back to article downed by links to Russian cybercrime gang

The popular Russian digital music retailer has scored an own goal by doing business with a web host that has been linked to an infamous cybercrime syndicate. Many UK users have been frozen out of the site as a result. Access to the site for customers of major UK ISPs including Virgin Media, Plusnet and Zen has …


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  1. John Taylor

    I can't access it either

    Well I can't access it either through another well known isp either who are meant to be one of the mosst reliable for connections.

  2. Corin

    Got it here...

    BT Broadband, loads fine (i haven't any plans to shop there mind..)

  3. PunkTiger

    Blocked in the US by Verizon

    Ohhh... So THAT'S why I haven't been able to access it for the past month or so.

  4. Julian Bond


    Tor seems to help. But it's still hard to impossible to actually give them any money. Allegedly.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing to do with LINX...

    As it works fine for me from our peering.... So if LINX were blackholing the traffic we'd see it too.

    Maybe afore mentioned ISP's just felt like blocking it, people did that to RBN too...

  6. Marc McAllister

    VM not working here

    I can verify VM isn't seeming to allow the connection through.. looks like it is to timeout, pings aren't working either and a tracert cops out around the cogentco end of the line.. mind you, I wasn't planning on shopping there anyway!

  7. Someone

    allTunes and the servers hosting the music content are not affected. If you’re prepared to download and run the allTunes software, you can carry on accessing the same underlying catalogue. The accounting system is also the same; an AllofMP3 or MP3sparks account should also be an allTunes account. However, adding credit to your balance will remain as challenging as ever.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    I think

    I remember when one of their border routers advertised 10. , 192 and 172 as available for routing with a path. Made visiting your internal network pages interesting to say the least.

  9. Rob


    Russian media site linked to money laundering and organised crime?

    Surely not!?

  10. Ian

    hmmm if you're not having any luck... I'm blocked but this got me round it... otoh, I still aint gonna shop there!

    Now I am however pissed off that my isp f2s... err no Pipex errr no Tiscalli errr no TipeX wont let me access that site. (although I realise this is more a backbone than an ISP issue)

    I have a question for anyone that buys from this site, WHY? use bit torrent! Chances are it's 'illegal' in your country so whats the difference between getting humped buying a few tracks from here or getting humped torrenting a few tracks?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    What's Worse?

    Handing over money to the Russian Mafia or the fact that the money is being payed for dirt-poor quality compressed digital files.

    -Anonymous Audiophile

  12. Jason Hall

    Audiophile - pah!

    Whenever I hear someone call themselves an audiophile - all I can think of is one word = tosser.

    Billions of people listen to crap quality music every day - it's called radio.

    It has been 'good enough' for how long now?

    Digital radio is still pretty bad, and yet people still listen to that too.

    Mmmm... maybe cd-quality music is better - but all the 'average' listener wants is good enough.

    If you want to listen to all your music at cd-quality then fine. Great. Lovely. Go ahead.

    But please stop fucking moaning about 'dirt-poor' quality to the rest of the world.

    I don't download from there - but have listened to the quality from a friends machine. It's fine.

    You are still just a tosser. :-)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Ian - MP3Sparks vs Bittorrent

    I have tried to use bittorrent, but find it to slow, and the songs I want aren't always in the format or quality I want them in. With MP3Sparks, I was able to get the song I wanted at the quality I wanted (Q98) in the format I wanted (wma) for approximately 28 cents, and was able to get it within 5 minutes if my connection was slow. Every time I have tried to get something via bit torrent, it has always taken a couple of hours at least to download.

  14. devloop

    blocked from france

    Blocked by Neuf Telecom in France...

    Works with Tor

  15. Mark

    Works in Quebec, Canada - but not credit card

    Was unable to add funds via credit card like I was previously (6+ months ago).

    ISP is Videotron, able to log in and download with current account balance.

    Time to look at the 500 "Must Have" albums before I run out.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nope from Spain

    In Spain here on the ONO cable network. Just tried to open the site and just times out. Traceroute stops at

    Not that I download mp3's anyway! ;)

  17. Stuart Halliday

    To C or not to C

    Last time I looked AllTunes offered compressed or uncompressed audio...

  18. Nexox Enigma


    """Every time I have tried to get something via bit torrent, it has always taken a couple of hours at least to download."""

    Obviously, the force is not strong with this one. Doing p2p stuff right takes some skill and knowledge - I've seen a number of people that complain about bittorrent speeds when it turns out they didn't set an upload cap, so their download acks were stuck in the massive buffer that their ISP puts on the connection. Or multiple people sharing an internet connection will try to torrent at the same time and wonder why their linksys is dropping connections off the nat table.

  19. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    The long and the short of it.

    The advantages of mo3sparks:

    Full previews of the entire album

    User-specified quality

    THEY DO OGG AND FLAC. That one alone makes it worthwhile...

    The disadvantages:

    You can't pay em. Ruddy Visa, they don't cut off payments to kiddie porn sites but they'll stop them to "questionable" music sellers.

    Sure, you can get just about any music off p2p but most of it is mp3, and pretty crap quality mp3 at that in my experience. As a rule I don't like mp3, I prefer ogg or flac, and I like to have high bitrates so there's more option for transcoding to other formats or burning to CD.

    I'm not an audiophile, I just like to have the choice. :)

  20. Wade Burchette

    Worked for me

    To be safe, I pinged it first. Then I typed in the IP address directly. All that did was show me if was on a shared host. They I typed in and it came up.

  21. Ian McNee

    And who said El Reg readers were amoral brainless freetards?

    Nice to see so many commentators really getting to grips with the issues raised by this article: WHERE CAN I GET MY MOOZIC DED CHEEP AN IT DOWNLOADS REEL FASSSST WIV HI BITRATZ??

    FFS! Never mind that the people that created the music you purport to love so much don't get a brass washer from the likes of, what about a slice of their profits going to those peddling child pornography and selling fake pharmaceuticals?

    No, the likes of the Recording Industry Ass. of America and their multinational media corp. backers are not the good guys. But giving money to a bunch of low-life Eastern European criminals is neither the moral alternative nor a strategy to force Sony BMG et al to change their ways.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @And who said...

    [Unreal Tournament Announcer] Red Team took the moral high ground!


  23. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    @Ian McNee

    If they offered the same level of service I wouldn't *have* to go to these dodgy outlets.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Minor correction

    "*Not for customers of Canadian ISP Rodgers, it seems. Unconfirmed reports say it is blocking MP3sparks independently."

    The ISP in question is actually called Rogers.

    A common error to make but more accurate and more descriptive I think as Rogers it seems is increasingly more in the business of rodgering their customers.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Give it up Amazon.mp3 and have everything you need I have been listening to amazing music from both outlets if your absolutely determined to get this music without paying the artists then your a piece of shit and you need to die.

  26. Matt


    I think there are more issues than you've picked up here:

    1. Who gave anyone but my elected government the right to decide which site I may or may not see.

    2. If these people are really mafia how is it that the Russian government hasn't acted as they've demonstrated that they're prepared to act in other cases. Last time I was in Russia it seemed that they were as law abiding as most other countries.

    There were some Irish chaps in Guildford who were "known" criminals until it turned out they weren't.

    Perhaps they are criminals, all I'm saying is that nothing has been proven, which is all you can say about the RIAA too :-)

  27. Steve

    @Ian McNee

    I'm sure that the moral outrage feels pretty good, but there is something you are failing to account for. Many of us *want* to see the record industry collapse and therefore anything that stops people giving them money is a good thing.

    If I want to give a musician money, I'll go to a gig. If they're selling CDs there, I might buy one if I think the artist is going to get a decent amount of money from the sale.

  28. T0ny

    re: Who gave anyone...

    "Who gave anyone but my elected government the right to decide which site I may or may not see."

    Imagine that your friend has had their phone disconnected for making nuisance calls.

    Now imagine yourself saying "Who gave anyone but my elected government the right to decide who I may or may not call."

  29. Ian McNee

    The Pompous Git replies from The Moral High Ground (tm)...

    /set ground(moral) = high


    Graham Dawson: in exactly what sense do you *have* to buy your music from organisations who essentially fund child pornographers (and just to be clear, that means more children being violently sexually abused the more money they get)? Do you have a phobia that prevents you from entering a music shop and opening your wallet to buy a CD? Or of buying said CD for a reasonable price from CD-WOW? Or as others have mentioned downloading from one of the many legitimate non-DRM crippled sources?

    Matt: actually if you read the article you will see that AllofMP3 (the old front for Media Services who are behind MP3sparks) was closed down by legal action. And yes you're right that these slimebags and their even slimier-bag ISP AbdAllah should not be fined/closed down/locked up without due process but that doesn't stop an intelligent person like yourself from making an informed decision (Spamhaus, etc.) that in the meantime one ought not to fund these scumbags.

    Steve: yep, and in your tee-pee in North Wales listening to your freetard music on an organic hand-woven fairtrade MP3 player made by Andean peasant farmers you will, by toking on that huge spliff, be able to astrally project to the board rooms of Music Megalo Corp Inc to hear their share price crashing and execs throwing themselves from windows on the 50th floor, because you and your freetard buddies spent your giros funding child pornographers rather than multinational capitalists. And then you woke up....ah bless!

    /end git

  30. Greg

    Who says shady outfits can ONLY deal with illegal things?

    The provider that MP3Tracks uses is shady. OK.

    It allows anyone who pays to use the bandwidth it provides. OK.

    So what? What does it imply for MP3Track?

    Nothing more than the fact they maybe don't have a choice because other providers wouldn't take them.

    Does it means it's itself illegal or shady? Not at all. It might make you suspicious, sure, but then when you know that Visa blocked the paiment on request of the RIAA for something which was, at the time, considered legal in most of the world, and at the very, very least in russia, you can easily see that being legit does not mean bullies from the US will let you operate.

    Now if I want to do something completely legal in my country, and a US bully or other is strong-arming a front-street provider into not letting me do it, yes, I'll pay a premium to someone less susceptible to strong-arm techniques to be able to exercice my rights.

  31. MattW


    There's just something about giving my credit card number to a dodgy Russian outfit hosted on dodgy Russian servers that makes my blood run cold.

    Not in my lifetime.....


  32. Anonymous Coward

    Organic hand-woven fairtrade MP3 player

    Nice one Ian, that made me laugh out loud.

    I wonder where I can buy one?

  33. Smell My Finger = danger

    Anyone handing over a credit card number to what looks like a bunch of crooks frankly needs their head examining. I fail to see any point in funding Russian crime - if we accept the urban legend that the "legitimate" record industry act in a criminal manner what difference is their in exchanging one set of criminals for another?

  34. Trotsky

    Is using Russian sites morally worse?

    I don't see much difference in downloading music for free and using "shadowy Russian sites". The artist loses out in both cases; is it more ethical to download it yourself or to pay someone to organise and host the music for you?

    The sooner the recording industry reverts to an unlimited monthly subscription model the better. I spend maybe £50 a year on CDs - I'd easily spend £200 a year for a much better selection.

    Maybe the real villains are the iTunes customers who are indirectly delaying the introduction of a subscription model by paying ridiculously high charges for music, and allowing the recording industry to sit back and wait for the next big illegal download revolution.

  35. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    Visa requires stringent checks for ANY digital content.

    When i started a little pr0n site a couple years ago, i had to pay VISA $750 for a credit and background check, and $350 a year to renew.

    But why pay 47 pennies to download a song when you can pay $1200 for bottle service at a nightclub and hear it played REALLY LOUD.

  36. steve

    Erm, freetard..........


    By Steve

    Posted Monday 14th January 2008 09:09 GMT I'm sure that the moral outrage feels pretty good, but there is something you are failing to account for. Many of us *want* to see the record industry collapse and therefore anything that stops people giving them money is a good thing.

    If I want to give a musician money, I'll go to a gig.


    If the recording industry collapses, there will be no gigs. Bands do not make money from gigs, they make money from records. There will be no gig bigger than a pub back room, the band will be made up of either annoyingly shouty, spotty kids or old bald men having a mid life crisis.

    In future, can you change your name? I REALLY don't want people getting me mixed up with you..........

  37. Morely Dotes

    Regardless of MP3sparks...

    I block all of TurkTelecom whenever any of its IP space comes to my attention. In my experience, the entire purpose of TT's connection to the rest of the world's Internet is to distribute malware, and control botnets.

  38. Anonymous Coward

    Amazon MP3 is US-only though

    All this no-DRM goodness is fine and dandy, and I might indeed lay down some of my own hard-earned greenbacks on it if I could, but only seems to want to sell to US customers at the moment.

    Does anyone know if and/or when they are going to let us Europeans get our noses in the trough?

  39. Matt

    @T0ny and tohers

    I would be upset if someone was accused of making nuisance calls and their handset blocked without it being proven. On the other hand if the person receiving the nuisance calls blocked the senders number that's down to them, but doesn't fit what's being done here.

    For the other chap who points out that they were already shut down once so must be illegal mafia types:

    It seems the Russian government is quite happy with them now and there are loads of US companies that have been shut down and restarted, or been fined for crooked dealings like Microsoft.

    Finally, "no gigs without CD sales". What a load of tosh. Musicians have performed throughout history, long before CDs, tapes or LPs. There would be less money for the recording companies, collection agencies and some musicians and yes some may give up the job but others would fill the gap.

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