Kickass Torrents Busted After Boss Legally Downloads iTunes

The suspected owner of the world’s biggest pirate website, providing a source of illegal movies, music and video games has been arrested following a purchase from Apple’s iTunes store.

Investigators found the identity of the suspected boss of Kickass Torrents after he made a purchase from iTunes and then logged into Facebook from his IP address.

Tech Crunch reports:

KickassTorrents (KAT), a torrent website that has surpassed The Pirate Bay as the place to go for unofficial copies of movies and TV shows, appears to be in jeopardy today. TorrentFreak reports that Artem Vaulin, a 30-year-old from Ukraine who allegedly runs the site, was arrested in Poland.

The U.S. government has applied for his extradition after he was located after using the same IP address to make a purchase, presumably legally, on iTunes and then log into the KAT Facebook page.

Vaulin has been charged with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit money laundering and two counts of criminal copyright infringement. The attorney general suggested in a statement that KAT had “stole[n] more than $1 billion in profits from the U.S. entertainment industry.”

The website itself appears to be down right now, and, with Vaulin’s case pending, it is hard to see it resurfacing. Interestingly, TorrentFreak said that as part of its investigation into KAT, U.S. authorities had posed as an advertiser to the site, which helped get Vaulin’s bank details. In another critical part of its efforts, Apple provided authorities Vaulin’s personal details following that iTunes purchase, according to court documents.

“In an effort to evade law enforcement, Vaulin allegedly relied on servers located in countries around the world and moved his domains due to repeated seizures and civil lawsuits. His arrest in Poland, however, demonstrates again that cybercriminals can run, but they cannot hide from justice,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell said in a statement that you can only really describe as triumphant.

Edmondo Burr

BA Economics/Statistics
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