Tag Archives: Torrents

Beware of Dark Knight Rises Leaked Torrents on the Internet

I am a big fan of the Batman franchise movies and have watched them the day they released. To be honest, I can’t wait to watch the latest in the series “Dark Knight Rises” on July 20. Dark Knight Rises is definitely going to break box office records all over the world. However, even before the movie has even released, there are several torrent websites which have been filled up with fake torrents for the Dark Knight Rises.

Dark Knight Rises Movie Poster

While you might get into trouble legally for downloading the content, there is a high chance that the torrents available on the internet are infected with viruses and spyware which might put your computer at risk.

Also Read: What Are Magnet Links? How Are They Different From Torrents?

Back in 2010, Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part 1 was leaked on Torrent websites and was downloaded millions of times. That leak was potentially intentional because it left off a good part of the movie out of the torrent thus driving users back to the theatre to catch up the rest of the movie. There were also several instances of fake torrents which infected users who downloaded them. The Dark Knight Rises torrents are fake and targeted towards gullible users who will be infected with malware and spyware.

While downloading torrents in itself is not illegal, it is always advisable to check your copyright laws before you download anything to your computer. While there are several tools which help you to download torrents anonymously, you should also use services which will tell you whether a torrent is infected or not.

And last but not the least, go ahead and check out some Dark Knight Rises Posters and Billboard ads and enjoy the Dark Knight Rises in theatres this week. It is definitely going to be worth it.

Access Banned Torrent and Video Sites in India

The Indian governments Department of Telecom (DOT) recently notified ISPs to block several torrent and video websites such as Pirate Bay, ExtraTorrent, KickAss Torrent, Vimeo, Pastebin and more to curb piracy. ISPs like Reliance and Airtel have already started blocking those websites.

In reply to those blocks, the famous group Anonymous has attacked several Indian government websites and taken them down. While the attacks continue, several users in India are still looking to access the websites but are seeing a message “This site has been blocked as per instructions from Department of Telecom (DOT)”.

If you are someone who is looking to access those torrent and video sites in India, you can still do it through several means. As I had stated earlier you can easily access blocked websites using proxy servers, you will find several proxy servers in our earlier guide on how to access blocked website.

Additionally, you can also access those websites using services like OpenDNS and Google DNS. See our guide on How to use Google Public DNS on Windows 7 and Windows XP or use a Google DNS helper to automatically change to Google DNS. If you are in India, you can use a DNS proxy website like http://dnetproxy.appspot.com/ as well.

If you are still not able to access those torrent websites, you could always try and use the site operator in Google search to directly search those websites and view their cached copies.

If you have any other means to access those websites, please feel free to leave a comment.

What Are Magnet Links? How Are They Different From Torrents?

So you heard about Magnet Links and were terrified? What Are Magnet Links? How Are They Different From Torrents? How to Download files using Magnet Links. Are Magnet Links Safe?

Magnet Links

In a world of peer-to-peer sharing, Torrents have come along a long way along. However, Torrents are being deemed as less safer these days because of people being able to easily track them. This has led several websites including "The Pirate Bay" from changing the way they allow users to download files.

Also Read: 6 Tools to Download Torrents Anonymously

The Pirate Bay recently switched from torrents to magnet links marking a big change in how it operates. In a nutshell, magnet links change how users download content. We’ll take a look at what has changed and what you will need to change in order to download files using Magnet links.

What are Magnet Links? What’s the Difference Between Magnet Links and Torrents?

Magnet Links change the fundamental way in which we download from peer-to-peer networks. Unlike Torrents, which needed a centralized server for tracking purposes, magnet links directly download content from other peers thus getting rid of the centralized server for tracking seeds and peers.

Also Read: What Are Web Seeds? 

Magnet links make use of DHT, which is a form of decentralized distribution which allows a group of users to share a file faster amongst themselves without having to rely on a server. There is not much difference between how a file is downloaded from a torrent vs how it is downloaded from a magnet link.

Do I Have to Change How I Download Using Magnet Links?

No. Magnet links are similar to torrent files and if you have a P2P torrent software installed, you will be able to download the content using magnet links without having to change anything. However, you might have to upgrade your P2P software to the latest versions so that the browsers are aware that they should handle those links.

How to Download Files Using Magnet Links?

There are couple of ways in which you can download content using magnet links. The first is pretty straightforward. Just click on the link that is provided and it will launch your default torrent software as shown below. You might want to check the checkbox next to "Remember my choice for all links of this type" or "Always use this software to open such links" so that it will automatically open magnet links in your favorite torrent client.

Download Magnet Links

Clicking on the "Get This Torrent" link in Pirate Bay will automatically launch your Bittorrent application.

downloading_through_magnet_links

Once you open the magnet link, your torrent client will start downloading the content just like a regular torrent. Alternatively, you can also copy the magnet link and add it directly to your torrent client just like you used to do for regular torrents.

Are Magnet Links Safe?

Downloading through magnet links is as safe as downloading a torrent file. However, make sure to download legitimate content and you will be safe. There have been several cases of infected torrents so the files you download through magnet links could be unsafe as well.

Pirate Bay and EZTV Down

It looks like two of the top torrent websites are down right now. Pirate Bay and EZTV are not responding to user requests at the time of reporting.

The Pirate Bay website at http://www.piratebay.se/ and the website http://eztv.it seem to be offline and cannot be accessed right now. There are several users who are reporting on the downtime on but there is no apparent reason as to why this is happening.

Accessing this website leads to "could not connect to website" errors on browsers, so there is no real indication whether these websites were taken down similar to how Megaupload was taken down.

We are trying to find out more about the downtime and will update this post as soon as more information becomes available.

Update #1: It looks like Pirate Bay is down at the provider end (piratpartiet.se) as you can see at the final trace route, so it might be possible that it was taken down by Swedish authorities, but we are not sure yet.

Pirate Bay Down

On the other hand, the EZTV tracert is breaking pretty early as well

EZTV Down

 

Update #2: EZTV.it seems to be up back now

Update #3: Pirate Bay is back up again as well

Story developing..

Thanks @Shaaqt and @YourAnonNews

RIAA Caught Downloading Illegal Torrents

Well well well if it isn’t a ripe case of somebody set up us the bomb. At least that is what the Recording Industry Association of America claims after being caught red-handed; many people in its offices have been downloading illegal torrents of movies and music, the same kind of people that the RIAA has been on a crusade against for the past years and fining them enormous amounts of money because it infringed on their copyright. Not only are they downloading music torrents (which some may claim may be for research purposes), they are also downloading TV shows and cracked versions of software. All this was done with the aid of a crawler for torrent downloads called YouHaveDownloaded.com, in which the IP addresses logged in public trackers coupled with your current IP address show the torrents downloaded by your IP address. While totally worthless with dynamic IP addresses or with those who use private trackers to download torrents, it is still a very useful site that can be used for a lot of purposes. That is exactly what Torrentfreak did and caught RIAA, amongst others, in the act of doing exactly what they want to crack down upon.

RIAAban

So what was RIAA’s response to this? We totally did not download it, guys. Seriously!. Yes they gave pretty much the exact excuse that those who get the dreaded legal letter from RIAA suing them do. In most cases, the people whom the RIAA sues are actually innocent, because many people do not know the dangers of having an open WiFi connection, and some do not know what a dynamic IP is. However, it seems that the RIAA has built an interesting excuse to get away with this, as a spokesperson for the RIAA claims:-

Those partial IP addresses are similar to block addresses assigned to RIAA. However, those addresses are used by a third party vendor to serve up our public Web site. As I said earlier, they are not used by RIAA staff to access the Internet.

What is actually funny around here is that it is quite obvious that the IP addresses found to be downloading torrents are completely registered to RIAA such as 76.74.24.146. Moreover a company cannot register a block of IP addresses for its own use and then allowa third party vendor to usethese IP addresses.

For a company that is used to suing children, old people without working internet connections or computers, and even dead people, this comes off as a godly smack on the face. I wish this evil organization is taken down, but if wishes were horses…

[Photo To Doby Benjamin Gray]

FlashSeed: Easily Create Torrents Upto 1GB And Have Them Seeded For 5 Days

greenshot_2011-01-30_13-02-49Have you ever wanted to share a large file via Bittorrent and then realized that creating a well functioning torrent file isn’t exactly your forte? This is the question that a new file sharing service on the block, FlashSeed, wants to ask the people.

FlashSeed calls itself a One Click Torrent Hostingsite, but if you ask me, this title can be a little bit misleading. What FlashSeed actually does is that it takes the file that you want to share and stores it onto its servers. Then it creates a torrent for that file and seeds the torrent for five days (using the web seed technique). This five day grace period allows enough time for the torrent swarm to become self sufficient.

Unregistered users can upload files upto 500MB and upon free registration, the limit is raised to 1GB. Since your uploaded file is kept on FlashSeed’s server, you can also directly download the file. So if you just need to dump a gigabyte of data somewhere but do not want to use the Bittorrent protocol, FlashSeed can be of some help. Now since FlashSeed does keep files on its own servers for some time, it is susceptible to violating copyright law. However, FlashSeed takes the safer side here and already mentions on its FAQ page, We will take down any materials that obviously violate copyright law.

A service like FlashSeed can come in handy when a user not proficient with Bittorrent would want to share a large file with a group of people. Even though Bittorrent is possibly the best way to share massive files, the learning curve often creates hurdles in the way of the average netizen.

About 100 Users Control 66% of Torrent Uploads on Pirate Bay and Mininova

Piracy is a big problem and more often than not people are quick to blame the Internet and BitTorrent in general. The basic reason why torrents are used is to make P2P file distribution easy, it is also in use by several established companies to distribute their software. For example, Ubuntu and Open Office. However, torrents are also largely used to distribute pirated content.

The Pirate Bay

In a recent study by University of Carlos III de Madrid, the researchers tracked torrents on popular sites like The Pirate Bay and Mininova and found out that about 100 users control 60% of the torrent uploads on these sites out of the 55,000 files they tracked. In addition to that, 75% of the torrents that are downloaded are uploaded by these 100 users.

The success of BitTorrent is due to the fact that a few users make a large number of contents available in exchange for receiving economic benefits

The researchers have also pointed out to the fact that most of these seeders are doing it because of financial gain. The study was done using a custom developed tool which allowed the researchers to access the name and IP address of the seeders along with IP addresses of users who downloaded those torrents.

Most of the torrents that were tracked were either recently released movies or episodes of popular television shows. The research did not say how much percentage accounted for these types of files among the 55,000 they were tracking.

The study was conducted by by researchers at the public university in Madrid, in collaboration with scientists at the IMDEA Networks Institute, the University of Oregon (USA) and the Technical University of Darmstadt (Germany). You can red the entire study here.

10 Most Searched BitTorrent Downloads in 2010

the-pirate-bay2010 was not a good year for those looking for free movie downloads and other not-quite-legal files. Many of the file sharing sites were either shut down or forced to go legit. One of the most popular sites, The Pirate Bay, is one example of the sites being forced offline.

One of the best way to share files online is using the  BitTorrent protocol. Bittorrent shared files are stored across many different personal computers over the internet, making them almost impossible to shut down. Even though a site like Pirate Bay can be shuttered, the BitTorrent shared files are still around, and there are still ways to search for them.

Recently, the TorrentFreak website posted 2010’s top 100 searches for BitTorrent downloads. Here are the top ten items from their list.

1. inception
2. iron man 2
3. 2010
4. xxx
5. french
6. avatar
7. dvdrip
8. despicable me
9. porn
10. clash of the titans

Some of those searches aren’t surprising. Others in the list leave us wondering what people were really looking for. What’s so great about frenchdownloads? If you have some clue, let us know in the comments below.

Here are a few other posts about BitTorrent, in case you are curious.

Torrent Search bar, search torrents from firefox

Best Peer to Peer (P2P) & Torrent Software Clients for File Sharing

How to Open .torrent Files?

Disable BitTorrent Integration in Opera [How To]

The Pirate Bay: Finally Silenced by Hollywood, But For How Long?

6 Tools for Anonymous Torrenting Options

Pirate Bay Founders Sentenced To Prison By Sweden Court, $6.5 Million Fine

The three founders of the popular torrent site The Pirate Bay, Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde, and Carl Lundström previous convictions have been upheld by a Swedish court, which means that the trio are now headed to prison.

Pirate Bay Sinking

In addition to upholding the sentence, the Swedish judge has also levied a $6.5 million fine. According to BGR, the jail sentence for the founders has been reduced from the previous 1 year to sentences ranging between 4 and 10 months. According to the new sentence Neij will spend 10 months in prison, Sunde 8 months and Lundström 4 months.

The Pirate Bay founders were not happy with the decision and felt it was a wrong one. However, there is nothing they can do about it now.

"This is wrong, this is just really wrong. Now it’s time for the Swedish legal system to shape up a little bit about what they think and believe about the world. This is just reprehensible, totally and utterly reprehensible," Sunde told the TT news agency.

More info at the Sweden Local News in English.

Burnbit Creates A Torrent For Any File On The Internet

Using the web seeding technology that I wrote about earlier, Burnbit is a new service that allows anyone to create a torrent of a file already hosted someplace on the internet, without first downloading the file to their computer. This can be done in two way: Either the user goes to their website and submit the file’s link or if the user has a website and needs to create torrents of certain files on the fly, Burnbit provides buttons, that can be enabled with a small javascript snippet.

conceptSo how can Burnbit be useful to the common folk? I can think of one case. Imaging there’s a huge file that you, and a bunch of your friends need to download off a website, let’s say a video game. But the download servers are really slow. So you take the game setup’s link, give that link to Burnbit and it creates a torrent out of it. Now you share that torrent with all your friends. Initially, everyone will be downloading from the server itself (using web seeding), but slowly, the client-server traffic will be converted to peer-to-peer traffic. All your friends will share the download burden and since data pieces will travel faster, everyone will get the file faster.

That was about the common user. A media producer on the other hand, can use Burnbit’s automatic button creation feature to instantly create torrents of their media, and thus create an addition download option for their users, which is much more stable than conventional http downloading, and will help decreases the load on the producer’s servers.

greenshot_2010-11-18_20-38-30

What Are Web Seeds? [BitTorrent]

BitTorrent has been around for a while and like every other technology, it has evolved and become better.  DHT, a form of decentralized distribution; Peer exchange, that allows a group of peers to share a file faster and so, several improvements have been made over the base protocol. One such feature called Web Seeding was implemented in 2006.

What are web seeds?

What seeds give the torrent client the ability to download torrent pieces/data from an http source in addition to the swarm. So if you have a file somewhere on the internet, you can simply add its link to your torrent. Now if the swarm is weak, the torrent client will fetch data from the http source. The advantage, of course, is that a publisher can create a torrent of a file which is already hosted on his server and not worry about seeding it full time, while the user can obtain the data directly from the http source or through the torrent. Either way, the user will get the data from the http source. However, if the torrent becomes popular and self-sustainable, the torrent client will fetch data from the swarm and only use the http seed for pieces which are not available or are deficient in the swarm.

This is a very good approach towards file distribution which can be used by artists, producers who distribute their content online. Using web seeds, they can keep their torrents alive for as long as their servers are up. A perfect balance between load-balancing and content availability.

How to use web seeds?

greenshot_2010-11-17_23-30-53Adding a web seeds to a torrent is very easy. If you’re creating a torrent in uTorrent, just add the http (or https or ftp) link to the Web seeds box. Only http, https or ftp links will work. Also, do note that if the torrent has just one file, you can add its http link right away. However, if it’s a directory of files, you can add the http link of the directory in the Web Seeds box and the torrent client will automatically append the file names. If the torrent has just one file, the file names in the torrent and in the web seeds can be different. However, in the second case, where it’s a directory of files and only a http directory link has been given in as a web seed, make sure the file names in the torrent and in the http directory are same, because the torrent client will simply append file name and if they don’t match, the file won’t be web-seeded.

Pro tip: Want to share a file through bittorrent but can’t seed for a lot of time? Host the file on Dropbox and add its public link (or directory link) as a web seed. Your torrent will be alive as long as Dropbox is up (which is always)

Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part 1 Leaked on Torrents

Hey, Harry Potter fans, don’t visit any torrent sites this week, the latest movie in the franchise, more specifically the second to last one Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 has been leaked on torrents.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows which is set to premier this week on Thursday has apparently been leaked on torrents. However, it contains only the first 36 minutes of the movie according to Torrent Freak.

Released by the group iNK, the leaked copy is not a usual DVD screener. Yes, the watermarks and other screener features are there, but instead of the full film the leaked copy only covers the first 36 minutes of the highly anticipated release.

As you can see, this is more likely than not a leak created to create anticipation of the movie, which has earned billions of dollars for all it’s previous movies in the series.

All in all, leaking just 36 minutes of the movies will create a huge suspense among users who would want to watch the movie, and according to Torrent Freak, the movie is already being searched by thousands of users on BitTorrent sites.

If this leak was a controlled one, it looks like a good move by a movie studio who is playing on user anticipation and curiosity even before the movie has released. Leaking Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows before the movie even released and providing users with a view of what they can watch will in fact draw a few users out of those millions of leechers to the theatres, what say?

US Downloads Least Torrents, UK More, Germany Has Rapidshare While Asians Prefer Torrents, Online Movies and Direct Downloads

I read a recent report on one of my favorite sites on the state of how new users are being introduced to torrents. In that article, Torrent Freak stressed on how new people are introduced to torrents thanks to Google Search and now . Of course, that is a fact, but those results are more often than not based on trends, or in the simple language, what people are searching for more related to any topic. A classic example is a "how to" search on Google.

You have to note, that Google themselves are not promoting anything, these are just trends which are driven by local people and what they are searching for. I ran some tests in multiple countries using proxy IP addresses (not website which provide proxy services) which are very reliable and which I pay for to test several things in different countries to understand what people are searching for when it comes to movies and whether torrents are really being pushed so hard to new users.

Which country downloads the most torrents; or at-least searches for them; let’s take a look at it. Starting with US, where I did not need to use a proxy. I searched for the same movies Torrent Freak did and the results were different suggesting that people in US were more interested in reading a review of the movie rather than downloading it.

us_torrents_wall_street_money_never_sleeps

As you can see in the above image, people in US searched more for reviews of the movie rather than the torrents. Of course the torrent did appear in the wall street movie search.

Next up, I hit the United Kingdom through a proxy IP address and the results were alarming to say the least, considering that UK is considered second only to the US in several ways.

 

uk_torrents_wall_street_never_sleeps

Do you assume Canadians are safe enough to not fall to torrent downloads? Well think again after taking a look at the screenshots below. Once again the top search here was torrents.

canada_torrents_wall_street_never_sleeps

Next to hit was Europe. I did searches in Germany and guess what was popular there? You guessed it wrong. In these countries torrents were not the most popular means of downloading, it was RapidShare, a huge file sharing network which is known to host illegal movies and music. Considering that RapidShare has their base in Germany, this was not a surprise.

germany_illegal_movie_downloads

Next to hit up was Asia, a continent where most of the software used is illegal. So, did it fare otherwise when it comes to movies? Disappointingly no. Considering that I have lived in India for almost 24 years, I wasn’t really surprised with the results down there. But you can take a look at it for yourself.

india_torrents_wall_street_never_sleeps

pakistan_torrents_wall_street_never_sleeps

As you can see from the screenshots above. South Asian countries have more often than not found different ways to watch content illegally.  Though torrents are their biggest search, watching movies online and downloading content is also a big part of their plate.

Concluding

I am not saying that illegal download is only restricted to a particular country. However, in my experience I have found that developed countries such as United States watch or buy more content legally than other countries. It was surprising to see UK and Canada users searching for torrents on par with other developing countries though.

All in all, this was nothing more than just a experiment I intended to run to see who downloads torrents more and where. In the end it led to few revelations which I did not expect and things which I was already in the know.

If you have anything to say, feel free to leave a comment on this post.

Apple Approves Torrent App in the iPhone App Store

Apple has a set of very stringent (and at times, nonsensical) guidelines for the App Store approval process. Many apps have, in the past, been rejected for ridiculous reasons. One category that Apple has always steered clear of approving for the App Store has been BitTorrent apps.

The BitTorrent protocol isn’t illegal, but it is the most common method to download pirated videos and music. There isn’t a single Torrent client on the App Store.

However, this week, the BitTorrent based app “IS Drive” was approved by Apple and added into the App Store. It is available for $4.99. It allows you to check and manage the downloads in your ImageShack Drive account. It also shows screenshots of completed video downloads.

IS Drive App StoreIS Drive App Store

The developer, Derek Kepner stated this in a interview with TorrentFreak: “I’m on dangerous ground here, and I know that. I’ll probably add a search feature where it’s up to the user to manually add the torrent site they want. The app will not be designed to easily break the law and I hope no one intends to do so. But if a user is determined to break the law, what business is that of mine or Apple’s? They could do the same in Safari anyway, right?”

“I always had the thought that if I didn’t call the app a torrent client, Apple would probably let it through the review process. After all, there is no real torrenting happening on the client side. It’s *not* a torrent client. It’s an ImageShack Drive client”

“Plus, I didn’t see any reason for the app to be rejected in Apple’s recently released guidelines. So, I was very careful with this release to not use the dirty word torrent’, and I’ll continue to carefully add new features, so stay tuned.”

IS Drive – App Store

The Pirate Bay Hacked, User Database and Admin Panel Accessible

This is exactly what the RIAA has been praying for years and today, it has finally come true. ThePirateBay, the most stubborn and still going strong torrent and file sharing website has finally been hacked by a group of Argentinian hackers.

The hackers attempted SQL injection vulnerabilities and have claimed access to the user database and admin panel. The compromised user data includes passwords, usernames, IPs and email addresses. However, the group has claimed that it intends no harm to ThePirateBay. It made this attack as a proof-of-concept only. This goes only as far as proving that there are exploitable vulnerabilities.

One of the hackers in the group, Ch Russó who also happens to be a malware researcher claims that,

As any other website, as any other system or mechanism, www.thepiratebay.org has robust parts and soft spots. We beleive that the people behind this comunity always acted with the local laws on their side, and so have we. The community caused problems to huge companies and corporations which turned into threats between this companies and them. What we have done, we did not do it with anger, or for commercial value. As always, we saw the change, the moment and decided to take it. The protocol or procedure done to achieve this wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.

The page following the link above also shows a video highlighting the hack process.

However, members on ThePirateBay need not worry. Ch Russó has assured that the information gathered from the hack will not be leaked to any authority by any chance.

The vulnerable component has been removed from ThePirateBay now and it is back to security. However, the homepage currently shows this message:
the-pirate-bay-hacked
Update 1: In a totally unrelated event, Demonoid.com is performing a hardware upgrade now which is confusing people even more.

(Via: Softpedia News)