The FBI arrested two men on charges of online child pornography after agents were able to hack into their computers to identify their true IP addresses that were hidden by Tor, Hacked.com reports.
The FBI hacked thousands of computers as part of a “bulk hacking campaign” to fight child pornography.
“In order to fight what it has called one of the largest child pornography sites on the dark web, the FBI hacked over a thousand computers,” Motherboard detailed.
The ACLU called the news “simply unprecedented.”
The FBI said some of the sites “contained some of the most extreme child abuse imagery one could imagine, and others included advice on how sexual abusers could avoid detection online.”
The site was “the largest remaining known child pornography hidden service in the world,” the FBI said.
“Fifteen-hundred or so of these cases are going to end up getting filed out of the same, underlying investigation,” Colin Fieman, a federal public defender involved in several related cases, told Motherboard in a phone interview.
“There will probably be an escalating stream of these [cases] in the next six months or so,” Fieman added. “There is going to be a lot in the pipeline.”