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The private BitTorrent tracker Moviex has been setup and configured to leech from public BitTorrent users. Through some clever modifications, their tracker allows non-members to seed to the private tracker, while downloading is forbidden.
Private BitTorrent trackers are supposed to be private and for registered members only. A non-member that downloads a torrent from a private tracker will usually get a tracker connection failure in their BitTorrent client. They will not be able to download or upload any data from that torrent, rendering the torrent useless to them. This is the basis that most private trackers work upon, but not Moviex.
Lately, several people have noticed a sudden rise in torrent files being uploaded to public indexing sites like Newtorrents, Mininova, and The Pirate Bay. These uploaded torrent files contain two announce URLs, one from The Pirate Bay and a moviex.info URL that always has the same passkey present, presumably the passkey for an anonymous user.
To see a pirate bay tracker URL present in a torrent file is nothing out of the ordinary. So what’s special about the moviex.info URL being present in public torrents? Well, the message you get when trying to connect to the moviex.info tracker if you are not a member might give you a hint.
“Failure: access denied, leeching forbidden, you’re only allowed to seed”
Normally you would get something like: “Failure: unregistered torrent pass.” However, moviex.info allows non-members to seed files, while they are not allowed to download. This is a huge bonus for MovieX and its members. Currently, newtorrents.info provides 1000’s of downloads per day to torrent users and reportedly 50% of the available torrents on that site have the moviex.info tracker URL present, the actual percentage may even be be higher.
It is not unusual for private trackers to upload files to public sites. Most of the time this is done to advertise the tracker, so their community grows. However, we don’t see torrents like this very often, I’m not sure if they do this on purpose, but they are definitely leeching bandwidth from people who only use the public tracker. It’s a pretty nice system if you want your private tracker to gain external seeds along with faster download speeds for your members, It’s however also a very damaging method for any user who is not a member of MovieX.info as they will continually upload pieces of the torrent to users who will give very little if anything at all back.
To see exactly what this tracker configuration does and how it works watch the video below. The video shows two clear examples, one of a non seeded file and one of a seeded file using these rogue torrents, obviously for legal reasons we have renamed the torrents that I used for this demonstration (HQ download).
There is a way to prevent the leeching. If you download a torrent file from a public tracker check the tracker URL’s and remove the moviex.info announce URL if it is present. This will stop you seeding the file on that tracker and in turn not allow members of moviex.info to leech data from you. You could also try blocking their IP Address (22.214.171.124) in your IP filter if you are not a member of the MovieX community.
MovieX have taken the time to code this feature into their tracker and at the moment as far as we can tell they are the only private site exploiting this type of dirty hack to leech from external BitTorrent users. What moviex.info should do is configure their tracker not to allow external users without a passkey to connect to their tracker in any way, instead it would seem they have deliberately setup to leech as much data from the public BitTorrent community as possible and boost their own private community speeds. MovieX deny this is the case and claim these torrents to be no more than simple advertising for the site in an attempt to attract new members?
Update: MovieX is now blocked by PeerGuardian, a simple solution is to download and install the application.