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back to article Anonymous shuts down hidden child abuse hub

Members of hacktivist collective Anonymous are claiming credit for shutting down a deep underground child abuse site and outing its membership list. Account details of 1,589 members of Lolita City were posted as part of Anonymous’ Operation Darknet, a wider effort aimed against abuse of the Tor network by paedophiles. Lolita …

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Anonymous Coward

Let's Hope...

...that the outed pedo userlist does not get comingled with the outed Reg reader list.

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Linux

LOL! :) hopefully no overlaps!!

OT: I am betting RMS is split brain on this one.

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take-downs of illegal websites and sharing networks should be done by the authorities, not internet vigilantes

lets face it the police and authorities are so inept at taking down sites, by the time they have been through all the legal wranglings the site operators are on to them and move house!

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Stop

Right

Not only that, but what's really hilarious is the idea that the police are the real IT takedown pro's while pitiful groups like Anonymous or LulzSec, etc, are amateurs.

Maybe the competent police would like to join a hacker convention one day and show off a bit. That would do wonders for press as well as for people's confidence in the police IT force.

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Even more to the point, what would eventually happen is an "official" attack on the entire darknet system in the NAME of ousting pedophiles would serve to suppress free speech. It would just be sold to the public as going after pedos.

I applaud this move by anonymous. The darknets SHOULD be self-regulated. Its none of big brother's business.

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Yag
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Trollface

Pedobear would not approve of his /b/rethrens...

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Hope anonymous don't mix up the filenames with el reg's data leak :-)

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I think another point which this article fails to mention is that under UK law intentionally looking for kiddy pron even to report it to the authorities is in inself an offense and if one of Anonymous PCs were to be taken away by the fuzz investigating hacking found kiddy pron on there then they will be in a hole lot more shit than just for doing some DDOS or sql injection attacks

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Trollface

intelligent hackers

in reply to your statement about getting themselfs into trouble by looking for child porn.

in this instance, the anon hackers used alot of intelligence and methods to not get themselfs into trouble, one of these included the use of a bespoke web crawler which they had programed to crawl the target pages on the darknet and return ONLY text back. . . very intelligent as its no crime to view text :D

I applaud them for their work here, the statement from "experts" saying it might harm police investigations makes me laugh as clearly the police investigations are complete bunk compared to what anon are doing ... i say this as these places have been about for years (as far as i have read) and have never been closed, now in a weekend anon took out 40+ sites AND made public the name of the hosting company who allow this to happen!

anon have showed that most law enforcement which looks for peados or crime of this nature is verging on impotent!

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"very intelligent as its no crime to view text"

Yes it is.

written material depicting the sexual abuse of children is illegal in many, many countries. Not to mention that if some of the text included the description of the intention to commit child abuse, not reporting it immediately to the authorities would make them accomplices (or whatever the legal term is).

Images or not images, if they are found in possession of this material they are indeed in the brown'n smelly. Better scrub that hard drive real good kids!

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Anonymous Coward

Sophos dislikes bypassing Sophos

Film at 11.

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Good news

Anonymous never fail to astound me in regards to some of their "antics"

No one, especially governments and their respective agencies are immune to attack by this collective of nerds. Often the reasons for their "antics" were questionable, but reading this story today certainly puts a smile on my face.

Many of the pay to perv porno sites act as covers for the child porn sites and after the famed FBI hacks on pay to view child abuse sites in 2001/2002 (which lead to the launch of Operation Ore and formation of the UK High Tech Crime Units) may of these filthmongers went underground

Now that Anonymous has got their claws into these sickos rest assured, they will soon run out of hiding places and this is most certainly good news indeed

Anonymous certainly has my vote of confidence and utmost support in this campaign!

Keep up the good work guys!

Oh, and thank you...

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Important point missed though

I too think that getting rid of such servers is no bad thing. But the article goes on to say:

"or making it difficult to argue that evidence has not been corrupted by hackers."

There's a very real danger that none of the users of the servers that Anonymous compromised can be successfully prosecuted now (depending on jurisdiction I suppose). This would mean that they'd be free to disappear into the background and carry on their disgusting practices, only more carefully than before. How's that going to help children?

It is supremely arrogant of Anonymous to think that they're the only people who can do this, the only ones who can "save the world", whereas they are probably making things worse in the long run. If they want to make things better they should get proper jobs, perhaps in law enforcement.

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Operation Ore

And the cops (everywhere) did such a good job on that one.

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@ Tom 35

And exactly how many paedos has Anonymous put in jail..? Right, then - Clearly they're the better choice. Not.

The proper action would have been to Anonymously* send the particulars to a laundry list of enforcment bodies, along with a threat that if action were not forthcoming, the list would then be sent to the press.

*Heh.

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No, the police didn't do a good job there at all. But only the legal system can put these people behind bars. And putting them behind bars is necessary. Publishing a list of usernames may embarrass those that stupidly used their real names, but it won't send them to jail.

The police certainly need technical improvement. Sitting on the outside moaning (and in the case of Anonymous making their job harder) won't help any children at all.

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FAIL

"The proper action would have been to Anonymously* send the particulars to a laundry list of enforcment bodies, along with a threat that if action were not forthcoming, the list would then be sent to the press."

And how exactly would that help? Evidence that's been passed through Anonymous would still be open to the defence that it may have been contaminated.

Even if, rather than the list itself, they'd just sent instructions on how to get at it - the defence could still claim that since "those lawless hackers" clearly could access it, there's no way to show that they didn't, for instance, insert names and details of people they wanted to take down.

No, any halfway competent defence lawyer would shoot this out of court in jig time. Naming and shaming is the best result that could be achieved with this "evidence".

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Anonymous Coward

As long as the authorities have a reasonable belief that this sort of thing has happened--as would be the case if it got to a court--then they can start subpoenaing I.P. logs and such from much more reliable sources than the infringing server itself. Confiscating the members' computers would also be productive.

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Naming, shaming, and bludgeoning with a baseball bat... more like.

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Re: Operation Ore

"And the cops (everywhere) did such a good job on that one."

It's difficult to tell if there is irony behind these words. However, it is the case that one or two instances of false allegations arose out of Op Ore. I'm on the road at the moment, but I have the data. Some people have commented on plod's inefficiencies (I can agree) and have applauded 'vigilante' attacks. This is so difficult. Once upon a time (20 years or so back) we were self policed, and Plod had even less of a clue, but the relative cluelessness of plod does not justify tampering. What to do is a difficult question.

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Really?

@Bazza

you really want to take your response down that road...

1st the prosecutor will merely need to get a technical forensics team in and have the servers analyzed to prove that no data was actually modified.

2nd Just because this TOR hosting service has been compromised doesn't mean that there aren't others. Let's get real many of these TOR services have been around for AGES! If the war on child porn was really that high of a priority then we would have seen more action against these types of sites.

The fact of the matter is if the authorities are not able to build a strong enough case against a hosted site or their users they are bound by the laws and red tape of their profession. That is where a random collective like Anon is different they are not bound by those same limitations but do run the risk of prosecution if caught.

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"Naming, shaming, and bludgeoning with a baseball bat... more like."

Yes, there have been instances where this has happened, and there have been instances where innocent people have been murdered or maimed. That is why appropriate use of the criminal justice system is truly the only way forward. They may convict innocent people, sure, but the maximum they can do does not entail loss of life or limb. There are no levels of undo once the physical is dished out by people who 'think' they know that someone is guilty.

The case of Stefan Kiszko ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Lesley_Molseed ) illustrates the problem. Worse still, the poor man died after his conviction was overturned (prison is not conducive to fitness and longevity) and his mother not long after gave up the ghost. It is one of the saddest cases. The case was bungled by the police from start to finish and I wonder if it was partly deliberate. Certainly failure to comply with current guidelines did not help, and his brief compounded their error by also bungling it. As to whether or not he did it, he could not have; the biological evidence is irrefutable. If I said the coppers involved deserve smacking by baseball bat I'd be guilty of making the mistake contained in your post, and it is very definitely a mistake. No civilian should ever be judge, jury and executioner, and people who think they are ought to be prosecuted if they act on such a belief.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @ Tom 35

" how many paedos has Anonymous put in jail..? "

How many innocent has Operation Ore put in jail? How many lives needlessly ruined? How many suicides?

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Anonymous Coward

Re:

"They may convict innocent people, sure, but the maximum they can do does not entail loss of life or limb"

Actually wrong in the case of Operation Ore, and a number of lesser known cases, as there has been a substantial number of suicides amongst wrongly accused people.

As for those wrongly *convicted*, I don't think I would want to be in prison with a paedo tag hung around my neck (and other people do know why you're doing time).

At least in the case of vigilantism, there is at least chance of effective legal recourse against the perpetrators, unlike when you're being shafted by the establishment.

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Anyone who contributes to removing child porn from the Internet is doing good work regardless of what they do the rest of the time.

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That's not what's happened

What we have here is a collection of people who claim to support free speech imposing thier own views and effectively acting as a censor. In other words, hypocrites.

I couldn't agree more with this kind of content being removed. I can't support the idea that it's the job of hackers to police this though, this is the first step down a bad, bad road. Anarchy.

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Free speech and evidence of sexual abuse are not actually the same thing

Need I say more.

Question mark deliberately excluded.

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Anonymous Coward

That's not what's happened →

Why haven't the police done anything before this happened? I thank Anonymous for what they did.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC 1929

The Police don't tent to advertise covert operations to close down Internet sites, particularly when pretty much by definition this sort of work involves many agencies worldwide.

Also - publishing names of people registered with such sites, or credit cards used, doesn't have good precedents as Operation Ore proved.

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@AC 22:11

Credit card brute force test purchases are now so common that non tech folks I know are asking me to explain what emails from businesses and the banks mean.

Its used to be that a faked card would be first tested at unmanned petrol station then a small test net purchase made, then used for nefarious purposes. This means when you get a complaint about your card being used for a small (seemingly random) purchase, start thinking about cancelling/transferring your card ASAP!

Operation Ore assumed[*] that the owner of each credit card was involved in each transaction - this was shown to be false but (for UK police) prosecutions means promotion, so they went ahead and publicised (via leaks to NOTW etc) upcoming cases. When everything collapsed the officers in charge still ended up with a promotion and pay raise.

Anyone who believes that the police are not corrupted by the "rules of promotion" needs to think again. The police have one objective - prosecutions - they do not have to be right or just - they only need a reasonable chance of proceeding.

[*] Assumption starts with ASS.

What really irritates is those cases where the Met knew the card had not been used by the owner (in one case, evidence that card user lived in russia) but withheld this information from the prosecution to "improve" the case against known innocents.

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@Alfred

You missed my point by so wide a margin far I have no adjective to describe it.

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I agree completely. Great it's gone, too bad they didn't follow due process. Whether or not law enforcement is inept at these things, the fact remains that they are 'law enforcement'. Anonymous is not 'law enforcement' - Anonymous is 'vigilantism'.

The cynic in me also wonders if this is Anonymous trying to generate some positive press...

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Re: @AC 22:11

"What really irritates is those cases where the Met knew the card had not been used by the owner (in one case, evidence that card user lived in russia) but withheld this information from the prosecution to "improve" the case against known innocents."

This is what I was earlier alluding to in another post. I would have thought that most posters in Reg fora would have the wisdom to know that there is always the risk of ID theft, and you're right; "when you assume you make an ass out of u and me"! (Not you, of course.)

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Anonymous Coward

> The service is also used to exchange pirated content

Pfft. Why would you ever do that? There are for easier and quicker ways to access that sort of data. Plus you're much less likley to end up with god knows what on your computer as well.

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Coat

I'm Greg Evigan

When Amateurs Attack, a new series for Lee and Herring?

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Are the peadophiles the criminals here...

...or is it the business man in his suit and tie?

Yeah, it's the paedophiles.

Well done anonymous.

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I've always had a certain amount of respect for Anonymous, but it's always been tempered by distaste for their methods. So as you can imagine, this will be the first time I've ever said this:

Well done Anonymous. Well done indeed. The quicker that kind of filth vanishes from the net the better.

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It works the first time

The people running these sites will now be taking countermeasures, such as the obvious one of seeding a lot of false names into their database (i.e. real names, probably of prominent people, that have nothing to do with the site). Operation Ore shows how appallingly much trouble that is going to cause to innocent people the next time this happens.

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FAIL

re: It works the first time

>these sites will now be taking countermeasures, such as the obvious one of seeding a lot of false names into their database (i.e. real names, probably of prominent people, that have nothing to do with the site).<

1. How does anyone know that seeding wasn't already done?

2. That genuine users all registered authentic details?

3. Like the "War on Drugs" this targets end losers not producers. If they're just as culpable it follows that over a billion people lynched Colonel Gadaffi by looking at pictures.

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You sound like you have a guilty conscience. Are you afraid your name is on the list?

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Facepalm

Yeah sure, he's afraid for himself.

And there never have been incidents of abuse and hysteria.

You do remember the strange case of the scholl janitor who put eye candy on a colleagues computer, don't you?

It seems that the mere mention oft the word "pedophilia" these days leads to instant logic breakdown in a lot of brains. Which is not a bug, it's a feature, and quite useful at that, ask Jaqui Smith.

Are you certain of what files are on your HDD right now? Really certain?

Can you prove you never subscribed to that horrible service? Can you?

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Pint

Plea to Anonymous

Greetings,

Thank you for doing work like this. I hope you go after them. All of them. All the time. Go nuts. I have two kids, and these bastards are the stuff of nightmares for any parents.

HOWEVER, please consider this: Next time, if you can, try to actually record over a month or two users activity, especially their I.P. address. Do the legwork for the authorities.

We will hence all have the added bonus of having these bastards in jail hopefully!

Cheers, and thank you again for your work.

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Anonymous Coward

Err actually...

Next time, just tell the police, if they don't do anything tell people that you've told the police. Don't go after people - what if they're using an assumed name? Don't monitor the servers and log IP addresses because you might end up giving these scumbags a plausible argument that the log data have been tampered with.

Leave it to the professionals, if they don't do anything shout that they're not.

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True enough.

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Anonymous Coward

No IP

The web-sites in question are on the TOR network - there are no IP addresses to log.

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Facepalm

They own the network...

How many entrance nodes to TOR are run by members of anonymous?

It wouldn't surprise me if at least some TOR onions are entirely inside the control of one or more people who would cooperate to track down rapists.

If hackers can get a virus into a nuclear fuel enrichment control computer, then they can certainly get one into the system of someone who downloads files from anonymous people. (Pun intended)

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Your point is valid only you seriously believe the plod know about Tor, darknets or indeed much about IT in general. Historically there is little evidence to support this hypothesis.

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Anonyomous redeemed

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Devil

I am in 2011 and what is this?

> Tor activist Jacob Applebaum welcomed Anonymous' action: "Anonymous pwned a bunch of pedos; huzzah," he said via his ioerror Twitter account.

Outing himself as a man-child.

I a not-faraway future he might well be shut down himself by The Man, if not by The Drone.

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