Kickass Torrents may be down, but its clones are online
MANILA, Philippines – The popular torrent file site Kickass Torrents (KAT) may be down due to the seizure of the site's domains, but it's not necessarily gone for good.
In the wake of the KAT takedown and the arrest of alleged KAT founder Artem Vaulin, clones have begun popping up. These clones take the look and feel – and supposedly the repository of torrent uploads – of KAT back onto the Internet.
Kickass Torrents previously garnered over 50 million unique visitors monthly. It was estimated to be the 69th most frequently visited website on the Internet, with authorities estimating that site was responsible for "unlawfully distributing well over $1 billion of copyrighted materials."
It would seem people are scrambling for the crown, in this case.
The torrenting clone wars
The Verge said at least two cloned versions of KAT are online now: a limited mirror version of KAT called by Kickasstorrents.website, and a seemingly improved version of KAT that has more protections against blockages.
The Verge received a statement from the second site – Kat.am – saying its version was "hosted on multiple cloud servers to prevent blockade, and the hosting information is well hidden behind Cloudflare."
The email, sent anonymously, also said a mobile version was available for the site. There's also some ambiguity as to whether this second clone is a complete backup of KAT or is being built to have have the complete backlog of the original, with comments and user information available for viewing.
Torrenting news website TorrentFreak added this was a noticeable after-effect of a major torrent site shutdown, with people hoping to either keep lost files accessible or otherwise corner the market and usurp the brand.
TorrentFreak advised the hopeful not to trust claims of a "KAT resurrection," as the potential downsides – getting your personal information compromised – may become a significant risk. – Rappler.com