Rob Monster, the CEO of the domain registrar and web hosting company Epik, finally responded to the massive slump in his company on Thursday evening in a bizarre and chaotic video conference.
Earlier this week a Press release from the hacking collective Anonymous announced that it would publish “a decade worth of information” about Epik, including domain registrations, account credentials and emails.
The data, published online as multiple torrents, included detailed records of the names, addresses and phone numbers of the people who registered some of the right-wing’s most popular domains.
Epik has provided services for alternative social media sites like Gab and Parler and even the neo-Nazi blog Daily Stormer, which the company claims to have launched quickly. The company also hosted QAlerts, a website operated by a militia member that played a major role in spreading the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Epik initially told reporters on Tuesday that he was “unaware of any violations.” The next day, Monster sent an email to customers admitting it was an “alleged security incident.”
After two days of silence on Twitter, Monster reappeared to invite the public to a live question-and-answer session on its video conferencing website, PrayerMeeting.com.
The Daily Dot was in for nearly four hours at the meeting at which Monster publicly admitted that his company had been breached. Claiming that he believed a backup of the company’s data was hacked, Monster alleged that a hacker had almost successfully stolen $ 100,000 from his Coinbase account, with information found in the breach.
The meeting, which included comments from Monster on a number of topics, including his religious beliefs, became more intense as the chat room became filled with hackers, fellow journalists, and those affected by the injury.
Independent journalist Steven Monacelli, who first broke the news of the Anonymous hack on Monday, confronted Monster in a heated back-and-forth over Epik’s hosting of a website that had betrayed not only him and his family but countless other journalists as well .
Monacelli was ultimately able to convince Monster to shut down the Doxing website live on video.
Monster was also repeatedly confronted with Aubrey Cottle, the man who started Anonymous. Cottle’s personal information was also posted on a Doxing website called Demon Hackers.
The particularly religious monster reacted with intrigue to the discovery that Cottle was one of the so-called Demon hackers.
“Demon Hacker. Is that you? “Asked Monster.” Wow, that’s crazy. “
The conversation took an unexpected turn when Andrew “weev” Auernheimer, a notorious hacker and neo-Nazi who supports white supremacist sites like the Daily Stormer, entered the meeting.
Monster answered weev, whom he said he had never seen before, with a friendly greeting: “Much love for you.”
After Monster declared he didn’t know Weev had a swastika tattoo, the neo-Nazi flashed the symbol in the chat.
Monster continued to delve into Weev, asking if his violent rhetoric advocating genocide was just an act. After giving the floor, Weev made numerous anti-Semitic remarks and defended slavery.
As the hour-long meeting stretched into the night, more viewers entered the chat. Monster broke into prayers several times in response to trolling from attendees and other notable hackers. Monster also urged Jesus to reprimand any demons he believed 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.
Although Monster has now officially recognized the epic hack, the fallout is only just beginning. Monster described reacting to the break as the most stressful moment of his life.
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* First published: 09/17/2021, 12:44 p.m. CDT
Mikael Thalen is a Seattle-based tech and security reporter covering social media, privacy breaches, hackers, and more.