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Daniel’s Hosting, an important hosting provider on the dark web, has been hacked. As a result, approximately 6,500 websites are offline. Last Thursday, the hosting party was attacked by hackers, who got root access via phpmyadmin and adminer. That’s what the hosting provider reports on its website.

Daniel’s Hosting was founded in 2013 by Daniel Winzen. The company offers free accounts for onion sites on the dark web, although with some restrictions. This is a part of the internet that can only be reached with special software.

After getting root access, the hackers could take control of the hosting server and remove all websites. What was on the deleted websites is unclear. Winzen, however, pitched the service as a place for more legitimate content than the dark web is known for.

However, the service also did a lot of privacy, so that there are no backups of the deleted sites. The server can therefore not be restored to a previous, unhacked state. “There’s no way to recover from this hack, all the data is gone,” says Winzen. “I will make the service available again when the vulnerability is found, but I have to find it now. The service will probably be available again in December.”

Source of the hack

The source of the hack has not been officially disclosed. However, several websites are speculating about who might be behind it. Security Affairs states that criminal hacking groups, state hackers and secret services are possible suspects, each with their own motives. Latest Hacking News suggests that possibly the American CIA is the culprit.

In the past, websites on the dark web have also been targeted, but that was mostly because they host illegal content. Some better known hacks on the dark web include Freedom Hosting in 2013 and an attack led by Anonymous in 2017, which took Freedom Hosting II offline. Freedom Hosting II was the largest hosting provider on the dark web at the time. The service hosted various illegal activities, including child pornography.

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.