Hackers cracked The Pirate Bay and stole the peer-to-peer tracking site's database of usernames and passwords, the site warned members last week.
Pirate Bay is a BitTorrent directory whose members share movie, music and software files, many of them pirated. Last year, Swedish police raided the service, seized servers and detained three men for questioning; the trio were released and the site was up and running again within days.
Although Friday's blog post said that hackers had made off with the database, Pirate Bay downplayed the threat. "The passwords are stored encrypted, so it's not a big deal," read the post. "All e-mails are, for instance, encrypted as well, they will most likely not be able to decrypt them either (they are _very_ encrypted)." Even so, Pirate Bay recommended that users change their access passwords as soon as possible.
Initial reports from Swedish media pinned the attack on a group that calls itself Arga Unga Hackare (AUH, or Angry Young Hackers in English), but the group later denied any part in the attack. AUH first made news in 2005 when it defaced the Web site of Sweden's antipiracy bureau, Svenska Antipiratbyran.
Pirate Bay apologized to members for the inconvenience. "Sorry for the mess, but we are all human and we miss something sometimes."