Science

Early revenge porn site fell when expert found evidence of pedophilia and suicide on the platform


A cybersecurity expert featured in a Netflix documentary that exposes the effort to bring down the first revenge porn website says he was instrumental in securing its downfall after he discovered what he believes is evidence of pedophilia and suicide.

Netflix’s The Most Hated Man chronicles the fight to bring down IsAnyoneUp.com and its founder Hunter Moore. The site allowed people to post nude photos of anyone and link them to their social media accounts. Often, the photographs were hacked or posted by bitter exes, earning the nefarious site its reputation as the world’s first home for revenge porn.

The three-part documentary focuses on Charlotte Laws whose daughter Kayla’s nude pictures appeared on the site.

But cybersecurity expert James McGibney, who also appears in the show, said it was his work behind the scenes that actually brought the revenge porn site to an end.

McGibney, a former Marine who was in charge of cybersecurity for 128 US embassies while in the armed forces, said he used his knowledge of computer systems to determine that many of the images on IsAnyoneUp were of underage girls – and claims that a query on the site for the word ‘suicide’ revealed some victims had taken their own lives.

In the documentary, McGibney claimed he approached Moore with the knowledge of the underage girls in a bid to convince the king of revenge porn to sell him the IsAnyoneUp domain. 

The cybersecurity expert told DailyMail.com that he also told Moore that it would only be a matter of time before the world finds out about the women who committed suicide. 

Shortly after this conversation allegedly took place, Moore sold the IsAnyoneUp domain for ‘less than $12,000,’ McGibney told Dailymail.com. 

James McGibney (pictured) told DailyMail.com how he helped take down Hunter Moore's site, IsAnyoneUp, in 2012. McGibney is a cybersecurity expert and former Marine

James McGibney (pictured) told DailyMail.com how he helped take down Hunter Moore’s site, IsAnyoneUp, in 2012. McGibney is a cybersecurity expert and former Marine 

Moore eventually went to jail in 2015, but it was not for the revenge porn site – he was found guilty of aggravated identity theft and aiding and abetting unauthorized access of a computer. And he spent 30 months in a federal lockup.

IsAnyoneUp, which launched in 2010, allowed users to anonymously post sexually explicit images of people without their consent at a time when there was no legislation regarding revenge porn.

Moore was also protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a law that says websites cannot be held responsible for the content users post on their platforms. 

On IsAnyoneUp, not only were people allowed to share explicit pictures without consent, but the website encouraged users to leave harmful and aggressive comments. Some of those comments encouraged women to commit suicide or gave users information needed to stalk them in the real world, according to the Netflix documentary.

Hunter Moore (pictured) started IsAnyoneUp in 2010, but he quickly turned it into a revenge porn site that encouraged users to anonymously post sexually explicit images of people without consent, according to the Netflix documentary

Hunter Moore (pictured) started IsAnyoneUp in 2010, but he quickly turned it into a revenge porn site that encouraged users to anonymously post sexually explicit images of people without consent, according to the Netflix documentary 

‘The Most Hated Man on the Internet’ claims that profiles were created with each image and on many occasions included the person’s Facebook page, address, and phone number.

At its peak, IsAnyoneUp had more than 350,000 subscribers and 30 million page views. 

McGibney believes Moore ‘got caught up in a site that was getting bigger,’ he said, suggesting this is why the self-proclaimed king of revenge porn turned to hacker Charlie Evans for help.

Evans infiltrated emails to steal naked photos of women who sent them to their own inboxes, which was the case for Kayla Laws.

Her images appeared on IsAnyoneUp, which first launched in 2010, and her mother, Charlotte, went to battle with Moore to get them removed. 

The images were displayed as profiles, which sometimes showed the victim's Facebook page, address and phone number

The images were displayed as profiles, which sometimes showed the victim’s Facebook page, address and phone number

McGibney claims he was able to extract data from images that showed some of the women were actually underage girls and he found evidence that suggested some killed themselves because their pictures were online

McGibney claims he was able to extract data from images that showed some of the women were actually underage girls and he found evidence that suggested some killed themselves because their pictures were online

McGibney said he was originally approached by Moore, who offered him an opportunity to advertise on IsAnyoneUp in 2012 because, although he was living the highlife, the self-described king of revenge porn was going broke.

‘He was really desperate. He was running out of money and that is how I had him,’ McGibney told DailyMail.com, while also saying Moore mistakenly let a wolf into his hen house.

When McGibney first saw the content on IsAnyoneUp, he was reminded of the horrors he endured as a child in the New York City foster care system some 40 years ago.

‘I had a strange flashback when I saw that site the very first time,’ McGibney told DailyMail.com.

‘It was one of my foster families who forced me and my foster sister to stand naked in the living room for hours.

‘I saw the site and how he [the foster father] would take her and rape her. I had suppressed that memory, but IsAnyoneUp made me think of her and I went ballistic.’ 

This lit a fire under McGibney that he claims led him to uncover images on the site featuring underage girls.

Moore has publicly said he had ‘five kids’ in his kitchen looking at submitted photos all day to verify ages. But from the perspective of a cybersecurity expert, it was nearly impossible to keep up when there are hundreds of photos being uploaded per day.

‘There is a lot to it. I had to grab a photo and pull EXIF [Exchangeable Image File Formatdata] of the latitude and longitude of where it was taken,’ McGibney said, explaining EXIF data shows information like when and where the image was taken, and what camera was used.

IsAnyoneUp now redirects users to McGibney's anti-bullying site Bullyville

IsAnyoneUp now redirects users to McGibney’s anti-bullying site Bullyville

‘This [for example] told me a girl lives with her parents and it shows me her Facebook page that says she is actually 15 years old and not 19 as shown on the website. I did this on a few occasions,’ he continued. This instance is also explained in the Netflix documentary.

‘It [pictures of underage girls] wasn’t rampant, but I found some. When I saw that, I knew I had Moore cornered.’

There has been chatter on the dark web that McGibney had access to IsAnyoneUp’s content management system (CMS), but when DailyMail.com asked him if he did, McGibney would not comment. 

If McGibney, or anyone for that matter, were to access IsAnyOneUp’s CMS, they would first need to confirm the targeted website and then identify the IP address.

Then the individual scans for open ports that offer opportunities to ‘listen’ for traffic on it and spot if there are any vulnerabilities in the ports.

And if one is discovered, the hacker can use it to gain access to the system and then simply brute-force the username and password of the website’s backend.

Brute force hacking usually involves automation, or manual action, of guessing every possible combination of characters that could be combined to unlock an account. 

In the event people use something like EXIF data to determine traits or information about their victim, they can use manual brute force – guessing their password by using common things like birthdays or a person’s dog’s name. 

IsAnyoneUp now redirects users to McGibney’s anti-bullying site Bullyville. However, Moore selling McGibney the domain was not the only part of the deal. 

Moore also had to write an apology letter that was posted to the website.

there was another stipulation of the deal: Moore had to write an apology letter that would be posted on McGibney's site.

there was another stipulation of the deal: Moore had to write an apology letter that would be posted on McGibney’s site.

It wasn't too long before Moore changed his tune and went after McGibney on Twitter, calling the former marine a 'pedophile.' This caught the attention of the group Anonymous who went after Moore by declaring him dead in California for two months

It wasn’t too long before Moore changed his tune and went after McGibney on Twitter, calling the former marine a ‘pedophile.’ This caught the attention of the group Anonymous who went after Moore by declaring him dead in California for two months

In the letter, which was published to Bullyville in 2012, Moore wrote about the good times he had while at the top of his game, specifically the girls getting ‘naked of all sizes at the IAU [IsAnyoneUp] parties; we did it from Canada to Vegas,’ he wrote.

Moore also states he ‘might do some writing on bullyville.com to help people who have been bullied; I’ve been on both sides of the fence. I am putting this message up on Bullyville.com to stand up for underage bullying’ – this has yet to be seen.

It wasn’t too long before Moore changed his tune and went after McGibney on Twitter, calling the former marine a ‘pedophile.’

The overwhelming memories of his abusive childhood came rushing back again when McGibney saw the tweet, which reads: ‘how are you going to help stop bullying when you’re a pedophile and go to china to rent children from families with no money.’

Shortly after the tweet surfaced, the group Anonymous entered the game. Anonymous, often called ‘hactivists,’ are known for unleashing coordinated cyberattacks against various world governments, corporations and other groups. This time they used their abilities to take down the most hated man on the internet and, as described in the documentary, the group hacked Moore’s bank account, among other things.

‘Hunter denies he was hacked, he also said dildos weren’t sent to his house, but they were in a bag with a note that read, ‘Eat a bag of d*cks’,’ McGibney said, while noting it was the group Anonymous that sent them.

McGibney (pictured) said he believes the public would forgive Moore if he just apologizes, but Moore recently said he wishes he went harder with IsAnyoneUp

McGibney (pictured) said he believes the public would forgive Moore if he just apologizes, but Moore recently said he wishes he went harder with IsAnyoneUp

‘His bank account was also hacked [by Anonymous] and the irony is the amount missing was the same amount I had paid for the site and it was donated to battered women across the nation.

‘He was also declared dead in the state of California for two months. His death certificate was filed.’

Moore, however, did not seem bothered by the malicious acts and announced he was moving forward with IsAnyoneUp2 but his plans were stifled when the online trove of explicit photos mysteriously vanished, according to the Netflix documentary. And IsAnyoneUp2 also redirects traffic to Bullyville.

When asked if he wiped the servers of IsAnyoneUp2, McGibney responded ‘prove it.’

DailyMail.com has contacted Moore for comment.

McGibney is still in a battle with Moore, primarily over more than $345,000 he says is owed to him from a 2013 defamation lawsuit against the ‘king of revenge porn’ for the damning tweets. Moore was ordered to pay $250,000 but has not yet fulfilled the penalty, and it has since been increased with interest.

‘Some people said I overreacted, but I don’t give a sh*t,’ McGibney said

‘If Hunter came out and said ‘I am sorry, I am a changed man and I am sorry to the victims,’ we are in a forgiving society and [we might be able to move past it].

‘But he came out [two weeks ago] saying he wishes he had gone harder.’

Speaking with RDAP DAN, a YouTuber, Moore said: ”I had a great time, I have no regrets, I wish I had gone 10 times harder because the result would have been the same.’ 

The man who took down the most hated man on the internet: James McGibney shares how he went from an abused boy in foster care to a decorated Marine, cybersecurity expert and family man 

James McGibney has turned into an internet sensation following the release of ‘Most Hated Man on the Internet.’ But long before people were calling him ‘the GOAT’ on Twitter for taking down Moore, McGibney was fighting another battle in his childhood home.

Born in New York City, McGibney was living in the south Bronx with a father who constantly beat him, his brother, and his mother.

McGibney said  the moment he saw the naked women, and some men, on the website he had a strange flashback to one of the many horrific experiences he had while in the New York City foster care system from the age of eight to 11. Here, he is pictured while in foster care

McGibney said  the moment he saw the naked women, and some men, on the website he had a strange flashback to one of the many horrific experiences he had while in the New York City foster care system from the age of eight to 11. Here, he is pictured while in foster care

Child services stepped in when McGibney was eight years old, but what was thought to be an escape from his dangerous father was a world of torture, humiliation, and evil. It was not until Patrick and Mary McGibney adopted him on October 17, 1984, did the nightmare finally end. 

McGibney has since moved on from the horrors he endured but has never lost hope of finding his brother Stephen, who he last saw about 41 years ago.

‘I was put in a foster care system at age eight and my brother was four or five,’ he said, while noting each foster family was worse than the one before.

McGibney joined the Marines in 1992 as a clerk, but then found a passion for cybersecurity. This led him to controlling the cybersecurity for 128 US embassies worldwide

McGibney joined the Marines in 1992 as a clerk, but then found a passion for cybersecurity. This led him to controlling the cybersecurity for 128 US embassies worldwide

‘He is special needs, severely autistic, and went to a different family.

McGibney is currently searching for his brother. 

McGibney joined the Marines in 1992 as a clerk, but then found a passion for cybersecurity. He worked his way up through the ranks and found himself overseeing cybersecurity for 128 US embassies around the world. 

While in the Marines, he also worked with the Third Surveillance Reconnaissance Intelligence Group and Marine Security Guard Battalion.

And he received the Navy Achievement Medal for his service, which recognizes service members who display acts of heroism.

After concluding his military career in 2000, McGibney went on to get his Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Boston University, earned his cybersecurity certification from Harvard University, attended Harvard Business School for his Executive Education and is now working on a Doctorate in Technology at Pepperdine University.

He now lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Christina and his three sons. 

When McGibney isn't taking down revenge porn sites, he spends time with his wife Christina and three boys in Texas

When McGibney isn’t taking down revenge porn sites, he spends time with his wife Christina and three boys in Texas

‘In the end, when it’s all said and done, I want my horrific childhood to be considered as a positive message of hope,’ McGibney told DailyMail.com.

‘I was living on the streets in the South Bronx when I was eight. One foster mom left me at a mall, and I never saw her again. One foster dad pissed on me (after he punched me so hard he knocked me out) right after he raped my 7-year-old stepsister. I will never forgive, nor will I ever forget. 

‘But all that torture and torment was a stepping stone. Just stay the course and be your own best friend. Most importantly, don’t give a sh*t what people say about you, this is your life, not theirs.’



READ NEWS SOURCE

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.