Hackers generally view BitTorrent trackers as friendly entities. Members of Anonymous are constantly extolling the virtues of The Pirate Bay and other trackers. Some hackers, however, are proving to be not as friendly.
It was revealed this morning that RevolutionTT, a private BitTorrent tracker, had been hacked. A group simply calling themselves "Afghanistan Hackers" uploaded a text file containing 19,000 username/password combinations for the exclusive torrent tracker. They encourage people to log in to private accounts, change the password, and enjoy the site for themselves.
TorrentFreak reports that the information leaked in the document is real. People have been using the username/password combinations to log into paid accounts. From there, people began to send fraudulent emails from the hacked accounts, or began looking to see if the same usernames or passwords had been used on other sites.
It's already strange to see a torrent tracker get hacked, but the response has been even stranger. The admins at RevolutionTT are claiming they were not hacked. They have even started to ban members who are asking legitimate questions about the hack.
Regardless, old and current members of RevolutionTT are encouraged to change their passwords now. These kind of attacks can have ripple effects across the Internet. A victim on one site can find that all of their accounts across the Internet have been hacked simply because they used the same password across all of them.
There is a sliver of good news in all of this. The data leaked by the hackers may be an old dataset. Some of the usernames/passwords combinations work, but others do not. The hackers say they will release more information in the next few weeks though. The next batch could be more recent datasets that could cause even more harm.
A hack of this level is nothing new. It's unfortunate, but it's the kind of world we live in now. The significance of this particular attack shows that nothing is sacred. Hackers aren't drawing lines anymore, and they will attack anything that has the potential for profit or chaos. The group here has obviously obtained the latter, and they may just obtain the former if the information from RevolutionTT proves to be useful.