Demonoid owners under criminal investigation

Demonoid owners under criminal investigation

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, and now the owners are reportedly under criminal investigation in Mexico.

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Update on August 8 - Anonymous attacks Ukrainian government after Demonoid bust

Demonoid owners under criminal investigation

Demonoid's owners are under criminal investigation in Mexico, where at least one of the site's administrator's was previously rumored to be. We learned just yesterday that Demonoid was busted by Ukrainian authorities who had a talk with ColoCall, the largest datacenter in Ukraine, in the middle of last week.

Last month, a massive Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack brought the site to its knees. 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 dead again.

Sergei Burlakov, the Deputy Head of press service at Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs, told Kommersant that the police itself did not have to use force to convince the hosting provider ColoCall. Here is a rough translation of his statement from Russian courtesy of Google Translate, with some grammar fixes:

"The Department of Economic Crimes received an international commission of inquiry from Interpol to send to ColoCall. The owners of Demonoid are being prosecuted in Mexico and the tracker is accused of copyright infringement. We sent a request to the provider, after which the company itself decided not to work with Demonoid."

This action all apparently started a long time ago. In October 2011, authorities carried out a raid in Monterrey, Mexico, with the aim of arresting one of Demonoid's staff and blocking access to the site in the country, according to TorrentFreak. They were reportedly successful.

It's looking less and less likely that Demonoid's administrator will be able to bring the site back one day, as promised. Then again, we're talking about Demonoid, which doesn't seem interested in calling it quits, much like The Pirate Bay.

Update on August 8 - Anonymous attacks Ukrainian government after Demonoid bust

See also:

Topics: Security, Government, Government US, Outage

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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14 comments
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  • In Mexico...

    all they need to do is bribe the right government official and the investigation will go away. Seriously, Mexico? That's pointless and irrelevant.
    Unusual1
    • demoniod

      "All they need to do is bribe the right government official and the investigation will" prosecute anybody! They have been stting this up for a while and now it goes off in the run-up to national elections. Does this coincide with any Mexican elections?
      garyfizer@...
    • Yes, but ...

      If someone else pays them more they will "do the job" of the person that pays the most. That is how corrupt governements work. He who pays the most becomes my friend.
      xangpow
  • Yup

    basically confirms that the DDoS attack on Demonoid last month was a contracted hit. This will only strengthen the pirate community in their resolve.
    thesgc1
  • All fair game I suppose

    in a world where it is getting increasingly difficult to tell the bad guys from the good.

    How dog-eat-dog naive we all once were.
    klumper
  • Irony

    Is this "case" not ironic? The Ukraine and the Russian Federation have both allowed all sorts of copyright-infringing activities for a long time. They play host to some of the biggest organized crime entities that engage in massive identity theft, credit card scams, and other nefarious activities.

    From what I understand - the only time authorities there engage in enforcement of these laws and investigations is when the right "contributions" haven't been made. The owners of Demonoid must not have paid off the right officials.
    TheBattman
  • What happened to process?

    Isn't it comforting to know that Interpol can work internationally outside of the law. A group is suspected of a crime and based on that they are shutdown with no due process. THEN they begin the investigation? I always thought the investigation part came first then when it turned up conclusive evidence charges were laid and THEN they would be shut down.

    How long before they take it upon themselves to police the rest of us the same way? How many people truly see what is happening I wonder. New world order here we come, God help us.
    alawishis
    • Due Process

      @alawishis:

      Have you never seen a police raid on TV? Armed with a search warrant, police will often raid an establishment (or home, etc.) -- confiscate computers (and whatever else deemed as potential evidence) - and shut down the place.

      Due process simply means that the authorities have only a limited time frame AFTER the above to press charge(s) -- or let the defendant go and return his property. No indefinite, open-ended detention -- although said limited period can be extended if approved by the courts.

      Due process does NOT mean that the police can't shut you down until after you've been proven guilty by a court of law.
      ReadandShare
    • Due Process (cont'd)

      Forgot to add... Very likely that Interpol has been involved for some time -- so this isn't a "spur of the moment" raid. Per the article:

      "This action all apparently started a long time ago. In October 2011, authorities carried out a raid in Monterrey, Mexico, with the aim of arresting one of Demonoid's staff and blocking access to the site in the country, according to TorrentFreak. They were reportedly successful."

      None of us knows the details, but I believe there's at least some prior investigation -- plus lots of bureaucratic paperwork back and forth -- before this raid.
      ReadandShare
  • Hmm

    Long Live The Torrents
    hackerdemon2000@...
  • Thats funny

    People keep insisting that "I am super hacker, you cant find me. HA HA" They know about you, they know all about you. But they wont move against you until they can do it without media attention. That is why Anonymous stays in the news. The moment people forget about them, they wont be around. So go ahead and sit behind your "super secret squirrel" computer doing whatever you want. Just remember they know what you are doing, even if you think they dont.
    xangpow
  • UGH

    This sucks I miss my demonoid. I have been a member for close to years. Now I need to find a replacement.
    j-mccurdy@...
  • F'ING ASSHOLES!

    I've now lost all respect for Interpol - don't they have have more important crimes to occupy their undermanned resources?
    wyrwolf
  • A torrent isn't copyright protected - just a data file

    Justification for this action is missing a few parts. The problem for government is that a torrent file isn't the central repository for the file it represents. The distributed beauty and simplicity is the protection for the tracker. He isn't holding any copyright protected material.

    It may not be right but it is just a link. Also, who is the real source of the DDOS attack...Eric Holder and Das Barak? since they took down several others, it is likely they are the real source.
    Geof Grooms