A hacker claims to have created an archive of all the deleted posts on the now-banned Parler app, including several with location data for images and videos. The hacker now claims that she wanted to create an archive of the service, popular with conservatives and members of the far right, for future researchers to look through before it was taken offline.
The hacker, who goes by the Twitter handle @donk_enby claims that the archived posts, photos and videos prove "very incriminating evidence" in the wake of the mob attack at the Capitol on Wednesday. According to the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab, Parler was one of several apps used to coordinate the breach of the Capitol, in a plan to overturn the 2020 election results and keep President Donald Trump in power.
Lost and Found
Parler was among the most prominent apps that became a place for far-right conspiracy theories, racism, and death threats aimed at prominent Democratic (and some Republican) politicians before rioters stormed in the Capitol last week. Since then the app disappeared from Google and Apple app stores after the companies decided to sever ties with it.
On Monday, around 3 am EST, the app was removed by Amazon from its web hosting services, which has now effectively shut down the site until it finds another hosting partner or funds its own servers.
However, the primary hacker, Twitter user @donk_enby has now told Gizmodo that she started archiving every post from Jan. 6, 2020, the day of the Capitol riot. But when she realized that the site would be scrubbed, she started working on to pull 99 percent of the content on the site.
Among the clips, several 'may include things' from deleted and private posts, @donk_enby said. The archived data is also believed to contain information about the site admins. @donk_enby said: "I want this to be a big middle finger to those who say hacking shouldn't be political."
Exposing Parler's Weaknesses
Needless to say, @donk_enby, by archiving the posts, has exposed the defect with the platform's security systems. She appears to have exploited weaknesses in Parler's systems in order to download the content en masse. The hacker said she'd describe the effort as "a bunch of people running into a burning building trying to grab as many things as we can."
'I am now crawling URLs of all videos uploaded to Parler. Sequentially from latest to oldest. These are the original, unprocessed, raw files as uploaded to Parler with all associated metadata,' she wrote on Sunday. That said, the hacker clarified on Monday that she has been quite ethical while hacking and hasn't tried to tamper or intervene into anyone's privacy.
"Only things that were available publicly via the web were archived. i don't have you e-mail address, phone or credit card number. unless you posted it yourself on parler," she tweeted.
The hacker eventually managed to download over 56 terabytes of information, including the raw video files with GPS metadata pointing to exact locations of where the videos were taken. Parler on the other hand said on Monday that it will be suing Amazon for antitrust violations after it was scrubbed from the web. Parler in a 18-page lawsuit filed at the US District Court in Seattle has asked Amazon to reinstate the platform on Amazon Web Services (AWS).