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Uptobox faces outage following raids of two French data centres

Written by Wed 27 Sep 2023

The French file-hosting platform Uptobox experienced a major disruption to its services following court-mandated raids on two of its French data centres.

As a result of this operation, Uptobox lost access to the servers containing user files, making these inaccessible. In response to the incident, Uptobox shared an update on its status via X (formerly Twitter).

“It appears that we have a technical problem we are currently investigating, the network seems to be severely disrupted,” said Uptobox.

To safeguard their data, the company took precautionary measures by moving their database offline and wiping all operational servers. This proactive step was aimed at ensuring the integrity of their data. Uptobox also expressed its readiness to reconnect all files and user accounts once server access is restored.

“Following the incident, we lost access to the servers containing the user files, they are no longer reachable, we have not yet had any documented confirmation of the seizure of our servers by anyone,” added Uptobox.

Who Were Responsible for the Uptobox Raids?

L’informé reported the raids of the Uptobox data centres were conducted on behalf of prominent entertainment companies. They included Amazon, Apple, Colombia, Disney, Paramount, StudioCanal, and Warner Bros.

These companies are active members of the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), an anti-piracy coalition. 

Sources disclosed that a team of 20 police officers conducted what was described as a ‘counterfeit seizure’ at the facilities of Scaleway and OpCo.

Both Scaleway and OpCo are cloud service providers located in Vitry-sur-Seine, situated in the southeastern suburbs of Paris.

It has since been confirmed by ACE to TorrentFreak that a raid did occur, but it was not a traditional police action.

Instead, it was a court-mandated civil action, with the presence of two police officers to assist in executing the raid.

A similar operation also unfolded in Dubai, where the principal operators of Uptobox resided.

In an official statement, ACE said it has shut down Uptobox and Uptostream, which were described as ‘two of the digital piracy world’s most notorious illegal video hosts’.

“The action, conducted in France and the United Arab Emirates, puts an end to a piracy operation that was well known for a decade among distributors of infringing content,” said ACE.

What was Uptobox up to?

The platform provided users with the option to stream and download copyrighted content, either for free or via a paid premium subscription.

Within its services, Uptobox hosted an extensive catalog of pirated film and television titles, impacting not only ACE members but also various other rights holders.

Over the past three years, Uptobox accumulated 1.5 billion visits. These visits primarily originated from France, but also spanned countries like Indonesia, India, and Mexico.

“This case sends a strong message to criminal operators that their illegal actions will be put to an end eventually.

“They may think their operations are undercover, but ACE has the network, resources and expertise to identify them and shut them down,” said Jan van Voorn, Executive Vice President and Global Content Protection Chief of the Motion Picture Association and Head of ACE.

Uptobox blocked by ISPs

Last May, French internet service providers (ISPs) took the measure of blocking Uptobox due to mounting piracy concerns.

Uptobox, in response, expressed its strong dissatisfaction with the court’s decision regarding the DNS blocking of its services within the country.

“We will obviously contest this unfair decision, which only has the effect of preventing our French users,” said Uptobox.

This action was prompted by an investigation led by ALPA.  The local anti-piracy group unveiled a 25,500 active download links on the Uptobox platform. The majority of these links facilitated unauthorised access to protected audiovisual content.

The investigation was conducted on behalf of industry groups like the National Federation of Film Distributors (FNEF) and others.

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Written by Wed 27 Sep 2023

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