Last week, we reported that popular private torrent site Demonoid was hit by a massive DDoS attack and was subsequently out of commission for over a week. The length of the outage, and the fact that the address stopped pointing anywhere rather than displaying some kind of outage message, caused speculation that the venerable site may be down for good. Unfortunately, Demonoid’s demise may not be speculation any longer, as word broke that Ukrainian authorities shut down the site.
TorrentFreak received word that Demonoid’s datacenter, Ukraine-based ColoCall, was shut down by Ukrainian government investigators. Oddly, this shutdown came in the middle of the site’s outage as the result of a massive DDoS attack that recently put the site out of commission before the Ukrainian government got ahold of it.
An anonymous source at ColoCall confirmed the shutdown, saying “Investigators have copied all the information from the servers Demonoid and sealed them. Some equipment was not seized, but now it does not work, and we were forced to terminate the agreement with the site.” ColoCall also confirms that in addition to the DDoS attack, Demonoid was also the victim of some kind of exploit or hack.
Though Demonoid’s servers were located in Ukraine, they actually blocked all Ukrainian IP addresses from the site in an attempt to prevent any kind of legal issue with the country. Though popular opinion is that Demonoid didn’t conflict with Ukrainian law, sources from within the Ukrainian government say the United States were indirectly involved in the shutdown of the site. Kommersant reports that a source inside the Interior Ministry stated the raid on Demonoid was the result of Deputy Prime Minister Valery Khoroshkvsky’s first trip to the United States regarding a copyright infringement agenda. It is being reported that the raid was essentially a peace offering, so to speak, to the United States.
ColoCall is reporting that though the site’s servers are now in custody, the administrator of the site is not. They would not reveal the administrator(s), but did note that the management is located in Mexico.
This is actually quite a sad day for the Internet in general. Regardless of your feelings on torrents and piracy, Demonoid is a very important piece of Internet history. Sure, torrents breed piracy, but Demonoid’s community was one of the best and most helpful scenes out there. Their forums, separate of their torrent listings and tracker, were full of helpful, extremely knowledgable, largely well-mannered people, which is something the Internet cannot afford to lose these days. For every handful of illegal torrents, a Demonoid community member would release a custom fix for an old piece of software that was no longer supported by the original developers. For every Photoshop crack, there was a musician willingly releasing his or her music as free, legal torrents in order to reach a supportive community. For every television series ripped and illegally uploaded from a DVD set, a community member would locate a place to purchase an out-of-print comic for another member who couldn’t find it.
Considering Demonoid management is supposedly walking free, there’s a chance the site could reappear at some point in the future, but for now, with the servers in custody, it would seem like the Demonoid we know and love — or at least respect — is gone.
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