Internet users may or may not have noticed it at the time, but a couple of weeks ago Ghostbin servers were down globally for the better part of 48 hours. In addition to this, over the course of the last several days and weeks, Ghostbin‘s service has begun behaving in new and unexpected ways it never has before. For example, many recently uploaded paste-ings seem to be getting taken down almost as fast as they’ve been put up, and countless older postings have mysteriously started disappearing. Researching the incidents a little further, it appears as though the problem traces back to internal server/service updates currently being installed by Dustin Howett – Ghostbin’s original owner and founder.
In a statement posted to Twitter on December 28th 2018, roughly 3 days following a major service blackout effecting the website over the days leading up to Christmas, Dustin Howett explained how “Ghostbin will be shutting down, or changing drastically in scope, in February 2019. In the next few weeks, I’ll roll out a session archival feature and restrict all new pastes to a 48-hour expiration. There may be a period during which the service is available, but read-only.” This development was particularly interesting to note because back on December 25th 2018, in statements to Rogue Media Labs, Howett explained how the blackout effecting his service only lasted so long because he had run out of disk space for storage and that he “hated running” it – perhaps indicating that something like this was inevitably going to happen.
Despite utilizing #Cloudflare to protect their servers, the popular web based copy and paste service known as #Ghostbin has been crashed for well over 48 hours before Christmas. https://t.co/RL5xbPg9SQ
— Rogue Security Labs (@RogueSecLabs) December 25, 2018
In further statements to Rogue Media Labs dated February 16th 2019, Howett went on to re-affirm how “I hate running Ghostbin.” Explaining that “ I spend hundreds of dollars a year and open myself up to significant legal risk to support a website that brings me no joy. Like: I started Ghostbin because I wanted there to be a place for iPhone jailbreak developers to share code with each other. That’s it. There isn’t an overarching goal related to fighting for freedom or openness of information or anything. I have to spend hours policing the content that goes up so the freakin’ sherrif’s department of some random city doesn’t subpoena me for some stupid nonsense.” Adding that “I’m not planning on selling the domain, though; at least not for a while.” Instead, Howett has begun rolling out/implementing all the changes listed above to begin mitigating or minimizing his future risks.
A Brief History
For those of you whom might be unfamiliar, Ghostbin was founded I believe sometime back in 2015 as side project while Howett was still in college, and the service took off right from the start – particularly amongst the Anonymous Hacker Collective. In fact, while I was a reporter working for AnonHQ News in the Spring of 2016 I remember conducting an interview with Howett, a conversation during which he explained how he had created the service as a side project of sorts, after essentially being un-impressed by other copy and paste services like it on the market. What has always made Ghostbin stand out from its competition is the fact that it looks bad-ass, offered no sign up page, featured no advertisements and its servers were never designed to log or record the IP Addresses of its visitors/posters. This also made the service 100% Anonymous, which is why it has always such a devout/cult following within various hacking circles.
Read More: About Ghostbin’s Founding: https://ghostbin.com/about
Presumably though, this is in all likelihood the same reason why Howett has now soured on his service, because it has essentially become a conduit for black hat hackers to perpetuate illegal acts. For obvious reasons, this is also something which can be troublesome, especially given the fact that Howett is now a leading industry professional/developer working for American tech giant Microsoft. I’d also have to imagine that continuously getting asked to take down certain postings by law enforcement officials and/or Government agencies and/or victims of cyber attacks can get pretty annoying, especially when you have full time commitments elsewhere.
As I’ve told Mr. Howett, I almost feel responsible in a way for the burden he now bears, because dating back to 2015 I’ve been encouraging members of Anonymous and international hackers alike to use Ghostbin for just about everything – something which has indubitably resulted in countless headaches for Howett over the years. So, considering that Howett has no ambitions to sell his domain, service or platform in the future, I would now like to begin using my platform to start advising people to make the switch away from Ghostbin and to other alternative copy and paste services. In other words, stop using Ghostbin for any/all illegally obtained information.
In the future, I advise any/all of my sources/contacts to begin posting leaks or releases through Hastebin. If you do not want to use Hastebin then simply make a new posting on Pastebin, download the text file and then upload said file to AnonFile. This will ensure that your data will always be safe and cant be taken down. If you would like to learn more about the value of copy and paste services, as well as a small list of some of the top alternatives to Ghostbin, I invite you to read the following article…
Learn More – Copy & Paste Services: https://roguesecuritylabs.ltd/copy-paste-services/
Categories: Hacking News