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vpnMentor was established in 2014 as an independent site reviewing VPN services and covering privacy-related stories. Today, our team of hundreds of cybersecurity researchers, writers, and editors continues to help readers fight for their online freedom in partnership with Kape Technologies PLC, which also owns the following products: ExpressVPN, CyberGhost, and Private Internet Access which may be ranked and reviewed on this website. The reviews published on vpnMentor are believed to be accurate as of the date of each article, and written according to our strict reviewing standards that prioritize the independent, professional and honest examination of the reviewer, taking into account the technical capabilities and qualities of the product together with its commercial value for users. The rankings and reviews we publish may also take into consideration the common ownership mentioned above, and affiliate commissions we earn for purchases through links on our website. We do not review all VPN providers and information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.

Ransomware Gang Threatens Reddit Data Release

Ransomware Gang Threatens Reddit Data Release
Keira Waddell Published on 20th June 2023 Senior Writer

Following a cyberattack on Reddit in February, the BlackCat (ALPHV) ransomware gang has threatened to release 80GB of stolen data. The breach was disclosed by Reddit on February 9th, stating that it occurred on February 5th as a result of an employee falling victim to a phishing attack.

In a post titled "The Reddit Files," published on Saturday, the BlackCat group claimed to have made two contact attempts with Reddit, on April 13th and June 16th, without receiving any response. The post disclosed that the hackers are now demanding $4.5 million to eradicate the stolen data and to request that Reddit revert its API pricing adjustments.

The attack provided the hackers with unauthorized access to Reddit's systems, allowing them to obtain internal documents, source code, employee data, and limited information about the company's advertisers.

Reddit's Chief Technology Officer explained that the attacker gained access by obtaining an employee's login credentials. While some internal documents, code, dashboards, and business systems were compromised, Reddit assured users that its primary production systems — responsible for running Reddit and storing user data— were not breached.

Reddit also confirmed that user passwords, accounts, and credit card information remained secure and were unaffected by the breach. It has not disclosed specific details about the phishing attack, but it noted similarities to a previous attack on Riot Games.

In that attack, hackers employed a similar phishing technique to infiltrate Riot Games' systems and abscond with source code for several games. The attackers demanded a $10 million ransom but resorted to selling the stolen data for $1 million on a hacking forum when their demands went unmet.

The same hacking group is also suspected of targeting Western Digital in March this year, causing a significant outage to the company's cloud service. Additionally, the hackers threatened to release data supposedly acquired from video surveillance company, Ring, owned by Amazon.

Reddit's recent changes to its API pricing have ignited a wave of controversy. Consequently, Apollo, a widely used third-party Reddit app, announced its decision to shut down, while numerous subreddits opted to stage an indefinite blackout as a form of protest.

Reddit has not yet disclosed whether it intends to address BlackCat's demands.

About the Author

Keira is an experienced cybersecurity and tech writer dedicated to providing comprehensive insights on VPNs, online privacy, and internet censorship.