NASA Contractor Used a Tor2Web Proxy to Download Child Porn


United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announced the arrest of NASA contractor Anthony Joseph Culotta, Jr. for possession of child pornography. Investigators caught him after he used a Tor2web proxy on NASA networks.

Investigation

From the PC Affidavit:

Through the investigation, [the NASA investigator] learned that on December 22, 2016, the NASA KSC Internet Protocol (IP) address 163.205.155.21 searched for the web domain: librexxx.onion.link, an Internet search browser that searches TOR and “dark web” networks.

The anonymous networks such as the dark web has been known to host websites and files depicting child pornography. NASA network records were reviewed and it was discovered that NASA KSC IP 163.205.155.21 was assigned to one device having host name KSSLW16011214 and one user, “aculotta,” between December 1, 2016, and December 27, 2016.

NASA identification records showed that usemame “aculotta” was only assigned to Culotta. At the time, Culotta was working as a NASA contractor with KSC Launch Services Program. Culotta has worked as a NASA contractor since at least 2004. NASA property records showed the host KSSLWI6011214 had the asset property number 16011214 and was only issued to Culotta.

Tor2Web

Why Tor2Web Proxies exist

By Matt Traudt

They exist so people can access onion services without using Tor. That’s it. If the user doesn’t know all the caveats that come along with that benefit, then she is probably really hurting herself. And if the user is already using Tor Browser, there is no valid reason for her to be using a tor2web proxy. Tor2web proxies are not a troubleshooting step. Please stop using them like one. Please stop suggesting them to people. Link

Why they are bad

(Also by Matt Traudt)

Since the tor2web proxy is the one connecting to the onion service for Alice, it gets to see everything. If Alice is visiting a forum or image board, the proxy gets to see all the posts and all the images. If Alice is logging into something, the proxy gets to see her credentials.

Let me repeat that. When you use a tor2web proxy, it gets to see EVERYTHING. Your credentials if you sign in. Any cookies. Any uploads you make. All the pages you request and their contents.

Conclusion

The USAO announcement is accessible here: NASA Contractor Arrested For Possession Of Child Pornography

On August 7, 2018, special agents working with the NASA Office of Inspector General interviewed Culotta, who admitted that he used his NASA computer to search for and view images that piqued his curiosity. A search of the computer revealed over 1,000 images of child pornography, including images of known victims previously identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.