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September 19th, 2008

Norwegian BitTorrent Tracker Norbits Under DDoS Attack

Norbits, the largest Norwegian BitTorrent tracker is going through some rough times. For several days now, the site has been offline due to a DDoS attack. The site has allegedly been hacked by a group called MORRADi, which is also speculating that it has managed to compromise the tracker and is threatening to release personal details of its users including IPs, until the tracker is closed.

Norbits is a medium sized community with over 10,000 members, most of them from Norway. Norbits has suffered downtime because of DDoS attacks before, but this time the threat may be more serious than that.

A group called MORRADi takes responsibility for the attack on Norbits. A message released by the groups says (translated): “Once again we show our power! Once again we show your foolishness! This is not the first time we have done it, and it won’t be the last. Enough is enough, you are becoming a real nuisance, and you are also a bunch of idiots that try to hide, so it’s high time we punish you! P2P is not something we want, when will you understand that? Do we have to take it as far as publishing your user database online?”

The message seems to suggest that “sceners” are behind the hack and the attacks, since they don’t want their releases shared on BitTorrent trackers.

This is the second time the tracker has been under a DDoS attack for the past two years, and no matter how futile the ambitions of the attackers are in respect to targeting the tracker due to the fact that it’s promoting the use of P2P, the success of Norbits seems to have already pissed off the local warez scene.

Further investigation indicates a conflict of interest on the Norwegian warez scene, with old school FTP warez groups. The attack is very similar to an apparently still active campaign courtesy of old school warez traders, named “Destroying The P2P’s, One Step at a Time”, whose objective is to expose the owners of BitTorrent trackers, compromise their security and leak personally identifiable information of its users in order to damage their reputations.

DDoS attacks are not an unusual event for many private BitTorrent trackers. Although they are sometimes used as an excuse for server issues, most of the larger trackers have been subject to such attacks at least once.

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