Austrian police have dismantled a pirate IPTV network that was illegally redistributing copyright-protected broadcasts to thousands of customers.

The network was operating on a hierarchy of suppliers, who decrypted and supplied TV signals, and resellers, who bought access to the signal and resold it to end customers.

The police arrested 20 people across the country and seized $1.74 million in assets, including cash, vehicles, and real estate. The network has been operating since 2016 and has generated millions of dollars in revenue.

The arrests were made in Vienna, Lower Austria, Salzburg, Vorarlberg, and Tyrol, with the following items seized during the law enforcement operation:

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  • €1.6 million ($1.74M) from 60 bank accounts
  • 35 servers used for signal decryption and IPTV feed distribution
  • An Audi A7 luxury car
  • 55 computer systems, hard drives, and smartphones

In addition to the financial losses caused to the entertainment industry, pirate IPTV networks can also pose a security risk to consumers. These networks often use malware to infect users’ devices and steal personal information. They can also be used to distribute illegal content, such as pornography and child sexual abuse material.

Consumers are urged to avoid using pirated IPTV networks and to support legitimate streaming services. Legitimate streaming services offer a wide variety of content at a reasonable price and without the risks associated with pirating IPTV networks.

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