It’s possibly one of the biggest anti-piracy operations of the decade that came to light this week. Europol announced this week in cooperation with many countries the dismantling of the Sparks Group. This is a group of hackers who illegally streamed series and movies to download, streaming, torrent, and peer-to-peer networks. The main members of the structure are in custody and the servers are out of order.
A Swedish prosecutor has since clarified that the crackdown was the result of a worldwide investigation that has been going on for several years in 18 countries and on three continents. More than 60 servers were dismantled in this way. A dozen platforms have since been disconnected. The United States, Canada, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Italy, Korea, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden , Switzerland and the United Kingdom participated in the operation. The pressure would still be particularly strong in Northern and Eastern Europe.
The ecosystem has been paralyzed since Tuesday
Among the three key people identified within the Sparks Group, two of them have, however, ended their criminal activities several months ago. They are Umar Ahmad (“Artist”) and George Bridi. Only Jonathan Correa (“Raid”) reportedly continued until August 2020. Rumors of arrests had apparently been circulating since a broadcast group suddenly dried up.
Beyond Sparks, it’s a whole nebula of groups called The Scene that would now be paralyzed in proportions not seen since Tuesday. As we mentioned earlier this week, one of the members of Sparks ended up taking a central role in the operation of this whole network. Which would explain the shutdown of the entire ecosystem since Tuesday. The site TorrentFreak finally found that the testimonies are difficult to authenticate and that the actors are terrified of being arrested. It would be surprising, however, for the situation to continue indefinitely. New hacking channels will eventually replenish themselves for sure.