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May 30, 2008
Who Pays MediaDefender to Disrupt Peer to Peer Networks?
Could it be? Say it with me. That'd be... The Cartel.
OK, so I'm not about to start a new career as a singer-songwriter. Which is probably good since I'd probably be foolish enough to give away my own recordings of my own performances for free and if I used BitTorrent for that then I could be the one getting DoSed.
But that's in the hypothetical future. Here in the real present, it's a company called Revision 3. This company uses BitTorrent to distribute its own high-quality digital shows. This past weekend they were subjected to a SYN-flood attack that brought down their servers. The flood was specifically aimed at the port they use for their torrent tracking server.
In a brief blog snippet on CNET, Elinor Mills asked who would want to bring down Revision3? Good question - it's not a well-known company with lots of aggrieved foes. Yesterday, Jim Louderback posted an extensive dissection, including amusing explanations for newcomers describing what a SYN-flood attack is.
Apparently the attacker (MediaDefender) made no attempt to hide its actions. In fact, the company has previously been exposed - by its own leaked emails - as a deliberate miscreant on peer-to-peer networks. So it's not too surprising they're still at it.
But according to Louderback's posting, the company admitted to worse, including "abusing Revision3's network, over a period of months." Excuse me, isn't that illegal? You know, Company A steals Company B's resources to make a profit - what do we call that? Theft? Fraud? Or just Cartel business-as-usual? Louderback points out that DoS attacks are illegal computer fraud and abuse and claims that the FBI is "looking into" the matter.
My cynical side says this won't amount to a hill of beans, but one can still hope.
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