Anonymous Attacks Child Porn Websites and Publish User Names

Anonymous Attacks Child Porn Websites and Publish User Names

Summary: Anonymous attacked pedophile websites and stated that anyone hosting, promoting, or supporting child pornography will become a target.

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This past week it was reported that the hacktivist collective known as Anonymous claimed credit for taking offline over 40 websites used for sharing pedophilia - and for exposing the names and identifying information of more than 1500 alleged pedophiles that had been using the sites.

News of the Anonymous campaign to actively target anyone hosting child porn sites comes from statements associated with Anonymous on Pastebin and two Anonymous YouTube video channels. AnonNews has yet to issue a press release.

It's within Anon's character to go after targets that provoke the collective's ire. Yet in this instance the group is highlighting a moral sense of outrage and horror most people will relate to - the evil crime of child sexual abuse - while revealing an internet underworld that many will be terrified to learn about for the first time.

According to Anonymous' published timeline of events from the past few days, Anon's campaign began on October 14 when some of its members were browsing a darknet site called Hidden Wiki.

Hidden Wiki is an index containing hundreds of underground websites that can't be seen by search engines or viewed by regular internet users. Such sites can't be reached by conventional means, and contain a variety of content ranging from innocuous to illegal.

An Anonymous Pastebin statement explains that their new campaign manifested upon finding a Hidden Wiki listing called "Hard Candy" that they say "was dedicated to links to child pornography."

Anonymous claims that most of the pedophile-content sites listed on the Hidden Wiki, "shared a digital fingerprint with the shared hosting server at Freedom Hosting."

The AnonMessage and BecomeAnonymous YouTube channels both posted videos with statements of intent to hunt, skin and kill pedobears everywhere, starting with Freedom Hosting.

In addition to both YouTube videos, Anonymous published statements with an events timeline and declarations of intent. According to this statement on Pastebin:

The owners and operators at Freedom Hosting are openly supporting child pornography and enabling pedophiles to view innocent children, fueling their issues and putting children at risk of abduction, molestation, rape and death.

For this, Freedom Hosting has been declared #OpDarknet Enemy Number One. By taking down Freedom Hosting, we are eliminating 40+ child pornography websites, among these is Lolita City, one of the largest child pornography websites to date containing more than 100 GB of child pornography.

We will continue to not only crash Freedom Hosting's server, but any other server we find to contain, promote, or support child pornography.

Anonymous extended the threats beyond the cluster of Hidden Wiki's index:

Remove all child pornography content from your servers. Refuse to provide hosting services to any website dealing with child pornography.

This statement is not just aimed at Freedom Hosting, but everyone on the Internet. It does not matter who you are, if we find you to be hosting, promoting, or supporting child pornography, you will become a target.

Late on Tuesday, October 14, Anonymous told Freedom Hosting to remove all the pedo links from its server.

Freedom Hosting ignored the demand and Anonymous responded by attacking and taking the server offline. It was back up the following day, but Anonymous had it down again by the evening of the 15th.

Commenters on various forums, including Reddit, have remarked that Anonymous' attacks on Freedom Hosting's sever are particularly sophisticated in comparison to previous Anonymous campaigns.

After smacking Freedom Hosting around, Anonymous then singled out another Hidden Wiki listing, a file-swapping site used by pedophiles called "Lolita City" from which 1,589 names were extracted and published on Pastebin.

Powerful vigilantes going after pedophiles - as appealing as it might sound to scorch the earth where sickness lies, serious questions are being raised about certain aspects of this campaign and concerns may emerge about possible interference with law enforcement activity that might already be in place.

Examiner ran this statement pulled from the Anonymous "Lolita City" documents,

If the FBI, Interpol, or other law enforcement agency should happen to come across this list, please use it to investigate and bring justice to the people listed here.

I think that saving the victims of these heinous crimes needs to be a priority in all this, as well as making sure innocent people don't get wrongly accused.

Meanwhile, as the public at large begins to learn about the deep web, underground darknet sites and Tor from campaigns like #OpDarknet, it's going to be a challenge to keep politicians and pundits from tarring internet anonymity tools with the brush of child porn and criminal activity.

Image by lio leiser aka hans hass under Creative Commons 2.0 Generic license, via Flickr.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Government US, Security

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  • WOW, Anonymous

    How noble of Anonymous.
    I thought they were just a bunch of ... you know ... who wanted to destroy websites csause havock but this is making me change my mind!

    Keep up the good work Anonymous
    Unrealmaster287
    • The problem with calling the group Anonymous

      @unrealmaster287 .... anybody can claim to be the group.

      The original group that used the name always behaved like a white hat. They were always acting as good guys.

      Then somebody (or many) started claiming they were Anonymous ... but acting totally contrary to the way Anonymous acted before. The new guys were black hats ... stealing and causing damages in the process.
      wackoae
      • To be fair, there are no accounts of Anonymous ever stealing anything to ..

        @wackoae: .. gain monetary benefits. They are ideological about that.

        Operation Anti-Sec was especially useful since it exposed corrupted "security agencies" which receive <b>hundreds million of taxpayers' money</b> for fake security they claim they provide for corrupt and incompetent governmental agencies.
        DDERSSS
      • The whole point

        @wackoae

        Anonymous isnt a group of people, its a mindset, a concept. The whole point of it is that it exists as a separate entity and does not rely on specific members or on geography - much like 'teh internetz' describes the computers that the network runs on.
        SiO2
    • It's not anonymous, it'll be some government agency

      Too professional, too organized, too marketed, when they arrested 'anonymous hackers' back in August they were teens chatting on 4chan, (do a search on 'Ryan Cleary' he even turned up to court with his mum, bless him).

      Nah, anyone can claim to be anonymous, and I don't see why anyone who'd taken down a website would then market that website for Streisand effect.

      Who designed the 3d video intro? The logo, etc. can you imagine if any one of those disagreed with the choice of the others, he could just spill the beans and get them arrested. And yet I'm supposed to swallow a group of people who unique in the world all think as one????

      And can I assume that 'Freedom host' host Wikileaks?? Because that would explain a lot.
      guihombre
  • @gui and @Wackoe

    It's always been the common opinion that anonymous uses a cell operation in that there is a small group of leaders, and then a slightly smaller group of dedicated hackers, and then the rest is just the chaff of the internet. From script kiddies to actual hackers the bottom layer generally knows nothing thats really going on until it's happening. The upper "cell" is what really gets the stuff going. It's really not to hard to figure out too, go to the irc chats for the operations and start connecting the dots and you'll eventually find the favored username of someone who's at least a member of that second level.
    deckra
    • How could that be true?

      Imagine the 3D animator who create the video logo (the bright swirly globe thing), that's very professional, do you suppose he just happened to be watching the IRC chat channel on some server one day when someone saying they are anonymous needed a 3D video logo? And he did what he was ordered to do and delivered the logo via IRC (or via Tor even) for free?<br><br>Then someone else said 'here hack a computer and post this video anonymously'... and someone else lower down diligently obeyed orders and did it?!<br><br>Nah, it's all very complex and implausible. Plus there's the communications mechanism, they must be communicating anonymously, so they must be on a darknet, but then how could you convince users of a darknet to attack a darknet?<br><br>We have a classic 'think of the children' agenda, which doesn't fit the likes of 4chan at all (where they usually hang out, and where they began), who spend most of their time posting up skirt shots of a young Hermione Granger too. Again, that doesn't fit the profile, but it does fit the profile of government agencies.<br><br>All too complicated and requiring far too much cross-skill organization.<br><br>I remember that 'Booz Allen Hamilton' hack, that revealed they had psychops and fake cyberwar hokum.<br><br>See boingboing dot net/2010/03/01/cyberwar-hype-was-co.html<br><br>This sounds like the sort of thing they'd do, perhaps they're a contractor on it? Anyone care to leak some more Booz Allen emails via a darknet?
      guihombre
  • Booz Allen Hamilton, interesting

    www.wired dot com/threatlevel/2010/03/cyber-war-hype/

    (I have to cripple the URLs due to Zdnet filters).

    Some quotes:

    "The biggest threat to the open internet is...Michael McConnell, the former director of national intelligence. McConnell???s not dangerous because he knows anything about SQL injection hacks, but because he knows about social engineering"

    Here's a guy skilled at manipulating gullible people.

    "And now McConnell is back in civilian life as a vice president at the secretive defense contracting giant Booz Allen Hamilton. He???s out in front of Congress and the media, peddling the same Cybaremaggedon! gloom."

    This was the company that anonymous hackers attacked. Yeh, but does he hate darknets??.. oh right they campaigned to remove anonymity... yeh but do they have good video production and youtube skills? Maybe a youtube channel with a nice animated intro everytime?

    www.youtube dot com/user/BoozAllenHamilton

    Er, yeh, they do.

    So on the one hand, I have to believe some complex secret group who all think alike, or a company that earns $5 billion, has all the staff necessary and does this as its business.

    So I'm betting it will be Booz Allen Hamilton or a very similar defence contractor, and some out of control government agency.
    guihombre
  • The FBI Is Terrorizing America

    This sounds like an act of domestic terrorism by the FBI. The FBI is using anonymous as a cover for operations they cannot do legally. Could some real hackers step up and shed light on people who did the hacking? If they are so noble, maybe they wouldn't be afraid to disclose their identities. The government should be responsible to its people. I hope the hackers are also jailed.
    spunkynuggets82
    • Or HB Gary

      Or HB Gary... who says it's the FBI? if you remember HB Gary were another victim, and have a similar profile to BAH, i.e. cyber hacking, disinformation, type profile.

      arstechnica dot com/tech-policy/news/2011/02/the-ridiculous-plan-to-attack-wikileaks.ars/3

      I can imagine they would be slick and organized like this too. Perhaps with some sock puppets ready to promote the story.

      The problem I have with the whole 'anonymous' thing, is there's no plausible control mechanism that distinguishes between a hacker working for a defence contractor and a hacker in his moms basement.

      Thus when you get a slick presentation like this that would require everyone to coordinate and everyone to keep it secret, by definition it could not be a loose group of hackers.
      guihombre
    • Is that a black helicopter following you?

      @spunkynuggets82

      Shhhhh - I think someone's following you - THERE! IN THE BUSHES! A MAN IN A TRENCHCOAT!

      Or, maybe not. (not everything that happens that you dislike is done by the government. Get a grip.)

      But it very well could be a group of criminal hackers trying to polish up their image a bit, trying to come across as "upstanding, look we're on your side because we HATE pervs, too!" kind of people. fighting the good fight for our benefit.

      You know, to take your mind off the fact that they've release dthe names and addresses and other person information of the people who's job it is to track down drug dealers and murderers, and rapests.

      Maybe to take your mind off the fact that they're taking your name and credit information for their own purposes, or just to post on the internet for the heck of it.

      You know, [b]those[/b] upstanding citizens!
      William Farrell
      • takes one to know one

        @William Farrell or "I know you are, but what am I?"<br><br>=D
        pgit
  • quick money

    make $85/hour on the computer. like my sister sherry has been without a job for 7 months but last month her check was $7330 just working on the computer for a few hours. I started 5 days ago and am doing great! Read about it here: lazycash5.c@m(replace @ with letter 'o')
    shailajee
    • Quick money...yeah.

      @shailajee Make me laugh that you'd choose this website for your spam....ha ha, jokes on you!
      roger andre
  • Nothing changes

    Nothing changes the fact they are just a bunch of criminals who still belong behind bars with the pedos as cell mates
    Stan57
  • Difference between activism and vigilanteism

    It's admirable that the hackers pick a noble goal, but the ends do not justify the means if they cross the line into becoming vigilantes. Imagine if the Westboro Church loonies decided that hacking into the Disney network was okay because WDC offered equal benefits to gay domestic partners?
    terry flores
  • WOOHOO, Anonymous!

    I applaud Anonymous "moral sense" on the issue. But, perhaps, a better way to have gone about it would have been to have sent the material to the proper governmental authorities . . . y'know, anonymously, of course. ;-)
    mwidunn
  • Big brother?

    So I "suppose" the action in this particular circumstance is commendable, but we need to look at the underlying issue that plagues the idea of a vigilante force that supersedes world governments and acts on it's own accord and volition. The struggle here is one for complete power. Anonymous is single-handedly threatening and taking out major corporations and government institutions due to what they feel is "right" and serving justice as "they" see fit.

    While we may agree with some of their actions, should it be within the grasp of vigilantes to say what is right for the world and the justice that should be served? How can they be the voice of the people when the people have not elected them? If we succumb to stating that the tactics of anonymous is what's best for us and our quality of life, have we not essentially allowed domestic terrorism under the guise of harm reduction to slowly seep in and control our lives? What's next? They take a political stance and start deciding that one side of the fence is right and the other is wrong, or they start planting worms onto our computers to ensure that we are living within their status quo? Or that they target and identify targets publicly with whom they disagree with?

    I'm not sure who we should be more concerned of, the government whom we elected, or this new brand of vigilantes that are disassociated with society while deciding what is best for society?

    It seems they are primed to become exactly what they allege to stand against: an overwhelming oppressive force.

    Make no mistake that this will cause governments to react, and your freedoms will meet the noose the more these vigilantes prove to circumvent government institutions. This could not come at a worse time while the government is considering planting ways to monitor everything you do, see, and are allowed to say using DMCA as an excuse. They are simply adding fuel to this fire.

    This struggle for power exists in the internet, as each faction wants to gain control over the majority of humans in the world. My bet however, is that ultimately, "anonymous" will be crushed (alongside the rest of us), and the government will win out at the end of the day.
    thoiness
    • A little perspective you need...

      @thoiness

      Bit paranoid, eh?

      First, Anonymous (whoever they are today) does have power to deal harshly with their targets (just ask HB Gary, or Sony, or perhaps the US government... :))

      However, you're giving them credit for having world-domination powers. That's, um, a bit insane.

      To talk about this op in particular, they are attacking a (very tiny) group of dangerous criminals (well, the creators of CP, the customers, eh, probably not)

      Still, a tiny group out of 7 billion people. Call it 100,000 just to create a number out of thin air. Of course those targets are hated by everyone else and nobody would care if they were killed in some horrible fashion.

      So in that regard Anonymous (whoever is claiming to be Anonymous *is* Anonymous!) playing cyber-superhero and crashing servers and publishing names are acting exactly like vigillantes.

      But sometimes you *need* a vigillante. I'm thinking if this isn't a government black op (and the level of "sophistication" isn't all that great) the government(s) of the world will look the other way. And rightly so.

      Now if Anonymous were helping terrorists... :)

      The means *and* the end are both equally important to a superhero you know. Even if that superhero turns out to be a teenager in their mom's basement, do you care as long as children are rescued from rape?
      wolf_z
  • Hahaha I bet there are some real worried people out there.

    This should be interesting. lol.
    Could be some red faces out there soon.
    Only problem is what if they nail the wrong guys?
    Rick Sos