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Piracy The Internet

File-Sharing Site Was Actually an Anti-Piracy Honeypot 225

Posted by Soulskill
from the oh-bother dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The administrator of file-sharing site UploaderTalk shocked and enraged his userbase a few days ago when he revealed that the site was nothing more than a honeypot set up by a company called Nuke Piracy. The main purpose of the site had been to gather data on its users. The administrator said, 'I collected info on file hosts, web hosts, websites. I suckered $#!&loads of you. I built a history, got the trust of some very important people in the warez scene collecting information and data all the time.' Nobody knows what Nuke Piracy is going to do with the data, but it seems reasonable to expect lawsuits and the further investigation of any services the users discussed. His very public betrayal is likely meant to sow discord and distrust among the groups responsible for distributing pirated files."
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File-Sharing Site Was Actually an Anti-Piracy Honeypot

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 26, 2013 @01:03PM (#45245567)

    Seriously, UploaderTalk is a no-name site.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 26, 2013 @01:18PM (#45245683)

      Gotta agree there. I've more or less gotten out of that life-style and only occasionally keep track of file-sharing news when it was something big. I'd never heard of this guy or his sites.

      That said, now that this story is Slashdotted... what will the Internet vigilantes do to this guy?

      • by TemperedAlchemist (2045966) on Saturday October 26, 2013 @01:48PM (#45245887)

        Well, it's likely he won't stay anonymous for long.

        The whole thing makes me scratch my head though. Seems like a bad and unprofessional idea to just announce it's a honeypot. If I were setting it up I'd just say the site is closing down then dish out lawsuits or what have you or whatever else, I don't know. An anti-piracy stance (in the typical MPAA fashion) is a very unpopular one on the internet. There's nothing to gain.

        But he even announced he's doing it again, and it's likely he'll be tracked down and effortlessly exposed.

        Sounds more like some script kiddie who is pulling some prank or what have you. But apparently tracking down who was behind was just handed to us on a silver platter, right here [arkansas.gov]. Names and address included.

        So it's a legitimate business. Well good luck against the internet, if they even take your vBulletin forum and website that was coded by fifth grader seriously. I wonder if they even know how to extract the data in any meaningful way.

        • by Yaur (1069446) on Saturday October 26, 2013 @02:14PM (#45246061)
          Tbqh this doesn't pass the sniff test. More likely scenarios: 1) its a hoax/false flag and piracy nuke is the target. 2) He got a c&d and thinks that pretending that it was an anti piracy thing all along will help him with the lawsuit.
        • by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday October 26, 2013 @02:45PM (#45246261)

          Seems like a bad and unprofessional idea to just announce it's a honeypot.

          Not if you're an attention whore and a wanna-be internet vigilante.

          An anti-piracy stance (in the typical MPAA fashion) is a very unpopular one on the internet. There's nothing to gain.

          Well, there is something to gain; it's blackmail material. That's what the MPAA/RIAA use it for, and there's no reason you couldn't sell the information to a third party to try and extort money from them "If you don't pay us to keep quiet, we'll reveal your illegal activity to the authorities." I mean, that's pretty much classic blackmail. The data he has does have value, and if you view this announcement as a bid for potential buyers of his data, then it suddenly makes sense.

          The announcement is a false flag; It isn't a signal to us that he's turning the information over to authorities, it's a signal to the criminal community to come forward and begin bidding. Now instead of it being "bad and unprofessional", it's a clever way of acquiring plausible deniability by appearing to be retarded.

          Sounds more like some script kiddie who is pulling some prank or what have you. But apparently tracking down who was behind was just handed to us on a silver platter, right here. Names and address included.

          Not a script kiddie; a paid industry shill. And as is typical for idiot hacktivists, a simple google search without a deeper understanding of business filings reveals that it's fingering the wrong guy; They failed to check for legally registered aliases. Incomplete investigations are incompetent investigations. Hasn't the Boston Bomber Reddit Witchunt taught us anything, Internet?

          You cannot conduct a proper investigation using just google. Google is exploratory not confirmatory, and if you act on this information you will likely be exposing yourself to far more legal liability than using some badly designed "honeypot" website.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward

            Well, there is something to gain; it's blackmail material.

            There's another angle that hasn't been brought up yet:

            The announcement is sowing mistrust amongst the various sites. People are going to be less willing to blindly trust whatever new sites just pop up. In turn, this will reduce the number of sites that need to be watched, allowing a reduction in costs and an increase in results.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          An anti-piracy stance (in the typical MPAA fashion) is a very unpopular one on the internet. There's nothing to gain.

          There is something to gain. After going public with this, the pirates will be nervous about joining new 'piracy' sites. Just what his kind wants.

      • by Barefoot Monkey (1657313) on Saturday October 26, 2013 @03:11PM (#45246457)

        Maybe he's trying to start a vigilante honeypot.

    • by RDW (41497) on Saturday October 26, 2013 @01:37PM (#45245821)

      I can (partially) forgive The Guardian for taking this story at face value, but Slashdot ought to be a bit more selective. Looks like this guy got kicked out of WJunction, set up his own site (which failed to attract much traffic), and is now claiming it was all part of a Cunning Plan to join the antipiracy industry (working for a company nobody has ever heard of, with a website that must have taken all of 15 minutes to set up). He can probably be reached for comment at his Top Model girlfriend's Manhattan penthouse (or more likely, in his mom's basement).

      • Yeah, just a nobody trying to pretend to be a somebody by getting attention. And by getting attention, I mean kicking up a bunch of mud. Not even doing a good job at it either.
    • Sour grapes. However many or few people used the site this is a real betrayal and it's necessary for pirates and torrenters to find way to become even more robust against this kind of activity. We're already playing a vigorous game of whack-a-mole but what I think is needed is a series of third party web-sites to filter and mix comment and posted torrents from various IPs to various different user names. Torrent sites could have an API that allows such filtering. For example Joe Anypirate would use torre
      • by BitZtream (692029)

        However many or few people used the site this is a real betrayal and it's necessary for pirates and torrenters to find way to become even more robust against this kind of activity

        Torrenters aren't warez pups. Anyone with half a clue knows better than to conduct your piracy using bit torrent, unless you want to get caught. Where you download the .torrent from doesn't matter one bit ... its the fact that hosts in that swarm could very well be police or other law enforcement agencies and by participating in the torrent, you incriminate yourself and provide them with solid evidence of what you're doing. You're an idiot if you actually get your warez through torrents unless you're a s

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      well, they still managed to get a couple of more guys into filesharing.

      also they must operate outside of eu(having some laws on databases about people is actually worthwhile)

    • How can one tell? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Occasionally I'm looking for a TV show I want to watch. It's often hard to know where to find it. Hulu, crackle, netflix, amazon are big names but there's lots of other little ones as well. So how can one tell when one clicks on a link to watch something if it's a legit site or a copyright violator. Regardless of how you feel about copyrights, my main goal is to avoid some hassle-- not worth it to me. The last thing I want is some honeypot offering me Game Of Thrones season 3 for free and then after

  • by hawks5999 (588198) on Saturday October 26, 2013 @01:06PM (#45245583)
    ...when it was called The Scene
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 26, 2013 @01:08PM (#45245603)
    So for the months that the site was active these files (and links) were being shared with the implicit permission of the copyright umbrella groups? Neat. Bless 'em.
    • So for the months that the site was active these files (and links) were being shared with the implicit permission of the copyright umbrella groups? Neat. Bless 'em.

      The same permission a mouse gets when nanny baits a snap trap with a piece of cheese. The permission to die from a broken spine.

      • by Sun (104778) <shachar@shemesh.biz> on Saturday October 26, 2013 @03:06PM (#45246415) Homepage

        Not when you have to go through the "justice" system.

        If you are a copyright holder, or acting on his/her/its behalf, and you seed a torrent for me to download, you have, in fact, given me the file. Since you are the copyright holder, that file was given lawfully. You cannot now turn around and sue me for taking from you what you have lawfully given. Your harm, such that there is, is entirely self inflicted.

        Honeypots are a useful tool to learn techniques that the other side uses, but they are, by and large, useless as a technique to sue over copyright infringement.

        IANAL

        Shachar

        • by Pinhedd (1661735)

          >IANAL

          Good, because you're wrong about pretty much everything that you wrote.

        • by BradleyUffner (103496) on Saturday October 26, 2013 @05:19PM (#45247301) Homepage

          Not when you have to go through the "justice" system.

          If you are a copyright holder, or acting on his/her/its behalf, and you seed a torrent for me to download, you have, in fact, given me the file. Since you are the copyright holder, that file was given lawfully. You cannot now turn around and sue me for taking from you what you have lawfully given. Your harm, such that there is, is entirely self inflicted.

          Honeypots are a useful tool to learn techniques that the other side uses, but they are, by and large, useless as a technique to sue over copyright infringement.

          IANAL

          Shachar

          They won't sue you for downloading the torrent, they will sue you for uploading to others without permission.

        • by westlake (615356)

          If you are a copyright holder, or acting on his/her/its behalf, and you seed a torrent for me to download, you have, in fact, given me the file. Since you are the copyright holder, that file was given lawfully. You cannot now turn around and sue me for taking from you what you have lawfully given. Your harm, such that there is, is entirely self inflicted.

          I sometimes wonder how the geek manages to survive his own bullshit.

          The sting works by offering the geek a free movie or a link to a free movie under circumstances which can't possibly be legitimate. Greed kicks in and he downloads "Iron Man 3" and a half dozen or so other flicks each of which sells for $25 at Walmart.

          Bonus points for leaving these unlicensed downloads in his shared file folders to be fed back into the P2P nets.

          • by Sun (104778)

            The sting works by offering the geek a free movie or a link to a free movie under circumstances which can't possibly be legitimate.

            Do elaborate, please.

            Shachar

    • by Pinhedd (1661735)

      They did not provide any sort of implicit permission. The copyright holders may have contracted with Nuke Piracy, and Nuke Piracy may very well have had express permission to use it to setup a honey pot, but the users who got caught in the trap had no way of knowing that.

      Copyright law does not follow a "use it or lose it" doctrine like trademark law does and to some extent patent law as well. Many people confuse these three sections of law, but they are almost completely disjoint.

      Copyright owners are under

  • User data? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PPH (736903) on Saturday October 26, 2013 @01:12PM (#45245623)

    The main purpose of the site had been to gather data on its users.

    So they have a bunch of anonymous IP addresses from a bunch of public WiFi sites. Even a trusted file sharing site can put people at risk if the FBI kicks the door down and seizes the servers. So any smart pirates will take measures to protect their anonymity, honey pot or not.

    In the meantime, thanks for all the disk space. It was fun while it lasted.

    • How very narrow minded of you. They probably are not getting good info from the majority of users, who downloaded a bunch of stuff. On that I can agree with you.

      There were probably forums, which provided good info on user relationships if you can data mine it. The original uploaders, even if they used different accounts, could be tied together by IP address and other data, to form either single users with multiple accounts or suspected groups of cohorts. And of course forums may be a great way to link p

    • You're missing the point. If the idea was primarily to sue people, then they wouldn't gloat about it. You're not gonna stop the people who are really into it, but if you get a few hundred people who are new the idea of pirating software/music/movies/whatever, and you scare them into stopping pirating, then you've just made those content creators millions upon millions if dollars, at least according to magical RIAA fantasyland accounting.

      But really, even the idea behind the lawsuits isn't to make money fro

  • Whaaa? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 26, 2013 @01:12PM (#45245629)

    There are no important people in the warez scene. That's why they can't stop it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by loufoque (1400831)

      Didn't you notice it's always the same groups that release your TV shows?
      LOL, ASAP, AFG, DIMENSION, mSD?

      Take those down and it will become quite annoying.

      • Re:Whaaa? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by newcastlejon (1483695) on Saturday October 26, 2013 @01:31PM (#45245779)

        Take those down and it will become quite annoying.

        For about five minutes until another springs up. Groups such have these have become less and less important as fibre becomes more prevalent.

      • Re:Whaaa? (Score:4, Informative)

        by EdZ (755139) on Saturday October 26, 2013 @02:07PM (#45246011)
        Here's a secret: anyone with a tuner card and the ability to feed the captured transport stream (IIRC encapsulated MPEG2 for you ATSC guys in the US) into x264 can do the exactly same as these 'scene groups'. Probably a better job too, if you use CRF rather than constant-bitrate or target filesize.
        • The hard part is delivering consistent quality on a fast and regular basis. No, that's not possible for anyone, and people with a little of experience downloading know they should prefer releases from reliable subgroups than from nobodies.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by aliquis (678370)

        Seriously what can Disney say about the people sharing Pirates of the Caribbean?

        Would 28 days later really be the same movie without all the sharing?

        How would Independence day have ended if there was no uploaders?

      • Didn't you notice it's always the same groups that release your TV shows?

        Dunno... The groups that release *my* shows are the TV broadcasters, my TV provider's on-demand service, Netflix and DVD retailers.

        • Enjoy your sub-par service then.

      • Spoken like someone who's never actually spent any time in the zero-day scene.

        Have a nice day thinking you have a clue though, must be nice.

        • by loufoque (1400831)

          The zero-day scene is entirely automated, doesn't change the fact that if you take down the bot providers, it falls down.

      • by Khyber (864651)

        "Didn't you notice it's always the same groups that release your TV shows?
        LOL, ASAP, AFG, DIMENSION, mSD?"

        And well before those fucking amateurs we had PhrozenICE, EZWarez, and more.

        Give me a break, child.

    • by stms (1132653)

      I can name one Kim Dotcom. Though admittedly that's the only one.

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Saturday October 26, 2013 @01:14PM (#45245641) Homepage

    News at 11.

    Honestly they were barely known and had ZERO rep in the community. In fact most people never even knew about them or knew to stay away because it was too new and too unknown.

    If this is the best they got, then there is no worries out there. Now find out that TPB was a BSA sting operation.... THAT is real news.

  • The administrator said, 'I collected info on file hosts, web hosts, websites. I suckered $#!&loads of you. I built a history, got the trust of some very important people in the warez scene collecting information and data all the time.'

    and he was never heard from again

  • serious ? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Spaham (634471) on Saturday October 26, 2013 @01:22PM (#45245707)

    If they were anything serious they wouldn't have gloated that way.
    Sounds so much like a whining kid trying to annoy people...

    • by westlake (615356)

      If they were anything serious they wouldn't have gloated that way.

      Have you ever known a geek who could keep his big mouth shut? ---- DPR

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      This.

      They would start sueing people while keeping the site running until it was found out and/or no longer produced useful information.

  • by loonycyborg (1262242) on Saturday October 26, 2013 @01:24PM (#45245727)
    There's no way something like that could be approved by genuine rightsholders. It's just one 'pirate' trolling other 'pirates'.
  • by GrandCow (229565) on Saturday October 26, 2013 @01:25PM (#45245739)

    I mean people get busted all the time on piratebay when someone collecting data joins a torrent and logs ip's. Anyone smart enough to use a proxy or public wifi is going to use it both places anyways.

  • by suprcvic (684521) on Saturday October 26, 2013 @01:58PM (#45245959)
    That is all.
  • In some countries this would constitute as entrapment. And made collected evidence void for any legal purpose. Somehow im sure internet will soon reveal this persons identity, address, etc... Since he has nothing to hide, right?
    • by cduffy (652)

      In some countries this would constitute as entrapment.

      Name one.

      In every system I'm aware of, it's entrapment only if law enforcement (not some random private party) encourages you to violate a law you wouldn't have broken otherwise (which providing a forum for folks to discuss their violations of the law is not).

    • There is not a single country in which actions by a private citizen would constitute entrapment.
      • by Kjella (173770)

        He's probably thinking of the unclean hands doctrine [thefreedictionary.com].

        unclean hands n. a legal doctrine which is a defense to a complaint, which states that a party who is asking for a judgment cannot have the help of the court if he/she has done anything unethical in relation to the subject of the lawsuit. Thus, if a defendant can show the plaintiff had "unclean hands," the plaintiff's complaint will be dismissed or the plaintiff will be denied judgment.

        The police can provoke you to commit a crime and arrest you for it in a classic non-entrapment sting operation. A copyright holder can't provoke you into committing copyright infringement and then sue you in court for damages, it doesn't make it legal but it's an affirmative defense meaning they can't collect any damages from it. Basically you will never get rewarded in court for causing damages to yourself, it creates far too much potential for abuse.

  • by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday October 26, 2013 @02:33PM (#45246165) Homepage Journal

    That will only serve to drive people more underground and harder to find. No one can stop the movement. Data will be free.

  • Why? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jones_supa (887896)

    Why are essentially all of the above comments pro-piracy?

    If you dreamed up your perfect world, would it contain piracy, or no piracy, or something between? Explain calmly and specifically, why.

    Thanks.

    • The economy of my perfect world would be more or less Star Trek, in which the means of production far outclass material want, so the overwhelming majority of actions are taken for the purpose of self-impovement, not 'making a living.'

      In regards to the ideal economics that are more bound to our current reality, I would still prefer to not have copyright. It was originally a means of censorship to protect kings and churches against heretical works spreading. Eventually, it became more about a powerful gu
  • The site smells of entrapment to me.
    • Re:Entrapment (Score:4, Informative)

      by westlake (615356) on Saturday October 26, 2013 @07:41PM (#45248127)

      The site smells of entrapment to me.

      There is more to making good a defense of entrapment than being caught in the trap.

      In criminal law:

      A valid entrapment defense has two related elements: (1) government inducement of the crime, and (2) the defendant's lack of predisposition to engage in the criminal conduct. Of the two elements, predisposition is by far the more important.

      Inducement is the threshold issue in the entrapment defense. Mere solicitation to commit a crime is not inducement. Nor does the government's use of artifice, stratagem, pretense, or deceit establish inducement. Rather, inducement requires a showing of at least persuasion or mild coercion.

      Even if inducement has been shown, a finding of predisposition is fatal to an entrapment defense. The predisposition inquiry focuses upon whether the defendant "was an unwary innocent or, instead, an unwary criminal who readily availed himself of the opportunity to perpetrate the crime."

      Entrapment --- Elements [justice.gov]

  • I'd say it's a fair bet that they only got copyright trolls and such to bite. So, this troll was probably only getting the names of MPAA agents and the like.
  • Yeah. Help me to understand that.

    An anti-piracy group establishing ANYTHING that enables piracy, so they can get people's IDs?

    Okay. Great. Now they know who some of these guys are!
    But that still doesn't get them out of the fact that they were complicit in piracy operations.

    All that, eventually, happens is that real pirates migrate to The Next Big Thing, and you get a bunch of little fish.

  • WTF, Slashdot? Why are you censoring the quote?

  • ....there are such sites out there.... That's Plural...

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

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