Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Third of Content On Popular BT Portals Are Fake

CmdrTaco posted more than 2 years ago | from the that-sounds-optimistic dept.

The Internet 255

siliconbits writes "A study published by a group of researchers, most of them based in Europe, analysed the publishers of content on two major BitTorrent portals, Pirate Bay and MiniNova, and found out that almost a third of all files on the two sites were fake."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Same ratio as /. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34996488)

Same ratio /. has for how many stories are real.

Re:Same ratio as /. (4, Insightful)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996530)

I believe the Pirate Bay site has "flags" for trusted content and respected uploaders. Does it not?

Re:Same ratio as /. (2)

piripiri (1476949) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996620)

I believe the Pirate Bay site has "flags" for trusted content and respected uploaders. Does it not?

Of course, other trackers have them also. And checking the number of seeders/leechers helps, too. As well as having a quick look on the comments to see if someone reported nasty stuff.

Re:Same ratio as /. (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996740)

The comments are a perfect step but need to be more used

Re:Same ratio as /. (2)

hey (83763) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996792)

Why can't the comments be fake too?

Re:Same ratio as /. (4, Insightful)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997070)

They can, of course. But from what I've seen on, say, ISO Hunt, real torrents usually don't have any comments at all, while fake ones get negative comments. So unless the fakers can delete existing comments, they're pretty reliable.

Re:Same ratio as /. (4, Informative)

Firkragg14 (992271) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996778)

Ive seen this news story a few times today on different sites and im as baffled as you. If im downling from somewhere like piratebay i tend to just sort by seeds and see which is popular then read the comments. Just because theres no automated way to weed out the fakes doesnt mean its impossible to find what your after since the crowd sourcing approach means that the best options tend to float to the top.

Re:Same ratio as /. (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997310)

He doesn't say there is NO real content. The fact that you and me know how to filter, look around, analyze and select the real files and ignore the rest doesn't mean the other 99,9% of the files we just ignore because we know better are any good. In fact, I would think most people agree that apart from the one file you found, if you consider all of the rest, some very large percentage is either fake or useless, crap, or is not downloadable.

Re:Same ratio as /. (1)

BuckaBooBob (635108) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997564)

Didn't MiniNova go Legit? Its Quite sad if a Legit site has fake stuff on it now..

as for TPB... I never go there unless its for something really hard to find on more moderated sites...

But this is cool info for looking at the MPAA/RIAA piracy numbers to invalidate them... Not to mention I would not be surprised if the fake postings are funded by these groups..

Re:Same ratio as /. (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996758)

Most download sites has that - even the popular commercial sites have rankings for files.

And it's hardly surprising that there is a lot of junk listed on Pirate Bay and similar sites too - it's there either to spread malware or to try to drive off or annoy the downloaders. You are welcome to find other reasons...

Nooooo, really? Fake warez of fake porn? No way! (1)

h00manist (800926) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997134)

It can't be. From where I am watching, these boobs, asses, and orgasms look 100% real. Besides, like, there's no fake stuff anywhere in my modern life, there's just too much government, inspection, lawyers, insurance and all that. The movies are not fake, the acting is not fake, the stories are not fake, the news is not fake, the point of profit and money is not fake, the mission statement of my company is not fake, my job is not fake, the reason I get up to work everyday is not fake, the food I eat is not fake. It's all 100% authenticated by authentic authorities, how could anything be fake?

Re:Same ratio as /. (0)

Bloopie (991306) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997672)

I believe the Pirate Bay site has "flags" for trusted content and respected uploaders. Does it not?

Slashdot has those too. You think 'kdawson' is the name of an editor? No, it's actually a flag that means "Untrusted content; may contain inaccuracies, misleading characterizations, and sensationalism."

I'm still trying to figure out what the flag for "Trusted content" is. I'll let you know if I ever find it.

I suggest (3, Interesting)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996506)

Considering that I have not once downloaded a fake on TBP in the past 10 years or so that I have been using it, I think that either the "researcher" is fiddling with the numbers or has no idea how to download something.

Re:I suggest (2)

godrik (1287354) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996572)

on tpb, there is a tag that tells if the uploader is an official tpb member. That helps a lot in my choice.
You can also check the seed,leech numbers. Thousands of seeders and thousand of leecher are likely to be a valid torrents.

Re:I suggest (2)

h00manist (800926) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997620)

the very fact that we spend time and effort to pick through the files choosing which one we want shows there is a lot of crap you will download, if you are not careful. there is no expectation that the first one or any one is authentic, good, complete, etc.

Re:I suggest (1)

eln (21727) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996590)

For sites like these, the more important statistic is how much of a chance I have of searching for some random thing and hitting a fake in the first two or three results. In my experience, anything you search for that's even remotely popular will have at least two high-quality torrents with plenty of seeders available. The fakes are all pushed to the bottom because nobody seeds them.

Re:I suggest (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34996632)

of course smart users know how to spot fakes.....the researchers were not trying to evaluate their own ability to download something properly.

they wanted to measure the ratio of fake torrents, simple as that.

Re:I suggest (0)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996686)

OK - but what is the point of this claim if everyone is ignoring the fakes anyway? Just because there are more fakes listed doesn't mean that there will be more fakes downloaded.

Re:I suggest (2, Funny)

russotto (537200) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996986)

OK - but what is the point of this claim if everyone is ignoring the fakes anyway? Just because there are more fakes listed doesn't mean that there will be more fakes downloaded.

It means TPB is useless because there are too many fakes and therefore the MPAA and RIAA need not worry about it.

Re:I suggest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34996658)

It boils down to how you search. If you stick to uploads from established members and only use torrents which are well seeded, the fake download rate is probably much, much lower.

Re:I suggest (4, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996682)

Or you got a bot on your machine and you don't know it.

I saw an interesting talk on security/malware once. It had some screenshots of one of the top downloads from TPB (a Photoshop keygen or something). There were hundreds of comments saying it was clean, that the uploader was trusted etc. At time of release no virus scanners flagged it. In fact it uploaded all the passwords it could find on your computer to a machine in China and then generated a Photoshop key.

I walked away from that talk with the powerful impression that if you trust crap you get off piracy sites, you're asking to be owned.

Re:I suggest (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996762)

Which is why I dual boot my machine, backup my windows to a folder via linux from time to time, and wipe the OS completely every couple months or so. When I reinstall programs I do it selectively, so not everything is installed every time I install my OS.

If there's ever a bot on my machine, it's not there for very long.

Re:I suggest (3, Informative)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996970)

They don't have to be there long... only as long as it takes to type in a password or credit card number. My advice is to use multiple VMs, running linux. One for your naughty activities, and one for your trusted activities. Only use the trusted VM to do banking or personal information related stuff, only accessing trusted sites. And, as you say, wipe it periodically, potentially as often as every use.

Re:I suggest (1)

oracleguy01 (1381327) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997218)

In fact if you were to do that, you could use snapshots with your VMs to make it even easier. With your trusted VM after each use or every few uses roll it back to the known clean snapshot and you can make new snapshots after important security patches.

And for your VM for naughty activities you could just roll it back to the base snapshot every once in a while to ensure it hasn't been compromised.

Re:I suggest (1)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997480)

Yeah. the only issue with rollbacks is that you also want to get security patches. So, you ocasionally go back to your clean copy, install patches (only, no surfing!) then make that your new clean copy. If you're really paranoid, use the on-screen mouse driven keyboard to enter your passwords/credit card #'s on the trusted machine; This would defeat any keystroke loggers which had managed to infect your host machine.

Re:I suggest (4, Insightful)

InlawBiker (1124825) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997724)

At some point isn't it easier to just buy the software?

Re:I suggest (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34997062)

Which is why I dual boot my machine, backup my windows to a folder via linux from time to time, and wipe the OS completely every couple months or so. When I reinstall programs I do it selectively, so not everything is installed every time I install my OS.

If there's ever a bot on my machine, it's not there for very long.

And I'm certain you get a LOT of productivity out of wiping your computer at a rate faster than bots can infect it and make off with your personal data as you're sending it out to websites. And I'm sure you can find time to do something useful with it between hand-checking each packet that's sent out of the router, too.

Re:I suggest (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996962)

Well, if all of that failed, you're probably not going to be safe regardless of the website you visit. In addition to viewing the amount of seeders/leechers and reading the comments, you could always just download from a trusted account.

Re:I suggest (2)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997046)

Woah now - there's a difference between a fake and Malware.

Essentially, a photoshop keygen that works while stealing your password isn't a fake, even though its malware.

Poster might very well have a bot on his machine - but he still hasn't come across any fakes.

Re:I suggest (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997248)

Yeah, it did what it promised to do; gave you a photoshop key. And it didn't say it WOULDN'T steal your passwords, right?

Basic precautions (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34997370)

Run your keygens from a Windows XP virtualbox install. After booting a Knoppix cd, making sure the only hd that is mounted is not bootable and is the one holding the virtualbox install. After that, delete the vm and restore from an archive.

Test your software that way too. Run Wireshark or Netwatch on the virtual adapter and see if it's trying to talk to anyone.

Re:I suggest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34997478)

I walked away from that talk with the powerful impression that if you trust crap you get off piracy sites, you're asking to be owned.

I hear you. I feel the same way about stuff I get from SONY. It just can't be trusted any more. So, where does that leave us? Pwned by one group or another, no matter what, I guess one just goes with whatever is cheap and handy? Keep a separate boot/system for secure stuff, and another for the "real" world?

Re:I suggest (2, Insightful)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997530)

I'm surprised that it was only a third. I have used a throw away computer isolated from network to mess around with Kazaa, Shareaza, Limewire, TPB, etc. My computer was a diseased smoking husk in about two weeks. I would not trust a music MP3 from those distribution channels, much less a keygen.

That's just it too. You can trust the piracy groups themselves that make the cracks and "publish" their releases, since they are in it for their principles (whether you agree with them or not). You can't trust the public distribution channels. It's ripe for abuse, just like stealing money from the Mob. Who is the Mob going to complain too? Of course in this case it is more like stealing money off a crack addict since they can't hire goons to come after you with a baseball bat.

The solution has always been very private trackers that are invite only. Generally, the only people allowed to upload, or publish a torrent, are known and highly respected members of the private tracker. When those are the only torrents you download you are getting the real releases and in most cases those uploaders are what the couriers use to be. Meaning, they are getting their stuff from private FTP sites that are a few "hops" away from the pirate groups release channels.

Another added benefit of a private tracker is that it makes harder, not impossible, for the RIAA to track the activity. The ISPs can inspect all the packets of course and still see the torrents, but the RIAA can't access the trackers to get a list of all the IP addresses of the peers.

I had been pirating back in the days of 2400 baud modems and BBS boards. What is interesting now, is that I don't pirate at all. Of course, I don't consider getting torrents of commercial free broadcasted TV shows piracy so... some may disagree. However, I have Netflix and a Zune subscription. Everything I do professionally has transitioned into open source. What do I even need to pirate at this point? Some games? Why? I can afford a modded console from Canada and actually purchased all my games and played them from the backups, and later on direct from hard drives.

99% of everything out there is crap and I suspect some people pirate simply because it is one click away and they probably never even use what they download. The biggest thing I tell people is why take the risk when there is no reward at this point? Get Netflix and Zune and just pay the 99c per track when you find something you really really love and want to keep.

As for the people addicted to Windows and Adobe crap, via con dios. My sympathies, and I understand if you can't afford thousands of dollars, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars, and yet still want the software.

Re:I suggest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34997658)

That's why non-idiots download scene releases only.

Re:I suggest (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996700)

Considering that I have not once downloaded a fake on TBP in the past 10 years or so that I have been using it, I think that either the "researcher" is fiddling with the numbers or has no idea how to download something.

That, and the fact that including any URL anywhere is a sign of "financial profit". Who cares if it's called "Some.Popular.TV.Show.S02E23.x264-L4M3.[btjunkies.com].torrent"? As long as they deliver who cares? And particularly trying to lump those together with the relatively few that try propagating malware - for example unheard of in movies, tv, music and a bunch of other categories. Yes, downloading random executables off the Internet is still a bad idea but not hardly as big a problem as this makes it sound.

Re:I suggest (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996710)

The fakes are rarely reseeded, so that makes their seed numbers and thus their ranking in search results lower. You might as well conclude the majority of pages indexed on google are spam, fake or malicious, which is probably also true, but they are usually low ranked.

Re:I suggest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34996988)

I think that either the "researcher" is fiddling with the numbers or has no idea how to download something.

Or maybe he was interested in getting the actual numbers, rather than trying to prove that TPB contained no fakes or educating people on how to avoid the fakes (that were just proven to not exist).

Re:I suggest (2)

putch (469506) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997114)

The methodology says that they monitored for new torrents via rss and immediately scraped the .torrents and processed the files. And, if you've ever tracked a category on TPB via RSS you'll know that there's a TON of spam that constantly comes in and is usually flagged for deletion and removed fairly promptly. So, really, it's more appropriate to say that a third of all .torrents uploaded to BT portals are fake.

Re:I suggest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34997456)

Oh, they are so fake. All those videos talking about innocent ladies... and they are not innocent! Dear Lord.. not innocent at all! If that's not fake, I don't know what is it.

Re:I suggest (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997526)

Indeed. The easiest way is to search for something, and then sort by amount of seeders.

Essentially every single torrent that is posted by a registered user and has decent amount of seeds is a real thing.

The point.. (5, Insightful)

minorproblem (891991) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996512)

One of the biggest benefits of torrents is that the fake crap gets weeded out quickly and the real torrents rise to the top with a high number of seeders. So it doesn't matter if its fake because it dies off quicker, than normal as people stop uploading it.

Re:The point.. (4, Interesting)

Covalent (1001277) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996830)

Agreed. If you sort by seeders, you probably get something more like 1% "fake". But if you just randomly download material, it's probably higher (though 50% seems high, even for random downloading.)

Re:The point.. (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997648)

The researchers said 1/3, not 50%.

Yup (0)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996518)

That's why you go with a place like Demonoid.

Re:Yup (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996570)

I still can't get a damn invite to that site.

Re:Yup (2)

Fibe-Piper (1879824) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996868)

I don't think you are required to have a login to use demonoid anymore. Though you won't get a membership without an invite.

Re:Yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34997200)

Check the site frequently in a week or so. I checked the front page every time I checked slashdot, and got my login after a couple of days. A couple of friends tried the same thing the month after, both got logins without a problem.

To avoid running out of resources, the public registrations are closed. We open the registrations from time to time, usually one or two of the first days of the month, so please check back later.

Good luck :)

gREEtingse (0)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996522)

CHINA is greater than AMERICA. Actually everyone is greater than america where people are stupid and ugly and smelle bad and have small penusis.

Re:gREEtingse (-1, Offtopic)

HermMunster (972336) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996616)

Let's hope that those suffering in other countries work their way toward that land which is "greater" than America for a better chance at life. /s

Who Downloads These? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34996526)

For some reason fakes are usually well seeded with lots of peers...

So I get sued for downloading a fake file can I be (4, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996532)

So I get sued for downloading / uploading a fake file can I beat it based on that they are calming that I downloading / uploading the real file?

Is this like that professor sued for haveing a mp3 file in name only?

Re:So I get sued for downloading a fake file can I (1)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997318)

I wonder if putting a fake torrent file on the internet can be considered entrapment?

Re:So I get sued for downloading a fake file can I (2)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997548)

No because no one is forcing you to download it. It is just like the police using bait cars to catch car thieves. They lure you in but you are the one that ultimately makes the choice to proceed.

Re:So I get sued for downloading a fake file can I (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997376)

So I get sued for downloading / uploading a fake file can I beat it based on that they are calming that I downloading / uploading the real file?

I am betting "No" - unless you are willing to submit to an independent forensic examination of all your storage media. The fake file is, after all, an admission that you were looking for the real one, and, quite probably, others as well.

The uploader/downloader is the guy who tried to eat one potato chip. What the plaintiff wants is the whole bag.

Re:So I get sued for downloading a fake file can I (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997500)

I am betting "No" - unless you are willing to submit to an independent forensic examination of all your storage media. The fake file is, after all, an admission that you were looking for the real one

But looking for the real file isn't a crime. Sharing the real file is the crime, and if you never got it you couldn't share it. Obviously, if there are other copyrighted files that you were actually sharing, and they can prove it, then you may still have a problem.

Don't have a problem (4, Interesting)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996536)

Ultimately I don't have a problem with leaking fakes, so long as you're not intentionally trying to distribute viruses or anything like that.

Apparently Batman: Arkham Asylum had a leaked version that was basically a demo. There was a level you couldn't get past because of an intentionally crippled feature. When people were screaming and complaining about a "bug" in the product they purchased on the support forums, they were informed that "bug" was only present in an intentionally leaked version on torrent sites. They knew people were going to pirate their game, and they tried to get in front of it and turn it into a scenario where the pirated copy did act as a demo, perhaps convincing people to pay for the real thing.

But the bigger issue is that game studios, music companies and Hollywood still haven't seen the bigger picture.

It is to your benefit to pirate rather than deal with DRM nightmares. And corporate America is more focused on punishing their customers than trying to attract new ones.

Re:Don't have a problem (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996600)

perhaps convincing people to pay for the real thing.

Considering the deafening quiet I would venture to guess that this strategy did not work. Furthermore it goes a long way towards defeating the "every pirated copy is a lost sale" excuse that is used to claim ridiculous damages.

Re:Don't have a problem (3, Interesting)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997006)

I find it amusing people go to official channels for support for their pirated products.

It's Broke?! (1)

TheReij (1641099) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997154)

What (I imagine) happens most of the time with intentionally leaked broken software:
"Man, this DRM is so restrictive! I'm just going to pirate it!"
"HEY! This game is broken! Forget this!"
Result: Lost Sale

I'm a fan of companies attempting creative ways to ensure they get paid (online pass type restrictors excluded) but why would you even gamble against the bad PR. All it takes is one legitimate site running the issue (game breaks halfway through) with some of the info omitted and you could tank sales for weeks.

Re:Don't have a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34997420)

It happens all the time.
Steinberg's Cubase used to have a bad reputation for reliability that came mostly from incomplete cracks. The way the protection worked meant that you would get really weird things happening that only appeared when you started to do real projects, rather than small ones using a smaller subset of features that the crackers tested with.
I know this as I had the legal version on one computer, and the cracked on another, to save swapping the dongle all the time.
The weird stuff the cracked one did was not happening with the legal one, but people would still report it on the official forums!

Some things are a give away anyway, with Steinberg's Nuendo, I saw people asking for help who were having problems using onboard sound or very cheap sound cards. This was a $1500+ product, and anyone making that investment spends at least $150 on a bottom of the range pro card.

Not just bittorrent - alt.binaries too (4, Insightful)

jaymz2k4 (790806) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996596)

I've become so used to the alt.binaries being polluted with either passworded inner-rars or corrupt/scrambled files that I'm now used to just grabbing the first couple of rar's and extracting them just to make sure. I'm not too surprised to hear this. What does surprise me a little is the amount of people that continue seeding this crap on BT. Do they not open the damn files as they come down? If only for a cursory glance to confirm.

Re:Not just bittorrent - alt.binaries too (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997330)

Do they not open the damn files as they come down? If only for a cursory glance to confirm.

It would appear not. Some people are actually "document" hoarders (for varying definitions of "document"). They want a copy of everything even if they aren't going to use it immediately, or ever. Even "trusted" torrents are often bogus. I think this might be a weak attempt to prevent piracy, which of course, doesn't work that well. After all, the price for a "document" is the same if you have to download one version or six versions, for most people: $0.

Hoarders and ratio (1)

lullabud (679893) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997354)

Do they not open the damn files as they come down? If only for a cursory glance to confirm.

I had a room mate who was obsessed with downloading everything and burning it to DVD. He literally had hundreds of burned DVDs in his closet on spindles. There's absolutely no way he had time to consume that much media, but he seeded it back while he slept and worked before burning it to dvd. Even if he opened the archive to look at the filenames, who's to say he actually watched and or listened to each file to verify?

Also, with ratio sites a lot of people download high demand files (which are obviously the highest priority targets for fakes) even if they have no intention of consuming that media. They just want the ratio. They may not even open the files, or even keep track of them at all. They just dump some high demand torrents onto a seedbox and forget about it.

On a side note, I think that when the internet goes to metered pricing we will see much better curation of torrent sites, because people don't want to pay by the megabyte for fakes.

Re:Not just bittorrent - alt.binaries too (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997388)

I've become so used to the alt.binaries being polluted with either passworded inner-rars or corrupt/scrambled files that I'm now used to just grabbing the first couple of rar's and extracting them just to make sure. I'm not too surprised to hear this. What does surprise me a little is the amount of people that continue seeding this crap on BT. Do they not open the damn files as they come down? If only for a cursory glance to confirm.

Not only that, but all the fake EXE files used to spread viruses and trojans - the exact same EXE, except renamed to match all popular search terms have been flooding alt.binaries.*.

Luckily, if you're browsing, you can easily tell because the group gets flooded with 5000+ posts with the exact same size on them...

Yes, you'll also find them as silly things like .rar.exe too.

As for why people continue to spread it - well, one reason is ratios (TPB and MiniNova probably don't have ratios, but many others do), the second is they don't check. A lot of people end up collecting the stuff and they don't bother watching/listening. I'm sure if you ask most people, they grab it because they can, even though their entire collection will take 2 or 3 lifetimes to work through. (Also why piracy stats are misleading - I've grabbed stuff for this reason alone. If I had to pay, I'd probably skip it and move on).

Re:Not just bittorrent - alt.binaries too (1)

undecim (1237470) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997510)

Who said it's humans seeding?

If it were me, I would make a fake program that would seed itself. More seeds, more downloads, more seeds... Notice the pattern?

Re:Not just bittorrent - alt.binaries too (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997632)

The biggest problem I have on alt.binaries is downloading a completely non-fake movie... only to find that it has been dubbed in German and doesn't include the original soundtrack.

Most of the problems like these are easily avoided though: just buy the legit version! I pay for my software, and I pay for my music as well, since these days there is plenty of music online, for the right price, without DRM that needs to phone home, and with the ability to play on the device of my choice.

The reason I still download pirated movies is that movie distributors still haven't got a clue about the Internet, and insist on only offering drm-laden or streaming-only options of movies, which essentialy makes them rentals. When the studios open up online stores similar to what exists today for music, I'll be all over it. No more alt.binaries or Pirate Bay... I won't miss it.

Re:Not just bittorrent - alt.binaries too (1)

OverlordQ (264228) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997680)

I've become so used to the alt.binaries being polluted with either passworded inner-rars or corrupt/scrambled files that I'm now used to just grabbing the first couple of rar's and extracting them just to make sure.

Most decent nzb indexers include flags for if there's passwords, or exe's inside.

mmmh, interesting... (1)

papabob (1211684) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996626)

Publishers of fake content include antipiracy groups

So, if someboy sues those publishers then they have to show to the judge that they have "written permission to distribute, post, or copy" every and each of the files they're using to polute the sharing ecosystem? Because gay porn companies can get millions for inapropiate use of their films ;)

I use... (1)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996640)

...Isohunt.com because they have a section for reviews and comments. I know the others do as well, but I've had great luck with them and for many years. I would like to see a similar study done on Usenet because unless its a movie, I can rarely get quality downloads. Even then, I have to par those things to fix the broken files.

Re:I use... (1)

dmacleod808 (729707) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997076)

I use one of two Usenet indexing sites... they have comments as well, it makes it easier to use Usenet.

Re:I use... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34997362)

Don't talk about that here.

About usenet (1)

BenEnglishAtHome (449670) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997168)

I see complaints about the quality of stuff on usenet with some frequency. I agree that there's a lot of noise hiding the signal. But the complaints about unreliable transfers are something I don't understand. I've downloaded hundreds of things over the last few years and I no longer even have a program on my computer to handle PAR files. I'm able to successfully unRAR everything I download. I take a quick look at things and if there's obviously parts missing, I don't bother. But that's very, very rare.

I tend to wonder if the complaints come from folks who expect all the parts to show up at the same time? If you see a piece of something good, you sometimes have to wait for it to all appear. But once it's all there, it usually works for me.

Are there really crappy nntp servers out there trying to sell access to binaries and screwing it up? That might be another explanation. I've always used one of the big name providers so I haven't run across any problem in this quarter.

What? (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996684)

People still use Pirate Bay and Mininova? I stopped using them more than a year ago when they stopped being effective.

I sincerly hope (4, Informative)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996690)

That this research didn't involve taking a random sample, and working out that 1/3rd is fake.

The strength of Bittorrent is that if there are:

1. Low seeds
2. Bad comments

Then its fake.

If you have a file with a few thousand seeders, then you can be sure that its real. Nobody is going to continue to seed a fake/virus ridden file unless its on purpose - but that requires a ton of resources.

And most admins will take down any files reported in that manner.

Re:I sincerly hope (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34996908)

Its been awhile, but that isn't necessarilly true.

I once worked for a company that was in the business of throwing a lot of resources at seeding fake crap. Every time you went to find a movie and downloaded a trailer instead? It was them. On the direct transfer protocols like limewire, you got to 95% and the file timed out or was corrupted? Most of the time, that was them. They were mercenary. At one point they had produced a several of the the top 10 P2P clients through shell organizations with backdoors for usage logging. This information was sold to advertisers and they were actively looking to sell it to law firms looking for people to sue.

The job made me feel sleazy, but it was work, at least it was until the paychecks started bouncing.

Re:I sincerly hope (1)

Java Pimp (98454) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997262)

Ever feel the prickly things on the back of your neck? That's them.

Re:I sincerly hope (2, Insightful)

savanik (1090193) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997068)

If you have a file with a few thousand seeders, then you can be sure that its real.

Or it's actually malware propagating through BitTorrent. I've seen a number of torrents with tens of thousands of seeders on relatively small files, usually with something like 'SEXSEXSEX' in the titles - those are zombie botnets.

Re:I sincerly hope (2, Interesting)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997250)

Anecdotal, but this isn't my experience. I was trying to find a copy of Four Lions (easily the best comedy about suicide bombers from 2010) to clarify a scene that I'd remembered one way and a fellow TV Troper had remembered another; the DVD wasn't yet out and it was no longer on in the cinema (and in case you were wondering I paid money for both) and was delighted to find torrent sites awash with copies of the film, some with upwards of a hundred seeds. Yay! Downloaded the torrent and it started coming down at a 16Mb.

About 33% through the download, MS security essentials on my laptop (connected to the share on the linux box doing the download) that the file was infected with some trojan or other; waited for the file to finish and played it back on a linux VM. Got a message that said "you need to play this back in Windows Media Player!"; put it on a (unpatched) windows VM, played back in MPC and got the same message, played back in windows media player and lo and behold got the trojan payload. Didn't really bother to see what the trojan did, but tried a couple of the other seeds for different files. Downloaded those (again, quickly) and they were also trojaned. What surprised me the most was the complete lack of comments in any of the files I saw, even when I tracked down multiple tracker sites.

It might just be I was unlucky and started looking for it on the same day the first rips from the screener copies came out, but someone, somewhere, was providing a lot of bandwidth and servers for providing fake copies of what I thought was a non-blockbuster indie movie.

Re:I sincerly hope (1)

VShael (62735) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997394)

Actually, even on The Pirate Bay, a fake torrent can get listed with thousands of seeders.

The thing is, the company the MPAA are outsourcing this pirate hunt to, aren't the brightest.

They'll create torrents for Iron Man 3, or The Walking Dead episode 1x07 or something.

And they'll create a dozen torrents with thousands of seeders each, in under 10 minutes.

It's really really not difficult to avoid fakes.

And yeah, anyone who downloads software from a Torrent site, is asking to be owned.

the comments say so... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34996760)

One third seems very high. Maybe they're looking through comments for reports of being "fake" as a sign of actually being fake. I swear there are bots, likely affiliated with anti-piracy groups, that post "It's fake" comments to everything. There's also the idiots who mark things as fake when they're labeled as ITA and not in English, or when movies are labeled as 1080p with aspect ratios of 1920x800.

Everything is fake if you try hard enough to find something wrong with the label.

Ironically... (3, Funny)

Damek (515688) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996804)

Ironically, it's the two-thirds of US users without fast broadband [slashdot.org] who are responsible for supplying the two-thirds non-fake content. It's a tough job...

Not Only (2)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996828)

are they fake but most of the files advertising pirated software or movies are actually viruses and other malware.

Re:Not Only (1)

gparent (1242548) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997282)

Most? Give me a break.

The only thing worse than fake 0-day screeners (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34996836)

Are the real ones. Those things are malware for my eyes. And it isn't like you have to wait so long for a pristine bluray rip.

Suckers born every day.

That's actually a question I've had (4, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996872)

I can understand someone creating spam pages for popular search terms but I've never understood quite how they manage to come up with really obscure shit, like if I type in "three inch frange demodulator" and there's the first hit proudly declaring "Internet's leader for three inch frange demodulators!" I just made that term up two seconds ago. How do they get that cached into google? A few years back they were doing that with porn text and it would be "'Harder!' she cried, and I thrust my three inch frange demodulator deep inside." I have two questions: how did they do that and is it even doing anything useful for them? Surely they couldn't generate real ad revenue off of banner cruft on that sort of page, right?

I'm not sure of the utility of the torrent spams, either. I know never to download video files that are compressed archives because it's just going to be a scam to get you to sign up for something or pay to get the password but those are few and far between. Pirate Bay and kickasstorrents are usually pretty good. It's the other oddball sites that don't even have the damn file you're looking for but give you a dozen "sponsored links" that pretend like they do and don't. Do they live off of money made from drive-by malware?

First Fake Post (2)

Skelde (697341) | more than 2 years ago | (#34996886)

Frist_Plake_OST_Flak_by_GR34Torz.zip 245 Mb

Download Torrent HERE

!!Super Fast DDL Usenet Just a click away!!!!
SUBSCRIBE TODAY!!!!!!!

>Da biggu da betta for u V14GR4 Klick here

1. DISSS toRRENtz is GREATOOOOORRRRzz1111

2. Cool Bro

3. Dont Download VIRUS!!!!!!

4. ou area l fags and ned o die!!!!!11111

5. P3NIS P3NIS P3nis P3Ni5 P3Nis P3niS

5. I hate my life

6. emofag

7. lol

FUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34997040)

These articles are only FUD to keep the curious from bothering.....

I'm almost surprised (1)

PieSquared (867490) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997136)

If anything, I'd expect more then a third of the torrents to be fake. I'd also bet that if you weighted the torrents by completed downloads, you'd get more like 1% 'fake', maybe more like 2-3% if you include things that are real but include a virus.

hmm (1, Offtopic)

nomadic (141991) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997140)

I've never gotten a fake or malware-infected file; oh wait, I actually pay for the software, music, and movies that I want to watch. Maybe that's why.

Re:hmm (3, Interesting)

oracleguy01 (1381327) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997390)

I've never gotten a fake or malware-infected file; oh wait, I actually pay for the software, music, and movies that I want to watch. Maybe that's why.

While you have a point, as history has proven, buying legit doesn't always protect you from malware. [wikipedia.org] And haven't there been cases where viruses and malware has gotten onto the installation discs of legit software at the CD factory?

That isn't an argument against buying legit software; my point is even with legitimate software you need to keep an eye out.

Re:hmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34997566)

Say, How is the weather up there ? Need a ladder to get off that horse ?

mininova? (2)

ampathee (682788) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997170)

Mininova has been legal "content-distribution" only for a long time. How old is this research?

It's possible. (1)

Lose (1901896) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997286)

I wouldn't necessarily say a full third of content is faked, but combined with otherwise legit torrents where the parent seed botched their upload and started passing around fucked up content, I could see where someone might say a third of what they gather from the portals is fake. Most torrent users that are not ignorant of the risks involved would probably consider all torrents faked until otherwise proven, anyway. The risk involved with downloading most of that crap is too great to just make assumptions, anyway.

No comments saying this should be illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#34997422)

Shouldn't law enforcement be focusing its copyright-related resources on combating fake torrents? Shouldn't the RIAA and MPAA be forced to finance the identification and removal of fake torrents?

C'mon, Slashdotters. I know you're dying to say it.

One of the few things against TPB policy (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997536)

Apparently, fakes are one of the very few things against TPB policy.

From http://thepiratebay.org/about [thepiratebay.org] :

"The Pirate Bay only removes torrents if the name isn't in accordance with the content. One must know what is being downloaded. (accordance with the content also means any torrents which description is made to match a certain search phrase that is not relevant will also be deleted)"

http://thepiratebay.org/policy [thepiratebay.org] also tries to preclude commercial interference with TPB; the about page obliquely refers to an anti-kiddie porn attitude.

(All of this in addition to explaining the technical nature of BitTorrent)

That's never been my problem (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997644)

Fakes have never been my problem with TPB - rare stuff that doesn't get seeded all the way is a far more common and thus far more frustrating problem.

Once I unknowingly uploaded a file that was corrupted, the comments pointed this out, and I then actually bothered to fix, reupload and reseed.

As with many other computer-tech issues, it's a PEBKAC problem. :)

Mininova is not a major Bittorrent portal any more (1)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997664)

Shows how outdated the study is.

Huh? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997674)

Don't most torrent sites have rating systems or comments? Don't most downloaders actually check the rating before downloading? Sure, anybody can post a file, but it only takes one downloader to notice that it's crap and alert all the others. The torrents actually downloaded by users are seldom fake. Of course, this report is probably FUD by rights holders in the first place.

I've already covered something similar (1)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997696)

over here [lelanthran.com] - whats the odds that their data matches mine? :-)

"Fake" How? (1)

DerKlempner (249063) | more than 2 years ago | (#34997710)

Considering the two sites mentioned in the synopsis, the first thing I thought of was that these were sites that were supposedly no longer listing copyrighted materials. So the question to me then became, "Is there copyrighted material being shared under fake, non-copyrighted names? If I download 'Nasty.Old.People_2009_TS3.dvd.iso', am I really getting the Creative Commons-licensed movie, or am I getting 'Toy Story 3' because I read on some hacker site that the fake name is just a way to distribute the copyrighted movie?"
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?