There are about a hundred pedophile sites identified by the CyberTeam hacktivist group. “We have already informed the police and some local authorities, but they have not even responded to us.” This is how their leader explained the reasons for the gesture
Arturo Di Corinto
Tired of silently observing the immobility of the authorities, a group of hackers decided to deface the homepages of ten Brazilian cities to publish a long list of pedophile sites and force them to intervene. The hacked sites are all in the state of Paraíba along the Brazilian coast, the most populous of the Atlantic coast.
Spy_Unkn0wn — this is the name with which the leader of the group presents himself — made it known on Twitter after informing the writer that he wanted to report a round of pedophiles online as early as January 27th.
Part of a meticulous research work, the operation to denounce the managers of the websites and the infamous traffic, which they call #OPPedoGate — according to a name typical of hackers activists of Anonymous -, is in part a defacement operation for publicly denounce what has been found, and in part a doxxing operation, in computer jargon, the activity of collecting and categorizing information on individual subjects to offer the police around the world the data to act effectively.
Spy_Unkn0wn and his group, the CyberTeam, a group of Brazilian and Portuguese hackers, already known to have hacked institutional sites, have therefore collected over time dozens of addresses of Russian, Ukrainian, Japanese, African and American sites containing child pornographic images with the offer of services of all kinds and have published them by inserting them into the defaced pages of the targeted municipalities.
But why hacking institutional websites to report pedophiles? “We have already informed the police and some local authorities, but they have not even responded.” This is how their leader, contacted in chat, explained the reasons for the gesture. “You have to create awareness of the problem.” He told us. Difficult to blame him, you need to have some hair on the stomach to look at those materials.
THE SITES WITH PEDOPORNOGRAPHIC MATERIALS
In the long list of names of the alleged operators and hosting services that host the pedophile sites visible both on the surface web (Clear Web) and in the DarkWeb — and that Repubblica has verified and communicated to the Postal Police -, names, surnames and addresses appear of the Russian Federation, Belize, France, the United Arab Emirates. Even from Kazakhstan, which is why the cyberteam just defeated several Kazakh sites yesterday. The list is accompanied by a series of suggestions for identifying individual pedophiles and also presents a list of national organizations to denounce the phenomenon of pedophilia.
It is not always about real people or the actual owners of the sites. A more accurate control among those responsible for the management of the sites are mainly Russians, Ukrainians and Moldovans. Some are already known offenders in the online underground. The hacker also showed us names and photos of the alleged pedophiles involved.
The servers that host the indecent sites are scattered all over the world and also belong to leading companies in the hosting sector such as GoDaddy. Some use proxies to divert incoming traffic but the major sites are protected by CloudFlare against denial of service attacks, the DDoS, Distributed Denial of Service, perhaps mindful of the fact that a few years ago, in 2013, Anonymous vigilantes obscured Lolita City and a few years later 5000 other websites with a series of cyber attacks.
CIVETTA SITES, MODEL SITES AND EROTIC STORIES
In at least three cases the sites are registered in Japan under bogus identities. Many sites end up in .com, but others have different extensions like .biz, .tv, .vip, .net, etc. One of the most repellent ends in .org, the suffix dedicated to non-governmental organizations.
Some sites contain videos, others tell erotic stories that promote pedophilia and someone relationships with adults. Most of the sites appear as agencies for teenage models and several as nudist associations. Many forums that require registration in order to view the materials inside them, others allow the free upload of images and texts. Paid services can be bought from $ 24.99 up to $ 99.99 for “premium” content. In the case of the ‘imouto’ site, you will find ads of this type: “Unlimited viewing of the best high quality images and videos in the sector at a fixed rate that allows you to continue watching the best time of the girls as they grow up. Find your favorite girl among the cool girls! “
Several sites feature very young models, but the photos are also dated in 2006. The videos are mostly in mp4, lasting from 50 minutes to an hour and a half. The Asian ones exploit the passion for the “aidoru”, the “idols” of Japanese mass culture, that is teenagers (girls or boys) who become popular in the world of entertainment, especially by virtue of an exterior appearance considered “fashionable, cute and graceful.” They often have an indefinite age and it is difficult to understand whether they are minors or not. It is typical of erotic sites of this type to dress young women as if they were schoolgirls. But in other sites the appearance of the” models “does not allow misunderstandings and not even their poses: winking little girls, dressed like women, in attitudes that leave little room for fantasy.
In the ‘cutiegarden’ forums, the girls on display may even be less than ten years of appearance and those of slightly older are dressed in dark lingerie.
THE MAFIA IN THE PEDOFILO WEB
According to the CyberTeam, however, several of these sites have users who actively promote pedophilia and are full of examples of child abuse and human trafficking.
However, some homepages are a mirror for larks and introduce to owl sites which, however, generate traffic and collect profits from advertising, recording the IPs of those who go over it. For example, some sites with Japanese writing and content are the result of scanning video covers prior to the rules that in Japan have outlawed child labor for photo shoots. A data that emerges from the analysis and comparison of the individual images carried out with the help of some Japanese computer scientists.
In at least one case, we found the cover of a DVD published by a company closed in 2001 on the xxx.net website, as evidenced by the label. Several sites are full of dated images of girls who will come of age today.
Some sites then present calendars and photos that portray the girls at the seaside while they play, or who sleep innocently or joke among themselves, others in sexualized and provocative poses. One more reason to remind parents not to publish photos of children online and to monitor the use that is made of video and photographic material made at school and at parties.
Equally important is to warn those who host these sites to delete them and report them to the authorities to filter their addresses and make them at least inaccessible. Defects in jurisdiction and the absence of complaints from victims and their families make it very difficult to prosecute criminals who trade “child bodies.”
With a problem that should be investigated. According to an independent researcher who does not want to let his name be known, there would not be a single person behind the individual sites, but real criminal unions, a sort of web mafia, capable of intimidating anyone who gets in the way.
Article originally published in italian for #La Repubblica: https://www.repubblica.it/tecnologia/sicurezza/2020/02/10/news/hacker_brasiliani_e_portoghesi_pubblicano_indirizzi_e_nomi_di_100_siti_pedofili-248235671/