Anyone who used to get their movie fix via torrenting sites are probably still mourning the unexpected departure of Kickass Torrents (KAT). The site became the world’s biggest piracy resource after The Pirate Bay went offline for more than a month following a police raid in December 2014. However, the US government led an operation that ultimately took down Kickass Torrents this week. The site went down almost immediately after its alleged owner was arrested in Poland a few days ago.
Since then, Kickass Torrents resumed activity online, but you should be very wary of the unofficial sites that pop up after takedowns like this. Some of them may have ulterior motives in mind apart from simply restoring a renowned piracy site.
According to The Verge, at least two KAT clones were spotted online, including KickassTorrents.website (which is believed to originate from IsoHunt) and KAT.am. However, TorrentFreak notes that KickassTorrents.website has no ties to IsoHunt whatsoever. This copycat just lists torrent files from the past one and a half years, but it doesn’t have a working forum or even upload functionality.
“It’s not perfect, but if users need to save and archive something, it’s time. We don’t know how long it can last, but at least it’s something,” the people behind the site told TorrentFreak.
The creators of KAT.am claim that the site is “hosted on multiple cloud servers to prevent blockade, and the hosting information is well hidden behind Cloudflare.” Furthermore, they told The Verge that the site features am a mobile version and that it “will has [sic] the complete torrent database of KAT, including the comments, user information intact.”
Kickass.la is one other site that has advertised itself to reporters as an “official” backup of KAT, but that’s not the case, as the person behind it isn’t involved with KAT at all.
With all that in mind, you should pay attention which KAT-branded piracy sites you visit in the next few days, if that’s your thing. Some of them might be fronts and you might end up downloading a whole mess of malware instead of the movie you were trying to steal.