Hackers Demand $4.5 Million Ransom and API Price Changes Cancellation in Reddit Incident

Ransomware group BlackCat attacked Reddit, demanding $4.5M and API rollback.

Reddit Hit by Ransomware Attack Demanding $4.5 Million and Faces Backlash Over API Pricing Changes

Key Takeaways

  • Ransomware group BlackCat attacked Reddit, demanding $4.5M and API rollback.

  • Reddit's API price changes caused users and app developers outrage.

  • CEO Steve Huffman stood firm on API changes despite the subreddit blackout and BlackCat's involvement.


In February of this year, the notorious ransomware group BlackCat claimed responsibility for a cyber attack on Reddit. They are demanding $4.5 million and the rollback of Reddit's planned API price adjustments. BlackCat has tried to contact Reddit twice with no response. They have expressed satisfaction in exposing the various statistics and confidential information they obtained, including Reddit's user tracking and alleged silent censorship practices.

The API changes announced by Reddit earlier this month have caused an uproar among users and app developers. The revised API pricing is $12,000 per 50 million requests, which could severely impact third-party Reddit apps. Christian Selig, the developer of the popular iOS Reddit app Apollo, revealed that his app generates up to 7 billion requests.

Under the new API pricing structure, this would require a payment of $1.68 million per month or approximately $20 million per year. This situation is worsened by the fact that Imgur charges only $166 for the same 50 million API calls. Selig explained that even with subscription users who pay $1.49 monthly, he would still incur losses. In response to the backlash, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman defended the API changes and stated that third-party apps were not a core part of Reddit's design. Several prominent subreddits went dark indefinitely to protest the API pricing changes.

The BlackCat ransomware group also became involved and introduced their own demands. Reddit has declined to comment officially on the hack, but reports have aligned the BlackCat hack with an incident disclosed by Reddit in February. These new demands from BlackCat have arisen amid an ongoing dispute between Reddit leadership and users.

The announcement of potential million-dollar charges for third-party app developers led to the blackout of numerous top subreddits. Reddit CEO Steve Huffman confirmed that the platform was not initially designed to support third-party apps and emphasized that the company would not back down from its proposed alterations. It is worth noting that Reddit experienced a previous breach in 2018, during which a hacker gained access to user data.

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