EZTV, one of the world’s most recognizable TV-torrent sites is calling it quits after losing its domain names and data in a hostile takeover. The site had been running for over a decade and most recently recovered from a raid by the Swedish police in December 2014. In a fitting irony, it wasn’t law enforcement that brought the website down in the end but an unidentified scammer.
According to TorrentFreak, EZTV’s troubles started earlier this year when the .IT registry suspended EZTV’s domain name because of inaccurate Whois information. When the domain was put back in the market it was quickly snapped up by an unknown party which used this as a starting point for an elaborate plan to pose as the real EZTV and gain access to other related assets.
This involved registering the UK company EZCloud LIMITED, which is the same company name as EZTV used, and armed with EZTV founder NovaKing’s real name they took over the site’s .se domain through the EuroDNS registrar. This domain was linked to the founder’s email and from there they were able to reset passwords for all other domains and various services.
Too much had been compromised at this point and the people behind EZTV reportedly decided it was time say goodbye to their fun non-profit project.
Meanwhile, the new group is now posing as the original EZTV, continuing to distribute torrents and run the domains. Though there’s no indication yet that they are using the EZTV brand to peddle malware it’d be wise to stay clear -- and perhaps look at the many legal alternatives now available.
Other popular torrent sites including PirateBay and Kickass Torrents have disabled the EZTV account that NovaKing used to distribute torrents through those sites and have even posted a warning on their sites.
And if you’re into conspiracy theories, maybe law enforcement or a group like the MPAA are behind the hostile take over after all, and will use the site as a honeypot to catch pirates. Dun dun duun!