“A hacker used the victim’s email address to register on the YTS hacker site” * TorrentFreak
YTS.mx is one of the most used torrent sites on the internet, serving millions of visitors every day.
The site can be used without creating an account. However, those who sign up are given additional features, such as an option to bookmark titles.
These added benefits can come in handy, but registering for an account on a hacker site is not without risk. At the start of last year, YTS operators signed a settlement agreement with several movie studios, which put many users of the site at risk.
YTS User Database
The settlement allowed YTS to continue operating. However, the operator has agreed to share details of the YTS user base, including IP addresses, email addresses, and download histories. This has provided film companies with evidence of legal action against these users.
The film companies, including the creators of “London Has Fallen”, “Rambo V” and “Dallas Buyers Club”, did not stop there. In recent months, they have also attacked VPN providers and hosting companies.
These third-party services are directly or indirectly responsible for piracy, the filmmakers claim, because their networks and infrastructure are used by people to pirate movies. And despite sending numerous notices of copyright infringement, these services have not taken meaningful action in response.
Movie companies Sue Datacamp
A few days ago, the film companies filed a new lawsuit in federal court in Virginia, accusing UK-based Datacamp Limited of copyright infringement. Datacamp operated under the CDN77 and Data package brands and would offer its services to several VPN providers.
The lawsuit lists ten anonymous VPN services and the defendants “Doe” and the movie companies hope to find out their names through this lawsuit.
“The DOE 1-10 is promoting its VPN service as a tool that can be used to hack copyrighted content without getting caught,” the complaint read, adding that VPN’s ‘associate with notorious movie pirating websites to promote their VPN service as an essential tool. for pirating movies.
Meanwhile, Datacamp is charged with contributory copyright infringement because it failed to terminate the accounts of these VPN services after repeated warnings. These allegations are similar to those we have seen in cases against Leaseweb, Sharktech and other hosting companies.
YTS account with “hacked” email
The YTS database also appears again as evidence. And in this case, it leads to a remarkable discovery that we have never seen before.
The film companies had previously sued Mr. Byranski, a resident of Indiana, after finding his email address in the YTS user database. The YTS database linked this user to an IP address registered in Datacamp, presumably through one of the company’s VPN clients.
However, Mr Byranski denied any wrongdoing and said he did not use a VPN service and download the pirated movies.
Apparently, Mr. Byranski’s email address was “hacked” around the same time and $ 12,000 was stolen from his PayPal account. This leads movie studios to suggest that the hacker could have used the same email to register on YTS as well.
“Some of these YTS users [use] DataCamp’s subscribers’ VPN service to illegally access’ hack ‘third-party accounts, use their email addresses to create an account on the YTS website and pirate movies, and illegally access third-party bank accounts, “says the complaint .
No hacking skills required
In reality, no hacking skills are required to use a third-party email address to register with YTS. Anyone can use a random email to create an account because the YTS website does not require users to verify their addresses.
The film companies ultimately dismissed their copyright infringement claims against Mr Byranski, but not before they obtained a formal statement that puts pressure on Datacamp.
Like film companies, Byranski said it would have been better if Datacamp had taken action after receiving multiple notices of copyright infringement.
“I wish Datacamp Limited had taken action against the subscriber to this IP address in response to these notices so that the damage I suffered from this hack, including being charged with violating the right to author, could have been avoided, ”the statement said.
Mr. Byranski received a full refund from Paypal and the copyright infringement claims were also dropped. Instead, the filmmakers are now using his statement as ammunition in the Datacamp lawsuit.
Damage, blockage and more
Datacamp has yet to respond to the allegations. The company is charged with copyright infringement by contribution and proxy, among other things, and faces more than $ 1 million in potential damages.
Like other lawsuits against VPN services and hosting providers, the film companies are also seeking far-reaching action in the form of an injunction.
Among other things, they are asking the court to issue an order requiring the hosting company to block ports 6881-6889, which are commonly used for BitTorrent traffic. Additionally, the company is expected to block its customers from accessing pirate sites such as YTS, The Pirate Bay, Rarbg, and 1337x.
A copy of the film companies’ complaint against Datacamp Limited in the Eastern District of Virginia is available here (pdf).