iMesh was a P2P file sharing service that mostly specialized in music subscription services. iMesh was owned by iMesh, Inc. company. It was an American business with multiple development centers all over the world. iMesh was approved by The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), that was crucially important after the The Pirate Bay trial. iMesh not only provided subscription-based business approach, but also offered tracks for sale at the price of 99 US cents each for an unlimited time.
iMesh was launched on November 27, 1999 and provided users with video, audio and images sharing. In late 2000 site already offered such types of file as documents and software. It was a free service that operated on top of the centralized P2P network. In 2001 PlayList function was added. It provided users with an ability to control and play the files, making in closer to a music subscription service. iMesh also added restrictions function to help users in the establishment of certain conditions on which the files were distributed. For example, in was used for a parent control. It operated as a free P2P sharing service until September 18, 2003, when it was sued for encouraging copyright infringement by RIAA. In October 25, 2005 it relaunched as a paid service company. iMesh also reached an agreement with The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and started legally providing video content. iMesh provided users with more than 15 million free songs and 4 million songs licensed from the record labels. Computer-based application had a smartphone synchronization function, offered DJ stations and social network to share songs and videos. iMesh services were provided with iMesh Windows application and web-version of the application. However, media files downloaded with iMesh were able to be synchronized with Android and iOS smartphones.
iMesh was one of the largest data sharing services in the United States, was actively used as a social network. However, due to the security breach, iMesh was hacked and a lot of user accounts were compromised. The analysis of the leaked database showed that the hack was performed in 2013. Leaked data contained email addresses, IP addresses, passwords and usernames of a little less than 50 million accounts. Passwords were protected by the MD5 hash function that has a lot of vulnerabilities which were exploited during the hack. Leaked database was available for the purchase on dark web-based marketplace “The Real Deal”.
After the breach the official site of the iMesh closed without prior notification. The management of the company denied the issue and after some time stopped the communication with media. The homepage stated that iMesh is no longer available and offered to contact a support team for the further assistance. The support page of the company had the following statement: “Due to changes in the music industry we regret to inform you that iMesh will no longer be available for download, and will no longer sell subscriptions or music tracks. We apologize for the inconvenience, and your patronage up to now has been greatly appreciated”.
- Wikipedia: iMesh
- International Business Times: iMesh hack: More than 51 million user records from former filesharing site for sale on dark web
- web.archive.org: iMesh
- Wikipeadia: MD5