DDoS Attacks Force Norbits to go Offline

NorBits, the largest Norwegian BitTorrent tracker, has been pulled offline by their webhosting company due to the continuous DDoS attacks suffered by the site. The host has nullrouted the IPs and told the Norbits staff to find a new home. Meanwhile, NorBits' staff are trying to calm their users down after a turbulent month.

norbitsFor weeks on end, the NorBits tracker has been crushed by DDoS attacks. Last month IT-Avisen reported that the tracker had been allegedly hacked by a group called MORRADi. The group threatened to publish all IPs of Norbits’ users, if the site didn’t cease to operate.

Staff members at Norbits now refute these claims in a post on the weblog they recently launched. “There have been rumors that “MORRADi” has IP information on our users. This is not true. DDoS attacks don’t compromise security, it’s only the servers that are overloaded, ” they write.

In response to these “hacker” reports, several users of the tracker took their anger out on journalists who wrote about the site. Trond Bie, who writes for IT-Avisen, and commented on the case in other news outlets as well, was one of the main targets. NorBits staff have condemned these attacks, and say they will ban any users who engage in this kind of behavior.

“We condemn attacks on anyone who criticizes or speak about NorBits. We know that many have sent e-mails to public persons and journalists and we can’t emphasize clearly enough that these only are sent from a small number of our users.”

NorBits staff may have inadvertently motivated this minority, since they briefly replaced their frontpage with a caricature of Trond Bie, which they pulled from his Picasa photo album. This was meant to be a joke though, not an attack on his person, as they explain on the NorBits weblog. “When a journalist is starting to become so obsessed with a webpage that he/she writes about every little modification that is happening on it, that person must accept an humoristic response.”

The photo was removed shortly after it was posted, and for now, the Norbits domain is redirected to the website of Urospredere, an upcoming Norwegian documentary about filesharing. This documentary by Asbjørn Engedal and journalist Simon Eriksen Valvik discusses how filesharing can be made legal, the changes that are needed, and how it will all work. A good cause to support.

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