This caused quite a stir in the community and is one of the biggest openings to “screener season” in a very long time and certainly the largest public (non-scene) releases that we know of. One of the screeners was tracked to a Hollywood funding company’s co-CEO. This brought the FBI into the mix and things got interesting.
The reason things get interesting is that there are a small number of people that work for that company making the suspects list small. The FBI (and others) can start to check on the people for their online finger prints. Where have they gone, what social media accounts do they have what, if any, aliases have they used for online forums.
It was this trail of digital finger prints that allowed a copyright group to track down a handful of pirates in the UK. The group used handles, information in .NFO files, hushmail accounts and more to drill down into the people involved. The story was all over the internet two days ago and, it would seem, that someone tried some of these techniques to see if they would work on the Hive-CM8 releases. According to TorrentFreak, the person had some very minor success. Still it was enough to make the group reconsider what was publicly available.
We have a feeling that the connection made between the screen shots in the torrent release and the image sharing account combined with the information on how pirates are being tracked down might have made Hive-CM8 think about putting in some OPSEC into future releases. Sadly no amount of scrubbing is going to remove what is already out there and if you combine it with the FBI investigation we might not hear from Hive-CM8 again… we might hear from another group pushing the same movies under different names, but then again nothing really ever stops movies from getting out there.
Right now we are willing to bet that Hive-CM8 are working hard to remove any tracks they can find so they do not end up in front of a judge…
We will keep our eye on this one.