Z-Library Rolls Out Browser Extensions in Anticipation of Domain Name Troubles

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Pirate eBook repository Z-Library has launched browser extensions that should make it easier for users to find the site if its current domains are seized in the future. While the site doesn't explicitly mention the U.S. Government crackdown, it likely plays a key role in the decision to make these extensions available.

zlibrary logoZ-Library has become the go-to site for many readers in recent years by providing access to nearly 14 million books, without charging a penny.

The site’s continued ability to do so was put to the test late last year when U.S. law enforcement seized over 200 domain names connected to the platform. Two alleged Z-Library operators were arrested in Argentina and currently face extradition to the States.

Despite being in the crosshairs of law enforcement, Z-Library has shown no signs of slowing down. The site remained accessible through the dark web and later made a full comeback. When the U.S. authorities seized more domains earlier this year, it still didn’t falter.

Browser Extensions

One thing has clearly changed, however. Since the shadow library is now well aware that its domain names could be taken away at any moment, numerous precautions are being taken to mitigate the risks.

A few weeks ago, Z-Library released a dedicated desktop application that should make it easier to access the site. The software has the ability to redirect users to working domains and whenever necessary, connect over the Tor network, which also helps to evade blocking efforts.

In an announcement this week, the operators of the shadow library unveiled new precautionary tools to redirect users to working domains, including any new ones, should they be needed.

Seamless Access?

The new browser extensions are available for both Chrome and Firefox and promise ‘seamless access’ to alternative domains in the event that existing ones run into trouble.

“Say goodbye to searching for available domains, as this handy extension takes care of everything for you. Simplify your online library experience and enjoy seamless access to a world of knowledge, right at your fingertips.

“After launching the extension, the process of searching for an available domain will begin. Within some seconds when the domain is found, you will be redirected to the library homepage,” Z-Library explains.

chromes extension

While installing browser extensions should always happen with caution, in just a few hours thousands of Z-Library users have already installed the new software. According to the Chrome store, the Z-Library Finder currently has over 7,000 users.

Challenges Remain

These extensions may indeed help to point users to new domain names, but the solution isn’t bulletproof. The authorities may attempt to remove the listings from the Chrome and Firefox extension libraries, for example.

Even if Z-Library decides to self-host these tools, they still rely on technical infrastructure that could be targeted in the future. That being said, the releases are still notable; it’s rare to a service going full steam ahead in the face of an active criminal case.

As reported earlier, the two alleged operators apprehended in Argentina continue to fight extradition. They recently asked a New York federal court to dismiss the indictment, citing various shortcomings, and the U.S. is expected to file a response to this request soon.


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