How ‘Ethical Hackers’ Expose Far-Right Extremist Groups

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Photo by Fernando Amaro via Flickr

Attacks on the online infrastructure of websites associated with far-right extremist groups and extremist-friendly platforms and hosts by so-called “ethical hackers,” or “hactivists” are disrupting far-right groups and individuals, reports The Guardian.

The attacks unmasking the activities of extremists often result in law enforcement attention, revealing a lack of technical expertise among such groups.

In 2021, a wave of anti-fascist cyber-activism crested while, at the same time, recently mainstream social media and chat platforms like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have – with varying degrees of enthusiasm – moved to exclude extremists from their platforms.

And while intermittent crackdowns have led some extremists to flock to so-called “alt-tech” platforms, which reproduce some of the functions of big tech sites while advertising themselves to the far right with “free speech” policies, the maneuvers have failed to thwart hactivists in 2021.

Extremist-friendly hosts, such as Epik, a domain name registrar and web hosting provider that had offered services of last resort to groups like neo-Nazi podcasters, The Right Stuff and sites like QAnon hub, are unable to hire the personnel who might help them create a defensive capacity. In September, 2021, Epik had the entire contents of its home server repeatedly breached.

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