IWF – Annual Report Reveals a Rise in Online Child Sexual Abuse Images

The Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) has published it’s 2017 Annual Report.  The report highlights a rise in online child sexual abuse images and video content.

In partnership with the online industry, the IWF works proactively to remove online child abuse content by issuing take down notices to hosting companies across the world. The collaborate with internal law enforcement and charities to find and remove child abuse content.

The IWF report states that, in 2017, 132,636 reports were processed which is a 26% increased from 2016.  Global reports have increased by a third. (Image UK hosting of CSA – pages 20-21).

The IWF reports that online criminals are using more sophisticated technical methods, such as disguised websites or digital pathways to hide criminal activity. These are websites which initially look legitimate and legal content for general browsers, but for a user who has followed a digital pathway, this will reveal child abuse content.

The IWF also cited holding sites/services and cyberlockers as most frequently used to share child abuse imagery and videos.  Hosting sites allow users to upload images onto servers. The user will then be provided with a unique code which can then be shared with others to view the content.

Cyberlockers are cloud sharing services which allow users to share, store and back up files onto the internet.  Other users are then able to access the files from virtual storage lockers to view child abuse content. The IWF saw an increase of 86% compared to 2016.

Hidden Services or the Dark Web continues to be challenging to locate the location of servers.  The IWF is working with NCA and CEOP to share intelligence on hidden sites which host child abuse content.  This contributes to an international investigation of online criminals. (Image site type: Which type of sites are used the most). As well as cyberlockers and hidden services, the report also highlighted an increase in commercial child abuse content, where payment is received in exchange for viewing online child sexual abuse content.  This was a 1% rise.

The IWF works swiftly to remove child sexual abuse imagery. Here you can see the response time in the table below (page 19):

The report also reveals that the Lucy faithfully Foundation reported a 40% increase in contacts (from 2016) to the ‘Stop it Now’ child sex abuse prevention campaign from people seeking help to stop looking at online child abuse.

CAID The Child Abuse Image Database (CAID) is a project led by the Home Office which will enable UK law enforcement to assess, categorise and generate unique hashes for tens of millions of child abuse images and videos found during their investigation.

The IWF Hash List

A ‘hash’ is a unique digital footprint of a child sexual abuse image.  These images are then added to a hash list and used to identify duplicates which then helps to prevent wider distribution across the internet. The Child Abuse Image Database,  led by the Home Office enables UK law enforcement to assess, categorise and generate unique hashes for child abuse images and videos found during their investigation.

The amazing work of the IWF continues across the globe where they have over 130 member companies globally working together to eradicate online child sexual abuse in less developed countries. (Image Global hosting sites)

The report includes global trends, new development and much more.

Please take a look and share the IWF annual reporthere: https://www.iwf.org.uk/sites/default/files/reports/2018-04/IWF%202017%20Annual%20Report%20for%20web.pdf

To make a report to the IWF visit:  https://report.iwf.org.uk/en/report

2018-04-27T13:27:23+00:00April 27th, 2018|
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