March 9, 2021
The social media site Gab blamed “oligarch tyrants” who keep the US “under occupation” for being forced offline, after they refused to pay a ransom in bitcoin to a hacker who had pilfered gigabytes of user data through an exploit.
“We took the site down to investigate a security breach,” Gab announced on Monday afternoon via their Twitter account. Users trying to log into Gab were greeted with an “internal error” message and told to try again.
“Banks are banning us. Hackers are attacking us. Journalists are libeling us. Why?” Gab tweeted, calling the US “a totally subverted nation under the occupation of a handful of oligarch tyrants who use their power to destroy dissenters.”
Gab went offline after several verified accounts on the social media platform displayed a ransom note signed “cApTaIn JaXpArO,” claiming credit for the hack and accusing CEO Andrew Torba of lying to his “despicable users” and not caring about their privacy.
The hacker, whose name is a reference to Captain Jack Sparrow of Disney’s ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ franchise, claimed that last week’s hack “fully compromised” Gab, including 35 million public and three million private posts, 50,000 emails, 7,000 passwords.
More importantly, they claimed to have obtained 831 verification documents – “which the ransom was about” – but Gab refused to pay eight bitcoin for them.