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QAnon/8Chan Sites Briefly Knocked Offline

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A phone call to an Internet provider in Oregon on Sunday evening was all it took to briefly sideline multiple websites related to 8chan/8kun — a controversial online image board linked to several mass shootings — and QAnon, the far-right conspiracy theory which holds that a cabal of Satanic pedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotting against President Donald Trump. Following a brief disruption, the sites have come back online with the help of an Internet company based in St. Petersburg, Russia.

The IP address range in the upper-right portion of this map of QAnon and 8kun-related sites — 203.28.246.0/24 — is assigned to VanwaTech and briefly went offline this evening. Source: twitter.com/Redrum_of_Crows.

A large number of 8kun and QAnon-related sites (see map above) are connected to the Web via a single Internet provider in Vancouver, Wash. called VanwaTech (a.k.a. “OrcaTech“). Previous appeals to VanwaTech to disconnect these sites have fallen on deaf ears, as the company’s owner Nick Lim reportedly has been working with 8kun’s administrators to keep the sites online in the name of protecting free speech.

But VanwaTech also had a single point of failure on its end: The swath of Internet addresses serving the various 8kun/QAnon sites were being protected from otherwise crippling and incessant distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks by Hillsboro, Ore. based CNServers LLC.

On Sunday evening, security researcher Ron Guilmette placed a phone call to CNServers’ owner, who professed to be shocked by revelations that his company was helping QAnon and 8kun keep the lights on.

Within minutes of that call, CNServers told its customer — Spartan Host Ltd., which is registered in Belfast, Northern Ireland — that it would no longer be providing DDoS protection for the set of 254 Internet addresses that Spartan Host was routing on behalf of VanwaTech.

Contacted by KrebsOnSecurity, the person who answered the phone at CNServers asked not to be named in this story for fear of possible reprisals from the 8kun/QAnon crowd. But they confirmed that CNServers had indeed terminated its service with Spartan Host. That person added they weren’t a fan of either 8kun or QAnon, and said they would not self-describe as a Trump supporter.

CNServers said that shortly after it withdrew its DDoS protection services, Spartan Host changed its settings so that VanwaTech’s Internet addresses were protected from attacks by ddos-guard[.]net, a company based in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Spartan Host’s founder, 25-year-old Ryan McCully, confirmed CNServers’ report. McCully declined to say for how long VanwaTech had been a customer, or whether Spartan Host had experienced any attacks as a result of CNServers’ action.

McCully said while he personally doesn’t subscribe to the beliefs espoused by QAnon or 8kun, he intends to keep VanwaTech as a customer going forward.

“We follow the ‘law of the land’ when deciding what we allow to be hosted with us, with some exceptions to things that may cause resource issues etc.,” McCully said in a conversation over instant message. “Just because we host something, it doesn’t say anything about we do and don’t support, our opinions don’t come into hosted content decisions.”

But according to Guilmette, Spartan Host’s relationship with VanwaTech wasn’t widely known previously because Spartan Host had set up what’s known as a “private peering” agreement with VanwaTech. That is to say, the two companies had a confidential business arrangement by which their mutual connections were not explicitly stated or obvious to other Internet providers on the global Internet.

Guilmette said private peering relationships often play a significant role in a good deal of behind-the-scenes-mischief when the parties involved do not want anyone else to know about their relationship.

“These arrangements are business agreements that are confidential between two parties, and no one knows about them, unless you start asking questions,” Guilmette said. “It certainly appears that a private peering arrangement was used in this instance in order to hide the direct involvement of Spartan Host in providing connectivity to VanwaTech and thus to 8kun. Perhaps Mr. McCully was not eager to have his involvement known.”

8chan, which rebranded last year as 8kun, has been linked to white supremacism, neo-Nazism, antisemitism, multiple mass shootings, and is known for hosting child pornography. After three mass shootings in 2019 revealed the perpetrators had spread their manifestos on 8chan and even streamed their killings live there, 8chan was ostracized by one Internet provider after another.

The FBI last year identified QAnon as a potential domestic terror threat, noting that some of its followers have been linked to violent incidents motivated by fringe beliefs.

Further reading:

What Is QAnon?

QAnon: A Timeline of Violent Linked to the Conspiracy Theory

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sfrazer
368 days ago
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Whoa, he sure pulled the crazies into the comment section with that one
Chicago
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Rock Band 4 details its plans for next-gen consoles

EGM
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The short and sweet version is, pretty much everything should work fine.

The post Rock Band 4 details its plans for next-gen consoles appeared first on EGM.

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sfrazer
370 days ago
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"ION® Drum Rocker (Xbox, PDP Wired Legacy Adapter required" - I mean, it would be nice if they actually made a few of those...
Chicago
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Jeff Sessions to opioid users: "Sometimes you just need to take two Bufferin and go to bed"

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Speaking to the Heritage Foundation last night in honor of Ronald Reagan's birthday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reckoned himself to be an expert on drug addiction and had some sage advice for opioid users: “Sometimes, you just need to take two Bufferin or something and go to bed.”

Other words of wisdom: “We think a lot of this is starting with marijuana or other drugs too.”

However, according to Think Progress:

New federally funded research, however, finds a link between the availability of medical marijuana and fewer opioid deaths. A RAND Corporation study published earlier this month showed “an approximately 20 percent decline in opioid overdose deaths associated with the passage of any state medical marijuana law.”

Image: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

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sfrazer
1353 days ago
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Like I'm going to take medical advice from a house-elf
Chicago
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Simpson's Paradox: Are University Admissions Biased?

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sfrazer
1381 days ago
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Chicago
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Americans should worry about Kim's mental fitness, not Trump's: White House

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WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - The White House on Wednesday defended Donald Trump's tweet about the size of his nuclear button, saying Americans should be concerned about the North Korean leader's mental fitness, not their president's.
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sfrazer
1387 days ago
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Why not both?
Chicago
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Wolff: No one on Team Trump expected to win

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New York Magazine has an explosive excerpt from Michael Wolff's forthcoming book, "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House," in which Wolff reports that Trump's confidants all expected him to lose — and many thought he deserved to.

The big thing: Everybody from Kellyanne Conway, who was interviewing for television gigs with networks in the campaign's last days, to Trump himself, who boasted about starting his own network, had an exit strategy.


Some of the juiciest quotes:

  • "Shortly after 8 p.m. on Election Night, when the unexpected trend—Trump might actually win—seemed confirmed, Don Jr. told a friend that his father, or DJT, as he calls him, looked as if he had seen a ghost. Melania was in tears—and not of joy."
  • "[Rupert] Murdoch suggested that taking a liberal approach to H-1B visas, which open America's doors to select immigrants, might be hard to square with his promises to build a wall and close the borders. But Trump seemed unconcerned, assuring Murdoch, 'We'll figure it out.' 'What a fucking idiot,' said Murdoch, shrugging, as he got off the phone."
  • "Between themselves, [Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump] had made an earnest deal: If sometime in the future the opportunity arose, she'd be the one to run for president . The first woman president, Ivanka entertained, would not be Hillary Clinton; it would be Ivanka Trump."
  • "[Trump] retreated to his own bedroom—the first time since the Kennedy White House that a presidential couple had maintained separate rooms. In the first days, he ordered two television screens in addition to the one already there, and a lock on the door, precipitating a brief standoff with the Secret Service, who insisted they have access to the room…. He had a longtime fear of being poisoned , one reason why he liked to eat at McDonald's—nobody knew he was coming and the food was safely premade."


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sfrazer
1388 days ago
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This idiot doesn’t even know how poisons work.
Chicago
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