When it’s your job to go around disrupting various communities on the Internet, it’s perhaps inevitable that, rightly or wrongly, you’ll become somewhat of a hate figure among some. Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN, with chief Tim Kuik at the controls, is understandably unpopular within files-sharing circles. That position can have its consequences.
Since late Monday evening BREIN’s website has been offline due to a major DDoS attack. Word is that some people aren’t happy with the recent activities of the Hollywood-backed group and have taken the distribution of justice into their own hands.
While that might be a logical assumption there is currently no evidence to prove that is the case. That said, retaliation and revenge is often the motive for DDoS attacks. But if we’re looking for likely culprits on that basis, the potential list of instigators – considering the number of sites BREIN has taken down – would be huge.
Nevertheless, accusatory fingers are already being pointed by BREIN. According to Tim Kuik the DDoS is a revenge attack following his company’s involvement in the takedown of the FTD Usenet community recently.
“Supporters of FTD are probably behind the attack,” Kuik said. “We think that because the timing of the closing of FTD and the beginning of the attack exactly coincide,” he added. BREIN has been logging the IP addresses of the attackers and they apparently originate from The Netherlands.
However, Arnoud Engelfriet, the lawyer who defended FTD in their case against BREIN, said that FTD were not in favor of the assault.
“FTD deplores the DDoS attack as this isn’t the way to fight BREIN,” Engelfriet told TorrentFreak. “Executing DDoS attacks only strengthens the image that filesharing or downloading is a criminal activity, which does not help the cause.”
While it’s possible that the demise of their community prompted a minority of FTD fans to take the law into their own hands, they’re not the only ones crossing BREIN from their Christmas card list.
In January, BREIN managed to aggravate a whole bunch of warez Scene members when they seized the servers of the Swan topsite. Hate levels increased again in February when BREIN took down around a dozen Usenet sites. Add this to hundreds of smaller sites taken down last year and it starts getting to the point where it’s easier to make a list of supporters than enemies.
This is not the first time that BREIN has suffered an attack on its web presence and then publicly linked it to a site it had previously targeted. In 2009, the founders of The Pirate Bay threatened to sue BREIN in Sweden after Tim Kuik accused them of carrying out a DDoS attack against his company’s site.