Swedish police confiscated three servers during raid on former Pirate Bay host

The main target of the police was a Swedish torrent tracking site, said the hosting service's owner

Swedish police confiscated three servers allegedly connected to copyright infringements during a raid on PRQ, a hosting service that was once home to The Pirate Bay. The main target was the Swedish torrent site tankafett.nu, according to the hosting company's owner.

Police raided PRQ in connection with copyright infringements on Monday, but were not immediately able to identify the servers they wanted because of technical problems matching them with their target IP addresses.

Those problems were caused by a DDoS attack that had used PRQ's networks to hit Swedish government sites, in the process disrupting PRQ's core routing system. That caused havoc for all of PRQ's customers, and incidentally made it impossible for the police to find the servers they wanted, the company said.

"The police have just left," PRQ's owner and director Mikael Viborg said Wednesday at around 10.30 a.m. local time. The police were after the servers behind five IP addresses, and they eventually seized three servers, Viborg said, adding that the police added a new IP address to their list on Wednesday.

"All seizures were in relation to copyright infringement," said Viborg, who claimed he could tell that from the search warrant.

PRQ is known to host controversial websites. In the past it has hosted The Pirate Bay, and is still involved with Wikileaks. Unlike some other providers, the company states on its website it will only disable accounts that are used for spamming, DoSing or other activities harming the network; go unpaid; are used for publishing obviously illegal material such as child pornography, or if it is ordered to do so by a Swedish court.

The main site targeted by the raid was tankafett.nu, a Swedish torrent site, Viborg said.

The police were also after the server behind the domain appbucket.com, but "The police did not get that server," he said.

"That site has been offline since April," he said. When the owners of appbucket.com stopped paying their hosting bills PRQ terminated service and wiped the disk, so seizing that machine would have been pointless, he said.

Police seized two other servers, but its not clear why they were after those machines.

One of them was used by a client as a test server, according to PRQ records. "We have no idea what they were offering," Viborg said. PRQ does not check what its clients do with the machines they hire, he said.

The third server seized by police was used as a Call of Duty gaming server back in January, according to Viborg. "But I have no idea what it has been used for since then," he said.

The Swedish Prosecution Authority declined to comment, but a spokeswoman said that a news release would be published on the authority's website when there is more information available.

Meanwhile, PRQ's former customer The Pirate Bay is back online after an outage that started at around the same time PRQ experienced technical difficulties. The Pirate Bay said it had a relay at PRQ and that this, in combination with a power failure elsewhere, caused the torrent site's downtime.

Loek covers all things tech for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

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