A cyberattack shut down some 10,000 sites on the Dark Web over the weekend. The number accounts for almost 20 percent of the available content that is only accessible through the TOR network. While it may sound like a malicious act, the hacker behind it says that he did it to expose the massive amounts of child pornography hidden on this sites.
The sites in question were hosted on through a Dark Web provider called Freedom Hosting II. According to a report from Motherboard, the hacker had originally gained access to the web host a week ago; and had only intended to look through it out of curiosity. However, the situation changed on he discovered that the provider was hosting illegal content.
Naturally, details of the hacked content are also up for download now that they are out in the open. That being said, it looks like the attack did not collect user information that would identify who was behind the child pornography.
It’s currently unclear who exactly was behind the act of vigilantism. The Verge, who broke the story, claims that it was a group affiliated with Anonymous. On the other hand, Motherboard’s report seems to indicate that it was the act of a single individual.
The Dark Web is generally recognised as a place for activities to take place without the prying eyes of law enforcement. It’s often used for illegal means, like the supply of narcotics and firearms. However, it has also been proven to be a valuable tool for journalists reporting on hostile regimes. In other words, it’s pretty much like the rest of the internet; except with more vulnerable web hosts and child pornography.