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Crime The Internet

Anonymous Hackers Take Down Child Porn Websites 481

Posted by timothy
from the value-to-society dept.
chrb writes "According to Security News Daily, Anonymous has taken down more than 40 darknet-based child porn websites over the last week. Details of some of the hacks have been released via pastebin #OpDarknet, including personal details of some users of a site named 'Lolita City,' and DDoS tools that target Hidden Wiki and Freedom Hosting — alleged to be two of the biggest darknet sites hosting child porn."
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Anonymous Hackers Take Down Child Porn Websites

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:37AM (#37803414)

    I mean, who wouldn't use false credentials if they were into that sorta thing? Someone is gonna get wrapped up in a lynching who doesn't have the foggiest idea as to why, watch. It's a PR stunt to try to make Anon look like more than a group of petty thugs, as if their ideals deserved attention or merit. Frankly, they can all DIAF.

  • Re:Vigilances (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:40AM (#37803442)

    when the cops abuse their authority with impunity in front of everyone and there's no repercusions
    when the rich and powerful get more rich and more powerful by trampling on others in complicity with self serving politicians
    when the judges consider smoking pot and stealing food way worse than ruining the economy of a nation in the name of profits

    yes, vigilance must come

  • Re:Brain explode (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hentes (2461350) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:48AM (#37803496)

    It's easier to think about them as an unguided mass that will attack targets at random. Sometimes the targets are assholes and people will cheer for them, but that doesn't make them freedom fighters. They reverted back to trolls some time ago.

  • Verification? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dachannien (617929) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @08:57AM (#37803542)

    How are we even going to know whether or not this is true? Nobody in their right mind would try to verify whether those sites were taken down or not, and even if they did, they sure wouldn't talk about it publicly, what with the risk of the cops showing up just for visiting those sites. Anonymous can pretty much say whatever they want about this with impunity.

  • Re:Covering up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by coolmadsi (823103) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @09:05AM (#37803580) Homepage Journal

    Well, so they took down those "porn" websites, but one has to ask, why the authorities have done nothing, preferring to sit on their backsides? Politicians or police using such sites and they want to cover it up?

    My guess would be a matter of jurisdiction - can't take down sites outside their country.

  • Great PR tactic (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 22, 2011 @09:16AM (#37803616)

    This tactic could work if it they relentlessly keep doing it and gets it publicized. Fighting pedophiles is tried and true way to win support for almost anything.

    Next time some politician attack Anonymous:

    - Oh you are attacking Anonymous?
    - How come you, they are protecting our CHILDREN!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 22, 2011 @09:17AM (#37803624)

    You know the vast majority of pedophiles were also abused as children, right?

    That does not, and will never, excuse them doing the same, or taking delight or being aroused at it happening to others. Now go fuck yourself with barbed wire.

  • Re:Covering up (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pyrosine (1787666) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @09:34AM (#37803716)
    Are you kidding me? Have you seen the amount of attempts by countries trying to take down sites far outside their jurisdiction? Just look at the example of the pirate bay - endless american entities attempting to take down a swedish site. So what do they do? Alter political will in that country to bend it to their will - something that was actually shown to have happened in the leaked cables.
  • by mikael_j (106439) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @09:39AM (#37803748)

    If they're targeting The Hidden Wiki, how is that "having a conscience"? The Hidden Wiki is not a porn site, it's a wiki site which has links to other hidden sites. It's like DDoSing Google because they are a "child porn website"...

  • Re:Covering up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @09:47AM (#37803790)

    Well, so they took down those "porn" websites, but one has to ask, why the authorities have done nothing, preferring to sit on their backsides? Politicians or police using such sites and they want to cover it up?

    Sigh. Quality of Slashdot readership is steadily going down.

    These were TOR [torproject.org] sites. That means that the hosting servers are near impossible to track because the TOR network is meant to allow for anonymous hosting.

    Subsequently, unless you manage to globally packet-inspect the entire Internet (which is the very thing that the child-porn crusaders advocate, along with introducing a totalitarian global police state to "protect the children") or somehow crack in and identify the location of these servers from whatever data is within, you cannot even tell what country they are in.

    Freedom Hosting is an extreme libertarian host service, with 0% censorship rules, which is meant to host sites of political dissidents and other web contents that is likely to get you killed by a mob of raving religious lunatics for breaking whatever taboo in whatever nut-infested country you happen to live.

    So Anonymous cracked into some sites hosted on Freedom Hosting and defaced them, stole some meaningless login ids (like those of people logging in with the names of their least-liked politicians or neighbours) and did not even get the IP addresses of the servers or the users because on the TOR network they would be meaningless.

    End result: upgraded and hardened CP sites on TOR.

    This action defines the very concepts of "pointless", "futile" and "counterproductive". Which not very surprising since it is usually the fate of all vigilante witch-hunts in the long run ...

  • Re:Vigilances (Score:5, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @10:43AM (#37804108)
    It already happened. Remember all those people in the 80s and early 90s who were arrested because of fears that they were child molesters? Remember the satanic ritual abuse panic? People were being arrested on accusations of being witches and engaging in ritualistic abuse of children, and there was practically no evidence for any of it. We are seeing the tail end of that witch hunt with the modern fears of child pornography and pedophiles hiding around every corner.
  • Re:Covering up (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 22, 2011 @10:48AM (#37804150)

    End result: upgraded and hardened CP sites on TOR.

    If no one was going to do anything about them anyway, then this is not a negative, as you seem to imply.

    This action defines the very concepts of "pointless", "futile" and "counterproductive". Which not very surprising since it is usually the fate of all vigilante witch-hunts in the long run ...

    Kind of like the reasoning that "it is pointless to go after a thief, because other people will commit thefts anyway." I disagree. If Anonymous' actions make committing this crime less appealing, that is a good result. This is one of the few times I actually appreciate something Anonymous is doing.

  • Re:Covering up (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tmosley (996283) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @10:50AM (#37804172)
    It's only ok to do that when it benefits lobbyists and their clients. Since there is little or no money in CP, da goobermint doesn't really give a shit.
  • by icebraining (1313345) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @11:06AM (#37804296) Homepage

    For fucks sake.

    Anon didn't just take down CP sites. They are attacking Freedom Hosting, which hosts many other sites, because they refuse to comply with Anon's orders.

    And this is why vigilantism is dangerous - because it's riddled with collateral damage since the attackers answer to nobody.

  • Re:Vigilances (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rocket rancher (447670) <themovingfinger@gmail.com> on Saturday October 22, 2011 @11:08AM (#37804318)

    Dude -- climb down out of the ivory tower for a moment. You are over-analyzing a very simple, straight forward situation. If it is not morally allowable for one person -- a single, solitary hacker let's say -- to take down a website (deface a system, in your terminology) why would it be morally allowable if a bunch of people conspired to do the same thing? Your attempt to mitigate the immorality of the act by diluting it over the number of conspirators, or diluting the harm done by spreading the damage out over society at large is interesting, but de Tocqueville and Mill, the architects of modern political philosophy and Utilitarians to the core (especially Mill,) rightly rejected that approach to the formulation of legislation and (in the case of de Tocqueville) the administration of justice. Indeed, in every jurisdiction that I am aware of, conspirators are all equally guilty; it follows that there is no safety in numbers if one is committing an immoral act.

  • Re:Covering up (Score:4, Insightful)

    by icebraining (1313345) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @11:11AM (#37804340) Homepage

    I hope your name is there, then you might think twice about the cops arresting people from some random list.

    Cops have to gather hard evidence before arresting people, for good reasons.

  • Re:Vigilances (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anthony Mouse (1927662) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @11:32AM (#37804448)

    To be fair, FTP is most decidedly designed around the sharing of files, and it (like The Pirate Bay) is completely agnostic as to whether they're 'illegal' or not.

  • Re:Covering up (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 22, 2011 @11:33AM (#37804458)

    So Anonymous cracked into some sites hosted on Freedom Hosting and defaced them, stole some meaningless login ids (like those of people logging in with the names of their least-liked politicians or neighbours) and did not even get the IP addresses of the servers or the users because on the TOR network they would be meaningless.

    You do realize that if they got far enough to be able to deface a site they had access to the server side right? This means that would have been pretty easy to obtain the actual IP address of the server. (Not the TOR endpoint one.)
    Once you have the real IP address of the server you can find the actual owner of it.

    Yes, I get that you just don't like Anonymous but please be less "trolly" about it.

  • Re:Vigilances (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geogob (569250) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @12:00PM (#37804664)

    They don't go against child porn sites because they are illegal. They couldn't care less about that. They go against child porn sites because they are immoral (at least from the perspective of the vast majority).

    The vast majority also acknowledges that sites like The Pirate Bay are illegal, but the morality of these sites and their users is rather neutral, if not positively.

  • Re:Vigilances (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sperbels (1008585) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @12:29PM (#37804882)
    I don't think most people have an issue with taking down child porn sites. It's the way that the issue is pursued, or the definitions of child porn that tend to cross the lines of all rationality. Putting someone on a list meant to shame pedophiles because he urinated in public, or forwarded a picture of his 15 yo girlfriend when he himself was a teenager is not rational. It's just fucking stupid and people can't seem to understand this.
  • Re:Vigilances (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ATMAvatar (648864) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @01:15PM (#37805196) Journal

    Protocols in general are content-agnostic. Unless you want to argue that sharing any kind of content (even by content producers/owners) is illegal, no protocol is inherently illegal.

    There are plenty of legitimate uses for P2P protocols, the most widely-used probably being WoW's patch system.

  • by YTMDetc (2453116) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @02:38PM (#37805630)
    Looking at some of the comments, it seems that a few people don't seem to get Anonymous. Anonymous isn't a group, really - they don't have a common agenda, they don't have common opinions or necessarily common skills. Rather, Anonymous is a label people have claimed and since it seems to be a similar type of person each time (e.g. from a certain part of the Internet, hacks sites or brings them down, may be vigilantes or may well be trolling), people still hold the misconception that they are somehow a unified group. They're not. Anonymous are anonymous. That's the point. There is no link between anything they do except people copycatting each other, and using the label. Thus Anonymous is not a group - I would say it is more of a phenomenon that has arisen, with the help of the Internet.
  • by RazorSharp (1418697) on Saturday October 22, 2011 @06:55PM (#37806910)

    Yeah, I thought it was funny, too. But some weirdo modded me interesting. Interesting? WTF?

  • Re:Vigilances (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday October 22, 2011 @07:35PM (#37807094) Journal

    I always liked the way Gabe Newell put it, it was something along the lines of "piracy grows because they offer a better product than you do". And you know what? he's right. i know I've personally been bit in the ass by games i bought back in the day that if i try to run them the legit way they won't run, not because the code won't run on a 64 bit OS, nope its because their shitty DRM wants to jam 32 bit kernel hooks into my 64bit kernel. The pirate version? it don't do that. it don't phone home, it don't make me set up accounts with some service i don't want like GFWL, oh and some of the older versions of Starforce and SecuROM will happily jam 32bit code hooks into a 64bit OS and then just to make it fun their uninstaller can't remove it, not even the sanctioned tools they offer on their site. fun huh?

    As for TFA, i have no problem getting rid of CP the problem I have is whose definition do we use. Remember so far we've seen kids busted for taking pics of their own genitals, we've seen a guy get prison time for comics, and at least two thrown in jail for words on a page. No pics, no actual kids involved, just words on a page. Now wasn't there someone who wrote about a day coming when one could be arrested for thoughts? i'd say getting busted for words on a page would fit that description, wouldn't you?

    So while I'm sure the Anons took out some legit targets the libertarian in me worries about how the definition keeps growing and the words keep getting twisted. it is like old Carlin used to talk about how shell shock became PTSD, which sounds like PMS, in this case we've seen rapist turn into "sex offender' which has been stretched so far to mean anything you can do with your junk including taking a pee, and CP went from kids being raped to cartoons to words on a page. Scary stuff folks and if you use the "Simpsons standard" frankly there probably isn't two guys here that wouldn't go to PMITA prison. Got any vampire books, what are vampires? Undead teen hotties that use sexual attraction to prey upon the living...sounds Lolita to me! Book 'em! after all the Simpsons would be pushing late 30s for the youngest at least yet they threw a guy in jail for Simpsons porn, and they are about as "real" as vampires..

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