LOS ANGELES—Once again the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection has become the target of a well-executed series of attacks—most likely by organized crime. The attacks appear to be an effort to discredit ASACP and to frighten innocent people.
These attacks against ASACP are currently in the form of spam emails sent by bot networks designed to trick people into receiving a message that their IP address has been reported to ASACP for searching/downloading suspected child pornography.
Bot networks are computer systems infected with malicious software that allows an individual to control a vast network of computers without the knowledge of the computers owners. These bot networks can be used to carry out denial of service attacks against websites, send vast quantities of spam email, and even host illegal content. ASACP would like to remind everyone that having a good, up-to-date, anti-virus security suite installed is the best way to guard against your computer becoming part of a bot network.
"We wish to make everyone aware that ASACP does not investigate individuals, only suspected child pornography websites, and never, under any circumstances, initiates such contacts. Our mode of operation is detailed on the ‘About ASACP’ page,” said ASACP CEO Joan Irvine.
If you receive a suspicious email, IM communication or message on a website purporting to come from ASACP, please forward it to ASACP at Comments@ASACP.org.
ASACP has added an explanation for the public on the CP reporting page and has alerted the appropriate law enforcement agencies.
More recently ASACP learned that its email server IP address had been placed on the Barracuda black list. Thanks to the prompt action of ASACP’s hosting company, ASACP was removed from this list.
While it is impossible to determine the exact source, ASACP Technology and Forensic Research Director Tim Henning believes that it likely originates with the very criminals the organization strives to shut down.
"CP operators would like nothing better than to hinder our operations," said Henning, who has overseen ASACP's online CP reporting hotline for well over 13 years and also participates in the Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography. "The work we do helps stop them from making money from child pornography.
Obviously, the efforts of ASACP, other hotlines, and the Financial Coalition Against Child Pornography have been very effective. "Founded in 1996, the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating child pornography from the Internet. ASACP also works to help parents prevent children from viewing age-inappropriate material online with its Restricted To Adults – RTA Website Label.
More information is available at ASACP.org.