Ransomware

Spanish Police Dismantle Major Illegal Streaming Service

The investigation into illegal media content was launched after ACE reported two websites for violating IP rights.

by Samiksha Jain June 3rd, 2024

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Spanish police have dismantled an illegal media content distribution network that had generated over 5.3 million euros since it began operations in 2015.

The network, which illegally distributed audio-visual content, was brought down following an extensive investigation initiated in November 2022. This investigation was carried out when a complaint from the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) was registered. ACE is the world’s leading anti-piracy coalition firm.

The investigation into illegal media content was launched after ACE reported two websites for violating intellectual property (IP) rights. These sites hosted the illegal IPTV service ‘TVMucho,’ also known as ‘Teeveeing.’

According to ACE, TVMucho/Teeveeing had over 4 million visits in 2023 alone and offered more than 125 channels. These channels included major networks like BBC, ITV, Sky, and RTL.

Arrest During Spanish Police Operation

Within the framework of this Spanish police operation, eight individuals were arrested in various locations including Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Madrid, Oviedo, and Málaga. The operation also involved two home searches, resulting in the seizure of a vehicle, and two computers, and the freezing of 80,000 euros in bank accounts.

Furthermore, authorities blocked 16 web pages associated with the distribution and storage of IPTV content. Specialists from the Central Cybercrime Unit found out that a Dutch national was involved in this. While investigating the inspected websites it was found that they were registered, controlled, and operated by several companies directed by Dutch citizens.

This individual allegedly led a criminal network comprised mainly of residents from Gran Canaria, which posed as a legitimate business structure. The network utilized advanced technology to capture satellite signals from various countries, decrypt the multimedia content, and distribute it illegally to their subscribers.

Spanish Police Illegal Media Content Crackdown

This criminal organization provided access to more than 130 international television channels and thousands of movies and series to users worldwide. The service charged its 14,000 subscribers between 10 and 19 euros per month, or between 90 and 169 euros annually, depending on the subscription type. This operation caused significant financial damage to the rights of authors, producers, and distributors of the pirated content.

The servers of the online platforms investigated were also seized and blocked. Consequently, when users attempt to access the previously operational illegal sites, they are redirected to a National Police website displaying a message that the page has been intercepted.

This crackdown represents a major success in the ongoing battle against digital piracy. By disrupting the operations of such a vast network, Spanish authorities have dealt a significant blow to the illicit distribution of copyrighted content. The operation underlines the effectiveness of international cooperation and advanced investigative techniques in combating cybercrime.

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