Innocent websites caught in the crossfire in pirate IPTV data center raid

Emre Çitak
May 30, 2023

In a decisive action against illegal IPTV operations, the Dutch fiscal police recently executed a raid on a major pirate IPTV operation. The primary objective was to dismantle a sophisticated network that supplied numerous smaller services, impacting millions of subscribers.

However, the raid inadvertently caused collateral damage, affecting innocent websites operated by legitimate companies. This incident highlights the prevalence of illicit IPTV services that entice users with attractive offers, often resulting in severe consequences for both consumers and unrelated businesses.

A major breakthrough against pirate IPTV operations

The Dutch fiscal police achieved a significant breakthrough by successfully dismantling one of Europe's largest pirate IPTV operations. With a customer base of over a million subscribers, this operation served as a critical supplier to countless smaller IPTV sellers. While authorities have chosen to withhold specific details regarding the main culprits, the raid led to the arrest of four individuals involved in the operation. Notably, the focal point of the raid was GLOBE Datacenter, a prominent player in the illegal IPTV network. The subsequent shutdown of GLOBE's website and network for the past two days highlights the magnitude of the operation.

The Dutch fiscal police took down an entire commercial data center during the raid, demonstrating the seriousness with which they approached this operation. The decision to target the data center indicates that law enforcement possessed substantial evidence suggesting that the center's hardware and network infrastructure were primarily used to facilitate the alleged criminal activities. The magnitude of the raid, involving the intentional shutdown of approximately 1,200 servers, reveals the extent of the illegal IPTV operation that had been thriving within the center.

Pirate IPTV Data Center Raid
Pirate IPTV data center raid also affected legitimate websites

Innocent websites also burned in the fire

Regrettably, the consequences of the raid extended beyond the intended targets, impacting a range of innocent websites hosted on GLOBE's autonomous system number (AS212708). Among the domains and IP addresses associated with illicit IPTV services, several legitimate businesses found themselves unwittingly caught in the crossfire.

These unrelated enterprises, which spanned various sectors including vacation rentals, painting services, dental clinics, pedicure salons, crane companies, and traditional Dutch flower bulb sellers, unexpectedly faced the complete unavailability of their online presence. Importantly, it is crucial to note that these innocent businesses had no association with the illicit activities but happened to be hosted on a shared IP address assigned to a smaller local hosting company that relied on GLOBE's infrastructure.

Real businesses grapple with unforeseen challenges

One of the affected companies shared their ordeal, confirming the disruptive impact of the raid on their website. The sudden takedown not only caused significant inconvenience for clients and customers who relied on the website for communication and bookings but also resulted in the malfunctioning of email accounts for several businesses.

Despite the relative containment of the fallout to a few dozen domains, the affected companies now face the arduous task of managing the aftermath and mitigating the resulting challenges. It is unfortunate that these legitimate businesses find themselves grappling with the unintended consequences of a law enforcement operation aimed at curbing illegal activities.

Unintended consequences

In response to concerns raised about the collateral damage suffered by unrelated websites, a spokesperson from the Dutch fiscal police initially assured that non-targeted sites were not intended to be affected. However, the path to resolution remains uncertain for the affected companies, some of whom have reported being approached by the fiscal police following the raid.

Efforts are underway to restore the affected websites and ensure the protection of the interests of these businesses. The authorities have emphasized that the data of innocent companies has not been seized, and they encourage the employee responsible for operating the hosting company within GLOBE to actively contribute to the recovery process.


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  1. Martin said on May 30, 2023 at 3:36 pm

    I side loaded some iptv software from Facebook onto my Kindle last Friday and ended up with a Kindle full of ransomware. I restored the factory settings and then spent the weekend reinstalling everything. As a retired IT consultant I should have known better, but I thought these things don’t happen to me.

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