(May 2022) A new Sci-Hub-like content theft website (lib.mayiso.com) has come to the attention of the Silverchair Security Team (SST). Lib.Mayiso.com is a malicious for-profit actor operating in the scholarly publishing sphere. There are two major differences between Mayiso and Sci-Hub:
- Mayiso is a for-profit enterprise that charges its users for hijacked VPN credentials to access paywalled publications, whereas Sci-Hub purports to operate on an “open access to research” philosophy.
- Where Sci-Hub is more akin to a web crawler that downloads content and places it within its own repositories for future retrieval, Mayiso provides ‘just in time’ access to content. This ‘just in time’ access appears to operate via IP authentication methods utilizing unauthorized or compromised VPN access credentials from various higher education institutions around the world.
This issue was found due to an increase in full-text article views with a referrer of lib.mayiso.com. The SST investigated this referrer and found that traffic was coming from legitimate intuitional IP addresses from various universities. A review of the lib.mayiso.com website found that they are boasting of obtaining VPN access to higher education institutions within the United States.
Silverchair, the hosting platform for content from AMA, MIT Press, ASME and many other publishers, has the findings here.