The Anonymous hacker claims over half the files on the hosting service were illegal and featured children

Feb 5, 2017 21:27 GMT  ·  By  ·  Comment  · 
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The Dark Web is having a tough weekend after a hacker group affiliated with Anonymous managed to break into the servers of Freedom Hosting II in order to take down over 10,000 websites.

Visitors of any of the sites hosted by the Freedom Hosting II service were greeted by a chilling message. “Hello, Freedom Hosting II, you have been hacked.”

Freedom Hosting II is one of the largest hosting services for underground websites, holding some 15 to 20 percent of all sites on the Dark Web, as per estimates of researcher Sarah Jamie Lewis. All these websites are .onion and can, therefore, be accessed via the TOR browser.

Hackers stole the database of Freedom Hosting II, defaced all the hosted websites and demanded a ransom for the return of the data. Some of the stolen data has already been dumped on another site hosted on the Tor network, the researcher behind Have I Been Pwned tweeted. The collection of data includes the email details of over 380,000 users.

The reasons behind the hack

The reason why Anonymous targeted this hosting service and its website is that they have zero tolerance to child pornography, as they explain in a message posted on the hacked sites. “Moreover you host many scam sites, some of which are evidently run by yourself to cover hosting expenses,” they add.

The notice mentions that all files have been copied and the database has been dumped, amassing to 74GB of files and 2.3GB of the database. “Up to January 31st you were hosting 10,613 sites. Private keys are included in the dump,” the message reads.

Anonymous hackers mention that over half of the files hosted on Freedom Hosting II servers were related to child pornography, which is, obviously illegal. It has become a common occurrence for dark web sites to host such vile content, something that law enforcement is aware of and has been trying to combat.

Loads of data for the authorities

The Anonymous hacker responsible for the takedown explained to Motherboard that this was actually his first hack ever and taking down the hosting provider wasn’t his intention in the first place. Upon stumbling over the massive amounts of child pornography on its servers, he decided to take everything down.

The leaked data contains plain text emails, usernames and hashed passwords. If we soon hear about law enforcement intervening and arresting loads of people we should not be too surprised since they surely will have plenty of usage for all this data.

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