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back to article Pirate Bay moves to the cloud to confound copyright cops

The Pirate Bay went down for about five minutes on Tuesday night as the group retired almost all of its servers and shifted onto the cloud. "So, first we ditched the trackers. Then we got rid of the torrents. Now? Now we've gotten rid of the servers. Slowly and steadily we are getting rid of our earthly form and ascending into …

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Terminator

Regardless of what you think about their morality, this is an awesome attempt at bulletproofing an Internet service.

Heaven help us if it achieves consciousness.

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Anonymous Coward

The feds won't be able to DDOS their site as it may affect something else.

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Black Helicopters

"The feds won't be able to DDOS their site as it may affect something else."

And how will that even slow them down? They've done it before, it's their standard practice.

There was one case some months back where they put a "This site has been blocked because it's run by criminals" notice on *every* customer of a provider who had one single bad client.

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Happy

The greatest minds of our time...

Are....

Criminals!

This is more than an 'up yours' and it has made me smile

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In a sense it's no different to the early move of the film industry to California, a move that took place to avoid paying patent license fees on film equipment.

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Thumb Up

Taking what they have done a little further, what if they added a viral capability so that it seeks out cloud services and replicates itself automatically?

If the system made itself money and could open its own bank accounts, what would stop it from buying cloud space for itself and continually moving itself around?

It really could be unstoppable.

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Mm, yes, a hegemonising swarm set loose on the cloud...

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Your name isn't Max is it?

Sounds like Max's autonomous corporations in Charlie Stross' Accelerando.

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Anonymous Coward

I'd just like to say

Bravo Sirs, Bravo

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Anonymous Coward

Keep it boys

I am sailing, I am sailing,

home again 'cross the sea.

I am sailing, stormy waters,

to be near you, to be free.

I am flying, I am flying,

like a bird 'cross the sky.

I am flying, passing high clouds,

to be with you, to be free.

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Anonymous Coward

“May God bless her, and all who sail on her”

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Go

Quality and slickness

To be fair, a model for companies that would have us believe they're more erstwhile and honourable than these guys.

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Happy

Re: Quality and slickness

Hear Hear! Though could we include the U.S. Congress while we're at it? A cloudier bunch would be hard to find.

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Pirate

Arr me hearties. It'll be like firing canonballs at a wisp o' hair from Davy Jones golden locks.

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Its all a cloud

They will do more for cloud computing than anyone has previously done. This really shows what the cloud is all about.

The days of the Dark Net are a reality.

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Trollface

Every cloud has a silver lining it seems.

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I've never quite understood what's so hard about tracking them down. My computer knows "where" their server is as it quite easily gets data from their website. So why can't you just 'follow the packets' and end up at the server?

I assume they are located somewhere not-so-easy to walk in and bust, or they are located in so many places that it's impractical.

On the management side several people must be looking after the site, "unpaid", full time. What's in it for them .. except great risk?

You can't help but admire their tenacity. I don't think they'll ever be 'busted' out of existence, but I can see them claiming their mission is complete at some point and just gracefully turning everything off.

p.s. TPB, please can I have some of your servers you no longer need? :)

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Devil

It's difficult to track them down because their physical equipment is nothing but a middle-man now. You are talking indirectly to the servers.

Now what makes this special is the fact that in addition to indirect communication, the physical machines running the service are running encrypted content on a virtual machine. So whoever does own the physical machines has no idea what they're serving. In addition, those virtual machines don't talk to the users, they talk to the middle-man routers - so they don't know what they're serving or who they're serving to.

Basically, the only way to shut down the pirate bay permanently is to have every country in the world on standby, and within hours (maybe less) lead succesive raids on the physical router and balancer to find the physical locations the cloud servers the balancer has been speaking with. Then, they would need to collect evidence from those machines before getting locked out in the time remaining.

If they fail to find any of the cloud servers, they would have 0 evidence, just standard equipment with some encrypted addresses. By the time they would decrypt that info - if they could - the cloud servers would have already changed and the network could easily be reinstated.

And just for a kick in the nuts, they only have 8 hours to find the cloud-servers if they wanted any evidence of what those servers were serving.

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Anonymous Coward

The only organization I can think of that *MIGHT* be able to shut them down would be the CIA, and I dont think they'd waste the time and money on a bunch of pirates, especially if they don't know for certain if its even possible to take them down as its most likely mirrored to hell and back.

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Anonymous Coward

or you could take out the load balancers and see which VM's have a sudden load drop-off.

Maybe.

There aren't that many cloud providers to monitor.

Avast! Whatever the morality, the tech be cool. Like Cap'n Sparra, we impressed.

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Anonymous Coward

encrypted cloud services

Cloud VM services may be encrypted... but are you going to store your pins, passwords, bank details, medical history on them? The encryption may, for all intents and purposes, be un-crackable but that will not stop the far more probable scenario of the keys being obtained through hackery, mislaid or stolen. Like it's never happened before...

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Anonymous Coward

How silly

Do they think their Net activities can't be recorded?

Off to prison again. These morons just don't get it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How silly

Downvoted for pompous comment, unsupportive stance and being so self righteous.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How silly

Silly indeed,

Now, can you spell L-user ?

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Angel

TPB = immortality^style

Over and above the Matrix, whooping up grog and pissing in Skynet's chips ... forever!

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Flame

Cloud?

Just marketing for Hosted Services on real servers somewhere. It's no different at all to having servers of their own at a number of different data centres.

Whether or not their site(s) run on a virtual server or not isn't relevant either.

Virtual Servers and so called Clouds use real servers in real buildings in real countries.

I'm 100% opposed to pursuing downloaders or blocking people's internet to ANY server (doomed to failure) or cutting of people from the Internet.

But these people are no latter day Robin Hoods. They are at best parasites and at worst criminals. Just because the Media Industry is nuts and charges too much and doesn't recompense the artists and production crew enough doesn't give them the right to distribute.

I admire people that create, I admire people that pay to support that. I despise parasites and criminals dressing up their actions as somehow beneficial.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cloud?

Down voted for your pompous undertones.

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Re: Cloud?

I don't think you have any idea what yo are talking about. Of course its different. A real server can be seized by the police because it exists in a real, fixed location, is the property of the criminal, or of someone knowingly hosting the illegal content. With a cloud service the criminal does not know where the server is actually located, and its location can change. Further more the provider does not know what activity is going on on the server. Both parties have actual deniability. Plus, a virtual server can not be seized, even if it could somehow be tracked down (within 8 hours). If the authorities could track it down only the disk image can be seized but it is encrypted. And good luck getting a warrant (again, within 8 hours) if the disk image happens to be stored somewhere that isn't in the USA's pocket.

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Re: Cloud?

And more importantly - even if the police did get their act together and impound a router in Estonia talking to a load balancer in Korea and so find and shutdown the VM in the Netherlands.

Then 10 secs later another VM copy paid for by a Mr J Smith's disposable credit card spins up in Canada.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cloud?

They aren't distributing FFS. It's a collection of links, that are easily enough found by other routes. They didn't put the stuff there. You really don't get it. Do you. Back to your MPAA office

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Re: Cloud?

@Mage,

If you do not understand something, just don't talk about.

To put it simply:

- the data is stored somewhere in some country in encrypted form. -- getting those yields you nothing, unless you have the decryption keys

- there is another bunch or servers that just redirect to those machines and decrypt dynamically - getting those is a step but if the encrypted storage 'realizes' it has lost its "proxies" it wipes itself out, you have 8 hours to seize, understand what it does, how it does i (and where)t and issue warrant in another country (which might not be cooperative at all)

i.e. good luck.

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Re: Cloud?

I understand perfectly that TBP doesn't store the copies themselves and is using encryption and routers etc.

But at the end of the day they are the wrong peolple to cheer, they are not doing a single iota of good nor advancing any cause. They are egotistical parasitical scum that get far too much publicity. Their "information" to enable people to download do live on real servers somewhere. The "Cloud" is purely a marketing concept, Routing, load sharing, virtual machines etc practically pre-date the internet and certainly pre-date websites.

I'm baffled as to why the smart people here would cheer on these idiots.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Cloud?

I don't think the smart people are cheering on anything here, except some clever use of existing technology to solve a niggling distribution problem.

The fact that it is PB doing the clever use is secondary, in my book. It was only a matter of time before someone reasoned a bullet-proof way around the ham-fisted, freedom-robbing techniques devised by some fat-cat studio owners during a coke-fuelled sex orgy . Perhaps the moguls should learn a little more about how the tech works, or in their case, doesn't work.

Once again, the Net (and the ingenuity of the people using it) shows why it is not so easy for any one entity or pressure group to take control. DARPA was probably the best investment of the US taxpayer's dollar ever.

To the MPAA and your other freedom-loving appendages: looks like you will need to re-think your ridiculous strategy for world domination and oppression. Good luck

And go, go Neo....

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Time for my favourite quote again...

"The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it" - John Gilmore 1993

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Headmaster

Re: Time for my favourite quote again...

I'm sure that predates 1993. I remember seeing something very similar on a usenet posting back in the 80s.

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Re: Time for my favourite quote again...

Asimov wrote more or less the same where the computers could work out when they were being gamed and modify their behaviour to ameliorate it.

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Anonymous Coward

Taking this to the next level.....

I have to say, leaving aside any kind of morals about what they actually do, clearly they are a gifted bunch and I have to tip my hat from a technical standpoint. Just imagine what these guys could do if they ran a legitimate business.

However, I do have to say, I hope the home secretary is paying attention. With the snoopers charter this kind of thing is going to become more and more prevalent for the criminal element. By chasing this group down they have been forced to build a fortress. and made catching them costly/time consuming and probably 9 times out of 10 fruitless. While this group help people get a crappy copy of a film doesn't keep me awake at night I do worry what the more serious criminals will do using this kind of set-up. Maybe its an inevitable step in technological evolution that would have happened anyway, but then maybe we've bought it on ourselves. And I for one, blame the music and film industry!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Taking this to the next level.....

If they were legitimate they would be constrained.

I am the wind, I am the cloud that moves in the wind.

Try catching that in your hand and keeping hold of it me hearties!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Taking this to the next level.....

Full HD copies of films that aren't even out in the UK yet don't count as 'crappy' in my book

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Taking this to the next level.....

"... but then maybe we've bought it on ourselves."

No, we got it all for free.

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Pirate

Do what you want, 'cos a pirate is free

You are a pirate!

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Re: Do what you want, 'cos a pirate is free

We'll dig up the box...

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Anonymous Coward

Hope Demonoid follows suit.

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Pirate

While I'm not a huge fan of piracy (with the exception of geolocked content, seriously screw those guys, imposing real world borders on the 'net? get bent), it is somewhat amusing to watch the arms race between the two parties.

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The arms race...

...can't lead to anything good:

http://www.cad-comic.com/cad/20120321

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Re: The arms race...

Reminds me of Neal Stephenson's 'toner'

(remains of nano-bot wars)

And also Jeff Noon's blurbflies wars.

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No change to tracking...

"The move may also throw a bit of a wrench in plans by AT&T and other US network operators to implement a "six strikes and you're out" policy on piracy, which is due to take effect by the end of the year. Tracking IP addresses of Pirate Bay users is going to be key to the RIAA and MPAA's enforcement efforts, and that task looks to have become significantly harder with the latest Brahman bootstrapping."

It won't make the blindest bit of difference. The MPAA/RIAA don't rely on physical access to the server to track people on a torrent. All you have to do is start to download it yourself, and ta-da, you have a nice list of IP addresses of people giving you bits of the torrent.

Automating this process is already widely used in the anti-piracy circles.

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