In the fourth wave of Operation 404, the Brazilian law enforcement agencies blocked/shut down around 226 websites and 461 piracy applications. In this anti-piracy initiative, the authorities made several arrests.

Seizure Details

The operation was a joint effort from the USA and Brazilian authorities. The US Homeland Security Investigations and the US Department of Justice (DoJ) seized six website domains (Corourbanos.com, Corourbano.com, Pautamp3.com, SIMP3.com, flowactivo.co, and Mp3Teca.ws) operating from the Eastern District of Virginia for streaming and facilitating illegal downloads of copyrighted music in the USA.

Conversely, around 266 additional websites were taken down in Brazil, which were part of the same network along with 15 social network profiles. Moreover, six people were arrested after 30 searches and seizures countrywide.

At the time of publishing this article, all seized domains displayed the following message on their homepage:

This domain name has been seized by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) pursuant to a warrant issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia under the authority of, interalia, Title 18, United States Code, Section 2323.

About Operation 404

The operation was initiated as an extensive anti-piracy campaign in late 2019. Brazilian law enforcement agencies launched this operation and codenamed it Operation 404 after the HTTP error code.

The authorities collaborated with law enforcement agencies in the UK and the USA. Since then, several waves of the operation ensued under the names Operation 404.2 and Operation 404.3. The operation spanned eleven states. So far, hundreds of pirate sites and streaming apps’ domain names have been blocked.

The latest wave of the operation was titled Operation 404.4. However, the authorities never named the suspects or the sites taken down, but they confirmed that the apps alone were downloaded ten million times. Sources also confirmed that all of them were music-related apps.

Hundreds of Websites and Piracy Apps Seized in US-Brazil’s Operation 404.4
Homepage of the seized websites

According to a TorrentFreak, issued by Brazilian authorities, the operation against pirated sites and apps was expanded to the metaverse. Brazil’s Cybercrime group of the Secretariat of Integrated Operations (Seopi) coordinator, Alessandro Barreto, explained that criminals created events and maps on platforms like Roblox to market their pirated services and invite interested parties to their video platforms.

However, the authorities didn’t specify how they entered the metaverse. The DoJ noted that four illegal broadcast channels were shut down along with the deactivation of 90 pirated videos.