Film studios 'launch cyber attacks on torrent sites'

Posted by Emma Woollacott

An Indian firm has blithely admitted carrying out DDoS attacks on illegal torrent websites on behalf of movie companies including 20th Century Fox.

Girish Kumar, managing director of Aiplex Software, said he's hired by the studios to trawl the internet in the days following a movie's release. Using software which searches for relevant keywords, Aiplex looks for sites hosting illegally pirated copies. The firm then delivers copyright takedown notices to the sites' owners.

"Most movies are released on Friday morning at 10am in India. The movie is released in the morning - by afternoon it's on the internet," he told The Age.

"Generally speaking 95 per cent of... providers do remove the content. It's only the torrent sites - 20 to 25 per cent of the torrent sites - that do not have respect for any of the copyright notices."

But while the services on offer on the company's website stop here, Kumar says he's quite prepared to go further. If the sites don't respond, he says, the cyberhitmen move in - without any further warning.

"How can we put the site down? The only means that we can put the site down is denial-of-service. Basically we have to flood [the site] with millions and millions of requests and put the site down."

Kumar said that most of his clients were Bollywood studios, but that Aiplex also worked for Fox Star Studios, a joint venture between Fox and Star TV.