Rob Monster, CEO of domain registrar and web hosting company Epik, finally responded to his company’s massive breach Thursday night in a bizarre and chaotic video conference.
Earlier this week, a Press release hacking collective Anonymous announced that “a decade” of information about Epik was about to be released, including domain registrations, account credentials and emails.
The data, released online in multiple torrents, contained detailed records revealing the names, addresses and phone numbers of people who registered some of the far-right’s most popular domains.
Epik has provided services to alternative social media sites such as Gab and Parler and even to the neo-Nazi Daily Stormer blog, which the company claims to have quickly started. The company also hosted QAlerts, a website run by a militia member who was instrumental in spreading the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Initially, Epik told reporters on Tuesday that he was “not aware of any violations.” The next day, Monster emailed customers admitting that it was investigating “a suspected security incident”.
After two days of silence on Twitter, Monster reappeared to invite the public to attend a live question-and-answer session on its PrayerMeeting.com video conferencing site.
The Daily Dot was present at the meeting for nearly four hours, where Monster publicly admitted that his company had been raped. Monster alleged that he believed a backup of company data was hacked and said a hacker nearly managed to steal $ 100,000 from his Coinbase account with information found in the breach.
The meeting, which included comments from Monster on a range of topics, including his religious beliefs, escalated as the chat room filled with hackers, other journalists and those affected by the breach.
Freelance journalist Steven Monacelli, who first broke the news of the anonymous hack on Monday, faced Monster in a heated exchange about Epik’s hosting of a website that had not only doxed him and his family, but countless other journalists.
Monacelli was finally able to convince Monster to take down the live video doxing website.
Monster has also found himself repeatedly confronted with Aubrey Cottle, the man credited with founding Anonymous. Cottle’s personal information had also been posted on a doxing website titled “Demon Hackers”.
The particularly religious monster reacted to the discovery that Cottle was one of the so-called Demon Hackers with intrigue.
“Computer hackers. Is that you? “Monster asked.” Wow, this is crazy. “
The conversation took an unexpected turn when Andrew “weev” Auernheimer, a notorious neo-Nazi hacker who aids white supremacist sites such as the Daily Stormer, entered the meeting.
Monster responded to weev, whom he said he had never met before, with a friendly greeting: “Much love to you.”
After Monster said he was unaware that weev had a swastika tattoo, the neo-Nazi flashed the symbol on the chat.
Monster went further, asking if his violent genocide rhetoric was just an act. After speaking, weev made a lot of anti-Semitic comments and defended slavery.
As the hour-long reunion dragged into the night, more viewers entered the chat. Monster, in response to the trolling participants and other notable hackers, began to pray several times. Monster also called on Jesus to rebuke any demons he thought might be present at the conference.
Monster and Epik supporters applauded the CEO for speaking openly with the public, apparently against the wishes of his lawyers.
While Monster has now officially acknowledged the Epik hack, the fallout is only just beginning. Monster described the response to the breach as the most stressful time of his life.
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* First published: Sep 17, 2021, 12:44 p.m. CDT
Mikael Thalen is a Seattle-based tech and security reporter who covers social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.