got the entire archive.

I'm currently trying to download it now, but the torrent file is so large that it's crashing most torrent software (pico, deluge, webtorrent) I throw at it, on 2 machines!

How big is it? I had similar issues downloading danbooru2020 (3.4TB), but rtorrent did the job with only ~5G RSS. Every other client used 4x the memory and never completed the download.

Another commenter mentions that the actual .torrent file is 32MB.

it's 180 GB. transmission works fine.

it's not the size of the data that's the problem, it's the size of the metadata and the sheer number of files in the data. Torrents suck for lots of tiny files, and we have that here in spades.

transmission seems fine

From Emma Best (DDoSecrets)'s tweets it looks like it's unavailable at the moment (6h ago):

>There don't seem to be any active seeds and just under 0.5% seems to be available ATM, so... we'll see what happens!


It's possible that the source sharded the torrent payload and then distributed the shards among multiple "seeds" that are brought online/offline on a rolling schedule, to avoid being identified as the lone seed. Since none of the "seeds" have the entire payload, they are identified as peers (specifically, leechers) in the torrent client.

This 30+ MB torrent file is choking ruTorrent and Deluge clients on my seedbox. Not sure how to fix it. Do you know of some alternative way to process such a large file? I have never seen such a large torrent file like this before.

The screenshot from one of the replies to the tweet (https://twitter.com/pompompur_in/status/1437905607273635847) seems to be of qBittorrent. It's open source and cross-platform, just like Deluge.


Not available on my server unfortunately. Otherwise qBitorrent is the client of choice. I have found magnet links from DdosSecrets here: https://ddosecrets.com/wiki/Epik

Edit: Turns out I didn't give enough attention to Transmission as it handled the file. Very impressive.

As a side note: this has got me pondering about testing edge cases on open source software. Wonder how much of that actually gets done.

rtorrent has handled literally _everything_ I've ever thrown at it

It didn't handle this one when I tried it.

I downloaded the torrent file and casually browsed the index but didn't want to waste my time, bandwidth, and storage for a 150+ GB dump.

Looks like they had access to their CDN at some point too: https://archive.is/traih

xD I love the PS down there in the bottom.

The Q references had me laughing pretty hard.

I love the old school memes (seven proxies, cowsay, nine thousand, the whole thing being a txt file.) Some early aughts charm right there.

Tells you something about the age of the hackers probably (over 30)

The old boys ride again.

Lest anyone be confused, this is Epik the web hosting company[1], not Epic Games the videogame company[2], or Epic Systems the healthcare software company[3].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epik_(company)

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_Games

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epic_Systems

Nor is it Epic! the digital reading platform for kids[1], not EPIC the Electronic Privacy Information Center[2], or EPIC Provisions the company behind high protein meat snacks[3].

[1] https://www.getepic.com/

[2] https://epic.org/

[3] https://epicprovisions.com/

While I wasn't going to get it confused with any other Epics, I had no idea what Epik with a K was.

Neither is it Epyx, Inc., the venerable videogame company [1].

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epyx

Epyx published Jumpman on the Commodore 64. Loved that game.

I had thought that was by Epic (Megagames back then). I was wrong. Maybe I got Jumpman mixed up with Jill of the Jungle.

Wow, do you try to SQL inject every site linked from HN comments?

> Epik was founded in 2009 by Rob Monster

The founder's name is like from The Onion article.

The whole site looks like it's parody information ("epic" with a K, "Rob Monster", nazi stuff, etc) but it becomes weirder when you realize they aren't parodying anything and all of it is accurate.

Very interesting that Anonymous went after them. I guess it just goes to show you that Anonymous is nobody's puppet, however much any given cause would like to consider them its personal army.

Apparently NOT Epik's personal army: far from it.

Thanks, I thought it was Epic Systems and was worried about all the healthcare data flowing.

The linked .torrent file is ~30MB, and appears to be ~180GB of data with ~190,000 files. It's split into ~689,000 pieces of ~256KB, hence the comparatively large .torrent file overall.

I'm sure this will become a running gag, someone commenting epic/epik after large leaks

Now that was epik

Looks like the seeder is gone, but they were online just barely briefly enough to get the torrent metadata.

For those that are curious what's in there:


Wordpress with a bunch of plugins and a theme from themeforest. Figures.

I wouldn't be poking any bears had I been running that setup.

Looks like just a pretty standard WP frontend. Not really much of value.

Thats because that page doesnt show the full list. Try this instead


Or just click on "view the full file" to see the full list.

Just a few days ago a Russian web host was hacked as well, with a similar statement. I guess they're all exploiting some recently discovered bug in web hosting software.

Not infrastructure related, but on monday the german anonymous collective managed to get a former IT admin of one of the largest covid conspiracy theorists to hand over his credentials, transferred all domains (he had ~ 10 aliases) and deleted his telegram channels

he still hasn't regained control -> https://www.attilahildmann.de/

Operation Tinfoil. Thanks for the link, love that!

There is a .swp file in the torrent:

> strings .whois.sql.swp

b0nano 5.4




I tested on my machine and nano swap files contain the nano version (5.4), the username (anonymous), the hostname (datahound) and the filename (whois.sql).

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