The breach also undermines Epik’s commitment to customers that it can protect their anonymity, no matter what dangerous conspiracy theories they spread online. Because of this, experts have told CNN that the hack could impact the way far-right groups organize and try to protect themselves online.
“A breach like this will force some of these players to find security providers outside of North America, in Europe, to possibly step up their security game,” anthropology professor Gabriella Coleman told CNN. at Harvard University. Coleman said the data dump “confirmed many details of the far-right ecosystem.”
Emma Best, co-founder of Distributed Denial of Secrets, a nonprofit that has itself published hacktivist data, said researchers could look into the Epik leaks for months to find clues about the way different far right people and organizations are linked.
In a statement to CNN on Tuesday night, Epik said information released by Anonymous included data on 15 million people that were already public.
“Epik has been a trusted resource for many years and our top priority will always be security and privacy,” the company said.
Troy Hunt, an Australian cybersecurity consultant, said many people who are not Epik customers also saw their data compromised during the hack. That’s because Epik has apparently collected third-party data that is publicly available on the internet, according to Hunt.
Hunt, which operates a service that notifies people if their email addresses have been exposed in data breaches, told CNN that about 100,000 of its subscribers were affected by the Epik hack.
“It’s a very messy and messy situation,” Hunt said. “Among it all, there are a whole bunch of people” who still have not been notified that their information has been compromised, he added.
This story has been updated with a statement from Epik.