Anonfiles, one of the internet’s most frequently visited file-sharing websites, has officially closed due to an avalanche of user abuse. With millions of users visiting the website daily, including a not-so-insignificant number of threat actors, the platform has been a hub for file sharing for almost everyone.
However, the relentless misuse of the platform by hackers and malicious actors has pushed its operators to make the difficult decision to pull the plug once and for all. AnonFiles, renowned for its anonymous file-hosting services, provided a seamless platform for users to anonymously upload and share a plethora of files ranging from documents to images and videos.
Yet, this same user-friendly anonymity proved to be a double-edged sword, attracting not only legitimate users but also hackers and cybercriminals. Here is a look at how Anonfiles shuts down and Anonfiles alternatives users can opt for after its departure.
Anonfiles shuts down: Going beyond anonymity
This decision stems from the site’s rampant exploitation for the distribution of stolen data, including files containing pilfered passwords, network access, and other malicious content. “The site was used extensively by cybercriminals initially, but in the recent past, many started distancing themselves from the site claiming privacy and security reasons. The site, even today, is used to host and share files within the cybercrime community,” revealed a Cyble researcher during a conversation with The Cyber Express.
Beyond the allure of anonymity that Anonfiles offered, users found an easy gateway to share files, all while evading potential repercussions, as the site didn’t keep any logs or user activities. However, it’s important to note that Anonfiles isn’t the sole player in this genre of websites. Numerous other Anonfiles alternatives exist on the surface-level internet, offering similar services.
One pioneer in the field is 4Chan, a platform that has long advocated the concept of anonymity on the internet. As Anonfiles shuts down, its users are likely to migrate to other platforms operating under similar principles. “The community will move on to other hosting and file share providers. There’s no dearth of similar services”, added the Cyble researcher.
Anonfiles shuts down, and admins responded
Troubling signs emerged five days prior to Anonfiles shuts down, with users encountering service timeouts and errors.
Cybersecurity researcher g0njxathe reported that the website’s administrators have officially shuttered the platform, citing the termination of their proxy provider’s services as the reason.
“Anonfiles, one of the major free file storage providers that existed in the past years, has announced the end of its service and domain is now for sale,” said g0njxathe in a Twitter post yesterday.
AnonFiles, the platform, which provided a two-year haven for individuals to share files without the fear of tracking, eventually became a magnet for hackers distributing stolen credentials and sensitive personal information.
As initially revealed by researcher @g0njxa, the platform’s administrators have thrown in the towel following the recent departure of their proxy provider.
They expressed that the reality of their domain’s operation was not aligned with their original vision. The message from the Anonfiles website reads:
“After trying endlessly for two years to run a file sharing site with user anonymity, we’re tired of dealing with the overwhelming amount of people abusing it and the headaches it’s caused us. It might be hard to understand, but tens of millions of downloads and many petabytes later, all the abuse handling work has been automated through all available channels to be as fast as possible.
We have automatically blocked content of hundreds of thousands of files. Banned filenames and also banned specific usage patterns associated with abusive material to the point where we don’t care if we accidentally delete thousands of false positives in the process. Even after all this, the sheer volume of abuse will not stop. This is not the kind of work we envision when we get it and recently our proxy provider shut down”, concludes the post.
Anonfiles shuts down: Check out these 5 Anonfiles alternatives
Despite Anonfiles shuts down, the domain has not yet been put up for sale, and potential buyers are encouraged to reach out to [email protected] to buy the domain.
While Anonfiles shuts down, numerous Anonfiles alternatives remain available for those seeking to share files securely and anonymously:
GoFiles.io is a file-sharing and hosting service allowing users to upload and share files. Users can upload various types of files, such as documents, images, videos, and more, and then generate shareable links to these files.
Mega is a cloud storage and file-sharing service that allows users to store their files securely in the cloud and share them with others. It was launched in 2013 by Kim Dotcom, also associated with the now-defunct Megaupload service.
RetroShare is an open-source, decentralized network for file sharing and communication that prioritizes security and privacy. Users can connect securely and privately with their contacts with this service, enabling them to communicate, share data, and work together.
Being a popular cloud-based file transfer service, WeTransfer makes it simple for customers to transmit and receive big files online. It’s frequently used to share files with people too large to attach to an email or transfer data fast.
Syncthing is an open-source, decentralized file synchronization tool that allows users to securely synchronize files and folders across multiple devices. It provides an alternative to cloud-based synchronization services, giving users greater control over their data and privacy.