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    Europol Hits Huge 500,000 Subscriber Pirate IPTV Operation

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    A Europol-led operation involving police forces from Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria, and the Netherlands, has targeted one of the largest pirate IPTV operations in the world. At least three people have been arrested. Servers in Bulgaria and the Netherlands reportedly supplied the content to an estimated 500,000 subscribers worldwide, generating annual revenues of around five million euros.

    Live TV is in massive demand but accessing all content in a particular region can be a hugely expensive proposition, with tradtional broadcasting monopolies demanding large subscription fees.
    For millions around the world, this ‘problem’ can be easily circumvented. Pirate IPTV operations, which supply thousands of otherwise subscription channels via the Internet, are on the increase. They’re accessible for just a few dollars, euros, or pounds per month, slashing bills versus official providers on a grand scale.
    This week, however, police forces around Europe coordinated to target what they claim is one of the world’s largest illicit IPTV operations. The investigation was launched last February by Europol and on Tuesday coordinated actions were carried out in Cyprus, Bulgaria, Greece, and the Netherlands. No details have been provided but has been said that the website of a local ISP, Megabyte-Internet, from where pirate IPTV has been broadcast for at least the past several months, disappeared on Tuesday. It remains offline this morning.

    Three suspects were arrested in Cyprus – two in Limassol (aged 43 and 44) and one in Larnaca (aged 53). All are alleged to be part of an international operation to illegally broadcast around 1,200 channels of pirated content worldwide. Some of the channels offered were illegally sourced from Sky UK, Bein Sports, Sky Italia, and Sky DE
    If initial reports are to be believed, the reach of the IPTV service was huge. Figures usually need to be taken with a pinch of salt but information suggests the service had more than 500,000 subscribers, each paying around 10 euros per month. (Note: how that relates to the alleged five million euros per year in revenue is yet to be made clear)
    Police action was spread across the continent, with at least nine separate raids, including in the Netherlands where servers were uncovered. However, it was determined that these were in place to hide the true location of the operation’s main servers. Similar ‘front’ servers were also deployed in other regions.
    The main servers behind the IPTV operation were located in Petrich, a small town in Blagoevgrad Province, southwestern Bulgaria.

    The company did not comment and there’s no suggestion that it’s directly involved in any illegal activity. However, its Autonomous System (AS) number reveals linked IPTV services, none of which appear to be operational today. The ISP is also listed on sites where ‘pirate’ IPTV channel playlists are compiled by users.
    According to sources in Cyprus, police requested permission from the Larnaca District Court to detain the arrested individuals for eight days. However, local news outlet Philenews said that any decision would be poHidden Content oned until this morning, since one of the three suspects, an English Cypriot, required an interpreter which caused a delay.
    In addition to prosecutors and defense lawyers, two Dutch investigators from Europol were present in court yesterday. The hearing lasted for six hours and was said to be so intensive that the court stenographer had to be replaced due to overwork.

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    Big Bad Boss Gazer's Avatar
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    I would say there is a lot more than 500,000 subscribers world wide watching IPTV........
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    Viewing Pay TV without a valid subscription is illegal!
    All the files available on this forum are kept for experimental and educational purpose only!

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    ISP: We’re Cooperating With Police Following Pirate IPTV Raid

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    This week police across Europe coordinated to shut down what is claimed to be one of the world's largest pirate IPTV networks. Following raids in Cyprus, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, and Greece, TorrentFreak identified the ISP from where the illicit operation allegedly broadcast to the world. Located in a small Bulgarian town, the ISP says it is cooperating with the police to identify the suspects.
    This week, police forces around Europe took action against what is believed to be one of the world’s largest pirate IPTV networks.
    The investigation, launched a year ago and coordinated by Europol, came to head on Tuesday when police carried out raids in Cyprus, Bulgaria, Greece, and the Netherlands. A fresh announcement from the crime-fighting group reveals the scale of the operation.
    It was led by the Cypriot Police – Intellectual Property Crime Unit, with the support of the Cybercrime Division of the Greek Police, the Dutch Fiscal Investigative and Intelligence Service (FIOD), the Cybercrime Unit of the Bulgarian Police, Europol’s Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC³), and supported by members of the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA).
    In Cyprus, Bulgaria and Greece, 17 house searches were carried out. Three individuals aged 43, 44, and 53 were arrested in Cyprus and one was arrested in Bulgaria.
    All stand accused of being involved in an international operation to illegally broadcast around 1,200 channels of pirated content to an estimated 500,000 subscribers. Some of the channels offered were illegally sourced from Sky UK, Bein Sports, Sky Italia, and Sky DE. On Thursday, the three individuals in Cyprus were remanded in custody for seven days.
    “The servers used to distribute the channels were shut down, and IP addresses hosted by a Dutch company were also deactivated thanks to the cooperation of the authorities of The Netherlands,” Europol reports.

    “In Bulgaria, 84 servers and 70 satellite receivers were seized, with decoders, computers and accounting documents.”
    Megabyte-Internet Ltd, an ISP located in the small Bulgarian town Petrich, was targeted by police. The provider went down on Tuesday but returned towards the end of the week.
    “We are an ISP provider located in Petrich, Bulgaria. We are selling services to around 1,500 end-clients in the Petrich area and surrounding villages,” a spokesperson explained.
    “Another part of our business is internet services like dedicated unmanaged servers, hosting, email servers, storage services, and VPNs etc.”
    The spokesperson added that some of Megabyte’s equipment is located at Telepoint, Bulgaria’s biggest datacenter, with connectivity to Petrich. During the raid the police seized the company’s hardware to check for evidence of illegal activity.
    “Of course, we were not able to know this because our services are unmanaged and root access [to servers] is given to our clients. For this reason any client and anyone that uses our services are responsible for their own actions.”
    What is clear, however, is that Megabyte-Internet is offering its full cooperation to the authorities. The company says that it cannot be held responsible for the actions of its clients so their details will be handed over as part of the investigation.
    “So now we will give to the police any details about these clients because we hold their full details by law. [The police] will find [out about] all the illegal actions from them,” the company concludes, adding that it’s fully operational once more and working with clients.

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