Pirate Bay support spills over into bot-army DDoS attacks

, posted: 4-Jun-2006 12:16

Pirate Bay support spills over into DDoS attacks The police raid on torrent tracker site The Pirate Bay has taken an unexpected turn as angry peer-to-peer users are reportedly launching distributed denial of service attacks on Swedish government and police web sites.

Swedish media is having a field day with yet another The Big, Bad Internet Attacks story, running headlines such as Pirates: the war starts now and Download Bodström (oblique Swedish pun meaning the Swedish minister of Justice, Thomas Bodström, should be taken down for having given into to US/MPAA pressure).

The official government site, www.regeringen.se, has been attacked according to Aftonbladet which also says the site of the Swedish police is being DDoSed (Aftonbladet is in Swedish only, sorry). Neither government site loads currently, which Swedish papers say is "embarrassing". The government department responsible for regeringen.se is refusing say if the web portal is down due to an attack, however.

While it's easy to crow over "direct democracy" actions like the above, it's also worth noting that the DDoS attacks emanate from somewhere. They are orchestrated mainly through virus and Trojan Horse infected computer systems belonging to people who are most likely totally unaware that their machines are part of a massive DDoS attack on the Swedish authorities. This sort of activity will of course make it easier for the authorities and copyright enforcers to link file sharing with criminal activity and ultimately, achieves nothing at all as protests.

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that the MPAA requested the police raid on The Pirate Bay. Dan Glickman, chairman and chief executive of MPAA thanks thanks the "local government in Sweden" for helping to stop The Pirate Bay. Now that is an interesting choice of words - does Glickman perhaps think the Swedish government is nothing more than a small municipal authority that should jump when the MPAA says?

In the press release, Glickman brands The Pirate Bay as a "pirate tracker". According to Glickman, The Pirate Bay "directs people to pirated movies and music, making available over 157,000 illegal films including the latest blockbuster releases such as Da Vinci Code, Mission Impossible III, and The Poseidon Adventure". There's some seriously careless language in the release like "illegal films" that will no doubt come back and bite Glickman at a later stage.

The MPAA may actually have enjoyed a temporary victory against The Pirate Bay: even though the torrent tracker is up and running again, the number of registered users appears to have dropped substantially. Instead of 1.5 million approximately before the raid, The Pirate Bay's webpage now only reports just over a million registered users. The search function on The Pirate Bay also appears to be down at the moment.

Whether or not the MPAA will have the last word is far from certain however.

Update: Sweden's largest newspaper Dagens Nyheter reports that 500 people in the capital Stockholm and 200 people in the country's second largest city Göteborg demonstrated yesterday against the raid on The Pirate Bay. The demos were coordinated by Piratbyrån (the Pirate Bureau, a support site for The Pirate Bay), The Pirate Party (no really, it is a political party in Sweden seeking to be elected), the Swedish Liberal Party's youth organisation, the Swedish Greens' youth organisation, and the Swedish communist party's youth wing.

(Most of the links go to pages in Swedish.)

Update II: XMule has an English translation of the civil rights, legal and constitutional violations that may have occurred during the police raid. The orginal list in Swedish is on Anders Gardebring's blog.

Other related posts:
Video: Kim Dotcom and Mathias Ortman at the IITP Mega breakfast
Two-factor authentication broken
The problem with naming and shaming

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