Demonoid busted by the police

Demonoid busted by the police

Summary: Demonoid, one of the biggest torrent sites, was taken down on July 25 by a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. Ukrainian officials then made sure the servers remained inaccessible, apparently to show the U.S. it is taking intellectual property rights seriously.

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Update on August 7 - Demonoid owners under criminal investigation

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News broke today that Demonoid was busted by Ukrainian authorities in the middle of last week. The massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack that brought the site to its knees late last month was apparently just the beginning.

Last week, the server was turned off completely and the site led to a dead end. Then it came back to life and started redirecting to random sites full of advertisements. Eventually this stopped and both demonoid.me and demonoid.ph went back to not responding. Now we know why.

Government officials reportedly arrived at ColoCall, the largest datacenter in Ukraine, to shut Demonoid down. An anonymous ColoCall source gave a statement to Kommersant (via TorrentFreak). Here is a rough translation from Russian courtesy of Google Translate, with some grammar fixes:

Shortly after this hacker break-in occurred, and even a few days later, came the investigators. Investigators copied all the information from Demonoid's servers, and sealed them. Some equipment was not seized, but now that [the connection] does not work, we were forced to terminate the agreement with the site.

Demonoid's servers may have been closed off, but the site's administrator appears to still be at large. The source noted that the site's management is located in Mexico. In fact, the admin declared late last week that Demonoid would be back, eventually.

The general consensus is that Demonoid did not break Ukranian law. In fact, the site went to extreme measures to avoid the wrath of local authorities: it blocked all Ukranian IP addresses. Nevertheless, it is believed that the U.S. got involved, and suddenly Ukraine started looking into the torrent site.

On Friday, Ukraine's Interior Ministry announced that the site was taken down the night before its First Deputy Prime Minister Valeriy Khoroshkovsky arrived in the U.S. to discuss matters with United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk. One of the issues on the docket was, unsurprisingly, intellectual property rights. In fact, this was the first matter mentioned in their joint statement, which was released by the Office of the United States Trade Representative:

We discussed the importance to each country of greater progress on the 2010 IPR Action Plan for protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR). The United States supported Ukraine's commitment to redouble efforts, especially those identified in the Action Plan, to implement protections that benefit both Ukrainian and American inventors and creators. The United States also hailed Ukraine's planned increase in intellectual property inspectors, as called for in the 2010 IPR Action Plan, as well as its adoption of a new Customs Code intended to improve customs valuation procedures.

If the site administrator manages to bring back Demonoid, he'll have to find a new country for the site's servers. That's happened before, so there's a chance it will happen again.

Update on August 7 - Demonoid owners under criminal investigation

Topics: Security, Government, Government US, Outage, Piracy

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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23 comments
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  • Correction

    " Ukrainian officials then made sure the servers remained inaccessible, apparently to show the U.S. it is taking intellectual property rights seriously"

    "Ukrainian police took delivery of nice new shiny BMWs from MPAA,RIAA etc to duff up the system admin and confiscate the servers"
    Alan Smithie
    • Right on

      I guess the extradition of one British college student was not enough for the MPAA and the RIAA...
      athynz
  • Do you suppose they saw it coming

    My guess is Demonoid is setting up in another country and probably was before this even happened. This has happened before to them in Canada. It is nothing new
    zmudd
  • THEY CANT STOP IT

    LOL!!! SET THEM FREE!!! Demonoid will always have my support!!!

    Demonoid username: "Tr3jo"
    dannyace33
  • something smells rotten in Denmark..err.. Ukraine.

    I find it odd that Demonoid servers were a part of a sophisticated hack and simultaneous DOS attack.. then a few days later the authorities show up? So is it's ok for them to contract hackers to destroy another business that's not in line with their own? Seems kind of desperate.. if you can't beat em join em right?
    magnetik@...
    • Fuq the establishment

      I say if we can't get information how, when, and where we want, even if it is shared by someone who has payed their ridiculous prices, just so they can live in some effin mansion and drive some fansy car, then fuq em. Stop watching, listening, and most importantly buying their garbage. Let them spend all their mansion and car money making these movies and cd's and thne when no one goes out and buys them just like no one is right now, they can stick them up their asses. I mean, don't they take enough from us already. Rich fuquin bastards. When is it going to be enough before we stop letting these douche bags run the game? We have all the knowledge, all the numbers, and all the Heart. All they have is the Money.
      All we really have to do is stop buying. isn't that the real reason they hit Demonoid in the first place.
      Fuq em.
      David Goodwin
      • Fuq the establishment?

        "Information" is one thing. Movies, music, magazines, games, ebooks are not "information," they are entertainment.
        rowenacherry
        • Entertainment

          The trouble with the world is that we allow ourselves to be distracted by 'entertainment' instead of concentrating on the important issues affecting humanity and the Earth.

          If we spent 1% of the effort, time and money we spend on 'diversions' on fostering world peace, curbing capitalistic greed, saving the rainforests etc, we'd have a perfect world by now. But no, let's languish in our own juices, demanding to be entertained so we may forget the plight of others.
          kelv1969@...
    • Smells Rotten??

      This is nothing compared to what these scumbags do behind closed doors. They'll contract hits on human beings so why not inanimate objects..

      The Ukraine should have told us (United States) to mind our own business and f'k off, very politley put. Who do these people think they are? They are mere mortals like the rest of us but yet they seem to think they are gods.. Very sickening..
      Freedom_Filter
    • Don't buy this shit, unless it is advertized well.

      I know for my self I will never buy another fricken movie or cd unless I get a damn good demo of it. That is what these torrents are for, so we know if anything that is coming out that looks half decent, we know if it is going to be a waist of money or not. So, this is what I did, just find another site that you can get free shit to download,, FUCK HOLLYWOOD and it's greedy bullshit..
      sufka28
  • And in Near Future News

    (By the end of the month)
    The hacker collective Anonymous has taken down the website of the Ukrainian government. Defacing their homepage, compromising their various social media accounts, and leaking several highly sensitive emails. The email expose the Prime Minister's (or what ever they use for a head of state there) salacious sexual affair with (fill in the blank) and several security threats.
    They left a long message discussing the need for the Internet to be a place were freedom of speech is respected. Their message closed with their now familiar sign off.
    "We are Anonymous.
    We are Legion.
    We do not forgive.
    We do not forget.
    Expect us"
    TheQuestion
    • And in the Near Future News

      Freedom of speech is the State's respect for anyone's right to say what they think. However, if you say something reprehensible and harm someone, you are expected to face the consequences.

      Freedom of speech covers your own original self-expression. It does not cover the behavior involved when you copy someone else's. If you infringe copyright, you must expect consequences.
      rowenacherry
      • Original self-expression

        I find your opinion thought provoking. Its also a sentiment I've never had related to me before. Its totally original.
        If someone writes a non-fiction book they want it to be read. And the entire point of copyright to is to promote the useful arts. But congress has extended and extended and extended the life of copyrights well beyond what they were originally meant to be. If we were following the original intent of copyright, the Star Wars Trilogy would be in the public domain.
        There is also the simple reality that copyright violation has, according to sources outside of the media industries, only really hurt the music industry. Film, Television, and print media profits have grown in line with historical trends, despite a world wide recession.
        I'm not saying file-sharing is some great moral crusade, but I also think stealing a dime from a billionaire is hardly the crime of the century.
        They copyright system in this country is broken, people are sued of legitimate uses all the time. There was a case where a certain Idaho businessman was doing some nefarious things to a local reporter, a blog reported about. The blog received a letter from the businessman's lawyer telling him to take down the story or face a defamation suit. So the blog complied, not having the lawyers to defend against the suit. But they posted the letter. The lawyers copyrighted the letter, after the fact, then sued the blog for copyright violation. -> I sh!t you not.
        There comes a point, where the law becomes so obscenely stupid, that breaking it could be a form of expression.
        And not for nothing, http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-19194467
        I CAN SEE THE FUTURE!!!
        TheQuestion
        • Really?

          Breaking the law as a form of expression is called "civil disobedience," and I concur with that point. I would like to point out that the freedom of speech, as identified in the US, is inherently designed to protect your right to express anything, without exception. The first and second amendments synergistically create the foundation of a means of enforcing the social contract - your ability to organize and to resist the government is protected by the Constitution.

          I find the idea that anyone things that books and videos aren't often "information" to be disturbing - are people that stupid?
          Vycerion
  • Solution

    To solve all that, just copy all data to TPB and redirect domain.
    Rikkrdo
  • demonoid

    their time would be better spent if the usa and ukraine could agree to stop the genocide of wemon and children in syria and leave unimportant things alone
    tricky micky
  • Team America: World Police

    Isn't it just disgusting how much power the US Government, MPAA & RIAA have over foreign governments. Plus, I think it's safe to say that the DDoS attack was perpetrated by someone under the orders of those groups. Hypocrites. It's OK for them commit a crime to get what they want. Will those involved in the DDoS attack be prosecuted? Of course not.
    MetalRob72
  • Way To Go Anonymous!

    My main reason to write a comment was to show support for Demonoid, but after reading the earlier comment regarding 'Anonymous' ' actions against the Ukranian gov. site (which I REALLY hope is factual) - I would love to extend my support & kudos to them as well as Demonoid.

    I have been a registered user on the DO site for some time- and every since my first visit, it has been my first and only choice for torrents. It is by far the primo FS site, and I will be extremely disappointed if they do not find a new home. Hopefully- Anon. actions will make any future host country think twice before bowing to the US' Big Brother tactics.

    This whole IPR thing is nothing but a bunch of rich assholes worrying the may not be able to buy another yacht- or some such nonsense. I am an aspiring writer- and have given this issue a lot of thought. If my books are published (If I am so lucky), I do not believe I would lose any sleep over losing a few bucks. I really cant believe that FS is used by enough people to seriously affect the bottom line. I think the numbers they spew out of their lie-holes are all greatly manipulated to show what they want- Just like ALL statistics. You can always massage numbers to make them say what you want them to. Someone smarter than I once said "There are 3 types of lies. Lies, Damn Lies and statistics" I believe that 100%. Statistics will be the SINGLE biggest factor of who the next president of the United States will be. I firmly Believe that as well.

    I am an American first, and a Native-American second. (Politically) But I am ashamed when the elected officials of this country perpetrate- and allow to be perpetrated, the actions that were taken in the Ukraine over this issue of 'Intellectual Property Rights'. Someone in an earlier comment made an excellent point- put the man-hours (excuse me- 'People-Hours' spent on this towards something important like campaigns of genocide that are still going on in the 21st century. Or is genocide not as important to the deep-pocketed Americans as IPR? If those fat cats put their money and influence behind a campaign to end genocide in the world- it would probably have ended decades ago.

    Ok- that was my turn of the proverbial soapbox. Thanks to ZDNet as well for providing the soapbox.

    Vive La Resistance!!!
    IAmJoseyWales
  • So much for progress..

    Nice to see the Ukrainian government has forgotten about their own oppressed, censored, enslaved, and authoritarian hammer it had pounded on them by the Soviets for decades, with over 10million + slaughtered and GULAG'd, I guess they think its trendy to sell out to globalist control freak cockroaches over in the US, who pretty much wants the same model over there anyway, since so many infamous and elite bankers and elites in the US gov helped fund communism in Russia for years, as well as the Nazis. Sad to see the Ukraine authorities tagging along and cowtowing to the hegemonic US and vicious monopolistic trash, in preparation for its NWO takeover coming to a theater near you soon.
    shnoogans
  • demonoid is now on mysocialclassroom.com

    click on file sharing optoin, the admin has to give you the right for file sharing.. sharing is caring.. upload a pic,.,,,
    grouporate