German police have shut down one of the major Dark Web child pornography websites, the ‘Elysium.’
The Elysium website had more than 87,000 members, most of the users were from Austria and Germany. The platform was used by pedophiles and criminals to exchange pedo-pornographic content and according to German police, it was also used to arranged meetings to abuse children physically.
The police identified and arrested the administrator of the group, a 39-year-old man from Hesse region of Germany. The man was arrested on 12th June during a raid in his apartment, the agents seized the server used by the suspect. The investigation resulted in the arrest of other suspects.
“In the past five weeks, the German Federal Prosecutor’s Office (Generalstaatsanwaltschaft Frankfurt am Main – Zentralstelle zur Bekämpfung der Internetkriminalität) and Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt) have arrested a number of individuals suspected of the serious sexual abuse of children and the distribution of large amounts of child abuse material online. The German authorities have also taken down the child abuse platform Elysium.” states the Europol.
“The Elysium platform, built as a forum, has existed since the end of 2016 and was only accessible via the Darknet. With over 87 000 members worldwide, the platform was used to exchange child abuse material as well as to make appointments for the sexual abuse of children. Elysium also encompassed chat groups in German, French, Spanish and Italian.”
The Elysium website was shut down on June 13, 2017, below the tweet published by the Europol director Rob Wainwright.
— Rob Wainwright (@rwainwright67) July 7, 2017
According to the Europol other suspects were arrested by law enforcement, including:
The operation conducted by the German Police involved other law enforcement agencies and partners, including the New Zealand Police, the Italian State Police – Postal and Communication Police Service and the Australia’s Task Force Argos from Queensland.
“The action of the German authorities assisted by Europol has resulted in the arrest of individuals involved not only in the physical abuse of children but the takedown of a platform, Elysium, used to distribute large amounts of child abuse material. This is a highly significant action in safeguarding children from abuse.” said Steven Wilson, Head of the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) at Europol.
The experts from HackRead made further analysis on the Elysium website discovering that it 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.” states the post published by HackRead.