Anonymous hack Freedom Hosting II, lock down nearly 10,000 dark web websites accessible through Tor

The world’s leading online hacktivist group, Anonymous is known for its million march protests, DDoS attacks and hackings in the online world. However, what is unknown is its DDoS attacks and hackings on the dark web domains. One such attack was launched today by an Anonymous-affiliated group, which took down nearly 10,000 onion websites which are accessible only through Tor browser.

Visitors to more than 10,000 Tor-based websites were met with an alarming announcement this morning: “Hello, Freedom Hosting II, you have been hacked.”.The Anonymous announced the hack attack on Twitter and said that they took down these dark websites to protest against child porn and drug peddling. These 10,813 websites were still offline at the time of writing this article.

In the message to Freedom Hosting II, Anonymous has offered to sell the compromised data back to them for a token ransom of 0.1 bitcoin, or just over $100, although it is unclear whether the offer is in earnest.

Anonymous claimed that they have stolen the data from the hacked servers and found that child pornography made up more than half the data stored on the servers. While it is impossible to verify Anonymous claim about child porn being stored on dark web servers, empirical evidence proves that they may be right. The original Freedom Hosting was hacked by FBI and other law enforcement in 2013, resulting in a number of child pornography prosecutions. At the time, the service hosted as many as half of the websites accessible only through Tor, commonly referred to as the Dark Web.

According to dark web researcher Sarah Jamie Lewis, Freedom Hosting II is smaller than its predecessor. An earlier report on the service found that it made up roughly 20 percent of dark web sites, including a number of bitcoin escrow services, Ponzi schemes and hacking forums.