Parler Hack Claims Are Fake, CEO Says: 'They Are Just Obsessed With Us'

The CEO of Parler, a social media platform popular with conservatives, has denied viral claims that his website was hacked.

John Matze, co-founder of the website, said in a post today that a screenshot spreading on Twitter in the past 24 hours was not recent and assured users that Parler's back-end infrastructure is secure. He said critics were "obsessed" with his platform.

The term "ParlerHacked" became a trending Twitter topic in the U.S amid speculation that direct messages or private information from Parler's high-profile users could have been compromised. There is no evidence to suggest the rumors are accurate.

Despite the furore, multiple reputable sources say a screenshot circulating today is from July. It showed a database, which appears to be a WordPress installation, that was not tied to Parler's main site and was not found to be hosting real user data.

Matze wrote: "The alleged 'Parler hack' is a screenshot from a WordPress website that has been circulated repeatedly over the past six months, despite Parler's multiple responses that we do not use WordPress products, nor WordPress databases."

The CEO said Parler's databases are protected by "multiple layers of security" and said the image is "only capable of confusing a journalistic hack, not an actual hacker." He noted the platform does not store user data for lengthy periods of time.

"If Twitter continues to fact check others, they should also fact check posts such as these that spread viral misinformation. Furthermore, we don't store any personal data, user verification data is deleted on completion, and direct messages cannot send videos/images. All allegations are fake. They are just obsessed with us," he said.

Parler enjoyed a massive surge in downloads this month following Joe Biden's election victory over Donald Trump, with many conservatives claiming their opinions or social media posts were being censorsored or suppressed on Facebook and Twitter.

While some Twitter posts about a suspected hack were widely shared, in some cases attracting thousands of retweets, cybersecurity experts and reporters urged caution, warning sourcing was suspect and eventually clarifying that the image was old.

To further: The screenshots are from a WordPress installation hosted by a managed WordPress provider. This is a typical move for marketing teams. The actual site appeared to be completely hosted in AWS and development in a colo. The WordPress site didn't even have content on it. https://t.co/UvuBQ6eezg

— ☠️ ᴡʜɪꜱᴋᴇyɴᴇᴏɴ ☠️ #thotleader (@WhiskeyNeon) November 25, 2020

"There are a lot of people trying to drum up some sort of 'Parler hack' rumor," tweeted Chris Vickery, a cybersecurity researcher, dispelling the speculation.

"Thus far it seems like a bit of a misnomer. They have been referring to an astroturfing and political donation fraud engine company that is working *with* Parler."

OSINTtechnical, a Twitter user covering security, conceded they had amplified the Parler rumors without full verification, writing: "Many individuals believe that they are immune to fake news and misleading stories. People must accept that they are vulnerable to misinformation and must take steps to avoid falling victim to fake news."

Dan Bongino, a conservative media host and Parler investor, said on Twitter today the false claims about the hack were evidence of "how stupid liberals are."

"I mean cosmic levels of stupid. They'll fall for anything, no matter how dumb, because they have the IQs of mutated toads. The #ParlerHack story is fake, [and] was designed exclusively for lib imbeciles to run with. Of course, they fell for it," Bongino said.

Parler
This illustration picture shows social media application logo from Parler displayed on a smartphone with its website in the background in Arlington, Virginia on July 2, 2020. OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty