Is the AnonyUpload file-sharing website for real?

Filed Under: Law & order, Privacy

AnonyUpload logoThe takedown of the MegaUpload website, and the arrest of its founders on copyright infringement charges, certainly upset the applecart.

Earlier this week, for instance, we saw Anonymous launch denial-of-service attacks against US government and entertainment industry websites, tricking innocent people into clicking on links which recruited their unwitting computers into the assault.

In addition, legitimate users of the MegaUpload service were up-in-arms that they no longer had access to files that they believed they had safely stored in the "cloud".

In response, a website called Anonyupload has sprung up, claiming to offer "100% free" and "100% anonymous" file hosting and file-sharing services.

AnonyUpload

Bizarrely, on the front page of the AnonyUpload website - it explains reasons why you shouldn't use it:

Anonyupload.com is a centralized service, when you upload files, they are stored in our hard drives, at a single location. And this is not good! It is the opposite of what the Internet is: decentralized.

...

There are many reasons why this is not good, the first is that some of you store personal information and files on machines which are not belonging to you, and that you do not have any control on. The second is that you are always going through the same wires, it means that someone could spy on it, monitors your activities, or decides to cut it off as it happened with megaupload.com. This can be avoided by using decentralized technologies, the first thing to do if you are interested in doing it, is to host your own content, on your own machines.

In a nutshell, don't use AnonyUpload - you're putting your trust and your data in someone else's hands, and it could mean you're being spied upon, and it could mean that you lose access to your data (as has happened to MegaUpload users).

It's better, says AnonyUpload, to store your data on your own computers.

No disagreement here.

But what a curious way to promote your new website. I think these AnonyUpload guys may have skipped a marketing lesson or two.

So, are there any reasons why AnonyUpload thinks I should use it?

Why anonyupload.com then?
Because it is fun and technically interesting, keep in mind that it does not target to become a replacement to megaupload.com. If we have a good economic plan with donations, and that we do not fail as soon as the site is launched, we will do our possible to keep expanding it, but let's try to not get into a huge system that only works with money.

Hmm. "Fun and interesting". Not really, a good enough reason for me - and, I suspect, for others too. And is it really that fun and technically interesting to upload a file to someone else FTP's server? I don't think so.

For your safety, our infrastructure will be out of the U.S jurisdiction ( Russia ).

Oh well, that puts my mind at rest regarding safety.. I can just see myself reaching for my credit card to make a donation right now..

We have no way of knowing whether the Anonyupload site is genuine or not, and certainly Twitter accounts that have published messages from Anonymous in the past have denied any involvement in the site and urged people to stay away.

Anonymous tweets about Anonyupload

The lack of official spokespeople, or any kind of hierarchy, may be attractive for the people who act under the Anonymous banner, but it makes it very difficult to determine whether any action is *really* being done by Anonymous or individuals who are choosing to simply use the name as a flag of convenience.

Any statement or action which claims to come "from Anonymous" has to be questioned, as it's impossible to prove its veracity.

Put simply, any nutter can upload a message to the internet, or post a video on YouTube, or create a website, and claim to be "Anonymous". And there are those in the media who might report it as such, seeing as they can't prove otherwise.

Of course, it's perfectly possible that the AnonyUpload website is flying under a false flag - pretending to be backed by Anonymous, for reasons best known to itself, designed to ensnare the unwary.

My advice would be to avoid the Anonyupload site, and certainly not donate any money. You don't know whose pockets you might be lining, and as AnonyUpload's own blurb makes clear there are "many reasons" why their service is "not good".

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15 Responses to Is the AnonyUpload file-sharing website for real?

  1. Interesting... AnonyUpload.com is registred to

    Domain Name.......... anonyupload.com
    Creation Date........ 2012-01-23
    Registration Date.... 2012-01-23
    Expiry Date.......... 2013-01-23
    Organisation Name.... Adrian Jesson
    Organisation Address. PO Box 61359
    Organisation Address.
    Organisation Address. Sunnyvale
    Organisation Address. 94088
    Organisation Address. CA
    Organisation Address. US

  2. onirosco · 819 days ago

    I guess they know who to hack next then.....

  3. OH_GOD_WHY · 819 days ago

    Why in the name of Xenu would you put your real name in conjunction with anything related to Anon?

    • guest · 819 days ago

      Why would you think thats their real name? or location? Very easy to register domains with false info.

  4. To quote /b/ " trap detected"

  5. reinaldokool · 819 days ago

    It looks like they are just spoofing the government, but also pointing out the foolishness of becoming cloud dependent and/or single-point failure dependent.

  6. LEWISP · 819 days ago

    Interesting... AnonyUpload.com is registred to

    Domain Name.......... anonyupload.com
    Creation Date........ 2012-01-23
    Registration Date.... 2012-01-23
    Expiry Date.......... 2013-01-23
    Organisation Name.... Adrian Jesson
    Organisation Address. PO Box 61359
    Organisation Address.
    Organisation Address. Sunnyvale
    Organisation Address. 94088
    Organisation Address. CA
    Organisation Address. US

    !!!! HAHAH COMPLETE FAIL !!!!

    • Genima · 819 days ago

      You clearly have no understanding of the structure of Anonymous. Because 1 'spokesperson' says it's not affiliated with them doesn't mean it's not within Anon's sphere of operations. Anonymous is simultaneously everyone and noone. That's the whole point of it.

  7. ThreeAndNine · 819 days ago

    You know, 'anonymous' is a perfectly legitimate word commonly used by all kinds of people. Just because a name makes a reference to that word doesn't mean there is an actual or even claimed connection to your favorite "shadowy hacktivist group." In this case, there clearly isn't such a claim or connection.

  8. Anonymous · 819 days ago

    Here you state:

    "Bizarrely, on the front page of the AnonyUpload website - it explains reasons why you shouldn't use it:" (with the word "shouldn't" in bold letters)

    Yet they stated:

    "Why shouldn't I ONLY use anonyupload.com?"

    There's a great difference when you say "why you shouldn't use it" and "why you shouldn't ONLY use it":

    The second states that you should use it but also the other options.

    Don't omit facts next time.

  9. anon · 819 days ago

    You didn't understand anonymous. Everbody who launches something as anonymous is doing it as anonymous. It's a leaderless collective. That means I don't have to ask anybody for permissions to launch my project, nor can it be revoked to be from anonymous.

  10. Anonymous · 819 days ago

    I would have hoped that you Graham, of all people, would be aware of what 'Anonymous' is and isn't.

    Anonymous isn't a group, it doesn't have membership, nor official channels. There is no hierarchy and anyone who claims to represent 'anonymous' most certainly doesn't. Anyone who even claims to be a 'member' is grandstanding and is either a kid wanting to look tough, or a someone with ADHD trying to attract attention to themselves.

    Almost every single journalist and researcher fails to understand this rather obvious, but crucial point: Anonymous is just an adjective that a number of individuals use, nothing more. If you want to call it anything, call it a social movement, not a group.

    Once someone uses a pseydonym, or identifies themselves as belonging to any particular group, they cease being anonymous. In fact, most of us are disgusted by twitter accounts like @anonops, @anonymouspress, with 'official channels' and 'members of anonymous' speaking to the press, dropping their own pseudonyms around the place (eg. the retards on the various 'official anon' irc channels).

    The 'group' that you actually see, is just an incredibly loose, dynamic collective of individuals, each with their own agenda, their own viewpoints, with the only thing consistently in common is that all wish to remain (and self-identify as) anonymous.The only time you hear of 'anonymous' doing anything is when a large number of those who act under the 'anonymous' banner share the same viewpoint.

    'Anonymous' is just a convenient name for a globally-distributed, fault-tolerant, self-anonymized protest movement representing the will of (some subset of) the people.

  11. Randy · 817 days ago

    The grammar used at their site suggests that it isn't only the servers that are located outside the US. The CA location of the owner is probably bogus.

  12. dyn-ke · 803 days ago

    Anonyupload is indeed suspicious, but checking with whois will tell you this:
    http://whois.domaintools.com/91.220.163.134

    Server Type:lighttpd/1.4.30IP Address:91.220.163.134 Reverse-IP | Ping | DNS Lookup | Traceroute ASN: AS197424 IP Location: - Ukraine - Tov Commercial Company 'olevan Plus' Response Code:200Domain Status:Registered And Active Website

    The server is based in Ukraine!

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About the author

Graham Cluley is an award-winning security blogger, and veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.