FBI blindly hacked computers in Russia ? Read ↓
In the course of the investigation of the case of the Playpen website, which distributed child pornography, in 2015 the FBI hacked devices in Russia, China, Iran and other countries.
Hacker operation using malware was conducted in the Depth Web (the shadow part of the Internet). Visitors to Playpen visited the site through Tor, so their real IP-addresses were hidden, and law enforcement officers did not know the true location of those they hacked from the very beginning.
When the law enforcement agencies of another country determined that the Playpen was actually administered from the US, the FBI seized the site’s servers. However, the law enforcers did not close it immediately, but moved the servers to a government facility, and for another 13 days Playpen continued to work. During this period, the FBI used malicious software to hack into the computers of visitors to the site and obtain information about them.In particular, law enforcement agencies were interested in IP-addresses, which allowed to determine the location of users.
In total, the FBI broke 8,000 systems in 120 countries. As a result of the operation hundreds of suspects were arrested and hundreds of children who were victims of violence were identified. However, the bureau did not report that some of the hacked computers were in, to put it mildly, unfriendly US states.
According to experts, such a blind “knocking out of digital doors” of non-US states can lead to geopolitical conflicts. If the FBI considers itself entitled to hack devices in foreign countries, then the law enforcement agencies of these countries can also hack devices in the US as part of their own investigations, said lawyer of the privacy organization Privacy International Scarlet Kim.