Anonymous busts Internet pedophiles

Anonymous takes on pedophiles or somethig
Anonymous moved from targeting Wall Street, corrupt governments and corporate sites last month. The latest attack from the hacking collective rather was directed at an unaware group that navigated the web for child porn assumingly undetected.

Throughout October, Anonymous waged a war against online child pornography under the name of OpDarkNet. The crusade pinned the hacktivists against the web servers and users of sites such as Lolita City and Hard Candy, where patrons trade graphic images of sexually exploited children. With a series of attacks, Anonymous managed to infiltrate the message board forums of the illegal sites and flood the pages with malicious material. For their grand finale, however, Anonymous managed to trick the kiddie porn fanatics into downloading a plug-in that reported their every move.

To navigate the dark underbelly of the Internet — a place where drugs and guns and porn and, well, everything is made available — web surfers must cloak their identity with special software that covers up footsteps. Tor, a program that is easy to use and does just that has become a favorite for people stumbling upon the Internet’s vast and often unreported black market, and Anonymous was well aware of it. Knowing that an update for the program is on the horizon, hackers coded an update for Tor that they knew the patrons of the porn sites would race to download.

What Anonymous made though didn’t do as advertised.

For 24 hours, Anonymous was able to track every online move of anyone that was using their fake Tor update. “The purpose of #OpDarknet was to collect evidence and prove that [one percent] of Tor users who use Tor for [Child Pornography] are the ones causing the problems for the rest of the Tor community, the 99%,” reads a post from Anonymous dated November 2. In their ambush, which they consider a “social experiment,” Anonymous managed to track down the IP addresses and histories of 190 users of the shady underground Internet.

After collecting the info, Anonymous made the material available to the Web and retired from their Dark Net operation. From here, they say, it’s up to authorities to decide what to do with it.

"They'll take forever… due process for some of these guys are so weak," one hacker told a reporter for Gawker. "The best way for Law Enforcement to react is for us to release it. They can chose to follow or not."

Should authorities chose to use Anonymous’ groundwork to open up an investigation, all the material is now readily available for them. Detailed descriptions of how the project was planned, carried out and even authorized with the approval of Mozilla, the company behind the popular FireFox browser, are now available through the hacktivists.

In a statement, Anonymous that the last strike in OpDarkNet was to avenge those that were using Tor for evil when it actually can be a crucial tool to some people. While “the one percent” of users operate under Tor’s cloak for child pornography, says Anonymous, the rest of the users work through it for good. “The rest, 99% consists of Chinese/Iran journalists, Government intelligence fighting a secret war with Al-Qaeda, and us Anons who believe in the right to Free Speech,” says Anonymous.

For the 190 users of the fake Tor that have their tracks now exposed online, Anonymous says that they have forwarded the material to both Interpol and the FBI. Political site NewEurope adds that an official with the European Commission says that authorities are aware of Anonymous’ operation.

So what do the pedophiles do while they await a knock on the door from investigators at 4 in the morning?

“You should consider running anti-virus/malware programs and/or fully wiping your hard drives,” cautions an administrator on the Hard Candy forum.

"If you were stupid enough to install the recently linked Tor button 'update'… then your anonymity has no doubt been compromised.”