Piracy

German Police Raids “Share-Online.biz” File Hosting Service Provider

By Bill Toulas / October 18, 2019

Share-Online.biz has been seized by the Central Cybercrime Department of North Rhine-Westphalia after the German police carried out a raid in the platform’s location. According to TorrentFreak, three people were arrested in the process and are currently investigated to figure out what their role was. Share-Online.biz was a popular file hosting platform that served millions of users from around the globe each month. As the stats show, most of their traffic was generated from within Germany, so the country’s authorities couldn’t allow this to continue.

The problem with the platform was that it didn’t review what its users uploaded, so there was no filtering to stop the sharing of copyright-protected material. That said, it was used for piracy, among many other things. Unregistered users could upload files of a maximum size of 1GB, while users who paid for a premium account were allowed to upload up to 2GB for each file. The website suddenly went offline yesterday, and the following message that was posted on the seized domain later by the authorities cleared the fog of speculation.

German seizure

Source: share-online.biz

The German intellectual property association GVU (Gesellschaft zur Verfolgung von Urheberrechtsverletzungen) stated that they had sent more than eight million takedown notices to Share-Online.biz since 2017, and while the platform deleted some of the infringing files, they quickly reappeared shortly after. That said, the file-hosting platform wasn’t able, or didn’t possess the required volition to remove illicit material, ban repeat offenders, and secure that they operate in a purely legal context.

To the contrary, the platform was making money out of this activity, as they were receiving payments from premium subscriptions, and also through affiliations with forums where links were posted. Portal pages and forums such as DDL-Warez, Boerse, Movie-Blog and MyGully, were also involved in the money-making process, according to Evelyn Ruttke, the GVU’s Managing Director. DDL-Warez was also brought down today, but we’re unsure if this happened due to the same operation, or if it was voluntary.

There has been quite some crackdown action in Germany lately, with the OmniRAT developer getting arrested in June, the Mariposa botnet creator also being arrested two weeks ago, and the German police raided an underground bunker where a “bulletproof” hosting service was located at the beginning of the month. All in all, the German police seem to have a way to “dig out” those who have been hiding from the authorities for quite a while now.

Do you live in Germany? What can you tell us about the above? Share your information with us in the comments below, or on our socials, on Facebook and Twitter.



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