During the spring of 2005 several large TV-torrent sites were knocked offline, leaving a gaping void that was soon filled by a new torrent distribution group, EZTV.
For a decade EZTV has been one of the leading TV distribution groups. It turned into one of the most visited torrent sites, but today this run comes to an end.
Facing a hostile takeover the group’s founder and main operator NovaKing has called it quits.
Initially it remained vague how EZTV’s demise came to be, not least because NovaKing could not be reached. However, with help from several EZTV staffers including sladinki007 we can now explain what happened.
The group’s troubles started earlier this year when the .IT registry suspended EZTV’s domain name because of inaccurate Whois information. A few weeks later the .IT registry put the domain back on the market and it was snapped up by scammers.
The people who took over the domain name came in well-prepared. They registered the UK company EZCloud LIMITED, which is the same company name as EZTV used. Initially the takeover wasn’t much of a problem, as EZTV had already moved to a new domain name at EZTV.ch, but things quickly turned from bad to worse.
Using the EZCloud company details and by faking the director’s name, the scammers also managed to take over the EZTV.se domain through the EuroDNS registrar. NovaKing tried to prevent this from happening by alerting the registrar, but according to an EZTV staffer he was told to get a court order if he wanted his domain back.
The .se domain was linked to the mailbox of EZTV founder NovaKing, which allowed them to access the domain registrar account and various other services for which they quickly reset all passwords. As a result, NovaKing was locked out, losing control of virtually all of his domain names.
Initially, there was also the possibility that the servers were compromised as well. This prompted a thorough security audit and a site lockdown last month.
Eventually, even the new EZTV.ch domain fell into the hands of the scammers, completing the hostile takeover.
Sladinki007 says that NovaKing must have been devastated by what happened. A life’s work was completely ruined in a few days and access to personal domain names was gone as well.
While EZTV could technically start over using a new name the group’s founder decided to throw in the towel. Too much had already been lost. The group had always been a “fun” non-profit project, and the recent troubles took the fun away.
The scammers, meanwhile, continue to operate both the .it and .ch domain names and are now distributing their own torrents (sourced elsewhere) with the hijacked EZTV brand. They pretend to be the real deal, sending out misleading and false status updates, but they’re not.
Having control over NovaKing’s email address the scammers even reached out to other torrent site operators, claiming that EZTV was back in business. However, most knew better not to fall for it and have retired official EZTV uploader accounts.
A Pirate Bay moderator informs TF that they have suspended the EZTV user account. Many of the older torrents are still on the site, but TPB has added a warning urging people to stay away from the compromised domain.
Other torrent sites such as KickassTorrents, BT-chat and Rarbg have also disabled or suspended the official EZTV accounts after hearing about the takeover. In addition, KickassTorrents and BT-chat have added the same warning as TPB. This way they hope to keep people away from the compromised EZTV site, which is now serving various ads including pop-unders.
Former EZTV staffers also urge people to stay away from all EZTV sites and to inform others to do the same. The real EZTV is no longer active.
EZTV’s forced retirement marks the end of an era. While there are still plenty of TV-torrents around, the group will be dearly missed by millions.