Anonymous Just Took Down 1/5 Of Dark Web’s Child Pornography

The hacktivists breached Freedom Hosting II — the largest host of Dark Web sites accessible only through Tor — downloaded gigabytes of data, and took down and defaced some 10,613 .onion websites. This means that the hack took down nearly a fifth of the Dark Web for hosting child pornography.

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Anonymous

The Dark Web is the encrypted network that exists between Tor servers and their clients aka cyber criminals, activists and many others who want encrypted communications. The Tor Network, the only network that protects the user’s identity and does not watch their Internet activities, helps Internet users retain their privacy online — especially when they are being watched by third parties.

Since most of the Dark Web is a haven for drug markets, pedophiles and sex traffickers who use Tor or set up anonymous .onion websites to hide their location and to ply their illegal trade, it becomes difficult for law enforcement to unmask the criminals seeking refuge in the shadows.

In their attempt to uncover the creators, possessors, and subscribers of child pornography, a group of anonymous hackers breached Freedom Hosting II — the largest host of Dark Web sites accessible only through Tor — downloaded gigabytes of data, and took down and defaced some 10,613 .onion websites.

The anonymous hacktivists claimed over 50% of the data stored on the Freedom Hosting II servers contained child pornography. International Business Times reported that the hackers stole 75 GB worth of files and 2.6 GB of databases, which they offered to return for 0.1 bitcoin, around $100.

torAccording to Sarah Jamie Lewis, an independent anonymity & privacy researcher who spotted the mass hack as part of her regular scans of the Onion space (Dark Web sites running on the Tor network), Freedom Hosting II was hosting an estimated 15% to 20% of all websites on the Dark Web.

This means that the hack took down nearly a fifth of the Dark Web. Lewis told The Verge: “This is a major blow considering many were personal or political blogs and forums. In the short term, a lot of diversity has disappeared from the Dark Web.”

Security researcher Chris Monteiro claimed the Freedom Hosting II hack may have disrupted a substantial number of botnets, which are increasingly used by cyber criminals to launch large-scale DDoS attacks.

Monteiro also discovered the .onion websites were not only hosting botnets, but also fraud sites, sites peddling hacked data, weird fetish portals, and child abuse sites targeting both English and Russian speaking buyers. Websites defaced in the Freedom Hosting II hack include:

In an interview with VICE, the hackers explained why and how they took down the Dark Web hosting provider:

“Initially we didn’t want to take down FHII. But then we found several large child pornography sites which were using more than Freedom Hosting II’s stated allowance. Usually, Freedom Hosting II has a quota of 256MB per site, but these illegal sites comprised of gigabytes of material. This suggests they paid for hosting and the admin knew of those sites. That’s when I decided to take it down instead.”

torIn 2011 also, as part of Operation Darknet, anonymous hacked and DDoSed the first Freedom Hosting for hosting child pornography websites. In 2013, when the first Freedom Hosting was hosting half of all Dark Web sites, the FBI used a misconfiguration in the Tor Browser setup to identify visitors to such websites, took down the service, and arrested its owner Eric Eoin Marques in Ireland. Charges laid against Marques were of facilitating the distribution of online child pornography.


This article (Anonymous Just Took down Over 10,000 Tor Websites on Dark Web) is a free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and AnonHQ.com.


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17 COMMENTS

  1. Great job gents; 🙂 Now they should put them sites back up and infect all the data and files so when these cunts visit and download this sort of content it will burst there computer into flames.

  2. I just wonder, if 15% to 20% of the dark web is just 75GB, that means that with an external 4TB HD and even less I can “have” all of it?
    How this makes sense ? What about the iceberg metaphor?
    It is BIG or it is a bunch of kids with 2 pcs?
    😛

  3. Why dont you do some reAL work and start posting address and names of people who have the porn on the home computers. If the cops, fbi and other authorities do not want to do anything maybe it is time for the parents. Get pictures out of any faces of individuals in the videos children’s faces so they maybe identified.

  4. Cant this information be sent to the Police too? They deserve for our prisoners to teach these peadophiles a real lesson!!!

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