Law enforcement authorities in Germany have shut down a major Dark Web child abuse website known as “Elysium.”
The website which had around 87,000 members was a popular platform for people to exchange explicit images of children displaying physical and sexual abuse including toddlers.
According to the German federal police, Elysium was not a regular child abuse platform since its users also arranged meetings to abuse children physically.
Elysium was run by a 39-year-old man from the Hesse region of Germany while most of its visitors were from Austria and Germany. He was arrested on 12th June when his apartment was raided, and the police seized a server.
The police haven’t disclosed his identity. However, the site was shut down on June 13, 2017, while several other suspects were also arrested.
Further digging into the site by HackRead researchers discovered that Elysium was formed in November 2016 and opened in December 2016. The site was owned and operated by Noctua, Ovidius, and Scorpion. A fourth administrator account, “Elysium”, was used by the other 3 administrators to post important announcements.
As of now limited information has been revealed by the authorities, however, on Friday both German and Austrian authorities are expected to hold a press conference about the bust.
This is the second major bust of 2017 by authorities fighting against explicit platforms. Just two months ago, The FBI arrested a man in Florida for running “Playpen,” one of the biggest child porn sites on the Dark Web. The site has been shut down and the operator is now in jail for the next 30 years.
Also, five months ago; the online hacktivist Anonymous shut down thousands of Dark Web sites for hosting child abuse related content. In total over 10,000 (around 20%) websites on the Dark Web were hacked by the hacktivists.