The hacker group Anonymous has brought down one-fifth of Tor-based websites by infiltrating servers of Freedom Hosting II. Anonymous managed to hack the servers of Freedom Hosting II, taking down close to 10,000 websites.
Anonymous takes down close to 10,000 websites
Freedom Hosting II hosts several websites on the Dark Web. Dark Web, for the uninitiated, is the web content that exists on darknets. Darknets constitute friend-to-friend peer-to-peer networks as well as large popular networks like Freenet, I2P, and Tor, operated by public organizations and individuals. Anonymous breached the servers of Freedom Host II and reportedly got access to gigabytes of data. All those who visited the hacked websites were greeted with a plain message – “Hello, Freedom Hosting II, you have been hacked”.
Sarah Jamie Lewis, Dark Web researcher notes that Freedom Hosting II accounts for almost 15-20% of all underground sites on the Dark Web. These sites are essentially .onion, accessible through Tor browser.
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Reason behind attacking Freedom Host II
Anonymous – which is strictly against child pornography – has revealed that it attacked Freedom Hosting II servers because it was hosting child pornography sites. It found nearly 30GB data on Freedom Hosting II pertaining to child pornography. The attack occurred last Friday. On Saturday, the attacker claimed responsibility and told Motherboard in detail how and why they took down the service. “This is in fact my first hack ever. Initially I didn’t want to take down FH2, just look through it”, the hacker said.
Freedom Hosting II has a quota of about 256MB per site but was found using gigabytes of data, leading to suspicion. “This suggests they paid for hosting and the admin knew of those sites. That’s when I decided to take it down instead”, noted the hacker. The hacker also revealed that the group had released a dump of system files from Freedom Hosting II, but not user data. The group doesn’t want to distribute the data since it contains a high amount of child pornography.