Technology 2 min read

Hacker "Gnosticplayers" Compromises 26 Million User Records

The name Gnosticplayers might not mean much to anyone on the street. But this one hacker has compromised millions upon millions of user records. In four hacking attempts, he has racked up around 866 million records. You can buy them all on the Dark Web for around $4,000 USD.

This is not the first time that Gnosticplayers has released user data for ransom, and seems like it may not be the last. ¦ Pixabay

This is not the first time that Gnosticplayers has released user data for ransom, and seems like it may not be the last. ¦ Pixabay

The hacker known as Gnosticplayers used to sell user information for money. But now, it appears, he just wants companies to use better cybersecurity and data protection measures. As such, he hacked 26 million records then put them up for sale on the Dark Web.

However, this is by no means the first time Gnosticplayers has done this. Furthermore, this is by no means the largest amount of information he has compromised either.

ZDNet compiled a short list of the types of data compromised and what Gnosticplayers charged. | ZDNet

A Pattern of Selling Information on the Dark Web

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Gnosticplayers has compromised user data. In fact, this marks the fourth time or “round” for the hacker. The first round alone affected 620 million accounts across 16 websites.

The second round saw 127 million more accounts compromised and then 93 million in a third round.

We covered the MyFitnessPal (or Under Armour) hack in March of last year. The affected websites include some other high profile victims including:

  • Dubsmash
  • MyHeritage
  • HauteLook
  • Whitepages
  • YouNow
  • Houzz

As with past “rounds”, the hacker posted user records for purchase on the Dark Web. He wants 1.2431 Bitcoin for each record (of which there are 26.42 million in total). At the time of this writing, he stands to make up to ~4,000 USD per record purchased.

The hacker cited a lack of strong password encryption as a motivating factor. | Pixel Privacy

Hacker Believes in Teaching Companies “Lessons”

ZDNet first cracked the story, having reached out to the hacker and the hacked companies. The hacker responded with a curious if concerning reply as to his motivation.

“I got upset because I feel no one is learning…I just felt upset at this particular moment, because seeing this lack of security in 2019 is making me angry.”

This stands in contrast to one of his previous statements regarding his motivation (money).

Gnosticplayers did acknowledge that he did not post all of the information he obtained. “I came to an agreement with some companies, but the concerned startups won’t see their data for sale…”

This sparks the question: just how many other companies got hacked?

Read More: How to Hack for the Greater Good: Inside Ethical Hacking

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Juliet Childers

Content Specialist and EDGY OG with a (mostly) healthy obsession with video games. She covers Industry buzz including VR/AR, content marketing, cybersecurity, AI, and many more.

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