KickAss torrents, World Cup download options
Illicit material is often available on torrent sites like the Pirate Bay and Kickass Torrents (pictured here). KickAssTor screenshot 6/24/14

Panic in the online-piracy community ensued Friday when KickAss torrents, the popular file-sharing website, was knocked offline.

More often referred to as “KickAss Tor,” the website was unreachable for much of the afternoon, with the down time beginning at approximately 12:30 p.m. EST. Panic over the down time began circulating on social media not long after, with users complaining that the site was down in the U.S., South Africa, Croatia, Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic and in other corners of the globe.

Reliable sites like confirmed the news with a reassurance to pirates that the page is not likely offline permanently.

“We have tried pinging KickAss Torrents using our server and… if is down for us, too, there is nothing you can do except wait,” the site explained. “Probably the server is overloaded, down or unreachable because of a network problem [or] outage, or a website maintenance is in progress.”

KickAss administrators did not immediately return request for comment from International Business Times, but it’s quite rare for the page to go offline. With a top-100 ranking on the Alexa Internet list of most-visited websites, KickAss has gone down in the past when attempting to evade law enforcement. It was de-listed from Google in June 2013 at the request of the Motion Picture Association of America, which has sought to curb exactly the kind of online piracy that KickAss makes possible.

The site, ranking behind only the Pirate Bay in terms of global popularity, features movies, music and software programs that, in many cases, have yet to be released to the public or even in theaters, as downloaders found out when “The Expendables 3” leaked.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.