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Hidden Services on Tor Network Went Offline after Reported Breakdown

Softpedia.com reported on 5th August, 2013 that on Sunday 4th August many 'hidden service addresses' like "Darknet" which are reachable only through Tor disappeared from Tor network, a villainous anonymization system employed by dissidents, whistleblowers, activists, and criminal organizations in their malicious operations.

The disappearance of the websites coincides with the arrest of Eric Eoin Marques, a 28 year old dual Irish-American citizen after a year-long manhunt by FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation). FBI is calling him "the largest facilitator of child porn on the planet" and seeking his extradition.

It is speculated that Marques is the operator of Freedom Hosting which is the largest web hosting company on Darknet. The arrest coincided with the appearance of malware on a number of sites hosted by Freedom Hosting which broadcast IP addresses of visitors of the site to an unknown server in Virginia mainly outing their identities.

The Tor project's representative officially blogged stating that they are in no way associated with Freedom Hosting.

They think that Freedom Hosting was breached by someone and he configured the server to infuse a JS (Javascript) exploit in the webpages which are distributed to users.

Softpedia.com published news on 5th August, 2013 stating that experts have told well-known, Independent Security Blogger, Brian Krebs that Firefox-17 zero-day flaw has been exploited to identify Internauts who are surfing illegal adult web sites hosted by Freedom Hosting.

The exploit might have been employed to convey malware, however, it appear to have been utilized only to redirect surfers to a website that reaps the real IP addresses of Internauts visiting the prohibited sites which leads several to believe that FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) might be responsible for the attack.

Marques is contesting his extradition although many questions still remain unanswered.

Infosecurity-us.com published news on 5th August, 2013 stating "US authorities are seeking his extradition on the basis of four charges related to images on a large number of websites described as being extremely violent, graphic depicting the rape and torture of pre-pubescent children. If convicted by court, he faces sentences up to 30 years in prison."

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