Operation Guardia di Finanza: fifty pirate websites closed down

The Special Unit for Broadcasting and Publishing has seized 50 pirate websites that illegally distributed newspapers and magazines

The Guardia di Finanza deals another heavy blow to online piracy. After the raid of November 9, which led to the closure of 152 websites allowing the illegal streaming of films, TV series and soccer matches, the Special Unit for Broadcasting and Publishing seized 50 websites illegally distributing newspapers and magazines.

The preventive seizure of the fifty web portals was issued by the GIP of the Court of Rome within the operation Odyssey 2, which represents the end of a long investigation conducted by the Special Unit for Broadcasting and Publishing, following specific directives of the Special Unit Command of the Guardia di Finanza. The websites made available for free the digital versions of the main Italian newspapers and magazines: Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica, La Gazzetta della Sport, la Stampa, Il Fatto Quotidiano, Panorama, Tv Sorrisi e Canzoni, Chi, just to name a few, but the list is really long.

How the cyber criminals operated

To be able to find the cyber criminals, the Guardia di Finanza implemented a new investigative strategy called follow the hostings. Once the pirate site has been identified, the Guardia di Finanza has asked the provider to verify the presence of "a Web Hosting, Cloud Hosting, VPS Hosting, Dedicated Server, or the provision of a service for the transfer or registration of the domain name". In this way, even if the site owner tries to use anonymity systems you can still identify them. Moreover, it has been discovered that pirate sites no longer use advertisements as their main source of income, but instead require users to subscribe to a cloud service to allow them to read newspapers.

The latest operations of the Guardia di Finanza have led to the closure of 249 pirate sites.