Gab, Refuge for the Deplatformed, Hacked for 'Pretty Much Everything' Including Trump Data

The data, provided to a whistle-blower site, is not being made public over privacy concerns.

AccessTimeIconMar 1, 2021 at 2:07 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:19 p.m. UTC

Gab, the controversial social media platform favored by right-wing users, has had 70 GB of data hacked and handed to Distributed Denial of Secrets, a whistle-blower site sometimes referred to as a successor to WikiLeaks.

  • Distributed Denial of Secrets founder Emma Best said the hacked data contains public posts, profiles and hashed passwords, as well as private account posts and messages.
  • "It contains pretty much everything on Gab, including user data and private posts, everything someone needs to run a nearly complete analysis on Gab users and content," Best wrote in a message to Wired.
  • Data of former U.S. President Donald J. Trump's account is included in the data hoard, according to an archived post by Gab CEO Andrew Torba (WARNING: Contains offensive language).
  • In a blog post Friday, Torba told users the company is undertaking a "full security audit" and cast doubt on the extent of the data stolen.
  • "Gab collects very little from our users in terms of personal information," he wrote. "It is entirely possible for a user of the site to be unidentifiable based on the information they provide at login. ... [and] we have no indication that e-mail addresses were compromised."
  • The data was siphoned from Gab's servers by a hacktivist identified as "JaXpArO and My Little Anonymous Revival Project" in an attempt to expose the platform's right-wing users, WIRED said.
  • Distributed Denial of Secrets said it is offering the data to journalists and researchers for analysis, but is not making it public over privacy concerns.
  • Trump had set up a Gab account after being suspended from Twitter in early January. Gab's rank among websites globally has climbed from 7,119 to 1,834 in the last 90 days, according to Amazon's Alexa, possibly reflecting an influx of fringe voices banned or frustrated by larger platforms' moderation policies.

Update (March 1, 15:20 UTC): Added link and quotes from Gab blog post about extent of breach and Alexa data.


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