Twenty-nine-year-old Ryan Montgomery of Pennsylvania – also known by his nickname "0day" – decided to start helping authorities dismantle child abuse networks after receiving a text message from a distressed friend three years ago. The message spoke of a website for pedophiles "sharing videos of little girls" and " talking about how they raped and abused children."
The website's link was included in the message, alongside a screenshot of three children in bathing suits. The description urged users to "pick one" for themselves, with one casting his bets on the one in the middle. Horrifying images, videos and paragraphs were also found on the website.
Montgomery sprung into action and utilized his skills to infiltrate the website. He managed to extract data en masse – including usernames, incriminating threads and descriptions of acts beyond the pale. While he obtained a stockpile of evidence from the site, he did not lift photos due to their illicit nature.
The white hat hacker then reached out to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's child pornography cyber tip line and sent over the damning database. While he never heard back from the nonprofit after he sent his tip, Montgomery said arrests were made following his actions.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said in a January 2023 statement that 38-year-old Christopher William Kuehner and three others were convicted of child abuse charges. It stated that the four were "prominent members" of the said website "dedicated to, among other things, child sexual exploitation."
"Kuehner repeatedly induced and enticed minor girls to produce child sexual abuse material for both him and the other members of the website," it said. He and his three accomplices all pleaded guilty to the federal charges.
Montgomery learned not long after his hacking of the site that Nathan Larson, the man who ran the said website, had also been arrested with a 12-year-old girl he "kidnapped and raped." Larson, a two-time congressional candidate who advocated for the legalization of child pornography, has since died in prison.
Montgomery's work did not stop with the said website's shutdown. Together with a friend, he set up an organization to expose these "sickos" and lock them up.
However, he expressed wonder why major mainstream media outlets did not show any interest in exposing this demonic work. Only whistleblower group Project Veritas, known for its bombshell exposes courtesy of underground journalists, reached out to them. (Related: Stanford researchers: Twitter FAILED to prevent dozens of child abuse images from spreading online.)
"They uncovered about 500 people so far," Montgomery said. "[It's] 100 percent guaranteed there are people behind these usernames."
During an appearance on "The Shawn Ryan Show" podcast, the white hat hacker demonstrated the dangers of such child sexual exploitation websites and how quickly predators can target children.
"Just opening up a chat room and saying that I am 13 years old and saying 'hi' – there [were] about … 14 messages in the chat room. And one of them was a man in his 40s."
The ethical hacker has been waging a cyber war against monsters, and has seen things far worse. But for him, the war isn't over yet.
"I'm limited in what I'm allowed to say, but a lot is coming."
Visit Trafficking.news for more stories about online child sexual exploitation and efforts to combat it.
Watch Martin Brodel discussing the efforts of Ryan Montgomery against online pedophilia below.
This video is from the Martin Brodel channel on Brighteon.com.