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Friday, February 10, 2017

Vigilante Hacker Fights Issue of Child Porn by Shuting Down 20% of the Dark Web

Source: True Activist | by Josie Wales

A vigilante hacker associated with Anonymous managed to take down twenty percent of the dark web last week after discovering that large amounts of child pornography were being hosted by one provider. Visitors to more than 10,000 sites hosted by Freedom Hosting II were met with an error message explaining why the site was taken down.

According to an article by dark web researcher Sarah Jamie Lewis, "Freedom Hosting II (FHII) is one of the largest onion web hosting providers – offering free space and bandwidth to anyone who signs up for an account."

The hacker told Motherboard they originally gained access to the web hosting provider on January 30th, stating, "Initially I didn't want to take down FH2, just look through it." According to Motherboard, "they then allegedly 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, the hacker claimed.

'This suggests they paid for hosting and the admin knew of those sites. That's when I decided to take it down instead,'the hacker said. At the time of writing, the hacker claims to have found 10 child pornography sites with approximately 30GB of files."

The original Freedom Hosting site was targeted by Anonymous for hosting child pornography and was eventually taken over by the FBI. The alleged owner of the site, Eric Eoin Marques, was taken into custody in Ireland in 2013 after being named the world's "largest facilitator of child porn." He faces extradition to the United States.

Included in the error message from last week's hack was a link to the 21-step process showing how the hacker took over the site, as well as a dump of system files. The hacker explained user data was not dumped to prevent the child pornography from being shared, but that "he will provide a copy to a security researcher who will then hand it to law enforcement."

"This is in fact my first hack ever," the hacker revealed. "I just had the right idea."

Not bad for their first time.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below and share this news.

This article (First Time Hacker Shut down 20% of Dark Web in Fight Against Child Porn) by Josie Wales is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and

IMAGE CREDIT:pat138241 / 123RF Stock Photo

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