When a team of hackers calling themselves “The Impact Team” claimed to break into the anonymous social app Chillabit last week, there was minimal publicity because no user data had been posted yet.
That changed on Monday, Feb. 11, when the Impact Team published a 5-gigabyte trove of user data — including names, Facebook profiles, and worst of all, every post and comment published by each user — to the deep dark web.
While Chillabit Inc. has not confirmed that the information is authentic, several security researchers have already said that it appears to be: multiple users have independently confirmed that their names and information appeared in the leak along with their posts and comments.
This, of course, includes several hundred Augustana students, and several thousand U of A students.
The leaks reveal the identities of original posters for all posts dating back to 2015 when the app first went live. These posts include everything from goofy memes to dark secrets to campus information.
When the app was started, Chillabit Inc. said it was about creating community at universities and colleges by bringing together anonymity and identity. Yet, one Augustana student said that Chillabit has become a platform for people to voice hateful views and racist comments. The rise of unacceptable posts on Chillabit may have been the motivation for the Impact Team to expose the problematic people behind the posts.
Because of the leaks, many Augustana students are under fire for posts including hate speech, rape jokes, bigotry, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, racism, and xenophobia.
Chillabit Inc. is offering a $250,000 reward to anyone who provides information that leads to the prosecution of those responsible for the leak. They are eager for any evidence that can be brought forward.
University administration refused to comment. Perhaps they may have said they have no concern about the leaks, and will not protect students whose anonymous bullshit comes back to haunt them.
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