Anonymous Vigilantes Attack Child Porn Sites
Hackers shut down sites, reveal member information
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2011 7:39 AM CDT
Online hacking group Anonymous has gone to war with child pornography website Lolita City, issuing denial-of-service attacks and publicizing member information.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – It turns out that the hacker collective Anonymous can do more than just mess with the New York Stock Exchange and protest San Francisco public transit—since the beginning of the month, about a half dozen of its members have been busy infiltrating Lolita City, one of the worst "dark net" forums for housing kiddie porn, reports Gawker. So far, they've unveiled details on 1,589 users of the child porn haven and identified and shut down Freedom Hosting, which they say is the worst single host of underage smut, reports Ars Technica; doing so took down 40 such websites, including Lolita City, they say.

Child pornographers have found an effective way to hide from law enforcement: by using Tor, a service that enables online anonymity by routing traffic through volunteer servers, protecting, for instance, activists operating in countries with oppressive governments. "We have been targeting them in secret for a while now, taking down their servers as much as possible," said one hacker. "We decided to seek media attention for this operation so that we may get the resources needed to shut them down on a more permanent basis." Quirky side note: One of the hackers' tools is named "Chris Hansen," after the To Catch a Predator host. Click for more on #OpDarknet.