FBI cracks down on 'warez' piracy sites

Four people are arrested and 22 Web sites are searched during an FBI crackdown of so called warez sites.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), with help from investigators from 10 other countries, has arrested four people and dismantled at least four Web sites used to illegally distribute movies, music and software, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced.

The crackdown on so-called warez distribution sites, with 70 searches conducted in the U.S. and another 20 searches in other countries on Wednesday, also resulted in law enforcement authorities identifying more than 120 members of what the DOJ called the "organized online piracy underground," DOJ officials said during a press conference. In the warez community, highly organized groups work together to distribute copyrighted materials, often competing with each other to be the fastest to post a free version of a movie or video game.

The DOJ didn't have immediate information on the four people arrested. The DOJ could take action against other suspects, officials said.

Searches happened in 10 countries in addition to the U.S.: Canada, Israel, France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, U.K., Germany, Portugal and Australia.

The crackdown, called Operation Site Down, resulted in the confiscation of several computers and servers, causing at least eight warez sites to be shut down, said U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. During Wednesday's action, more than US$50 million worth of pirated works were seized by law enforcement, he said.

The DOJ will continue its "aggressive efforts to dismantle international criminal organizations that use sophisticated methods to steal staggering amounts of intellectual property," Gonzales said.

The operation targeted 22 warez groups, including Myth, TDA, HellBound, Corrupt, Gamerz, NOX and Goodfellaz, the DOJ said. The DOJ accused these groups of pirating software such as Autodesk's Autocad 2006 and Adobe Systems's Photoshop and movies such as "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" and "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith."

In some cases, the pirated works end up traded through peer-to-peer software, and in other cases, the pirated copies are sold to groups that burn CDs and DVDs and sell them on the street, said Michael DuBose, deputy chief of the DOJ's Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.

"The theft of this property strikes at the heart of America's economy," said Louis Reigel, assistant director of the FBI Cyber Division. "This theft deprives many Americans and other workers around the globe of their right to be paid for their labor and enjoy the value of their hard work."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?