If you're one of the many, many people who shouldn't but does go to KickassTorrents for various bits and pieces, bad news: the site's down and its alleged owner is currently in handcuffs.
The US Department of Justice this morning announced that 30-year-old Artem Vaulin was "arrested today in Poland" and a criminal complaint has been filed against him in Chicago's District Court. Assistant Attorney General Caldwell said that Valuin was responsible for running the "most visited illegal file-sharing website, responsible for unlawfully distributing well over $US1 billion of copyrighted materials".
"In an effort to evade law enforcement, Vaulin allegedly relied on servers located in countries around the world and moved his domains due to repeated seizures and civil lawsuits. His arrest in Poland, however, demonstrates again that cybercriminals can run, but they cannot hide from justice."
The US Government is seeking to have Vaulin extradited to the US. According to the department, KickassTorrents is the 69th most popular website on the internet, with more than 50 million unique visitors a month.
"“Websites such as the one seized today brazenly facilitate all kinds of illegal commerce. Criminal Investigation is committed to thoroughly investigating financial crimes, regardless of the medium," the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation's Chief Richard Weber exclaimed.
The department also claimed that the site made around $US12.5 million to $US22.3 million a year in advertising revenue. According to TorrentFreak, that's also how they were caught, with investigators conducting a sting by posing as potential advertisers.
The top domain for the website on Google is currently down at the time of writing, as is a page dedicated to reporting the status of its servers.