For years NYAA Torrents was heralded as one of the top sources for anime content, serving an audience of millions of users.
This changed abruptly early last month when the site’s domain names were deactivated and stopped working.
TorrentFreak heard from several people, including site moderators and other people close to the site, that NYAA’s owner decided to close the site voluntarily. However, no comments were made in public.
While many former users moved on to other sites, some started to see something familiar when they checked their old bookmarks this week. All of a sudden, NYAA.eu was loading just fine, albeit with a twist.
“Due to the regulation & security issues with Bittorrent, the Nyaa Team has decided to move from torrent to a faster & secure part of the internet!” a message posted on the site reads.
Instead, the site says it’s going underground, encouraging visitors to download the brand new free “binary client.” At the same time, it warns against ‘fake’ NYAA sites.
“We wish we could keep up the torrent tracker, but it is to risky for our torrent crew as well as for our fans. Nyaa.se has been shut down as well. All other sites claiming to be the new Nyaa are Fake!”
The truth is, however, that the site itself is “fake.” After the domain name was deactivated it was put back into rotation by the .EU registry, allowing outsiders to pick it up. These people are now trying to monetize it with their download offer.
According to the Whois information, NYAA.eu is registered to the German company Goodlabs, which specializes in domain name monetization.
The client download link on the site points to a Goo.gl shorturl, which in turn redirects to an affiliate link for a Usenet service. At least, last time we checked.
The people who registered the domain hope that people will sign up there, assuming that it’s somehow connected to the old NYAA crew.
Thus far, over 27,000 people have clicked on the link in just a few days. This means that the domain name still generates significant traffic, mostly from Japan, The United States, and France.
While it is likely new to former NYAA users, this type of scam is pretty common. There are a few file-sharing related domains with similar messages, including Demonoid.to, Isohunts.to, All4nothin.net, Torrenthounds.com, Proxyindex.net, Ddgamez.com and many others.
Some offer links to affiliate deals and others point to direct downloads of .exe files. It’s safe to say, that it’s best to stay far away from all of these.