The High Tech Society

Demonoid Down – Torrent Site Hit By Ukraine Officials

After a late July takedown of the site, Demonoid officials revealed that they had been hit from an anonymous source, deleting much of their data and taking their site offline for an unknown amount of time. Despite early belief that it was a rogue hit, it now appears that Ukraine officials were behind the attack.

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Demonoid Down since July 25

On July 25, users of the torrent site began to notice that Demonoid was down; their website displayed an error message ‘Sever Busy’.

“The action you requested could not be completed because the server is too busy. Please try again in a few minutes.”

Most at the time believed that it was a simple technical error, or that Demonoid, frequently overloaded with visits, was actually experiencing server trouble. Demonoid provides torrent downloads to users with a BitTorrent proxy (if you’re wondering ‘what is a torrent download’ you can check here.)

The Ukraine is believed to have taken the site down after receiving a request from the international police organization Interpol.

Within a few days, the problem had not gone away and the sole remaining technical administrator, who remains unnamed, admitted that the servers had been hit by a massive DDOS attack. (DDOS means Distribution Denial of Service).

The tech admin at Demonoid explained to questions by answering that they were having power issues, and that an unknown group of hackers had hit the site, for unknown reasons. Because the Demonoid torrent site has been down for approximately 14 months in the last 4 years, most of the several million users weren’t concerned.

Demonoid Provides Rare and Hard To Find Content

Despite being a BitTorrent site that occasionally caters to PSP file sharing people who wish to download torrents illegally, Demonoid also caters to a range of other clientele. The site is mainly private, with an invite only status. Many of its users share rare or hard to find content rather than mass uploading torrents for everyone to download. While this difference sets Demonoid apart from other BitTorrent sites such as the Pirate Bay, it is still one of the most trafficked sites on the internet.

Before its takedown several weeks ago, Demonoid was ranking in the top 600 most trafficked sites in the world, and in the top 300 for the United States. Despite not catering to as many illegal activities as sites such as the Pirate Bay (blocked on most ISPS servers in Europe) it still attracted the attention of U.S., and their home country Ukraine officials.

Site Redirecting Towards Malicious Software and Advertisements

Soon after Demonoid went down, the site began to redirect towards Malware and advertisement sites. Whether this is a result of the attack by the Ukraine government; or another hacker taking advantage of the crippled servers is yet to be known. However; Demonoid.me and the sites other URL’s are now redirecting towards spam sites. The main dates where redirects were in place were July 1 and August 2.

Demonoid Down – Not Getting Back Online Any Time Soon

According to the one remaining tech admin at Demonoid, the site is down, and won’t be coming back to life any time soon. The DDOS attack by the Ukraine government apparently took out much of their server data as well as their backup data, leaving the remaining tech of Demonoid to fix it slowly.

“It started as a DDoS but then it caused a series of problems. These problems need to be fixed before the site can go back up, and it’s a complicated fix this time,” The admin was quoted as saying. “There might have been an attack from another angle, an exploit of sorts, but it’s hard to tell right now without a full check of everything,” he goes on to reluctantly admit.

“I don’t plan on shutting down, but if Im going to fix it I have to do it properly. That means upgrading a lot of our 7 year old hardware and maybe bringing up the beta only, I have gotten a few offers to help but that means giving way too many privileges over the user data to a stranger…Can’t have that,”

The hit on Demonoid is part of a worldwide strike against online sites serving up illegal downloads. MegaUploads, is one of the other major sites, along with Piratebay, that was recently taken out in most countries.

While the bill SOPA was not passed, many of us are still seeing similar results in the takedown of pirated software and media, as well as the control of illegal sites. Most of the sites taken down in the last few months are from the Notorious Markets List, a U.S. government list of sites that engage in intellectual property rights infringement.

While many of these sites are still up, the online activity within the last few months suggests that within the next year, most if not all of them will be down one way or another.