According to the US Justice Department, the feds have arrested Artem Vaulin the alleged mastermind behind the BitTorrent distribution site KickassTorrents (KAT). The KickassTorrents website kat.cr is down worldwide and most of KAT domains (kickasstorrents.com, kickass.to, kat.ph, kastatic.com, thekat.tv, kat.cr, kickass.cr) have been seized by the law enforcement.
“Artem Vaulin, 30, of Kharkiv, Ukraine, was arrested today in Poland and is charged by criminal complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, with one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and two counts of criminal copyright infringement. The United States will seek to extradite Vaulin to the United States.” stated the Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell in a press release. “Vaulin is charged with running today’s most visited illegal file-sharing website, responsible for unlawfully distributing well over $1 billion of copyrighted materials. In an effort to evade law enforcement, Vaulin allegedly relied on servers located in countries around the world and moved his domains due to repeated seizures and civil lawsuits. His arrest in Poland, however, demonstrates again that cybercriminals can run, but they cannot hide from justice.”
In addition to the KAT’s domain names seizure, the Chicago court has also ordered the seizure of bank accounts related to the notorious pirate website, as well as servers located in Chicago, USA, and Canada.”
Artem Vaulin is a Ukrainian national (30) was arrested in Poland and the US authorities have already requested his extradition, he claimed that the KAT did not violate the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
The criminal complaint filed in US District Court in Chicago charges Vaulin of criminal copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement.
According to the US federal authorities, the KickassTorrent has caused $1 Billion losses in copyright infringement.
In the past, many film studios have filed a notice-and-takedown for a potential DMCA violation, but the Kat team has always ignored it responding with the following message:
The KickassTorrent mastermind was localized with a trick, an IRS agent undercover bought advertise for five days at the price of $300 per day. The negotiations took place via e-mail, Vaulin used his account firstname.lastname@example.org hosted by Apple.
Exploiting the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), the authorities obtained information about the KAT providing the bank accounts used to receive the payment for the advertising. The analysis of the account allowed the prosecutors to discover the location of the disclosed the KickassTorrent servers, they were in Chicago.
“Records provided by Apple showed that email@example.com conducted an iTunes transaction using IP Address 184.108.40.206 on or about July 31, 2015,” states the complaint. “The same IP Address was used on the same day to login into the KAT Facebook.”
(Security Affairs – KickassTorrent, cybercrime)