Reddit API controversy continues, hacker threatens Reddit CEO

Emre Çitak
Jun 20, 2023

Reddit API controversy flares up once again as hackers have issued a threatening ultimatum to Reddit, announcing their intention to expose confidential data allegedly stolen from the platform. This ransom demand comes alongside a demand for the reversal of the Reddit API controversy.

The situation raises serious concerns about the security and privacy of Reddit's users. See the post by Dominic Alvieri about Reddit Files below.

BlackCat joins the Reddit API controversy

During a breach of Reddit's systems in February, the BlackCat ransomware gang, also known as ALPHV, claims to have obtained approximately 80 gigabytes of compressed data. The exact details of the breach remain undisclosed.

However, Reddit confirmed the cyber incident on February 9, with CTO Christopher Slowe, known as KeyserSosa, revealing that the breach resulted from a highly-targeted phishing attack.

Slowe emphasized that while employee information and internal documents were compromised, there was no evidence to suggest that personal user data, including passwords and accounts, were stolen.

reddit api controversy
BlackCat has joined the Reddit API controversy

Reddit's response

BlackCat has recently come forward, taking responsibility for the intrusion and threatening to expose the "confidential" data obtained during the breach. However, they have yet to provide any evidence to substantiate their claims. The extent and nature of the stolen data remain uncertain.

Notably, BlackCat has been linked to other cyber attacks, including a major breach targeting Western Digital in March, where they managed to abscond with a staggering 10 terabytes of data, including valuable customer information.

Additionally, the group claimed to possess data allegedly stolen from Ring, an Amazon-owned video surveillance company.

reddit api controversy
Reddit declined to comment on the issue - Image: Reddit

Demands and dilemma

In a post titled "The Reddit Files," BlackCat disclosed that they reached out to Reddit twice, on April 13 and June 16, but received no response. They expressed their confidence that Reddit would not comply with their demands.

The hackers are demanding a ransom of $4.5 million to delete the stolen data and insist that Reddit rescind the controversial API pricing changes.

These API pricing adjustments have caused significant controversy, resulting in the closure of popular third-party Reddit app Apollo and triggering indefinite blackouts of several subreddits, including r/music and r/videos, as a form of protest against the new policy.

When pressed for their stance on BlackCat's demands, Reddit declined to comment on their intended course of action.


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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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