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Is Wolverine Leak Investigation Causing Collateral Damage?
Whatever the cause, FBI raids in Dallas hurt a number of businesses...
by Karl Bode 11:04AM Friday Apr 03 2009 Tipped by Qumahlin See Profile
Earlier this week, an unfinished copy of the upcoming Wolverine movie was leaked via BitTorrent. It's been interesting to watch just how quickly the film industry managed to get the FBI to launch a massive investigation into the source of the leak, which should be helped by forensic marks embedded in the release. User Qumahlin See Profile submits this CBS news report, the user claiming a raid on a Dallas data center is part of this investigation.

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"Quite a few companies I do business with are completely screwed and losing money thanks to this," says the user, who claims the impacted companies told him the raid was Wolverine related. We've been unable to confirm this, since the FBI won't comment. Matthew Simpson, the owner of a company named Core IP Networks, blogged about the raid yesterday morning, noting that whatever the reason, the raid impacted a significant number of companies, including AT&T and Google:
Neither I, nor Core IP are involved in any illegal activities of any kind. The only data that I have received thus far is that the FBI is investigating a company that has purchased services from Core IP in the past. This company does not even colocate with us anywhere, much less 2323 Bryan Street Datacenter. Currently nearly 50 businesses are completely without access to their email and data. Citizen access to Emergency 911 services are being affected, as Core IP's primary client base consists of telephone companies.
We e-mailed Simpson, who isn't sure (or isn't telling) what the cause for the raid was, but didn't seem to think it was pirate/mutant related. A few companies who do business with Simpson have reached out to us to note that all they know is the raid seriously impacted their business. They haven't been told much of anything either, other than the fact that Core IP's lawyers are working with the FBI to get everybody back up and running.

"Our Residential DSL users, authenticate via PPPoE, using a RADIUS server we have hosted with Core IP," says Brent Waldrep, owner of Lightning Bolt Technologies. "Yesterday morning, around 7am, it was brought to our attention a few of our residential customers could not authenticate, and after some quick troubleshooting, we found our RADIUS server was not online," he says. According to Waldrep, a call to Core IP alerted them to the FBI raid.

"We sent out an email to all our residential DSL users, about 20% of our client base, informing them of the authentication issue," he says. He notes that users who were currently authenticated are still able to use their connection, though any users needing to re-authenticate, are not able to do so. Waldrep says he's giving impacted users a free upgrade to SOHO packages, which don't use the residential RADIUS server.

If the raid was part of the Wolverine investigation (which we'll again state isn't established yet) it begs the question whether the revenues of a film studio outweigh the revenue streams, connectivity, and 911 services for dozens of other companies. Especially when you consider that quite often, the most-pirated films still wind up being the biggest box office hits anyway.

Update: One business impacted by the Dallas raid tells us Core IP is now telling impacted customers the raid had something to do with unpaid VoIP fees, which still doesn't explain why it was necessary to disrupt business for fifty or so companies.

Update 2: See our follow up report that indicates the FBI raid was about a VoIP scam, not the Wolverine leak.

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