Today we have some news, regarding IPTV. This could easily be the end of IPTV as we know it. But its not only that – the problem is that the IPTV panel that everyone was using is now most likely in the hands of authorities. So that means – if you have watched IPTV, at almost any given time, without a VPN – your IP might be, and likely is exposed.
Basically the biggest IPTV panel out there, that handles the majority of IPTV providers was taken down by a large international operation to crack down on illegal streaming. This is huge, because every IPTV out there is fully dependent on that panel. So little by little – all of them are about to go offline.
Here is a quick recap of the news, thanks to TorrentFreak, with more information after the quoted text:
Police in Italy have announced a huge anti-piracy operation against the company operating popular IPTV service management system Xtream Codes. Searches are reportedly underway in several countries including Italy, the Netherlands, France and Bulgaria, in a claimed effort to dismantle the company’s entire infrastructure.
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.
“A multi-country action day coordinated by Eurojust in The Hague led to the dismantling of an international criminal network committing massive fraud with pay-TV, which shows organized crime expanding its illegal activities to large-scale violations of audiovisual copyright,” the statement reads.
“The damage caused by the criminal gang amounts to approximately €6.5 million, jeopardizing the existence of many legal providers of pay-TV on the market. More than 200 servers were taken offline in Germany, France and the Netherlands, and over 150 PayPal accounts of the criminals were blocked.”
So what does that mean for you, the end user?
Aside from this likely crippling all of the IPTV providers for quite a while, and having a really hard time to find an IPTV which actually works – the other major blow is that almost everyones IPs are now officially in the hands of authorities. So if you have ever watched IPTV from a provider that uses XTREAM-CODES (which is about 95%+ of all IPTV providers), and you did not protect yourself by using a VPN – your IP is now known by them.
There really is not much that can be done to fix that, but from now on – we highly advise everyone to use a VPN for every single thing that they do. Not only does it help speed things up – it also keeps you fully protected, and if something like that happens again – your IP will be fully protected and hidden.
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Hidden Router Team