Anonymous Knocks 10,000 Dark Web Sites Offline, Exposes User Data

Web Services

An Anonymous-linked hacker group publicly exposed the database of dark web hosting service Freedom Hosting II after it knocked offline about one-fifth of the dark web.

The group, which identified itself as an Anonymous affiliate, compromised Freedom Hosting II’s servers, knocking offlineabout 10,000 Tor-based websites offline Feb 3, according to The Verge. The hackers claimed about half of those sites hosted child pornography.

The incident took down about one-fifth of the dark web. “This was my first hack ever. I just had the right idea,” a hacker who claimed responsibility told Motherboard.

The hackers then dumped the database, which includes emails of 381,000 users. Though many of the email addresses are likely “burner” addresses, the dump included “thousands of .gov emails,” tweeted security researcher Troy Hunt of Have I Been Pwned?.

All of the websites on Freedom Hosting II's servers weren’t child pornography; others included personal blogs, hacking forums, ponzi schemes, carding and counterfeiting sites and bitcoin escrow services, according to The Next Web.