In 2010 a fresh movie piracy brand started to conquer the Internet. Bypassing the so-called ‘Scene’, YIFY joined a new breed of release groups who publish their work directly to torrent sites.
In fact, YIFY, which later rebranded to YTS, started its own torrent website featuring high quality releases of the latest movies.
The group amassed a huge following and earlier this year its website generated millions of pageviews per day. A true success story without any significant setbacks, until last week, when the website started serving a blank page out of nowhere.
The sudden disappearance is very unusual because the website had never suffered more than a few hours of downtime before.
Over the past several days we have tried to gather more information on what happened. However, the emails we sent to the group’s operator remained unanswered. This is atypical as YTS was known to be very responsive.
The lack of communication wasn’t limited to our emails either. We spoke to several insiders and other torrent site admins who regularly chatted or mailed with YTS, but they haven’t heard anything since last week either.
So what happened?
At this point we can rule out that the site is facing a DDoS attack or mere technical difficulties. Several impostors started rumors on Reddit and elsewhere to this effect but the claims are clearly false.
The same is true for any site that claims to be YTS’s official reincarnation. The YTS servers haven’t been raided and the domain name is working fine as well, so something else is up.
Interestingly, YTS’s disappearance coincides with the trouble at the main Popcorn Time fork, which shut down last Friday after a troubling week. YTS worked with Popcorn Time in the past so perhaps there’s a link?
This theory can’t be substantiated either. All Popcorn Time developers we spoke with say they haven’t heard from the YTS operator either.
Despite the trouble “YIFY” remains one of the most searched-for terms on many torrent sites. Unsurprisingly, however, no new YIFY releases have come out since early last week, which is another hint that something’s not right. The entire YTS/YIFY operation has simply come to a halt.
For now we can only speculate as to what has happened, but based on our experience and the information we’ve gathered from various sources, it appears that YTS has deliberately gone dark.
It’s too early to draw any strong conclusions but it’s not looking good, and the chances are that YTS and YIFY may be gone for good. That would end a remarkable run for one of the greatest file-sharing icons of this decade.
Update: There are various fake Facebook pages claiming that the site is suffering from a DDoS attack. Again, these are just trying to monetize the downtime and should be ignored.