A massive attack on the hosting provider Reality Check Network took down several major BitTorrent sites today. The attack corrupted many servers on the network and at the time of writing TorrentReactor, Vertor and several other torrent sites remain inaccessible. Due to the prolonged downtime, millions of users are having to seek refuge at other torrent sites.
A few hours ago, Locke from TorrentFunk sent TorrentFreak some information regarding a massive attack on hosting provider Reality Check Networks that affected several major torrent sites, his one included. Although BitTorrent sites go down all the time for various reasons, the massive blackout witnessed today is quite exceptional.
Torrents.net, Vertor.com, Yourbittorrent.com, Torrentfunk.com, Torrenthound.com, Torrentreactor.net, Torrentzap.com, Torrentmatrix.com and Fulldls.com are just 9 sites that are affected by the attack, but it is likely that there are dozens more. The number of visitors for the above mentioned sites ranges from tens of thousands to more than a million a day.
According to Reality Check Network the attack took place early Saturday morning. An intruder managed to corrupt the Master Boot Records of several servers the company said, but backups are in place and are expected to be installed as soon as possible.
“We are writing this letter to inform you that a very targeted malicious attack took place on our network this morning at 6AM EST. As a result, most of our server operating systems have been corrupted resulting in the current downtime,” the company wrote to the affected customers a few hours ago.
“We have access to all backups and have already figured out a strategy for bringing your servers back up, and have all hands on deck working to restore service,” Reality Check Network President Moisey Uretsky added.
Initially it was unclear who had carried out the attack. Since Reality Check Network hosts quite a few high profile torrent sites, some site owners suspected that it might have been an anti-piracy action, but this was just a hunch.
During the last hours Reality Check Network has frequently updated its customers, and according to one of the latest emails the attack is being blamed on a disgruntled ex-employee.
“It was the result of an ex-employee who was with us for three years as a result he had intimate knowledge of our systems which is why the effects are so large,” Uretsky wrote.
Regular visitors of the affected torrent sites will probably have to seek refuge at alternative sites as it may take a few more hours before the sites reappear.
Update: In unrelated news, The Pirate Bay is down also.