Tag Archives: Guardia di Finanza

‘Pirate’ IPTV Traffic “Dropped 50%” After Xtream Codes Raid

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-iptv-traffic-dropped-50-after-xtream-codes-raid-190927/

Last week the illicit IPTV market was thrown into turmoil when Italian authorities teamed up with law enforcement groups in the EU.

Their operation, dubbed ‘Black IPTV‘, targeted individuals and equipment behind at least one Italy-based IPTV provider. More importantly, however, it also targeted Xtream Codes, a management system utilized by many providers and sellers of IPTV services.

While Xtream Codes claimed to be a content-agnostic system, its popularity in the unlicensed market is hard to understate. With an estimated 5,000 providers of varying kinds on its books servicing around 50 million end-users, its closure had an immediate and dramatic impact.

In the immediate aftermath of the raids, suppliers reported an inability to sign up new customers or renew customer subscriptions. Within several hours, it became clear that anyone reliant on the system would be more seriously affected, with IPTV services going dark and paying customers seeing red.

As soon as news of the raids appeared on our radar, we contacted several previously responsive players in the IPTV market. Precisely zero responded to our requests for comment amid the chaos, which was widespread and by some estimates affected up to 90% of the market. Data from Google Trends does seem to indicate that plenty of people hit its search engine for news.

Searches for ‘Xtream Codes’ and ‘IPTV’ just after the raids

With no obvious central source for information on the impact of the operation, the day after the raids TorrentFreak contacted Sandvine, a networking equipment company that has previously provided detailed analysis on general Internet and piracy-related traffic.

An external source that requested anonymity told us that due to technical issues the full force of the raid may not be felt until Thursday or Friday, the two days directly after the raids took place. So, we asked Sandvine if the company had noticed any significant drop in illicit streaming traffic during that period – it had.

This week a spokesperson for the company told TorrentFreak that on Friday September 20, Sandvine estimated that illicit streaming traffic had decreased 50% from the levels seen on Thursday, a massive drop by any standards.

That many illicit IPTV providers had been seriously affected by Xtream Codes’ removal from the market didn’t really come as a shock. Equally, it wasn’t really a surprise when providers began to adapt to the loss either.

Slowly but surely, some providers and sellers began migrating to alternative management systems, as detailed in emails to subscribers seen by TF. By Saturday, better news for them began to filter through, with services not only returning but also with subscriber payment and subscription information intact.

Sandvine gave TF a brief list of five providers, all of which went down completely between the 19th and 21st of September. By 21st/22nd all were recovering to a greater or lesser extent, with only one failing to return at all.

That being said, the overall market is huge, so it’s almost impossible to say how many have now returned, in whole or in part. It isn’t difficult to find complaints that services are still down even today but there are also several reports of providers that weren’t affected at all by the Xtream Codes situation.

Typically, there are individuals and groups out there trying to make hay even before the storm clouds have cleared. TF has heard of a handful of hopeful end-users who believed they were paying to access a service that was still up, only to have their ‘supplier’ cut and run.

Equally, we were pointed to a service that claims to be an Xtream Codes replacement but is probably nothing more than an elaborate scam. Since the prices were so high, we didn’t feel tempted to test that theory out.

On the other hand, real Xtream Codes alternatives are out there but how vulnerable they are to similar action will remain to be seen. In particular, one service seems happy to take orders and is reportedly in use by a number of previously stranded providers and resellers.

If nothing else, most of those in the chain should now be more prepared if there’s similar action in the future. Or less surprised at least.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Xtream Codes IPTV System Targeted in Massive Police Operation

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/xtream-codes-iptv-system-targeted-in-massive-police-operation/

Reports of legal action and law enforcement activities against IPTV services and providers are a regular occurrence but news coming out of Italy this morning is particularly interesting.

According to the Guardia di Finanza (GdF), a law enforcement agency under the authority of the Minister of Economy and Finance, a huge operation is underway to target and dismantle the software service known as Xtream Codes.

What makes the case unusual is that Xtream Codes isn’t an IPTV provider as such. Usually operating from Xtream-codes.com, the company behind the software/system offers a comprehensive package that allows people to manage their own IPTV reselling service and its customers.

The system is subscription-based, starting at around 15 euros per month and running to 59 euros per month for the powerful “all-in-one” solution.

The Guardia di Finanza say that 100 officers from its Special Unit for the Protection of Privacy and Technological Fraud (NSPFT) are taking part in the operation to take Xtream Codes down.

Early reports suggest that the system has been “seized”, allegedly preventing 700,000 users from accessing the platform. Xtream Codes itself recently reported having more than 5,000 clients servicing in excess of 50,000,000 end clients.

The Italian police unit is describing Xtream Codes as an international criminal group that’s being targeted not only in Italy but with simultaneous searches in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Greece and Bulgaria.

Xtream Codes is registered as a company in Bulgaria, has a local VAT number, and lists an address in Petrich for its offices. According to its now-disappeared website, it was founded by two students. Police say that 25 “managers” have been identified but there’s no specific mention of any arrests.

Disruption is already being reported by some IPTV sellers utilizing the Xtream Codes system. Authorities in Italy are set to provide more information on the operation this morning so we’ll update this article as more news comes in.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.