Feeds

Pirate Bay moves to the cloud to confound copyright cops

Police left with very little to seize

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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 the next stage, the cloud," the group said on its Facebook page.

"The cloud, or Brahman as the Hindus call it, is the All, surrounding everything. It is everywhere; immaterial, yet very real. If there is data, there is The Pirate Bay."

On a more down-to-earth level, the move has been prompted by concerns over recent rumors of another raid on the site's systems, the team told TorrentFreak. But there's also the sheer hassle of running the site's hardware systems. Earlier this month, The Pirate Bay was down for almost two days when a power distribution unit had to be sourced and installed at the site's hosting company.

The service is now hosted on virtual machines in two countries, using separate cloud networks, and it has the ability to switch to a new provider pretty much instantly as needed. Shifting to cloud providers will save time and money, help lock down user privacy, and should make The Pirate Bay pretty much unraidable, since the load balancer and transit routers are the only hardware that can be seized.

"If the police decide to raid us again there are no servers to take, just a transit router. If they follow the trail to the next country and find the load balancer, there is just a disk-less server there. In case they find out where the cloud provider is, all they can get are encrypted disk-images," the crew said.

"They have to be quick about it too, if the servers have been out of communication with the load balancer for 8 hours they automatically shut down. When the servers are booted up, access is only granted to those who have the encryption password."

Cloud providers will not know that they are hosting the site's virtual machines, as all the site's traffic will go through the diskless load balancer in RAM and will be encrypted before transmission. Since the load balancer is never in the same country as the cloud provider, there's no way for the cloud provider to monitor IP addresses or user data without breaking the encryption.

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
Symantec backs out of Backup Exec: Plans to can appliance in Jan
Will still provide support to existing customers
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.