Home » Blog
date 15.Apr.2012

■ WUpload and FileServe cyberlockers go out of business

It's been barely 3 months since the spectacular seizure of megaupload.com and as predicted the file-hosting business is changing rapidly. Many of the once big players have either ceased operating or limited availability of files to the uploader only (pointless!) effectively putting them out of business. Latest to go under are WUpload and FileServe.

It is hard to tell what is going on behind the scenes, and if these file-hosting sites are pulling the shutters out of fear or as a result of direct threats of prosecution by the authorities. But there is a telling pattern as all the folded file-sharing websites were located in countries easily accessible by western (US) authorities. Strangely enough, too many active cyberlockers are hosted in the Netherlands. Are the file-sharing laws there as liberal as the cannabis freely available in that country? :)

file-sharing site status
filesonic.comprivate access
fileserve.comprivate access
letitbit.netnot serving USA
depositfiles.comin operation
rapidshare.comin operation
wupload.comprivate access
vip-file.comnot serving USA
turbobit.netnot serving USA
uploaded.toin operation
uploadstation.com  private access
shareflare.netnot serving USA
filepost.comin operation
uploading.comin operation
mediafire.comin operation

Table 1. Leftovers of cyberlockers reigning on December 2011

Out of the top 15 file-hosting websites of 2011 (see our older investigation) only six are still in business as usual — see the table above. On top of those like filesonic and fileserve that have stopped file-sharing, there are a few that only operate outside USA, like letitbit.net and its affiliate sites. If accessed from e.g. Greece they allow files to be downloaded, but the same URL accessed from a USA IP address will return 'file not found' or the message 'Our service is currently unavailable in your country'.

Is it high noon for cyberlockers? I wouldn't imagine so. There are literally hundreds of websites serving the file sharing and downloads industry, and if the kingpins have fallen, there are more than enough in reserve to take their traffic. I have observed an increase of downloads hosted on rapidshare and uploaded.to as well as other smaller sites. The survivors are rebranding themselves as cloud storage and are distancing themselves from piracy promotion reward schemes that attracted the wrath of the authorities.

If you are using Crack Tracker to discover and remove illegal downloads of your software, and you are located in the USA, there is a complication. Running crack tracker from a USA IP address will give you the impression that your piracy problem is less severe than it actually is, as some of the big file-hosting sites are not serving USA (see table above).

One way to work around this problem is to use a proxy server for your internet access, so it will appear that you are accessing the warez search engines from Europe instead of the USA. All you need is to find a public proxy server in a European country and edit your Internet Explorer settings for the proxy IP address as seen to the right. Another possibility is to tunnel your whole internet access through TunnelBear or similar services.
IE proxy settings

It is all fluid in the file download world, but we haven't seen the death of the download piracy yet...

Share |

©2010-2012 ZABKAT, all rights reserved | Privacy policy | Contact email