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Dutch anti-piracy site suffers DDoS attack

03 March 2011

Hacktivists seem to have learned a lot from the WikiLeaks/Anonymous attacks seen in recent months, as an automated DDoS attack has reportedly frozen access to BREIN, the Dutch anti-piracy web portal.

The movie company-backed site has reportedly been offline since earlier this week, owing to a concerted distributed denial of service attack.

Tim Kuik, the head of BREIN, is quoted on various IT newswires as saying he thinks he knows who is behind the attacks, suggesting it may be supporters of the FTD Usenet indexing services.

According to the TorrentFreak newswire, "when it's your job to go around disrupting various communities on the internet, it's perhaps inevitable that, rightly or wrongly, you'll become somewhat of a hate figure among some."

"Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN, with chief Tim Kuik at the controls, is understandably unpopular within files-sharing circles. That position can have its consequences", says the newswire, adding that the agency's website has been down since Monday evening.

Interestingly, the newswire suggests that the DDoS attack may be revenge for the number of sites that BREIN has taken down, following its own investigations.

Kuik told TorrentFreak that the DDoS attack is a "revenge attack following his company's involvement in the takedown of the FTD Usenet community recently."

Infosecurity notes that the FTD Usenet service is a loose group of volunteers that have developed an application that indexes the Usenet and identifies which newsgroups have video and software files that can be downloaded.

The user group has been through a number of legal wrangles in the last few years, most notably in a battle with Eyeworks movie studios, in which the Dutch court of appeals ruled late last year that FTD is not guilty of copyright infringement, but that the group does promote illegal file uploading.

FTD's software differs from other indexing sites/services such as Easynews, in that its software allows members to chat, send email, and locate Usenet content.

The software also allows members to leave "spots" – information where Usenet content is located. This information includes the file name, number of files, and what newsgroup the file is located.

The Dutch court of appeals' ruling that FDT does promote illegal uploading appears to have triggered BRIEN into legal action and this is why its supporters appear – as Kuik claims – to have staged a DDoS attack on its website.

Kuik told TorrentFreak that supporters of FTD are probably behind the attack.

Arnoud Engelfriet, the FTD's lawyer, however, claims that the user group does not support the attacks.

"FTD deplores the DDoS attack as this isn't the way to fight BREIN", he told the newswire, adding: "executing DDoS attacks only strengthens the image that filesharing or downloading is a criminal activity, which does not help the cause."

This article is featured in:
Data Loss  •  Internet and Network Security

 

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