Verizon is blocking NYAA and Mangadex, what is the reason?
Over the past few weeks, Verizon has blocked its Internet service users from accessing a number of popular hacking websites, including NYAA and Mangadex. When users try to visit these sites, they are instead redirected to a “null-routing” black hole. This means that all traffic from those particular IP addresses that match the site is blocked.
Movement and apparent reason
This method is mainly used to defend systems against DDoS attacks, which originate from a few specific addresses. Verizon’s case apparently correlates with IP addresses linked to DDoS Guard, which is a controversial Russian online infrastructure service provider (although no proper explanation has been provided).
All that’s known so far is that all of this null routing is intentional, rather than random errors. Many users contacted the company, but to no avail.
Now the same users have started to theorize that the reason behind this is indeed to block DDos-Guard, which is well known around the world as a safe haven for pirate sites. The US government was informed a few months ago that DDos-Guard was not amicable with withdrawal requests. NYAA and Managdex are both popular pirate sites that depend on the CDN provider.
However, an interesting fact is that the IP addresses on DDos-Guard for Mangadex and NYAA are quite similar (as are the addresses of many other websites, including the phishing site xn--bstchange-hib.com) although they are slightly different. This could mean that these websites may not have been meant to be blocked, but ended up being routed as collateral damage, so other more malicious websites using similar IP addresses could be. put on a leash.
Not a first, but still unique
The case of Verizon is also unique in that it is quite different from the way other Internet service providers (ISPs) treat pirate sites. Other ISPs more often than not simply opt for DNS blocking, so when users try to visit the site, they instead receive a message telling them exactly why the site is blocked.
This is not the first time that an ISP has blocked pirate sites under mysterious circumstances. For example, a few years ago a number of websites with Cloudfare IP addresses linked to The Pirate Bay were suddenly blocked by Cogent. That decision was ultimately attributed to a court order ordering the company to block multiple IP addresses.