Cyberhell: Exposing an Internet Horror is a Netflix 2022 documentary about the hunt for two South Korean pedophiles who victimized more than 1,100 little girls in Korea and distributed child pornography of those victims to blackmail them into committing degrading acts of self-harm.
10 out of 10 stars. There were several technical issues with this documentary, but the content makes it a must watch. This is how pedophiles should be treated–hunted down, arrested, and publicly shamed.
Telegram: the phone app for sexual predators
In 2019, a phone app called Telegram was created by a man calling himself Baksa for the sole purpose of eliciting and spreading child pornography in the country of South Korea. Baksa is Cho Ju-Bin, a pedophile who used various tactics to force young girls into sending him naked photos of themselves performing various acts. He then spread these photos across the internet, charging fees to other pedophiles to view them.
In October 2019, one of Baksa’s victims told a friend what had happened to her. The friend was older, male, and began hunting Baksa. He went by the name Joker. Joker joined Baksa’s Telegram chat rooms and began recording evidence against him. Then he sent this evidence to the investigative reporters at Hankyoreh newspaper.
Cho Ju-Bin: the perverted mind of a pedophile
Baksa’s MO was simple. He’d advertise a job that paid well. Girls would click on this link. He’d require that they download the phone app Telegram which he created. Then he’d steal all of their personal information without them even knowing it. He’d require a picture of their photo ID before they could work for him, so they could be legitimately paid. Since this is required in Korea, they had no reason to suspect anything. And they were very young girls. The youngest Boksa targeted was 8 years old, which he bragged about. Once he had their photo IDs, he would send them all of the personal information he had about them–their name, their family members’ names, their address, their school, their school photos, their family photos, a photo of their home, a photo of their school, and other frighteningly personal information that he’d scoured from their phone and through the internet. All because they downloaded the Telegram phone app. Once the girls were frightened, he’d threaten them and their families if they didn’t send him naked photos of themselves. Once he had the naked photos, he’d blackmail them into photographing themselves performing degrading behaviors, like licking the toilet, licking the floor, putting pens and other foreign objects in their vaginas, and mock hanging themselves.
Nth Rooms: chat rooms for the most perverse of pedophiles
Once the journalists began investigating Baksa, a Telegram member sent them a link to the Nth Rooms. These are rooms where child pornography of even younger girls are viewed and distributed, down to three year old girls. In the Nth Rooms were videos of naked little girls carving shameful words on their bodies at the behest of Boksa and his followers, all pedophiles. The gateway to this online chat forum was through AVSnoop, a website. AVSnoop was owned by a user called Watchman who published all of the victims’ personal information and made degrading remarks about them, making fun of them. In addition to these little girls being forced to carve foul words on their bodies, they were forced to pierce their skin with needles and thread then hang objects off of their bodies. One of the Nth Rooms was run by a pedophile named Rabbit and was dedicated to child porn of little girls ages 3 to 8 years old.
Team Flame and Hankyoreh Newspaper: our heroes
Team Flame was a group of reporters who outed the Nth Rooms and fed the police enough evidence to find and locate Rabbit. He was arrested.
Hankyoreh newspaper published their news article. It made the front page of the newspaper, but no one paid any attention. It was just another story about females being victimized. In fact, more people joined Telegram and the Nth Rooms. Boksa made more money. In fact, Boksa bragged in the chat rooms about how Hankyoreh was advertising for them. He thought it was funny until a TV news crew became interested in the story.
SBS is a Korean company that owns media outlets like Spotlight News (similar to our Dateline). After Hankyoreh’s article is published, they take note of the Telegram phone app and the Nth Room chat rooms where child pornography is being elicited, uploaded, shared, and sold. So they prepare a story. Baksa contacts the Spotlight reporters and tells them he is in Cambodia. Then he tells them he is in China. Then he says Cambodia again. But his stories are lies. He’s living in South Korea where his victims are. Baksa becomes enraged when Spotlight continues with their story. He threatens to make a little girl jump off the top of the SBS building if they air their news report. Then he sends them a video of a naked little Korean girl with a bag over her head and a noose around her neck.
Spotlight airs the report. Baksa publishes all of the girls’ videos and personal information publicly. The police identify the victim and stake out her home. They introduce themselves to the girl and her family and explain to her family how she’s been victimized and blackmailed.
Police caught the pedophiles through Bitcoin
Baksa was collecting millions by selling membership to these child pornography chat rooms. He was paid through bitcoin called Bestcoin. He was cashing out this bitcoin through Monera wallet which was disbursed to a 9th grader who picked it up from the disbursement center and dropped the cash in various drop spots. They followed the various individuals picking up the cash and eventually ended up with the same man over and over again, Cho Ju-Bin. Cho Ju-Bin wasn’t just a pedophile and child pornography trafficker. He also trafficked in drugs and firearms. He was arrested, charged, convicted, and sentenced to 45 years in prison.
Moon Hyung-Wook: the cryptocurrency pedophile
Cho Ju-Bin’s cryptocurrency accounts were all set up by the same man, Moon Hyung-Wook, but he wasn’t so easy to find. Godgod was Wook’s online alias, the one he used to sell child pornography he’d forced little girls into. He was responsible for luring many of Baksa’s victims. He would post an offer of a job and within the text would be a link to get further information about the job. That link was clickbait and would record all of the girl’s personal information. This information was downloaded to Wook’s phone and he constantly changed phones, leaving them in the same junk shop. He uploaded all of the child pornography videos and pictures to a cloud drive called Mega, but he always used discarded phones and free Wi-fi hot spots so he couldn’t be traced. Digital forensic analysis of the used cell phones at the junk shop finally led them to Moon Hyung-Wook. He had more than 1,100 victims. Following his arrest, 245 of the Nth Room members were imprisoned. He was arrested, charged, convicted, and sentenced to 34 years in prison.
10 out of 10 stars. Kudos to the journalists who didn’t give up. And kudos to the Korean police who captured both men and put them where they belong, beyond bars in prison.
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