Self-styled ‘free speech’ platform Gab says hackers have demanded a $500,000 Bitcoin ransom or else 70GB worth of user data will hit the open internet.
Whistleblower outfit Distributed Denial of Secrets (DDS) — often cited as a spiritual successor to WikiLeaks — made the trove available to the press on Monday.
In a Substack post, DDS noted the data contains “over 70,000 messages in more than 19,000 chats, by 15,000 users, in plaintext format.”
Gab chief exec Andrew Torba later addressed GabLeaks via Gab’s news section, and claimed to have received a Bitcoin ransom note.
He also confirmed hackers stole Donald Trump’s Gab data.
“DDS announced that it would only be making the leak available to journalists and researchers for ‘ethical reasons,’” wrote Torba.
“At the same time, an individual who claimed to be the hacker sent us a ransom demand for nearly $500,000 in Bitcoin. We immediately notified federal law enforcement.”
Torba went on to use the purported ransom as evidence of DDS’ supposed lack of ethics. However, they provided no proof of the note and labeled whoever sent it a “third party.”
Protos has reached out to DDS for clarity on the existence of the alleged ransom note, and will update this piece should we learn more.
DDS gained notoriety in August last year after US feds labelled it a “criminal hacker group,” for its ties to BlueLeaks, a dump of 10 years worth police data.
Since then, DDS has been involved in data dumps of high-profile entities, including Gab’s rival, Parler.