Hacktivists tear down 20% of dark web, child porn sites

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Johannesburg - International hacktivist group Anonymous has reportedly downed over 10 000 dark websites, half of which are claimed to contain child porn. 

The group targeted one of the dark web’s largest hosting providers – Freedom Hosting II – which provides a service to roughly 20% of the entire dark web and over 10 000 websites with the .onion domain name.

READ: Anonymous hacktivists declare war on Trump

All sites hosted by Freedom Hosting II now have a message from Anonymous that reads:

“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 copied 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. Send 0.1 BTC to 14iCDyeCSp12AmhVfJGxtrzXDabFop4QtU and send your transaction id to fhosting@tt3j2x4k5ycaa5zt.onion or fhosting@danwin1210.me and We'll get back to you with a full dump.

Up to January 31st you were hosting 10613 sites. Private keys are included in the dump.

We are Anonymous. We do not forgive. We do not forget. You should have expected us.”

Sarah Jamie Lewis, anonymity, privacy and dark web researcher tweeted: “I think this will likely be seen as a milestone in the history of anonymity tech.”

“I hope that we take this as a warning of the dangers of centralising anonymity things & darknet web hosting,” she added.

READ: Anonymous ‘hacks’ Armscor website

In 2011, Freedom Hosting was DDos attacked and shut-down by Anonymous resulting in Freedom Hosting II being created, after the hacktivist group claimed child porn was being hosted by the service.

The dark web which is only accessible through a Tor browser has over time become a hub of illegal activities including human trafficking, child porn sharing and black market trading. 

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