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MediaDefender Explains Itself

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the smurfs-for-hire dept.

Security 395

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Wired has an interview with MediaDefender in which they try to explain why they attacked Revision3, which uses BitTorrent to host its own content. Somehow it eluded MediaDefender that they had injected fake content into Revision3's tracker, so when Revision3 changed configuration to forbid this injection, MediaDefender's systems saw it as a pirate tracker with lots of illegal content (which MediaDefender had put there) and attacked. In other words, everything they did was intentional except for the choice of target. Given that they have 9 Gbps of bandwidth dedicated to denial-of-service attacks against torrent trackers, all anyone needs to do is to trick them into attacking a hospital or government facility. MediaDefender has never been very competent, after all."

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395 comments

Mediadefender is the Punisher (5, Insightful)

flerchin (179012) | more than 5 years ago | (#23619853)

How is any of this legal? Injecting content, false or otherwise? DOS'ing a server? They're fighting fire with fire.

Re:Mediadefender is the Punisher (5, Insightful)

Xiph (723935) | more than 5 years ago | (#23619891)

I fully agree, they admit two doing two things that are not legal.

Unauthorized access and Denial of Service attack.

I'm not quite sure of the details though, were they using a bug to plant the torrents or was the tracker just negligently configured?
The above matters for whether they were hacking(non-geek) or simply using it without authorization.

anyway, "bad boy!" to MediaDefender, surprise surprise.
But will the shit stick all the way to those truly responsible?

I CONFESS!! IM GUILTY! Can I get off the hook now? (5, Insightful)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620073)

Dear Public, Media, and our friends Revision3: We are very, very sorry. Our servers did bad, bad things to Revision 3 and WE HAD NO CLUE!! Please, take mercy on us. Sure, our severs were snooping around their legitimate BitTorrent tracker seeding maliciously. BUT WE HAD NO CLUE! Sure, our servers recently assraped their severs into oblivion, BUT WE HAD NO CLUE!! This is all one big, misfortune event. Our Friends at revision3, we are really, really, REALLY sorry. Please, we plead ignorance. Our innocent servers honestly thought you were running an pirate operation. Please accept our appologies (Pretty please! with a cherry ontop :))) We PROMISE we will NEVER EVER NEVER do it again. Sincerely, MediaDefender

Re:I CONFESS!! IM GUILTY! Can I get off the hook n (5, Interesting)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620335)

"Our servers did it" definitely induced a head-scratch from me. Why on earth would they have their servers set up to automatically commit serious crimes just because a server was public and then restricted access? That doesn't make sense, even from their twisted viewpoint..

Re:I CONFESS!! IM GUILTY! Can I get off the hook n (5, Insightful)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620477)

"Our servers did it" definitely induced a head-scratch from me. Why on earth would they have their servers set up to automatically commit serious crimes just because a server was public and then restricted access? That doesn't make sense, even from their twisted viewpoint..

Because they have gotten away with it for near a decade, even though many have pointed out the illegality of it.

And they expect, once again, to get away with it.

And because, this will become even more fuel for them (and the **AA) towards pushing making P2P software entirely illegal, regardless of it's use. Does this last section make sense? No? So what? Do you really think it has to? Look at their other arguments for making P2P illegal - do they make sense? Didnt think so. ;-)

And of course, because it will help them push forward the pending legislation that would make their actions (whatever they are) legal - irrespective of current law.

So... I think it makes perfect sense - at least from their twisted viewpoint.

:-(

Re:Mediadefender is the Punisher (5, Informative)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620177)

I don't think you can use the unauthorized access if it was a public tracker, but i agree that i don't see how a DoS can be legal under ANY circumstance.

Take down letters, ISP turning your account off due to court order, sure.. But an intentional DoS? WTF?

Since when does 2 illegal acts cancel each other out ( not to mention no illegal act was being committed by Revision3 anyway )?

Re:Mediadefender is the Punisher (3, Funny)

HappySmileMan (1088123) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620325)

What's most disturbing is that I doubt any court will ever find them guilty of a crime for this, if charges are even pressed.

Re:Mediadefender is the Punisher (5, Interesting)

Perp Atuitie (919967) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620377)

I think they'd have an excellent chance of being found guilty in a criminal prosecution. The roadblock will be getting a prosecutor or press charges. Once they are in court, they really ahve no defense. Far as I know, the "I didn't know the gun was loaded" excuse has a very bad track record. Any random jury would be very likely to send these crooks to prison, and rightly so.

Re:Mediadefender is the Punisher (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620543)

This is a great time to flood congresses inboxes with letters asking them to convect these people, though I would wait until the FBI investigation comes to an end first...

Re:Mediadefender is the Punisher (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620185)

the injecting of fake stuff on the fake content they can get away with, but the ddos attack is straight illegal in any forum no matter who its directed at since it not only effects the site in question but the connection of the company that host's it takes the assault and it effects the rest of their business.

Re:Mediadefender is the Punisher (5, Insightful)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620293)

There are actually serious laws against this. If you or I did this, we'd spend quite some time in jail, and have to pay quite a large amount in fines. The criminal and civil penalties are not small. Not to mention the probability of losing (the "right" to) Internet access for some period of time (by court order). It's happened before (and been covered here).

But... how much you want to bet that MediaDefender gets off with less than a slap on the wrist?

With luck, at the very least, MediaDefender will lose the civil suit brought against them and pay that way.

Re:Mediadefender is the Punisher (1)

mazarin5 (309432) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620295)

Worse, they're fighting a fire they started with more fire!

If I ever need a good defense against an arson charge, this will be it.

Foot, meet mouth (5, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620427)

You know, for a while I was kinda suspecting they'll play the "we're dumb, and it was an accident" card. You know, say that it was some poorly configured system that did the injecting, and it accidentally got stuck connecting in a loop instead of once a day. Present it as some bug they didn't even know about. Blame some techie. You know, anything _except_ say "yep, it was premeditated all along to break the law." Go for criminal negligence.

But that they have a big fat pipe dedicated to conducting DOS attacks? Jesus F. Christ, that's like saying that I have a car dedicated to running down pedestrians I don't like. If that's not a confession of premeditation, I don't know what is.

To put it in perspective, the western criminal system (as far as I understand it, and IANAL) tries, or theoretically should try, to establish the degree of intent (or "mens rea" = "guilty mind") in an act. So for example, if a shingle off my roof fell on the a passerby's head, although what happened is the same and the guy is just as dead, you can have very different punishments based on the nuance of being classified anywhere between "direct intention" (I actually intended to have shingles fall on him/someone) and "criminal negligence" (I had no flippin' clue that the roof is in that bad condition, though a reasonable person should have foreseen and inspected it regularly.) The worst you can do is not only go for "direct intention", but also basically say, "oh yeah, it wasn't a momentary act of rage, it was planned all along."

So these guys have basically been paying all along for a pipe _dedicated_ to breaking the law? They actually had a plan to break the law, and month after month paid the bill on the resources set aside for only that purpose? Geesh. I hope that a few executives land in state jail there.

Not only shamed, but pied as well (5, Insightful)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620495)

the "one two punch" MediaDefender did was not only reckless but dumb. They stealing bandwidth and poisoning the Revision3 tracker. Revision3 probably wasn't exactly running a Honeypot operation on their BitTorrent tracker, trying to attract pirate scum. Comes along MediaDefender and their server, finds an exploit and utilizes that. That, in of itself, should be illegal (and probably is). When Revision3 finds their blindspot and patches it, MediaDefender turns around and pies them in the face for finding the hole. What a way to say "thanks".

Sheesh.

Now, really? (5, Insightful)

Perseid (660451) | more than 5 years ago | (#23619855)

Shouldn't admitting to a DOS attack in and of itself get people arrested? Who cares what the site they are attacking contains? They are committing acts of digital vandalism. Jail, please.

You forget, theyre the "darlings" of congress. (3, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620105)

First off, theyre a coroporation in the midst of one of the most corrupt adminstrations in the history of the united states.

Second, theyre working for the **AA organizations, the darlings of congress, for whom no human rights violations are too great a cost, for whom ACTA is being negotiated to subvert those pesky public interest groups and constitutional protections present in every industrialized nation on earth, and for whom judges suspend several constitutional protections for due process.

In other words, they are above the law, and the public allows them to do so because filesharing = terrorism, after all bush said so.

Re:You forget, theyre the "darlings" of congress. (4, Insightful)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620407)

Second, theyre working for the **AA organizations, the darlings of congress, for whom no human rights violations are too great a cost, for whom ACTA is being negotiated to subvert those pesky public interest groups and constitutional protections present in every industrialized nation on earth, and for whom judges suspend several constitutional protections for due process.

I'm sorry what? When has the **AA ever violated human rights? Sure they're scumbags, but try to keep a little perspective. They're not exactly selling people into slavery.

The solution to the problem of them being "in" with congress is to give congress, and the government in general, less power. Power is abused. Always. This seems to be a pretty good example of that.

In other words, they are above the law, and the public allows them to do so because filesharing = terrorism, after all bush said so.

Reference?

Re:Now, really? (4, Informative)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620109)

According to Wikipedia...

"In May 2008, MediaDefender was publicly accused of allegedly being the source of a distributed-denial- of-service attack on Revision3. Jim Louderback, Revision3 CEO charged that these attacks violated the Economic Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The Federal Bureau of Investigations is currently investigating the incident."

Although that may have been written as of 5 minutes ago... plus the FBI isnt exactly notorious for accomplishing things in any sort of justified, or timely manour, and may very well side with MediaDefender.

Re:Now, really? (4, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620315)

Even if the FBI is investigating its still untter bullshit in terms of double standard. With this much evidence, and the seriousness other DOS attacks have been treated their should be imediate consequences. If Joe Slashdoter had done this s/he would get to wait in jail for up to 180 days while the FBI investigated her/him. Where are the responsible parties at Mediadefender tonight?

Re:Now, really? (5, Funny)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620487)

The responsible parties are drowning their sorrows in champaign, their guilt crushed under the weight of party hats and women of ill repute.

Re:Now, really? (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620217)

jail HA, they got money they will settle it outta court for some money and not be jailed for it

Non-mainstream event (5, Insightful)

eggman9713 (714915) | more than 5 years ago | (#23619873)

Even if this story makes it to the mainstream media, its not going to get much airtime. Especially since no Joe User knows what Revision3 is. There just wouldn't be enough outrage to make it a worthwile story anywhere except the geek community.

Re:Non-mainstream event (3, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620191)

Lets sucker them into trying to DoS yahoo or google. THAT would get some air time and effect the average non-techie in a way they would understand.

Re:Non-mainstream event (2, Informative)

eggman9713 (714915) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620555)

Google and Yahoo have so much bandwidth and server distribution that an attempt at a DoS on them would be futile.

It's not illegal... (3, Informative)

stevedcc (1000313) | more than 5 years ago | (#23619887)

They've bought senators, how can it be illegal when they've got paid for law makers fighting on their side(!)

Re:It's not illegal... (2, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620321)

They've bought senators, how can it be illegal when they've got paid for law makers fighting on their side(!)
Because those law makers haven't changed the law yet?
Until then, denial of service & unauthorized access charges shouldn't have much trouble sticking.

The only reason Revision3 wouldn't take this all the way through trial is if MediaDefender offers them a pile of money greater than what R3 would win with a guilty verdict.

Fry. (5, Insightful)

Renraku (518261) | more than 5 years ago | (#23619889)

If you distribute baking soda (sell/give away/etc) and tell people that its crack, you can be arrested and held to the same liabilities as if you had actually sold crack..in fact..some states have laws to where you'd get charged for selling it, but not possession. Some will tack on an extra charge on top of possession/sale.

So tell me why MediaDefender gets away with inserting fake data labeled as copyright-violating material into someone else's server and then going all vigilante on them. If you own the copyright you might be able to get away with it as its no longer in violation of copyrights since its yours, but since MediaDefender doesn't own them directly..

That on top of the damages they have caused this company, in either time, money, or business damages.

Re:Fry. (4, Insightful)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 5 years ago | (#23619989)

Assuming for a brief moment that copyright infringement is theft, just for the purpose of this analogy...
If I broke into your house and put someone else's stuff in your room, then phoned the police that you have stolen property in your room... how nice would that be?

I only have one question: how can we retaliate?

Re:Fry. (5, Interesting)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620165)

Assuming for a brief moment that copyright infringement is theft, just for the purpose of this analogy...
If I broke into your house and put someone else's stuff in your room, then phoned the police that you have stolen property in your room... how nice would that be?
Its not like that though! Its more like:
If I broke into your house and put someone else's stuff in your room, then waited until you came home and then smashed all your car windows with baseball bat while sceaming "theif" and your stood by in confused amazement, and then after I got done with that called the cops on you about the stolen property in your room... how nice would that be?

No very nice, and if anyone else tried it, even if you had really stolen the property and put it in your room my actions would still be a crime of their own. MediaDefender are criminals and the people operating those servers can't be so ignorant of the actions not be accountable for them. We might not be able to get the kingpins but at the very least the doers should be arrested and charged. I know slashdot does not like to go after the little guy but MediaDefenders developers, network, and server admins deserve jail time! If my boss asks me to do something illegal I am still obligated to refuse otherwise the law will hold me responsible. Its imporatant that even these little guys get PUNISHED. The only way you stop getting organizations like MediaDefender from being above the law is to make sure nobody will work for them, because no salary they can offer will be worth doing time for!

Re:Fry. (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620507)

Well, according to the media industry, copyright infringement is the exact same as theft. They see it as you walking into their house and taking the Thanksgiving turkey right off of their tables. As driving off in one of their cars. As taking their daily newspapers right off of their porch.

All I'm asking them is to do the minimum: Nail MediaDefender for their copyright violations. If they let some people do it but not others, could this be a good step to getting the whole copyright violations = theft thrown out? After all, even if they grant MD permission to use those titles, surely they are writing off the 'grants of usage' as business expenses and taking it off of their taxes..

Maybe its time the IRS get a few anonymous tips?

Re:Fry. (5, Funny)

jon787 (512497) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620013)

If you distribute baking soda (sell/give away/etc) and tell people that its crack, you can be arrested and held to the same liabilities as if you had actually sold crack..in fact..some states have laws to where you'd get charged for selling it, but not possession. Some will tack on an extra charge on top of possession/sale.


Kaffee: It was oregano, Dave. It was 10 dollars worth of oregano.
Lieutenant Dave Spradling: Yeah, but your client thought it was marijuana.
Kaffee: My client's a moron that's not against the law.
Lieutenant Dave Spradling: Kaffee, I have people to answer to just like you do. I'm going to charge him.
Kaffee: With what? Possession of a condiment?

Re:Fry. (1)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620101)

I think Media Sentry are employed by the copyright holders, so on that charge they're probably off the hook. However, I fully look forward to the company being taken down by the Feds for the denial of service attacks.

Re:Fry. (5, Interesting)

lobStar (1103461) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620159)

Off topic but, in my country it works the opposite. If you sell fake crack, you can get arrested for fraud. But not for selling drugs. This has happened, I read about one case where the victim (buyer) turned in the dealer. Both were eventually convicted for different things.

Re:Fry. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23620215)

If you distribute baking soda (sell/give away/etc) and tell people that its crack, you can be arrested and held to the same liabilities as if you had actually sold crack..in fact..some states have laws to where you'd get charged for selling it, but not possession. Some will tack on an extra charge on top of possession/sale.
And then some people wonder why the USA have the highest prison population on the planet, second to none (not even China's)...

(Yes, I know, off-topic. But seriously.)

Re:Fry. (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620225)

They're not selling drugs! It's up to the copyright holder whether to prosecute for copyright infringement and they have a lot more leeway to be arbitrary about their decisions than the police or government. Media defender is acting with the (possibly implied) permission of the copyright holders. The people running trackers are not.

Re:Fry. (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620449)

If you distribute baking soda (sell/give away/etc) and tell people that its crack, you can be arrested and held to the same liabilities as if you had actually sold crack
Surprise! Other parts of the US legal code are EVEN MORE fucked up than Title 17!

I sense a pattern here!

The torrent community has more bandwidth than MD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23619899)

Why don't they DDOS back? Tactics like these shouldn't be permissible, but you can fight fire with fire.

Re:The torrent community has more bandwidth than M (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23620271)

Because DDoS'ing is illegal, and there's no point suing them for that if they'll just be able to bite you back for doing the same thing.

Uh (0)

Joe Jay Bee (1151309) | more than 5 years ago | (#23619917)

Given that they have 9 Gbps of bandwidth dedicated to denial-of-service attacks against torrent trackers, all anyone needs to do is to trick them into attacking a hospital or government facility.

While it's a stupid thing to do (DDOSing random trackers that is), why the fuck would a government facility or hospital be running a torrent tracker?

Re:Uh (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 5 years ago | (#23619959)

why the fuck would a government facility or hospital be running a torrent tracker?
Because someone like MediaDefender runs it for them? Without them knowing?

Re:Uh (2, Interesting)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 5 years ago | (#23619981)

I'd think bittorrent would be a great way to distribute manuals on which forms you need to fill out for which situation.

Re:Uh (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23620027)

Both government facilities and hospitals both rely on BT for a number of things. The government's idea of a database file is many gigabytes in size. Moving those around is MUCH cheaper and easyer with BT. Hospitals that are affiliated with universities usually do some sort of medical research on-site and also send/receive data to the campus. BT is used a lot with sending around things like DNA maps and decoded genomes; that sort of thing.

BitTorrent is a legitimate method of distributing data, no matter what kind of data. It just happens to be a great way to send your entire mp3 collection to 12 friends in very little time and that's why people associate it with piracy and the like.

Re:Uh (5, Interesting)

jzu (74789) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620223)

Someone, someday, will find a legitimate use for a torrent tracker in an hospital. But simply imagine an illegal tracker run by a rogue employee. MediaDefender uses it for its tactics. The sysadmin notices the tracker, and shuts it down. MediaDefender's Stalin organ goes amok and shuts down the entire hospital network.

Because of a BT tracker. Yeah, right.

In Revision3's case, there might have been illegal file sharing occuring - thats only a civil case if memory serves - and certainly MediaDefender's attack was criminal. In the hospital's case, MediaDefender would risk becoming downright murderers.

Almost like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23619929)

This is like having the bronze medalist from the special olympics in charge of America's nuclear arsenal... oh wait.

I think... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23619941)

...that Air Traffic Control using BitTorrent to distribute approaches is quite possibly the worst analogy I've heard come out of this whole mess.

Re:I think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23620521)

It also misses the point IMHO, by trying to tie it to the magnitude of the damages.

The greater point is that vigilantism is not something a civilized society should tolerate.

Mail Servers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23619951)

I think it's hilarious that they've taken all their email addresses offline.

I don't really understand what happened... (1)

Kopiok (898028) | more than 5 years ago | (#23619957)

From reading the article, it sounds like Revision3 hosts their own content and distributes it through Bittorrent, and they allowed other torrents to use their tracker, which included illicit torrents, and then they stopped letting other torrents use their tracker so MediaDefender DoS'd them? I'm very confused. ;-;

Re:I don't really understand what happened... (1)

dark whole (1220600) | more than 5 years ago | (#23619999)

They didn't allow others to use their tracker, they just didn't properly prevent it.

Re:I don't really understand what happened... (1)

Kopiok (898028) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620019)

So they had a security hole in their tracker, MediaDefender laced it with their illicit downloads, and when Revision3 locked it down MediaDefender attacked? That makes more sense.

Re:I don't really understand what happened... (3, Insightful)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620333)

I'm as confused as you are. The complete absence of any sort of order of events makes things more confusing.

Things I'm fairly sure of. Revision3 had a security hole. MediaDefender saw the security hole, and seeded it with fake files. Revision3 noticed these fake files and disconnected them. As a result, MediaDefender - either due to misconfigured servers or malice - DOSed Revision3.

Not sure if pirates were using the security hole. It would seem a bit pointless given that there are plenty of pretty open torrent sites.

Also not quite sure how MediaDefender can defend their initial actions. This seems to be pretty clearly hacking. Exploiting a security hole in another machine to gain access is generally enough regardless of whether there was any further malicious intent.

What the fuck? (1, Insightful)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 5 years ago | (#23619963)

Media Defender ought to pay Revision 3 an undisclosed sum of money for the financial damage it caused the company.

But they're not going to do that.

Seriously, every single employee @ Media Defender needs to be anally raped with razor wire.

Re:What the fuck? (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620015)

Seriously, every single employee @ Media Defender needs to be anally raped with razor wire.

Do you have a newsletter?

Re:What the fuck? (1)

LordKaT (619540) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620025)

No, I just cockpunch the people I want to take money from.

Re:What the fuck? (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620143)

No, I just cockpunch the people I want to take money from.

Seems to me you do not take money from women.

I find that... shortsighted.
And kinda sexist.

Re:What the fuck? (1)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620499)

Seriously, every single employee @ Media Defender needs to be anally raped with razor wire.

Why not just cut their heads off and put the video of it on YouTube? Talk about the punishment not fitting the crime. Seriously, you need help. I suggest you schedule another appointment with your psychiatrist and let her know what she is doing is not working. You may even need to get a 2nd opinion.

oh noes, my /. torrents! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23619969)

it all begins with going to http://www.mediadefender.com/

Isn't this criminal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23619983)

Why isn't MediaDefender being sued or criminally prosecuted? What they did *IS* a crime as best as I can tell. Does the law not apply to MediaDefender or something?

Re:Isn't this criminal? (2, Informative)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620031)

If you read the article, you'll see that the FBI is investigating. This generally has to be done before they get prosecuted, so they know what exactly to prosecute them for.

Re:Isn't this criminal? (1)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620425)

I doubt the FBI is investigating with any true intent of prosecuting. This isnt the first time MediaDefender has been found violating some federal or state law - with no repercussions.

And exactly how much more "investigating" does the FBI need to do when MediaDefender has already admitted their guilt? To file charges... none. To prosecute... maybe more.

They have publicly, irrefutably, admitted their guilt. Go beat someone up, let that person complain about it/you, then go brag about having done it (admitting to doing it) and give a lame reason that (a) doesnt make sense and (b) admits to you having violated other laws - and see how long you are "investigated" before the cops lock you up.

Revision3 (and their ISPs) have all the evidence needed... and MediaDefender has been nice enough to admit to all counts - and some additional ones - which in effect is admission to violating about a dozen federal and state laws.

My prediction: Revision3 will be lucky enough to get civil penalties out of them. The chance of something criminal even getting to court, much less being charged is nil. Too many precedents would be set... if they are charged, then numerous other companies and individuals (including ISPs who host the companies and individuals and thus also suffer damage to their network) could and would sue them for such behavior. If it goes to court, then either MediaDefender wins, setting a dangerous precedent saying "it's ok for them to break numerous laws" or MediaDefender loses (yeah, right) which would destroy their (and the **AA's) business model - which is something the current administration will not allow.

My opinions on the matter, yes... but history supports them (sadly).

Who is more destrictive? (3, Interesting)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#23619995)

Seems like this is as least as destructive as 1 billion people "illegally" downloading digital media .

I saw its time for a little civil disobediance (2, Interesting)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620039)

If they law does not apply to MediaDefender then surely it can't apply to anyone else either!

If MediaDefender is allowed to
1. use Revision3's tracker in an unauthorized mannor
2. DOS them

Then I say we are free to ignore any laws we don't like with regaurd to MediaDefender. Dose anyone know where their offices are? Since they seem so fond of vandalism I say some local Slashdot'ers drop by and do a little painting.

Re:I saw its time for a little civil disobediance (3, Insightful)

s4m7 (519684) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620363)

I say some local Slashdot'ers drop by and do a little painting.
This is not civil disobedience [wikipedia.org]. It is more commonly referred to as vigilante justice [wikipedia.org]. Generally speaking, it is a despicable practice. But go ahead, lower yourself to the standards of those you castigate. Cede the moral high-ground. I'm sure it will be fun.

Re:I saw its time for a little civil disobediance (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620471)

Well I did not explain myself adequately. It is civial disobedience if we all do it. If 200 people go down there an each pain their own tag on that building it makes a statement. It says very clearly that if the laws don't apply equally then they don't apply at all. If MediaDefender an goverment recognized entiry (a corporation) is allowed to engage in vandalism then so are the people.

Maybe the authorites would get the message that if they want to maintain the rule of any law then they had better respect it with its application!

Re:I saw its time for a little civil disobediance (2, Insightful)

NormalVisual (565491) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620533)

Generally speaking, it is a despicable practice.

Not nearly so despicable as a government that ignores the rule of law for those who curry its favor and provides no legal means for those wronged to secure justice. We'll see what happens with MediaDefender, but I severely doubt anyone will be held to any meaningful degree of responsibility over this.

Kill mediadefender (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23620043)

Anyone taking this risk should not be allowed to use a computer.

This time the victim was "just" a software company that has a configuration error in its bittorrent tracker. Next time it might just be a hospital or power plant having a wrong configuration on any server. If the anti-cyber-terrorism laws can be applied anywhere, this should be it!

What I can't understand... (5, Insightful)

Newer Guy (520108) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620047)

What I can't understand is how MediaDefender has been getting away with illegal DoS attacks for years, when ANY of us would be put in prison for doing it. Who have they paid off to be able to break the law with impunity?

Isn't DoSing also a Homeland Security issue? Shouldn't their ISP have cut them off when they started doing illegal things like automatically targeting innocent companies with illegal DoS Attacks?

If someone did to MediaDefender what they do to EVERYONE ELSE, they'd be screaming bloody murder!

Finally, what if they DID actually DoS a company that caused someone to be hurt or die. Would they be liable for pre-mediated murder?

Re:What I can't understand... (1)

arse maker (1058608) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620279)

In what world is dos'ing a company which leads to someone dying equal pre-meditated murder??? Even doing something to someone which kills them, and is something that was at least likely to kill them, but you are shown to have not intended them to die is only manslaughter. Dos'ing someone which inderectly leads to someones death is nothing of the sort, there is no intent, and you can argue just as easily that who ever you dos'ed is just as responsable for allowing such a thing to lead to someones death. What situation is going to cause this anyhow, are they going to hook a router onto someones pacemaker or something?

Re:What I can't understand... (2, Interesting)

dissy (172727) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620549)

In what world is dos'ing a company which leads to someone dying equal pre-meditated murder??? Even doing something to someone which kills them, and is something that was at least likely to kill them, but you are shown to have not intended them to die is only manslaughter. Dos'ing someone which inderectly leads to someones death is nothing of the sort, there is no intent, and you can argue just as easily that who ever you dos'ed is just as responsable for allowing such a thing to lead to someones death. What situation is going to cause this anyhow, are they going to hook a router onto someones pacemaker or something?
While I agree with the spirit of what you are saying, and that is the way things -should- be, it isn't in every case.

A few years back, i think in 1999 (give or take a couple years as im not sure) I remember reading an article where someone cracked into a hospitals blackberry management server while on the inside of the hospital network, which he accidentally broke and took down their blackberry communications for a time. He was not only charged with the normal computer trespass laws, but also with some weird form of attempted man slaughter, and a number of counts of it too, thou i'm sure they just calculated that by how many pages were placed to doctors and surgeons during that time frame, not all of which i would imagine are life threatening.

Granted, that is just one example, but it goes to show that a judge will not look kindly upon mucking with medical related things, and let the book be thrown at you.

Back on topic, you do realize hospital servers host copyrighted content as well (owned by the hospital), which by MediaDefenders logic is the exact type of people they go after, as proven by the case with rivision3 whom owned the copyright to everything they distributed.
I see no error of logic in expecting MediaDefender to have no issues with DDoSing a hospital, or even burning it to the ground from their hatred of anyone that has copyrighted material, despite the owner of the copyright on it having the legal right to choose how it is distributed, not to mention the point of todays copyright is to allow one to grant limited rights to others to their own works, which MediaDefender says is also illegal sharing.

Also since you asked, I don't know of any pacemakers on a wired network (or even using wires), but they DO use RF communication for logging, and programming adjustments back to the device, and they Are hackable. In a healthy body this might just result in pain, but if you were healthy you probably wouldn't have a pacemaker installed! So simply ramping the sensitivity way up or down could very well kill a person.

Congress Will Act... (3, Insightful)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620061)

Although the FBI *is* investigating, be on the lookout for a hastily-written and passed-by-voice-vote bill by Congress OK'ing this behavior by MD.

Cheers!

Strat

Explain? (4, Insightful)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620091)

Wired has an interview with MediaDefender in which they try to explain why they attacked Revision3...

Try to explain? The bottom line is MediaDefender attacked another commercial entity.

If someone throws a stink bomb through a brick & mortar storefront window, forcing the store to close, do you think the police would allow the offender to get off with saying, "oops"?

Even if it was illegal content (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620141)

How can they legally cause a DoS ?

Re:Even if it was illegal content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23620243)

Slashdot Effect.

Re:Even if it was illegal content (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620385)

The Slashdot effect is not an attach though! Its legitimate traffic, it so happens that sites often can't handle that but it does not make it an attack. There is a difference both of control (slashdot does force anyone's computer to download those URLs) and intent (Slashdot is saying hey readers this is interesting go check this out). Most people who put something on the web do so because they want it to be seen.

Re:Even if it was illegal content (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620273)

the site itself might not be able to cause that, but the hosting company it self could since that attack could be seen as something that interrupted their daily business.

Easy (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620481)

It depends on someone or some company, like me for example saying:

"You're welcome to DoS attack my connection all you want" ...Er wait, forget I said that!

China (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23620235)

Ahhhhhh I get it now. The recent power outages wasn't due to the Chinese Cyber Militia. Someone at the plant must've been downloading the new Snoop Dogg album! Hence no power. That should teach those damned pirates....

A Good Defense (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#23620249)

...for tracker operators. "Umm...Not my files...They must have been put there by MediaDefender"

I wonder if that now becomes a viable defense. If MD can get in to leave files, so could anyone else :)

Inexcusable (4, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620257)

Computer systems should be treated as pets, if they attack someone they should be put to sleep.

Re:Inexcusable (1)

tietokone-olmi (26595) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620405)

On the other hand, a pet budgie can hardly cause any injury past the superficial. Well there is a mild infection risk if the beak pierces the skin (think "very small pinprick"), but everyone knows to treat cat scratches too.

And no one has their pet turtle killed for snapping at some dumbasses' finger.

But yeah, MediaDefender needs a good whackin' with "the book".

injected fake content? (2, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620261)

Wouldn't that be considered some sort of 'frame up'?

I mean if i'm hosing legal content, and they come along and inject fake/illegal content then sue me how the hell is that stand up in court?

above the law? (2, Interesting)

segagman (1234136) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620343)

Denial of service attacks are illegal in the US under 12 different statutes, including the Economic Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. So is MD above the law?

Re:above the law? (3, Informative)

bmo (77928) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620547)

"Denial of service attacks are illegal in the US under 12 different statutes, including the Economic Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. So is MD above the law?"

Nope.

And anyone who wants to look at the "howto" for this stuff, go HERE:

http://www.usdoj.gov/criminal/cybercrime/ccmanual/01ccma.html#F [usdoj.gov].

That's the applicable one.

Since Revision 3 is also in California, they have an open-and-shut case against Media Defender for civil damages.

Please note that vigilantism is _not_ something that justifies breaking US federal or state law. From the POV of Media Defender, the best they can get away with is pleading guilty to conspiracy, especially since they admitted in public that they're engaged in vigilante "net justice"

--
BMO - For Great Justice

So now this is legal? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#23620511)

So if what MediaDefender is doing is legal, then because Apple is "not allowing me my fair use rights" when you download songs from iTunes that gives me a right to A) hack iTunes and put bogus songs on there that will spread a virus and kill iPods B) perform a massive DoS attack on Apple and C) tell iTunes to take down the "copyrighted" content that you have added in the first place and ask for a log of users to sue. Would that work if I did it? No, but it seems like the law doesn't apply to a corrupt congress and *AA.
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