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
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global hub for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

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.

Disclosure

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, institutional digital assets exchange. Bullish group is majority owned by Block.one; both groups have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary, and an editorial committee, chaired by a former editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, is being formed to support journalistic integrity.


Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.