A notorious hub for the sharing of revenge porn called Anon-IB has been shut down by Dutch police.
Three Dutch nationals have been arrested for stealing intimate images that they then shared on the site.
Servers containing stolen data were seized by police as it investigated who had stolen the images.
The police said any women who can be identified from its analysis of captured data will be told that their information has been stolen.
Easy to hack
Anon-IB was widely implicated in the 2014 Celebgate hack that saw nudes of more than 100 celebrities leaked online. Images of nude US female marines and underage girls were also known to be stored and traded on the forum.
Prior to being shut down, Anon-IB was one of the web’s top 10,000 most popular sites.
In a statement, Dutch police said the investigation that led to the site being closed began in March 2017. It started with a complaint by a Dutch woman who found that images from her cloud storage account had been stolen and shared online.
The suspected culprit for this hack was a 31-year-old man in Culemborg, said Dutch police. He was arrested for hacking into the online account and stealing nude photos.
The subsequent forensic analysis of the suspect’s computer and phone revealed “huge amounts” of images of the victim and other women.
Examining the cache of data led police to two other men who, between them, had intimate images stolen from “hundreds” of women.
These two men, from Groningen and Heerlen, have also been arrested. Police have confiscated stolen data from two others, also in the Netherlands, who are also believed to have traded stolen images and hacked others.
“The suspects were able to gain access to emailboxes, social media accounts and digital storage places such as clouds,” said the statement. “These were not properly secured and therefore relatively easy to hack.”
Images were often taken without victims knowing.
The investigation led police to servers hosting the stolen images that were located in the Netherlands.