The Internet is one of the most wonderful things that ever happened. Today around 53% of the World’s population consumes content from the Internet, whether it be sharing information on social media or chatting with friends on their favorite IM app.
Every second, a huge amount of data is uploaded on the internet. With this huge amount of data being stored on servers, web hosting companies have a big responsibility to scan, verify and secure their users’ data.
Most companies that host data make sure the data being stored on their servers is legal. Any data that violates laws has to be removed as soon as possible.
If all data is scanned and verified, where do hackers save their data (mostly illegal)? Where do the hackers run their malicious campaigns from? There have to be many scripts running somewhere on the server, or stolen users’ data has to be stored somewhere.
How is information stored on the Internet?
Let’s briefly discuss how information is stored online, how websites are created, hosted and how you are reading this article.
We, at LinuxAndUbuntu, have published detailed articles on how to host websites online, use content management systems, and make them available to the rest of the World. If you want to know how we can do it, please refer to the series – Set up web server.
Basically, the Internet is a wide area network of computer systems. Whenever someone visits a website on the Internet, he is actually accessing data stored on a physical computer located somewhere in the World. For example, LinuxAndUbuntu’s server is located in the USA. In short, when you visit LinuxAndUbuntu, your ISP connects you to DNS, and DNS provides the physical address of LinuxAndUbuntu’s server.
Hosting a website is fun. These days one can easily buy a web hosting plan and host their website data. Hosting companies operate under countries’ laws and can’t allow material that’s illegal under the law.
Companies such as Hostgator, Godaddy, Bluehost take abuse complaints seriously. It means if a user is hosting illegal material on their servers, these companies will take down the website upon users’ or law enforcement agencies’ request.
Many companies do not take abuse complaints seriously. They may ignore abuse complaints and sometimes may take action upon the request.
But, there are companies that not only ignore abuse reports but protect illegal data from takedowns. Such hosting services are bulletproof hosting.
Bulletproof hostings use various tactics to evade law enforcement agencies, from taking down illegal content from ignoring abuse reports and legal notices to managing their business offshore.
Why type of content do bulletproof hostings store?
Any illegal content, such as malware, illegal pornography, stolen credit cards, and most spam campaigns run on bulletproof hosting by hackers.
Ignore DMCA or Abuse reports
Digital Millennium Copyright Act aka. DMCA criminalizes the usage of copyrighted content. Whenever somebody is found to be using/providing copyrighted/pirated content through their website, the content owner can take action under DMCA.
If found guilty of providing or using copyrighted material, the guilty party may pay a huge amount as compensation to the copyright owner.
In the same way, abuse reports work. Illegal marketplaces, illegal gambling, etc., often receive abuse reports. If a website receives enough abuse reports, normal web hosting companies have to take down the website.
Bulletproof hostings ignore all such complaints. One can host any copyrighted content, and all complaints will go unnoticed. In high-profile cases where law enforcement agencies come close to takedown content, they give enough time to the user to migrate away from their data before deletion. Usually, it’s a 3 days time-period before deletion.
Bulletproof hostings also provide offshore hosting services. Offshore hosting means they store illegal data in countries where it’s difficult for law enforcement agencies to take legal actions. Ukraine and Netherlands are two countries where law enforcement agencies can’t easily take down content.
For example, most criminals host malware in Ukraine and illegal pornography in the Netherlands. These countries’ laws don’t easily allow to take down such material. Companies based in these countries do not cooperate with law enforcement agencies. As a result, their criminal clients get enough time to host their data somewhere else.
Anonymous Payment Methods
All the above services will be useless if there is no solid payment system. Bulletproof hosting companies implement anonymous payment methods for users to pay without worrying much about legal troubles.
Payment methods such as bitcoin, Perfect Money, Cash App, etc., are difficult to trace for government agencies.
Bulletproof hosting providers
Today there are hundreds of bulletproof hosting providers—the majority are known to provide high-quality services at an affordable price.
- King Servers
King servers is one of the most popular bulletproof hosting providers. They provide bulletproof hosting at extraordinarily affordable prices.
Ecatel is a company known to host a lot of illegal pornography.
Bahnhof is hugely famous for providing server to WikiLeaks. They have set up their servers in an underground bunker based in Sweden that can even survive a nuclear attack. It may sound like a sci-fi movie, but it’s real.
These are just a few examples of bulletproof hosting providers. As I said, there are hundreds of available in the market.
These companies also keep changing their registration as an extra layer of protection. As the old registration reaches a point where they are really forced to take down their business, they create a new company and migrate their clients to that company. It is challenging to beat these companies in the real world.
Most torrent websites that host copyrighted content are backed by bulletproof hosting. Taking them is a real pain, and on the other hand, creators lose a lot of money every day. Malware, fake software, and large spam campaigns are also backed by bulletproof hosting.