Latest

Over 1,000 Arrested After FBI Hacks World’s Largest Child Porn Site

FBI crack Tor and catch hundreds of visitors to largest child pornography website on the dark web

FBI

Using hacking methods never seen before in the history of law enforcement, the FBI have hacked the dark web, infiltrating the largest remaining known child pornography service in the world.

A new report has revealed that the FBI secretly took control of a child porn website early last year and began infecting visitors with malware to identify around 1,300 individuals who had allegedly logged-on using software designed to browse the Internet anonymously.

RT reports: The site, known as ‘Playpen’, launched in August 2014 and allowed users to sign up and upload images, primarily for “the advertisement and distribution of child pronagraphy”.

Within a month of Playpen’s launch, the website had garnered nearly 60,000 members. By 2015 that number had jumped to almost 215,000, with 11,000 unique users visiting the site each week, and a total of 117,000 posts.

Many of those posts contained some of the most extreme child abuse images one could imagine, according to FBI testimony seen by Motherboard.

Although the website also included advice on how users could avoid online detection, a sting operation began in February 2015 when the FBI hacked into the website’s server, but decided not to shut it down.

The bureau took the ‘unprecedented’ measure of running Playpen to spy on its users and hack their IP addresses, leading to the arrests.

According to Motherboard, a public defender for one of the accused called the operation an “extraordinary expansion of government surveillance and its use of illegal search methods on a massive scale.”

The FBI has used NITs (network investigative techniques) before, but this is the first time that it has been reported that the NIT was able to get around the protections of Tor. Many of those that use the dark web use the Tor anonymity network to disguise their web traffic and retain their anonymity.

Although the method has undoubtedly helped to bring down child pornographers, the American Civil Liberties Union is concerned that the FBI was able to hack into over 1,000 computers with just a single warrant, and believes that Congress and the public should play a role in evaluating whether law enforcement should be allowed to use NITs (network investigative techniques) at all.

  • http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/337485161 David Howard

    Google “Ricky Dearman polygraph test”