Oct 16, 2019

Federal prosecutors announce shutdown of massive child pornography site

Federal prosecutors announced Wednesday they had seized and shut down the world's "largest darknet child pornography website," filing multiple charges against its ringleader, a 23-year-old South Korean man, according to an unsealed criminal indictment.

The big picture: The dark web site, which was available through a Tor browser, had over 200,000 sexually explicit videos involving children in its archives and utilized Bitcoin to conduct its business.

  • It processed at least 7,300 Bitcoin transactions to access the videos during a nearly 3-year period from 2015 to 2018 — and those transactions were worth about $370,000 at the time.
  • The site encouraged users to upload videos using a system that granted users points to access more videos if their uploads proved popular.

The site's administrator, Jong Woo-son, is serving an 18-month sentence in South Korea for charges related to child pornography, according to the Justice Department.

  • Authorities arrested 337 site users in 11 countries since the site's shutdown in March 2018.
  • At least 23 minor victims in the U.S., U.K. and Spain, who were being actively abused by the site's users, were rescued.

Go deeper: Dark web could become a haven for privacy seekers

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Security flaw in Trump campaign website could have let hackers send fake emails

Many websites, including President Trump's 2020 campaign page, forgot to turn off a testing feature that could have given hackers the ability to meddle with their sites, according to a report from security firm Comparitech.

Why it matters: On the Trump site, hackers could have sent emails from the site or intercepted emails being sent — but user and donor information was never at risk.

Go deeperArrowOct 17, 2019

"Typosquatting" is a problem for 2020 candidates

Screenshot via Billdebiasio.com

2020 candidates face around 550 websites that aim to "typosquat" — or provide unintended content via a misspelling — their campaigns, according to a new report from Digital Shadows.

How it works: Users who go to Tulsi2020.co rather than Tulsi2020.com would find themselves redirected to a political rival's page — in this case, Marianne Williamson's — but the tactic can be used for a wide variety of purposes.

Go deeperArrowOct 16, 2019

Global pork prices soar as swine fever infects herds in eastern Asia

South Korean quarantine officials block people from entering an infected area. Photo: Jung Yeon-je/AFP/Getty Images

African swine fever, a deadly pig disease, is killing hundreds of millions of hogs in eastern Asian countries, causing a global surge in pork and bacon prices, according to Bloomberg.

Why it matters: African swine fever is not known to infect or harm humans, but it can kill most pigs in a week and has the potential to disrupt pork markets and threaten food-insecure countries.

Go deeperArrowOct 20, 2019