Details aren't all that thin - it isn't exactly the same as the Freedom Hosting attack they did last year - which may have had more to do with Snowden using Tormail, which was apparently hosted on the same provider?
But from what we know, FBI seem to have planted an exploit for a vuln (unknown which, or if 0day or otherwise) in Firefox ESR (which is used by the Tor Browser Bundle, which is what most people who casually use Tor who aren't using the live distro Tails are using) on the site in question, so that people would be attacked if they logged in or signed up: the payload for that exploit being a simple 'connect back' or 'pingback' (they call it a "CIPAV", Computer and Internet Protocol Address Verifier). And boom, they have a list of paedo-trading IP addresses to raid. So far, makes sense.
They got the exploit on the site because they found the site's hosting and secretly seized control of the server via the hosting company. The FBI then proceeded to run the (at the time) world's largest known child porn site themselves, apparently undercover, for a fortnight. (*That* is the "unprecedented" part. The CIPAV warrant did not cover the scope of their action, but also it did not mention that the FBI were going to distribute CP as a result of the op: a very thorny issue, politically.)
How they found the site, that's another question; which, like Silk Road et al, may have more to do with undercover agents and exploiting other vulnerabilities on the endpoints than anything to do with Tor. It doesn't seem to have had anything to do with the CMU hack, as far as I know, the timescales don't line up.
I can source this, too: https://vimeo.com/56881481 This is the video Edward Snowden used to try to teach Glenn Greenwald how to use GnuPG. (...iirc, that didn't work either, so Ed had to approach Laura Poitras to set it up for him.) Early 2013. You'll find references in news articles and in the movie Citizenfour. As you'll see, the email address used by Snowden at that time for that particular purpose was: firstname.lastname@example.org
You will recall that the Lavabit warrant was issued because Snowden used email@example.com (Source: Citizenfour) - despite him using GnuPG properly, and everything being sealed, we can reasonably guess that they wouldn't be that keen on bagging one of his email addresses and ignore one of the others. They had the ability to link them with communications metadata (after the fact of communication), and of course they would have used that ability in the investigation.
And as you should know, or at the very least is a quick google and several news articles on their trawling through the seized data and busting drug dealers later attests, Tormail was hosted on Freedom Hosting.
The Freedom Hosting bust was late 2013, August I think? That's when the news articles pop up: I didn't keep notes on exactly when, but I saw the JS exploit being noticed and dissected on security lists before the takedown itself happened.
>>52528946 I strongly dislike paedophiles trading child porn, by any means. But, no, the ends don't justify that: if the means to catch them result in the FBI themselves distributing child porn, then that's not really a bloody improvement is it?
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