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Thread: Police smash net paedophile ring




  1. #1
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    Fifty people have been arrested in a co-ordinated international operation against internet paedophiles.
    Tuesday's raids were synchronised by police in the UK and saw a total of 50 arrests, including 31 in Germany and six in Britain.

    Others were held in Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Italy and Spain but the inquiry - dubbed Operation Twins - also stretched across the US, Canada, Denmark, Romania and Switzerland.

    It was overseen by the UK's National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, which has worked for a year to uncover the ring, known as the Shadowz Brotherhood and thought to have 100 members.



    In terms of the kinds of material they are posting and allowing access to it's the worst group I have encountered.

    Det Chief Supt
    Len Hynds
    Hundreds of officers in seven countries were involved and dozens of computers and thousands of disks were confiscated.

    The Hi-Tech Crime Unit were supported by officers from Europol in The Hague.

    A Europol spokesman said of the raids: "In all cases the occupants were implicated in crimes relating to child abuse and pornography.

    "A substantial quantity of equipment was seized including computers and laptops containing images of child abuse, videos and CDs."

    Detectives said the images were among the most horrific they had ever seen.

    Some showed babies and young children being abused.

    Suicide

    The six men arrested in the UK included one of the alleged masterminds of the Brotherhood, a 25-year-old man from Staines, west London.

    The others were a 58-year-old man who runs an electronic security company in Northamptonshire, a 62-year-old who works for an NHS trust in Berkshire, a 23-year-old cleaner from Wiltshire, a 26-year-old electrician from south east London and a 27-year-old manager in the jewellery trade from Hounslow, west London.

    Before the latest arrests 16 people had already been held across the world of whom one - a US Air Force officer - committed suicide.

    Police say they believe many of those involved in the ring had sexually abused children themselves and then posted the images on the internet.



    This group were using highly sophisticated technical means to continue their criminal activities and to avoid detection

    Det Chief Supt
    Len Hynds

    Their activities centred around an encrypted website which also provided advice on how to groom children for abuse in internet chatrooms and how to evade detection.

    BBC News Online's technology correspondent Mark Ward said: "These sites operate in a similar way to music piracy sites. You have to upload something on to it before they will let you have access to their archives."

    He said the sites were often accessible only by codewords and added: "You would have to move in certain circles before you could get the codeword."

    He said internet paedophiles often used Internet Relay Chat (IRC) - a way of communicating over the web which is so fast it is almost impossible to monitor.

    It is thought undercover police officers may have posed as paedophiles in order to infiltrate the Shadowz Brotherhood.

    'Highly sophisticated'

    Detectives said the brotherhood operated a cellular structure similar to terror networks, which meant that if one person was arrested they could only betray a small number of people.

    The Shadowz Brotherhood is understood to have operated in English, French, German, Spanish and Dutch.

    Head of the UK National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, Detective Chief Superintendent Len Hynds said: "These people were involved in abusing children and discussing it on-line.

    "In terms of the kinds of material they are posting and allowing access to it's the worst group I have encountered."

    He said they had used a level of sophistication not seen by law enforcers before.

    "It was a hierarchical structure with systems administrators who monitored news groups and bulletin boards and provided security advice to members.

    "It's clear they had a reasonable awareness of our tactics and we will be exploring every avenue to determine how they accessed that information."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/...00/2082308.stm
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  2. #2
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    As police break an internet paedophile ring known as the Shadowz Brotherhood, News Online looks at how they did it.
    The arrest of 50 people all over Europe and the seizure of scores of computers, hard drives and thousands of disks is the culmination of a complex and elaborate operation.

    The National Hi-Tech Crime Unit and their colleagues in Europol had to use all their technical know-how to break into the Shadowz Brotherhood.

    Paedophiles are naturally suspicious of newcomers into their social circle and, like many criminal groups operating in cyberspace, are skilled at counter-surveillance.



    Child pornography constitutes a disgrace to human dignity.

    Gilles Leclair
    Europol
    Neither Europol or the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit would comment on whether undercover police officers posed as paedophiles in order to infiltrate the ring.

    But, reading between the lines, that is the only way the police could have accessed the Shadowz Brotherhood's website and gained the confidence of the other members.

    A Europol spokesman said the group's activities centred around a website which had an archive of child abuse images.

    He said that when uploading and downloading images to and from the site they used sophisticated encryption techniques, often hiding obscene material in apparently innocent picture files.

    The website was run by a group of hardcore paedophiles called "administrators" who operated a star-rating system.

    Girl identified

    The administrators would vet new members, who would then receive a "one star" rating allowing them to enter fairly tame newsgroups and bulletin boards.

    To gain further stars they had to upload images of child sex abuse for viewing and downloading by other members.

    As they gained more stars they were allowed access to restricted sites and protected rooms containing the most perverted material.

    An administrator would be on duty 24 hours a day to assess new images.

    Proxy servers were used to disguise where members were accessing the site from and it is believed that special software was used to give those involved cyber anonymity.

    BBC News Online's technology correspondent Mark Ward said criminal groups often used servers run by other innocent organisations to host illegal images.



    Criminal groups take advantage of the high-tech technology to attack the principles and the values of our democratic systems

    Gilles Leclair
    Europol
    He said many universities and other vulnerable organisations spent a lot of effort making sure their servers were not used by such groups.

    He said paedophiles often met each other in prison and kept in contact afterwards, passing on codewords, information about sites online and advice about how to avoid scrutiny online

    Most of those involved are believed to have taught themselves computer encryption techniques.

    But Europol had its own team of intelligence analysts, working in a secure operations room in The Hague equipped with the latest technology.

    They processed information received on a daily basis from investigators in the different participating states.

    In March police monitoring the site identified a six-year-old girl and went to the US to take her away from a suspected paedophile.

    Team of analysts

    Detectives are expected to spend months trawling the suspects' hard drives in an attempt to locate images which would lead to convictions.

    Europol said the Shadowz Brotherhood was formed in 2000, but some of its members had been in contact on the internet before that date.

    Europol's deputy director Gilles Leclair, head of Serious Crime Department, said: "Child pornography constitutes a disgrace to human dignity.

    "Criminal groups take advantage of the high-tech technology to attack the principles and the values of our democratic systems.

    "But, once more, the international law enforcement co-operation proved very effective and gave a strong and decisive answer against organised crime."

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci...00/2082657.stm
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  3. #3
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    :hammer: :hammer: :hammer:
    Cameron "Mr.Tweak" Wilmot
    Managing Director
    Tweak Town Pty Ltd

  4. #4
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    They need shooting, sick mongrels.
    :shoot2: :no: :thumbs do

  5. #5
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    That is one crime that deserves the same treatment back to the perpertrators having my own children the worry is always at the back of my mind, letting my kids have email addresses was thought out carefully too, but they are not allowed to check their "junk mail" as it seems to be mainly sex site related. Something needs to be done about this as well

  6. #6
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    Where's my nuttin' knife?

  7. #7
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    sikos!

    kill them all
    TT Original

  8. #8
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    Now why do that when ya can just nut them and then let the big boys in prison do the rest. :devil:
    <center>:cheers:</center>

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