Demonoid, a widely popular torrent sharing site, has been shut down by local authorities in Ukraine. According to Torrent Freak, users were first unable to access the site after a massive hacker attack. Later, users were notified that authorities had raided the data center and quickly sealed off all the servers.
The crackdown on torrent sharing sites has been a global initiative, particularly headed and pushed by the United States. The BBC notes that Demonoid.com, which often hosted rarer files for sharing and downloading, was one of the top 300 sites in global web traffic and has always been included on officials’ lists as a threatening site. It made a list of demonized torrent sharing sites, such as Megaupload and the Pirate Bay, which were both shut down in recent years after United States officials pushed for a crackdown on such sites.
The raid on the data center was undertaken by Ukraine’s Division of Economic Crimes after Interpol requested that it should be further investigated for issues of international copyright infringement. Although a main administrator for Demonoid was arrested last October in light of his work with the site, it might still be possible for the site to come back into action. These sites often have a number of spare servers which make restoring the site’s operations quite quick.
One source told Torrent Freak about the progression of events in the last two weeks:
There were suspicions that the site may have been subjected to some kind of exploit or hack in addition to the DDoS. That version of events is now confirmed by the ColoCall source.
“Shortly after [the DDoS] a hacker break-in occurred, and a few days later came the investigators,” the source added.
Overall, while many of these famous and large file sharing sites have been threatened in recent years by an international crackdown on copyright infringement, it has not actually slowed down file sharing overall. PC Magazine notes that the site actually followed Ukrainian laws by blocking all local IP addresses but allowed residents from around the world to use its services.
Some commentators have noted that the complete shut down of Demonoid was concisely timed with a visit by Deputy Prime Minister Valery Khoroshkovsky’s to the United States. The visit will entail discussing issues of copyright infringement on the international level, according to Torrent Freak. The sudden choice by Ukrainian officials to shut down a site that broke no national laws suggests that Ukraine wants to get behind the United States’ stance on file sharing.
Disruption in Demonoid.com’s server started back on July 26 but the final announcement of the total shutdown of the site did not come about until this week.
Photo Credit: Victorrocha