Cashing In on Naive BitTorrent Users

Opinion

BitTorrent sites are overloaded with ads for malware ridden BitTorrent clients and paid tutorials that promise to quadruple your download speed. They try to lure naive users into downloading their products with catchy phrases such as "Breakthrough Information Will Have You Downloading Torrents Up To 475% Faster". It's time to take them down.

Last year we reported several times on the family of malware supported BitTorrent clients such as Torrent101, BitRoll, TorrentQ and GetTorrent. These clients promised ‘high speed downloads’ but actually installed a payload of malware onto the victim’s PC. It seems that our articles resulted in the desired response, with most torrent sites effectively banned their ads.

Recently, however, we have noticed an increase in ads for paid tutorials. A couple of months ago we posted about highspeedtorrent.com, a site that promised to boost download speeds up to 500% faster. Unfortunately they are still around, the only thing they have changed since then is their initial claim, they now promise a 475% increase in download speed.

The only thing these people are after is money from naive BitTorrent users, and they do this by advertising their ‘revolutionary’ tutorials on BitTorrent sites such as The Pirate Bay, Mininova and Isohunt, making thousands of dollars a month. Technically there is nothing illegal about selling something like this, but the absurd claims they make will only disappoint people who get tricked into paying up.

Luckily, most BitTorrent admins agree with this. The administrator of BTjunkie is the most active opponent perhaps, as he told us: “I don’t allow it on our site because it’s a scam. It’s like a bad infomercial for torrents.” He even went as far as complaining to Paypal and Adbrite to stop these people, so far without result. “I’ve had lots of backs and forths about this with Adbrite,” he said “They just keep telling me it’s not possible to permanently ban them unless you want to approve every ad that goes on your site.”

TorrentFreak contacted a few other admins, and they assured us that they will do everything they can to stop these ads from appearing on their sites. Pirate Bay’s Brokep told us: “We’re making sure they never comes back now, or I’ll tell Adbrite we need to kick them out.” We honestly hope that the others will follow this example, for now, this seems to be the only way to get rid of them.

The funny thing is, scammers are not only ripping off innocent BitTorrent users, they also rip each other off. Here is an email that the owners of fastspeedtorrents sent to a torrent site admin, pouring his heart out he wrote:

I own the site fastspeedtorrents.com. I’ve been trying to buy a flat rate ad on your site but it would always get declined. What happened was I bought the site highspeedtorrent.com and the person that sold me the site said that you were a main advertiser and to purchase flat rate ads. Well, something changed and I haven’t been able to buy an ad since I purchased the site. Then this person went and started a site called rocketspeedtorrent.com which is basically just a copy of a site that he sold me which he legally shouldn’t have done and now I see his ads on your site somehow.”

Poor guy…

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