But when the agents got to a site called “Pedoboard,” they discovered that the owner had foolishly left the administrative account open with no password.They logged in and began poking around, eventually finding the server’s real Internet IP address in Bellevue, Nebraska.Instead of going for the easy bust, the FBI spent a solid year surveilling Mc Grath, while working with Justice Department lawyers on the legal framework for what would become Operation Torpedo.Finally, on November 2012, the feds swooped in on Mc Grath, seized his servers and spirited them away to an FBI office in Omaha.But let’s have an informed debate about it.”The FBI’s use of malware is not new.The bureau calls the method an NIT, for “network investigative technique,” and the FBI has been using it since at least 2002 in cases ranging from computer hacking to bomb threats, child porn to extortion.Then, armed with a search warrant from the Court of Rotterdam, the agents set out to determine where the sites were located.
ancient dating techniques
The approach has borne fruit—over a dozen alleged users of Tor-based child porn sites are now headed for trial as a result.“This is such a big leap, there should have been congressional hearings about this,” says ACLU technologist Chris Soghoian, an expert on law enforcement’s use of hacking tools.“If Congress decides this is a technique that’s perfectly appropriate, maybe that’s OK.They provided the information to the FBI, who traced the IP address to 31-year-old Aaron Mc Grath.
It turned out Mc Grath was hosting not one, but two child porn sites at the server farm where he worked, and a third one at home.
Last month, Russia’s government offered a $111,000 bounty for a method to crack Tor.