A network of websites used by hackers and others to anonymously share information has itself been hit by a cyberattack.

The attack disabled a large chunk of the so-called Dark Web, knocking thousands of websites offline, cybersecurity and privacy specialists said. The anonymous attack, which hit a web-hosting provider named Freedom Hosting II, occurred on Friday and as of late Monday, they remained offline, they said.

The Dark Web is the term used for a network of servers that use anonymity software, in particular a version called Tor, to cloak their location. The Dark Web is used by a mixture of activists and privacy lovers looking to keep their identities secret and criminals distributing illicit materials like child pornography or data taken in cyberattacks. The online marketplace Silk Road used Dark Web servers to hide from law enforcement before it was shuttered in 2013 as part of a criminal investigation by federal authorities.

Source: ‘Dark Web’ Sites Hit in Cyberattack