Kickass Torrents, World’s Biggest Torrent Site Taken Down & Has Resurfaced Back Up!
The US Justice Department has arrested Artem Vaulin, of Kharkiv, Ukraine in Poland, who is supposedly the ringleader of the world’s biggest online piracy site, Kickass Torrents. The piracy site is charged with letting streaming of $1 billion (approx. 6,724 crores) worth of illegally copied movies, music, video games and other content. Money Laundering, copyright infringement are some of the charges that have been levied on the man.
Kickass torrents or KAT has been down ever since – The site was so bog that in terms of traffic it beat the infamous Pirate Bay to become the most sought after site for downloading illegal content. The USP for this site was noted to be “a sophisticated and user-friendly environment in which its users are able to search for and locate content”. As per the US Justice Department, KAT was estimated to be the 69th most frequented site on the internet.
Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said, “Vaulin is charged with running today’s most visited illegal file-sharing website, responsible for unlawfully distributing well over $1 billion of copyrighted materials. In an effort to evade law enforcement, Vaulin allegedly relied on servers located in countries around the world and moved his domains due to repeated seizures and civil lawsuits. His arrest in Poland, however, demonstrates again that cybercriminals can run, but they cannot hide from justice.” All the bank accounts and credentials of Vaulin have been seized by the US authorities. Vaulin used the username “tirm” to operate his KAT ever since it’s incorporation in 2008 through a Ukrainian headquartered company called Cryptoneat. Cryptoneat was the disguise that KAT had to wear to conceal the nature of the business Vaulin conducted.
KAT’s value is estimated around $54 million with advertising revenue of at least $12.5 million to $22.3 million. The website had domains in many countries like Britain, Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Belgium and Malaysia until it was blocked but still continued to successfully operate. The site used domain names like, kickasstorrents.com, kastatic.com, thekat.tv, kat.cr, kickass.cr, kickass.to and kat.ph are few of the many domain names which are now seized and the site is completely down.
Though the site had many complaints before the infamous arrest of Vaulin, the ringleader has moved domains after every lawsuit that was created. The site has more than a 50 million visitors per month and the user friendly site caught on faster with internet users. The US Justice Department has to thank Apple for divulging information about Vaulin via his iCloud account and the investigators found that Vaulin was logging in as firstname.lastname@example.org account to conduct a iTunes transaction.
But, It a KAT Mirror Resurfaces Again!
As many had expected, you cannot keep these sites offline for too long. A mirror of this site has already surfaced online on domain address Kat.am and kickasstorrentsan.com. While the search is still not working, links to movies, TV shows and Music are all functional. In next few days, we should definitely see more mirrors surfacing.
Also, supporters of Artem Vaulin have gone ahead and filed a Change.org petition to free Vaulin. You can check it out here.