Anonymous Wages War with Child Porn Syndicate

Paul Lilly

The hactivist group known as Anonymous is taking credit for busting up an online child pornography ring consisting of several underground websites. As part of Operation Darknet, Anonymous targeted "the owners and operators at Freedom Hosting [who] are openly supporting child pornography and enabling pedophiles to view innocent children, fueling their issues and putting children at risk of abduction, molestation, rape, and death," a statement on the organization's website reads.

Anonymous claims that by taking down Freedom Hosting, it effectively eliminated more than 40 child porn websites, including Lolita City, one of the biggest with over 100GB of content. The hackers also posted account details of nearly 1,600 members of Lolita City.

"Our demands are simple. Remove all child pornography content from your servers. Refuse to provide hosting services to any website dealing with child pornography. This statement is not just aimed at Freedom Hosting, but everyone on the internet. It does not matter who you are, if we find you to be hosting, promoting, or supporting child pornography, you will become a target," Anonymous warned.

Up to this point, most of what Anonymous has done could be classified as either political in nature or haphazard, or both. The organization has come under fire for often times posting account details of innocent people on banking sites and other entities Anonymous has a beef with. But should we applaud Anonymous' actions in this case? Or as security firm Sophos ponders, did Anonymous hackers do the right thing?

"I don't think so. Their intentions may have been good, but take-downs of illegal websites and sharing networks should be done by the authorities, not Internet vigilantes," Sophos' Graham Cluley stated in a blog post .

Clulely argues that by taking the law into their own hands, the hacking group's actions could potentially compromise an existing investigation and prevent authorities from collecting the necessary evidence for prosecution.

"The anonymous hackers may feel they have done the right thing, but they may actually have inadvertently put more children at risk through their actions," Cluley said.

Around the web

Comments