An anonymous hacker has taken down about one fifth of the dark web which was hosting a huge amount of child porn.
The hacktivists breached Freedom Hosting II, the largest host of the Dark Web which is accessible only through an anonymous network called Tor, which prevents anyone tracing your location or browsing habits.
Over 10,000 hidden services were defaced and shut down before being directed to a message from Anonymous.
The individual who claimed to have done this on the ‘first hack’, spoke to Vice saying his original plan was not to take down the host, but observe it. Then when he saw the large child pornography sites, he decided to take it down.
Due to the encryption of the Dark Web, law enforcement can really struggle to unmask the criminals committing deplorable crimes online.
Sarah Jamie Lewis, an independent anonymity & privacy researcher, 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.
The message that hosted sites now redirect to reads:
Hello, Freedom Hosting II, you have been hacked.
We are disappointed…This is an excerpt from your front page ‘We have a zero tolerance policy to child pornography – but what we found while searching through your server is more than 50% child porn.
Moreover you host many scam sites, some of which are evidently run by yourself to cover hosting expenses.
All your files have been copies and your database has been dumped (74GB of files and 2.3GB of database)
We are selling all data (excluding cp) for 0.1 BTC. Up to January 31st you were hosting 10613 sites. Private keys are included in the dunp.
We are Anonymous. We do not forgive. We do not forget. You should have expected us.
Most users of the Internet only know the first level of the web which is the tip of the iceberg which are sites that are indexed by search engines.
It is difficult to estimate the magnitude of the Deep Web, but it is estimated that the weight of the content is more than 7,000 terabytes of information.
Hacktivism at its best.