AK357 and TheWireGuys Involved in IPVM Theft Ring

Author: John Honovich, Published on Feb 21, 2013

We have evidence and confirmation that multiple individuals are involved in a coordinated effort to steal and redistribute IPVM content.

Involved again is 'AK357' who stole access to IPVM last month. Additionally, our evidence shows that 'TheWireGuys' is involved.

We first discovered the same IP address that AK357 used to illicitly access IPVM was now being used to retrieve IPVM content via Dropbox, as shown below:

We called AK357 and he admitted that he had accessed this file but assured us that he was not distributing IPVM content. Rather, someone was sharing it with him. When we asked him who had done so, he queried what we would do to that person. When we told him we would cancel their account, he offered no further information.

We then cross referenced our records, finding a similar action with the IP address associated with comments from TheWireGuys, as shown below:

When asked, TheWireGuys did not explicitly deny it, rathering claiming, "I don't have access to your site and I have different ISP since the last time I posted on your site." The possibility though of someone else being reassigned that IP address then regularly accessing IPVM is infinitesimal, especially considering the Dropbox links has his name listed. [Update below: TheWireGuys changes his story and admits accessing via Dropbox.]

Evidently, the group includes (at least) AK357 (Alex), TheWireGuys (Mike), Tom, 'Monkey' and 'Gorilla'.

While we certainly understand and respect limited sharing of excerpts, copying whole pages and redistributing them over file sharing services to various third parties is both illegal and unethical. Please review IPVM's Terms and Conditions of use. If you have any questions, let us know.

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UPDATE:  TheWireGuys Response

TheWireGuys messaged us on Sunday, Feb 24th:

"You have till tomorrow morning to remove your slanderous accusations from your website or I will go public with the truth."

We responded:

"I explained to you our evidence and that's what i published. If you feel it is wrong or incomplete, feel free to email me your position."

To which TheWireGuys affirmed:

"Nothing will be emailed to you you went public and I intent to do the same unless you remove that article."

As in all things we do, getting the underlying facts right is important. If there are facts we do not know or are missing, we are happy to update. However, if and unless they can be provided, there is nothing we can do nor will we remove something simply because someone dislikes it.

Interestingly, ealier TheWireGuys asked:

"What did I do? I am not a member of your site and I didn't download/share anything."

We then explained the issue, saying:

"Our records show that the IP address associated with your computer accessed that file that was shared with you."

He did not object or deny this.

UPDATE 2: Filing Copyright Violation Request

We have filed a copyright violation request with Dropbox requesting the file to be deleted.

UPDATE 3: The 'Truth' Revealed

Following through on his threat, TheWireGuys has released the 'truth', acknowledging that he has, "numerous Dropbox shared folders with various people.  I have no control over who and what is in my Dropbox folder , so I regularly click on files to assess them." Not only does this contradict his previous excuse/lie of having a different ISP, this concurs with what we have specifically alleged.

Being fully aware of the copyright violation, TheWireGuys continues to benefit from it, and refuses to show any interest in stopping or rectifying this practice. Further, he does have control over what is in his Dropbox and can easily delete or disconnect from those who are illicitly redistributing licensed content.

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