FBI's covert "Operation Site Down" targets top international warez and piracy sites

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Friday, July 1, 2005

The U.S. Department of Justice has announced actions taken in eleven nations as part of the FBI's covert "Operation Site Down". The infiltration of so-called 'Topsites' resulted in searches, arrests, and seizures in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, Portugal and Great Britain in addition to the United States.

Messages in response posted on a communications page for warez users read:

RiSCISO, Myth, TDA, LND, Goodfellaz, Hoodlum, Vengeance, Centropy, Wasted Time, Paranoid, Corrupt, Gamerz, AdmitONE, Hellbound, KGS, BBX, KHG, NOX, NFR, CDZ, TUN, and BHP were all hit, and were all hit hard.
EdN not pre'ing for awhile, investigations still going on!

An email lists people targeted, updated in Mountain Time (UTC-7) at 6:31pm, 6:36pm, 6:38pm. The last update is at 6:41pm.

The FBI began the sting in 2003, offering hosting for software cracks and movies. As the covert site infiltrated the underground warez and piracy community, it was repeatedly expanded to provide storage for an increasingly large collection of pirated material. Eventually it held some 27 terabytes of copyrighted files, including 188 copyrighted software titles valued at more than US$300,000.

In the U.S.A. William Venya, 34, of Chatworth, Calif., Chirayu Patel, 23, of Fremont, Calif., Nate Lovell, 22, of Boulder, Colo., and David Fish, 24, of Watertown, Conn were all arrested on criminal complaints of copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit copyright infringement.


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