Hundreds of Hacked Websites and Apps Seized in US-Brazil 404.4 Operation

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In the fourth wave of Operation 404, Brazilian law enforcement blocked/closed approximately 226 hacking websites and 461 apps. In this anti-piracy initiative, the authorities made several arrests.

Entry details

The operation was a joint effort by US and Brazilian authorities. US Homeland Security and US Department of Justice (DoJ) investigations seized six website domains (Corourbanos.com, Corourbano.com, Pautamp3.com, SIMP3.com, flowactivo.co, and Mp3Teca. ws) operating out of the Eastern District of Virginia for distributing and facilitating illegal downloads of copyrighted music in the United States.

Conversely, around 266 additional websites were taken down in Brazil, which were part of the same network with 15 social media profiles. In addition, six people were arrested after 30 searches and seizures across the country.

At the time of this article’s publication, all seized domains displayed the following message on their homepage:

This domain name was seized by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) pursuant to a warrant issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia pursuant to, among other things, Title 18, United States Code States, Section 2323.

About Operation 404

The operation was launched as a massive anti-piracy campaign at the end of 2019. Brazilian law enforcement agencies launched this operation and dubbed it Operation 404 after the HTTP error code.

Authorities have been working with law enforcement in the UK and US. Since then, several waves of operations have followed one another under the names of operation 404.2 and operation 404.3. The operation spanned eleven states. So far, hundreds of pirate sites and streaming app domain names have been blocked.

The latest wave of the operation was titled Operation 404.4. However, authorities never named the suspects or the removed sites, but they did confirm that the apps alone had been downloaded ten million times. Sources have also confirmed that all of them are music-related apps.

Seized sites home page

According to a TorrentFreak, published by Brazilian authorities, the operation against hacked sites and applications has been extended to the metaverse. Brazilian Cybercrime Group of Integrated Operations Secretariat (Seopi) Coordinator Alessandro Barreto explained that criminals have created events and maps on platforms like Roblox to market their pirated services and invite interested parties to their video platforms .

However, authorities have not specified how they entered the metaverse. The DoJ noted that four illegal streaming channels were shut down along with the disabling of 90 pirated videos.

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