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Poisoned Torrents Plague Mybittorrent

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the five-bucks-says-it's-the-mpaa dept.

The Internet 542

jambarama writes "One of the biggest problems with the Fasttrack network has been poisoning. This is the practice of sharing a file on a P2P network that looks like the real thing, but isn't. Bittorrent until recently has been largely immune to this. Now a new type of torrent is tricking bittorrent sites to rising to the top of the download lists." From the article: "According to Rex, about 50 new torrents have been released from what he calls "fake" trackers (~31 in total.) These trackers are seemingly part of an elaborate plot to infiltrate the BitTorrent community with intentionally corrupt files. These movie and film titles are specifically designed to report false information to trackers, thereby gaining artificially inflated popularity."

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Poison! (0, Offtopic)

BaCkBuRn (621588) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649361)

* In Soviet Russia, torrent poisons you!

Re:Poison! (-1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649387)

Why not get it all?

In America you poison the media.
In Soviet Russia the media poisons you!

I mean really kiddies why not look up the origins of the joke and then use it responsibly? Otherwise you'll turn it into "all your base" and we saw where that went.

Tom

Re:Poison! (5, Funny)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649397)

> Otherwise you'll turn it into "all your base" and we saw where that went.

To Us?

Re:Poison! (3, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649455)

I mean really kiddies why not look up the origins of the joke and then use it responsibly?

"Woah! Watch out! I think he's got a soviet russia joke! Quick, everyone! Evacuate the city before he uses it. He doesn't look like he's going to use it very responsibly so we're all in danger!"

Seriously. Use a joke responsibly? WTF? Maybe where your from using jokes is a serious business, but out here in Australia making a joke is anything BUT serious. People don't think about "using a joke responsibly", it's a joke, it's meant to make people laugh, if it does great, if it doesn't oh well. But you don't have to consider using it responsibly, the most thought you should put into it is "is this going to hurt anyone's feelings."

Re:Poison! (-1, Offtopic)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649562)

I was trying to find a polite way of saying

"Stop being a fucking wanna-be johny-come-too-late asshat destroying a time honoured joke with your lame ass inability to correctly identify the entire thing."

At the point where it's acceptable for people to just misremember things and patently just regurgitate the same one line [*] over and over ... well that's when the world goes to hell. Could you imagine walking up to slashdot folk like this in the real world? Man that would be assinine.

You: Hey, check out my new desktop.
Them: Does it run a beowolf of linux in soviet russia?
You: *KAPOW*, no, but your head doesn't stop my .45 either, imagine that!
witness: -1, flamebait

I mean seriously, if you're trying to be funny by using a "big boy" joke why not actually say it correctly.

[*] Because the omitting the "in america, BLAH" bit first destroys the joke. The joke is based on the strong contrast between the American and Soviet societies. When you omit the first part you're just showing you don't actually get the joke, never looked up where it comes from, etc...

Tom

Pot. Kettle. Black (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649581)

"but out here in Australia making a joke is anything BUT serious."

So sayeth the man who in the other story got all non-jokey about humor on wikipedia [slashdot.org] .

Pot. Kettle. Black.

Re:Poison! (0, Offtopic)

RalphBinaca (703952) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649636)

"Woah! Watch out! I think he's got a soviet russia joke! Quick, everyone! Evacuate the city before he uses it. He doesn't look like he's going to use it very responsibly so we're all in danger!"

Seriously. Use a joke responsibly? WTF? Maybe where your from using jokes is a serious business, but out here in Australia making a joke is anything BUT serious. People don't think about "using a joke responsibly", it's a joke, it's meant to make people laugh, if it does great, if it doesn't oh well. But you don't have to consider using it responsibly, the most thought you should put into it is "is this going to hurt anyone's feelings."


Looks like someone has a case of the Mondays.

THIS IS A POISONED FP! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649364)

i believe i failed it. did i?

one frosty piss coming right up!

I see the RIAA is back (0)

Darkinspiration (901976) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649365)

They tried the same tactic with kazaa as i recal. Aldo they might have a harder time. there is a lot of independnat tracker on the web.

Answer me this. (3, Interesting)

sgant (178166) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649487)

OK, not trying to justify anything here, but where does all the law stand on an issue like this?

What if I were to download "The Simpsons" from last nights free broadcast? I'm not uploading anything, just downloading and watching it, then deleting it after I watch it. Can I be arrested for this or is it copyright violations? I'm not selling anything. I'm not causing the lost revinue from watching this. No, even though the commercials are not on the download, it still doesn't matter as I never watch commercials anyway. If I were to watch it on TV and don't watch the commercials, can I be arrested for that then? Is that copyright violation also? What if I were to tape the show with a VCR, but not the commercials...wouldn't this also be exactly like just downloading the show? I still have the end product. The Simpsons from last night. What if I were to record the show from last night and put it on my HD. Again, the exact same result. I would have the exact same show on my HD without commercials wither I downloaded it or taped it. And how could they prove it otherwise? Unless of course I were to take the show I recorded and then distributed it.

This is all a grey area here. Is this illegal like stealing a car and downloaders should go to jail, or is it copyright violation and downloaders should just be made to feel guilty (or go to jail) or is it really nothing? Again, I'm not trying to justify anything here...just want to know where the law stands on people that record a free show vs downloading the exact same free show...both WITHOUT commercials. If some say that the it's the commercials that make it a free show then I suppose I should be hauled off for jail for YEARS of not watching the commericals.

Re:Answer me this. (4, Informative)

Carthag (643047) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649621)

If you use bittorrent, you are uploading, it's part of how the protocol works.

Re:Answer me this. (4, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649625)

What if I were to download "The Simpsons" from last nights free broadcast? I'm not uploading anything, just downloading and watching it, then deleting it after I watch it.

Actually, yes, you are uploading it too. That's the way BitTorrent works - only one person needs to seed the original copy, but while people are downloading from the seed, they upload the chunks they have to other downloaders as well, so the original seeder doesn't get hammered.

Downloading via BitTorrent is equivalent to downloading with Kazaa and then placing the downloaded item in your shared folder. So, as far as the law stands, it's copyright infringement.

just want to know where the law stands on people that record a free show vs downloading the exact same free show

Giving away free copies once does not automatically put something into the public domain. The copyright holders still retain copyright.

Re:Answer me this. (1)

jasen666 (88727) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649643)

It's not criminally illegal, but civil. So you can't be arrested (except under specific circustances) but you can be sued.
It becomes criminal infringement if you make money off of doing it, or are part of an organized ring that deals in piracy.
Although, IANAL.

Re:Answer me this. (1)

tardibear (135254) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649648)

What if I were to download "The Simpsons" from last nights free broadcast? I'm not uploading anything, just downloading and watching it, then deleting it after I watch it.

Of course, the irony of Bittorrent is that while its core idea of "distributed distribution" relieves server load it also turns every downloader into an uploader. You don't just share the work, you also share any legal liabilities.

Re:I see the RIAA is back (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649533)

They tried the same tactic with kazaa as i recal.

Yes, Kazaa uses the FastTrack network.

IP addresses for copyright infringement lawsuits? (5, Insightful)

flowerp (512865) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649366)


In addition to fooling unsuspecting users into downloading these broken torrents, it is likely that IP addresses were also harvested - potentially for future lawsuits. So BitTorrent clients will have to add/invent a trust systems for trackers now - not just for files.

Re:IP addresses for copyright infringement lawsuit (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649381)

It's it an unsuccesful attempt to violate IP rights? Afterall, you will never be able to get the complete package.

Re:IP addresses for copyright infringement lawsuit (1)

flowerp (512865) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649400)

But you may have received 98% of actually copyrighted data. So it's copyright infringement nonetheless even if the product turns out to be useless.

Re:IP addresses for copyright infringement lawsuit (2, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649474)

Aaah, but if the RIAA is distributing the file (or giving it to people to distribute), that's implied consent, so therefore you can't be sued (well okay. You can be, but the RIAA should lose).

Re:IP addresses for copyright infringement lawsuit (1)

thelonestranger (915343) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649508)

By the act of actually seeding the file for people to download in the first place arn't the comitting entrapment?

Re:IP addresses for copyright infringement lawsuit (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649531)

No. Only the police can commit entrapment. Source [wikipedia.org]

Re:IP addresses for copyright infringement lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649384)

What are they going to take you to court over? Downloading their junk data?

Re:IP addresses for copyright infringement lawsuit (4, Informative)

fm2503 (876331) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649392)

Esepcially as from TFA:
Those who download these torrents are unable to complete a full download, as the file transfer stops at approximately 97%-98%.

Guess that would give plenty of time to harvest the IP, whilst the pirates end up with gigabytes of useless 1s & 0s....

I mean given the reported posioned torrents so far are:
"The Wedding Crashers"
"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"
The first three episodes of "The O.C."

It seems unlikely that there is any legitimate use of these.

Re:IP addresses for copyright infringement lawsuit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649426)

Eh? But you didn't download anything illegal if the torrent is broken, so you haven't broken the law?

Re:IP addresses for copyright infringement lawsuit (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649466)

Even if you did download it I don't think that's illegal. If you then went on and distributed it that would be illegal.

EULA (5, Funny)

wall0159 (881759) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649370)

Simple. Bittorrent needs an EULA so that people are forced to post legitimate pirated files. Damned liars - spoiling it for all us honest freeloaders.

Re:EULA (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649509)

Because everyone in the industry loves the legality of not actually owning your software. EULA's for all!

Re:EULA (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649598)

This wouldn't work unless the BitTorrent protocol were patented. Patent licensees would be required to comply with terms that required them not to attempt to poison tracker sites, as well as to include that requirement as part of an EULA for any software they produce that uses the patent license. Without the patent restriction, someone could just develop software that independently implements the BitTorrent protocol and be unencumbered by EULA terms.

And we all know that software patents are a Good Thing. </sarcasm>

So what? (3, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649372)

When you're a big boy you can afford the $5 movie rental at blockbuster.

Then you know what you do with the rental? Rip it.

Takes far less effort, gets higher quality, supports the economy how you choose to do it and doesn't zap so much bandwidth for your own ego-stroking purposes.

Honestly folk, get a life. Copying music and videos is cool when you're 9 because you can't afford shit but even a teenager working a burger joint can afford a rental once in a while. And frankly how much media is there out there that is WORTH wasting the three hours downloading every night anyways?

I say all the power to them.

Tom

Re:So what? (1)

dmrt_viper (701568) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649383)

And wait 2 years for the movie actualy showing up at at blockbuster ? Nah.

Re:So what? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649406)

I still can't afford it and I make an ok Salary of 22k a year.

Re:So what? (-1, Offtopic)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649417)

Get a roommate to split rent/food costs with. Should be fine after that.

And/or go to school, put your energy into something useful [not school but something extra curricular] get noticed and get a decent paying job ;-)

Tom

Re:So what? (1)

AussieVamp2 (636560) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649422)

Wasting time? It is not like anybody sleeps for 8 hours, and would think of downloading stuff then....

Re:So what? (5, Interesting)

Freexe (717562) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649434)

Show me a place I can buy, rent, watch or download the entire X-men oringal series cartoon and I will stop downloading it now and buy it.

In fact most of what I download are things that I simple cannot buy or or so expensive that I wouldn't ever consider paying that much money for it (would you pay £180 / $321 USD (£150 now) for My So Called Life [amazon.co.uk] which is only 19 episodes long and a one of my faviourate shows from when i was a kid, or would you download load it for free?).

If they would be reasonable about the whole thing I would be happy to pay for old shows and films, but this simply isn't the case.

Re:So what? (1)

dbhankins (688931) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649505)

So the media companies are violating your right to be entertained?

Re:So what? (1)

HiroProtagonist (56728) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649548)

Try Supply & Demand.

They're obviously falling down on the supply side, and not meeting his demand.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649561)

So the media companies are violating your right to be entertained?

No. They are depriving themselves of potential revenue by not offering it legally at a reasonable price (i.e. a price most people would be willing to pay).

Re:So what? (2, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649593)

And?

What entitles you to the entire x-men cartoon series?

Now I don't want to equate piracy with theft, I know they're different, however. Lots of things are expensive. Computers, cars, homes, textbooks, etc. They're all made under the "I produce it, they either buy it and use it or not at all."

But your logic escapes the flow of things. If you're such an oddity and rare then you wouldn't see the traffic on BT you do. Clearly there are millions of people like you. In such case the demand for a product should be sufficient to get the companies interested in providing it. Granted I too think the MPAA/RIAA have their heads up their arses but just because the LOTK box set is "too expensive" doesn't mean I'll spend 9 hours downloading DivX rips off the web. I'm mature enough to just get over it.

Tom

Re:So what? (1)

gallondr00nk (868673) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649478)

"And frankly how much media is there out there that is WORTH wasting the three hours downloading every night anyways?"

Quite a lot, as it happens.

Bittorrent can also support the film and music industry (read: actual films and music rather then teen pap) through it's distrubtion model. There are things that i've bought which i never would have heard of if it wasn't for bittorrent. I'm sure i couldn't find a decent copy of Eraserhead in my local Blockbuster. And for as long as i can't find media which i consider to be of worth, i won't concern myself with the wishes of hollywood.

But that isn't the point of course. The MPAA want me to buy *their* worthless drival. Marketing and entertainment are pretty much the same thing now.

Re:So what? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649538)

I'm all for indy and other public domain work showing up on BT.

I just think if you want to see the latest vin diesel movie [or whatever his fucking name is] you should pay for it. They paid to make it, you want to see it, you pay to see it.

If you want to get a freely available indy movie then go for it.

But you know and I know that 99.999% of the BT traffic [outside of linux ISOs] is movies, tv shows and music that IS NOT free to be distributed in such said manner.

Tom

Re:So what? (1)

msormune (808119) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649479)

Why the hell is this rated as flamebait? He is speaking the truth. Movies ain't that expensive. Besides, read some reviews and rent only the movies that are actually worth watching.

Re:So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649530)

[tom here not wanting to burn more karma....]

It's rated "troll" because /. is populated mostly with small children who think that they should make a million billion dollars a year writing small SQL scripts or what not [$INSERT_RANDOM_CODE_MONKEY_JOB] and then not expect to pay for anything in return.

Of course when I was a kid we were swapping free mod tracker [and related] files not high quality rips of CDs and tapes... so we explored the music scene without pissing off the organized crimes^H^H^H^H^H^H music industry.

Tom

fp (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649373)

I hate poisoned torrents.

Enforcement (3, Funny)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649378)

Why won't people leave me to break the law in peace, dammit!?

I mean, what did I ever do to them? Oh, wait...

Martin

Re:Enforcement (5, Interesting)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649513)

Well, I'm a Canadian. I break no laws when I download music on bittorrent... but these people are making it extremely difficult to download my music in peace.

Re:Enforcement (-1)

minginqunt (225413) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649556)

Hippie.

Re:Enforcement (-1)

Grey Ninja (739021) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649589)

Conformist.

Law breakers only fall for poisonous files (5, Insightful)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649380)

Files that impersonate other files (e.g. get the latest britney spears song when it's really just static) tend to only impersonate files that people don't have permission to distribute (and are therefore breaking the law). Most files that are legally distributable tend to not suffer from having poisonous files out there, so therefore people that follow the law don't actually have a problem with them.

If the past is any indicator (and it normally is), the bittorrent poisonous files will mostly (if not only) be impersonating files that people aren't allowed to distribute. Your garage bands or Linux distributors that use bit-torrent, are most likely not going to have people impersonating their files out there (there may be a little bit of it, but chances are it'll be a very small amount).

So really, for people that follow the law, this isn't going to be a problem. For people breaking the law, you really have no reason to complain. However what can be a problem is when legit files falsely report information to increase their perceived popularity.

Re:Law breakers only fall for poisonous files (4, Insightful)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649404)

Files that impersonate other files (e.g. get the latest britney spears song when it's really just static) tend to only impersonate files that people don't have permission to distribute (and are therefore breaking the law). Most files that are legally distributable tend to not suffer from having poisonous files out there, so therefore people that follow the law don't actually have a problem with them.

Well, no kidding. There's no incentive, at this point in time, for anyone other than MPAA/RIAA/BSA type organizations to launch a campaign to undermine BitTorrent.

That doesn't mean the BT community (i.e. client authors) shouldn't try to detect and work around it, though. It's an attempt to trick clients, and possibly to harvest identifying information from the people who are interested in a certain type of content, and we never know who else might try something similar in the future.

Re:Law breakers only fall for poisonous files (0)

thebdj (768618) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649442)

Microsoft secretly launches several bad torrents of Linux distributions by using fake pirate groups (or hell real ones) as cover for the act. A bit paranoid sounding, but would anything M$ would do or think of surprise any of us anymore?

Re:Law breakers only fall for poisonous files (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649432)

(e.g. get the latest britney spears song when it's really just static)

When you say that, ....

Re:Law breakers only fall for poisonous files (5, Funny)

JohhnyTHM (799469) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649485)

get the latest britney spears song when it's really just static

I thought they were sounding better than usual...

Re:Law breakers only fall for poisonous files (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649569)

Well dang, they'de better keep their grimy paws off of linux torrents !!!
As for the movie and music downloaders, grow up and either get a job or listen to some creative commons music.

What about my copying levy? (1)

sin(theta) (609000) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649602)

Actually, as a Canadian, I'm allowed to download copyrighted material because I've paid money to the copying levy--for the same reason I'm allowed to copy my friends' CDs.

So these torrents are actually preventing my *legal* download of copyrighted materials.

Only if you never have a problem with software (5, Interesting)

Solandri (704621) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649622)

I bought Photoshop CS. Photography is a hobby, but one I take seriously enough to be semi-pro at it with the occasional paid job. The product activation in PS CS turned out to be a real problem. Nearly every time I did a system restore, PS CS would deactivate, requiring I call Adobe to reactivate it. Windows being the way it is and me liking to tweak with my laptop, I had to restore a lot. It was getting beyond annoying and I was starting to worry about Adobe blacklisting my copy of PS CS. So I downloaded a pirated copy of it along with a key generator. I kept that on my hard drive and started reinstalling instead of having Adobe reactivate.

At the end of a trip to Europe, I was working at editing and printing a bunch of pictures I'd taken of an event. I needed to use a photo printer someone else provided. The printer driver install went awry and I had to do a system restore to fix it. Sure enough Photoshop deactivated itself. I was at a hostel in the mountains, about 12 hours before my departing flight, without any Internet access, at 4 am, with no idea what phone number I was supposed to call to reach Adobe tech support if they were even open at that time on a Sunday. So I uninstalled Photoshop, dug up the pirated copy, and installed that. Worked like a charm. I got the pictures edited and printed, the people at the event were happy, and I made my flight home.

When Photoshop CS2 came out, I bought that as well. And I downloaded a pirated copy of it off bittorrent. Of course the real irony is that if Adobe handn't put in product activation as an anti-piracy measure, I never would've needed to get the pirated version.

So what is the problem? (5, Insightful)

KiroDude (853510) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649385)

First of all, I cannot read the article because of the corporate proxy filter, so I'm talking "blind" here.

Ok, so what is the real problem with this???

If this is being done to prevent "ilicit" files from being spread, then I do not see what could be wrong with it. Some people are getting free stuff and then complaining the file is corrupted or it isn't what they expected to download???

Another matter would be for example contaminating "licit" files, but I'm sure that this is not the case (again, I couldn't read the article), which could be used from preventing downloading of some linux distros for example. That'd be something to worry about though.

Re:So what is the problem? (1)

shibbie (619359) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649409)

Mod parent up - this isn't really a sensation/issue since its only affecting illegal files. As long as its confined to just those files there isn't a problem, although we should find a way around it incase of future misuse by governments, competitors etc, but then its likely certain factions would use it to again help spread pirate warez/movies.....

Re:So what is the problem? (4, Informative)

msim (220489) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649427)

Here's the article text, enjoy :-)

New Breed of Corrupt Torrent Infiltrates BitTorrent
September 24, 2005
Thomas Mennecke

myBittorrent is a popular BitTorrent listing site used by tens of thousands of individuals each day. It also has become the focus of an individual or group of individuals looking to undermine the integrity of the BitTorrent community. Although false and corrupt files have been a part of the BitTorrent community since its beginning, a new kind is emerging that aims for maximum exposure.

"I think they are doing this to give BitTorrent a bad name," Rex, the administrator of myBittorrent told Slyck.com.

Of course the proverbial "they" is the real question. According to Rex, about 50 new torrents have been released from what he calls "fake" trackers (~31 in total.) These trackers are seemingly part of an elaborate plot to infiltrate the BitTorrent community with intentionally corrupt files. These movie and film titles are specifically designed to report false information to trackers, thereby gaining artificially inflated popularity.

"In a very short period of time, these false torrents have become most of my top downloads," Rex told Slyck.com. "I've never seen anything else before like it."

Those who download these torrents are unable to complete a full download, as the file transfer stops at approximately 97%-98%.

Here's how this clever plot works.

These trackers have published about 50 variant torrents of only three titles, "The Wedding Crashers", "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", and the first three episodes of "The O.C." Some titles are published as "DVD-rips" while others are pushed as "XviDs". Others are presented as an English or French releases.

This is done to disguise the origin of the torrent, and also to present a diverse array of choices. For example, if all were DVD-rips, their exposure would be limited to those only with enough bandwidth to download such large films. Having DVD-rips and XviDs exposes the torrent to a wider market.

According to Rex, the torrent originating from false trackers are intentionally reporting false information. For example, a corrupt torrent will report 400 seeds with 3000 leeches. Since the more individuals having a file are indicative of the file's download speed, it becomes a highly downloaded torrent and aids in its popularity.

The ruse is additionally disguised by spreading the torrent release from over 31 different trackers. Interestingly enough, although the identified trackers have different sub domains, they all originate from the same IP address.

It appears myBittorrent has borne the brunt of this attack; however these types of corrupt torrents have begun to appear on Mininova as well. Since the threat has been identified, the administration of myBittorrent has begun eliminating any torrent files originating from the identified trackers. At this time, the origins of the attack are unknown. But their initial goal of gaining maximum exposure certainly did work, if only for a short while.

Re:So what is the problem? (1)

KiroDude (853510) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649438)

Thanks, as I imagined it only affects movies.... oh well...

IP Ban! (5, Informative)

StrawberryFrog (67065) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649644)

the identified trackers ... all originate from the same IP address.

The solution suggests itself. Is PeerGuardian [sourceforge.net] onto that IP address yet?

Re:So what is the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649461)

The problem is that anyone can use this to make another file pose as the real file. Weather that file is illegal to distribute in some countries is irrelevant. It could just as well be used to replace a film that criticises some company or government with a modified one which is positive to it. Should bittorrent become popular for distributing large amounts of shareware, freeware, or the like, this would also make it possible to put trojaned versions of these at the top of trackers.

But I shouldn't even have to come up with all these examples of malicious uses of this; the important thing is that it isn't good to have an infrastructure that is vulnerable to random sabotage like this.

Perhaps something that combines freenet and bittorrent, while not consuming huge amounts of memory and processor capacity, would be possible.

Re:So what is the problem? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649489)

First of all, I cannot read the article because of the corporate proxy filter, so I'm talking "blind" here.

It would appear your workplace doesn't approve the use of the internet for personal uses. Perhaps you should stop surfing slashdot instead of "talking blind." If it is allowed, perhaps you should speak with your sys-admin, if surfing slashdot is somehow tied in to your job and not for personal use, you should definitely speak with a manager and/or sys-admin to see about changing the proxy filter so you can perform your job better.

Re:So what is the problem? (1)

baker_tony (621742) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649586)

Yeah, and don't J walk either, naughty boy.

Re:So what is the problem? (1)

BridgeBum (11413) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649597)

Wow there's a lot of assumptions there.

For example, my work filters do in fact filter out MP3 sites as well as some other categories of sites. However, limited personal surfing is explicitly allowed in the official Acceptible Technology Use documentation, subject to filtering (no porn, warez, mp3, etc.).

It's a far cry from 'allow everything on the internet' to 'no personal surfing allowed'.

Re:So what is the problem? (1)

TheKnave (879982) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649493)

It could also be done to legit files to further the purposes of opposing networks.

If this is mostly the work of the *AA etc on the other hand, I really think that courts should simply throw all their lawsuits on the subject out in future. No-one is allowed to go on vigilante justice sprees - regardless of their own virtue. They don't have the right until people give them the right - in court.

I think it's time to make a better torrent - so that _everyone_ trying to break them for whatever reason has to put more effort into it and pay more to do it. Think of it as Affirmative DRM.

DMCA (4, Interesting)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649386)

no, what bittorrent needs to implement is some kind of encrypted protection or key for trackers so that any attempt to subvert them is a DMCA violation. turn their own weapon against them.

Re:DMCA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649388)

the torrent site i use uses an encrypted key so each torrent is associated with the user who downloads it. you cant share torrents and you have to be a member to use the site (and its invite only)

id like to see them try this with that site

Why bother? (4, Insightful)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649495)

timmarhy said:
turn their own weapon against them.
Why bother? As this post insightfully noted [slashdot.org] , (probably) the only torrents that will be affected are illegal files anyway. Those of us who are using bitTorrent for legal downloads will not be affected by this.

It seems kind of stupid to try to get Them(tm) to break the law while trying to catch you (in general, not timmarhy personally) break the law, doesn't it? If you have a problem with the business and legal practices of the **AAs (or similar associations depending on your country) then the easiest way to deal with them is to not deal with them at all and not use their products.

Rather than turning their weapons against them, don't give them a reason to use their weapons. Go for the legal stuff. IMHO it tends to be very good anyway. Here is a good place to start:
LegalTorrents.com [legaltorrents.com]

Re:Why bother? (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649613)

Actually getting them to break the law while trying to catch you is brilliant.This is about fixing an imperfection on the network,not the content of files.The content of files is the personal business of those involved ,the downloader and the provider,not ours.The network is our business.Somewhere along the line,the I.P. address of the poisoner is logged.Whether through admin action or code this I.P should be added to a ban list.
Reason,whether its to use weapons to poison a network or to blow the spleen out of a burglar,is subjective and open to the definition of the triggerman not the lead recipricant.The armor is his business.
          If legalities are not of concern,then perhaps that I.P. should be hacked for information of identity.Should it be RIAA or MPAA or one of their toadies,perhaps denial of service is in order.

do you remember the time (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649389)

when the "poisoners" just tricked you by putting porn in place of the movie? that was always my favorite poison. that's why i drank a small dose of it everyday until i became immune.

Re:do you remember the time (1)

KiroDude (853510) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649413)

Hehehe it happened to me once, I just downloaded a spanish comedy which I could not watch on my local TV as I'm in another country... that episode was supposed to be presented by "bud spencer" ... well, finally it was presented by Rocco if you know what I mean... I was lucky the kids were not there!

Re:do you remember the time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649582)

er, well I got one which was a bunch of guys sucking each other's toes in some weirdo foot-envy fest. Almost made me sick - I don't even think they bothered washing their feet!
I don't download stuff anymore, I've decided to COPY EVERTHING IN THE LOCAL DVD STORE INSTEAD!!! REVENGE IS MINE!!!!!!!!!!!

Er...so the complaint is? (1)

Spoing (152917) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649390)

If the poisioning is over material that is normally non-paid, that's a problem.

If it's content that is normally paid for...I don't see any problem.

Maybe someone can make an argument I understand...

Re:Er...so the complaint is? (1)

rajeshgoli (881014) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649416)

Bit torrent offers an alternative download stratergies for sites that cant cope with huge download requirements. This kind of attack means they can be targetted. Is this a complaint that will convince you?

Their choice of words... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649391)

...is apparently poisoned, too. Fifth paragraph in the article:
Those who download these torrents are unable to complete a full download, as the file transfer stops [mybittorrent.com] at approximately 97%-98%.
Hover your mouse over the link and read.

Blah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649393)

This is not about legal or illegal files. If its possible to put fake files like that on a network and inflate their download ratings then theres a serious flaw in the network and it must be fixed

YEA! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649423)

I hate poisoned files!
I try to download a game... and what do I get? A french version!
DELETED!

I try to download another game... and what do I get? A polish version!
DELETED!

A friend of mine tried to download some real good lesbian porn and what did he get? No... worse than what you think....... a britney spears clip!
UGH. DELETED!

Re:YEA! (1)

RPoet (20693) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649565)

A friend of mine tried to download some real good lesbian porn and what did he get? No... worse than what you think....... a britney spears clip!

Difference being ...?

Re:YEA! (0)

mysticwhiskey (569750) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649612)

She must have been lip syncing. The "going-down" when you're not going-down, as it were.

Re:YEA! (2, Funny)

fixinah (809681) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649640)

Yeah I remember that lesbian clip of Britney kissing that old lady, oh the horror.

Preview feature in clients (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649447)

A good incentive to add a quality preview feature to bittorrent clients.
Since bittorrent does not download files from beginning to end, it should be possible to preview different parts of the file that have been downloaded (at least with some formats), and make a crude verification that it is not being distributed by some type of subhuman trash.

Not really a problem? (2, Informative)

Udo Schmitz (738216) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649458)

This is why you should access torrents through community forums. From the comments sections here you'll quickly learn which torrents are bad. Helps the network in general because you'll also have to look after you UL/DL ratio not going too low.

To little to late. (5, Informative)

thelonestranger (915343) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649459)

Theres already a plugin for Azureus that prevents it connecting to the IP addresses of known bad torrent seeders and goverment agencies using a regularly auto-updated list. I think its called 'Safepeer'.

Well... (1, Funny)

msormune (808119) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649460)

If you feel that someone has caused you enough grief with bogus torrents in your seek for copyrighted movies and music, why don't you go and sue someone about it?

Solution (5, Insightful)

RasendeRutje (829555) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649467)

The solution to this is simple: Moderation on the tracker sites. Let users report what torrents succed and what not. And release lists of poisoned torrents to be used on all sites.

Re:Solution (1)

phrasebook (740834) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649618)

Let users report what torrents succed and what not.

Unfortunately this tends to end up with floods of posts like "I downloaded this iso now what do I do with it? How do I install this f--kin' game" or "I'm only getting like 1-2kbps, wtf is wrong with bittorrent" etc. Generally, the less interaction with people on tracker sites the better.

oh boo fucking hoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649473)

wwaaaaaaah i cant steal without work! waaaaaaaah

Next Week On Slashdot... (5, Funny)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649486)

"Locks Plague Burglars"
"Mace Plagues Rapists"
"Speed Cameras Plague Speeding Motorists"
"Forensic Science Plagues Careless Criminals"
"Crazy Frog Ringtone Plagues Absolutely Everyone..."

Serves em right ! (1)

UberHoser (868520) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649501)

To quote Nelson, "HA HA!"

always get avi/asf/mov contents not rar or zip (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13649507)

rar's are the worst. cause they're usually solid archives so that you need the first in the series to be able to read any of them. zips are not so bad in this respect, usually they each contain the directory, although i belive you can make "solid" zip's, spanning?

So when you are almost finished the poisoned torrent doesnt let you complete the first in the series and your stuck with the wasted gig/megs. Whereas if you get avi's and other formats directly encapsulating video, you can always watch it with mplayer and force it to rebuild the index and still manage to watch it even if your missing ~10%

cat vs mouse (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649521)

Basically what we have going on here is a game of cat and mouse. Creative programmers are trying to share material; an industry that makes its money selling overpriced and overrated shite is trying to stop people sharing it. Each side is just responding to what the other side is doing.

Think of the evolution of weapons and armour: at any point in the development cycle, there must have been either a piece of armour that no weapon can penetrate, or a weapon that no piece of armour can stop. You cannot have both. The existence of impenetrable armour inspires the creation of better weapons just as surely as the existence of unstoppable weapons inspires the creation of better armour.

And my money is on the file sharers to win in the long term. We're human; and ever since we invented language, we have had the urge to tell one another stories. File sharing is just the modern manifestation of the same instinct.

isn't it illegal? (4, Interesting)

curious.corn (167387) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649527)

Luring someone into engaging in some illegal activity and then suing or reporting it to law enforcement is considered a crime over here in Italy. Is it the same in the US? One thing is a police officer infiltrating a mob, another one is wiretapping a communication device without a judge's supervision by a private individual. On top of that, if the network sniffing is done by joining it and participating in the transmission of data, they are actively participating to the eventual crime.

Don't allow those trackers in the torrents... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649557)

If these torrents point to bogus trackers, why do they allow them? The tracker info is easily findable in the torrents, surely they'd be able to blacklist trackers? And if they can't, they could just use whitelists, or have a private tracker and just allow new torrents that use that one... There are some huge trackers out there, and I've seen at least one of those simply denying a user from uploading a torrent to them if the tracker field wasn't set to point to theirs.

Movie AND Film? (1)

(eternal_software) (233207) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649563)

"These movie and film titles are specifically designed to report false information to trackers, thereby gaining artificially inflated popularity."

Can someone tell me what the difference is between a movie, and a film?

Gee I wonder if... (3, Funny)

Boomshanka (788195) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649603)

I wonder if they can corrupt "battlefield earth" in such a way that it would be actually watchable....

Just read the comments that dl'ers leave (1)

ylikone (589264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649604)

At most bittorrent sites you can leave comments at the bottom. I always check those to make sure that the torrent is as the title suggests. You can be sure somebody bitches in the comments if it's not.

Probably not going to be very effective (2, Interesting)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649620)

I see there is already a growing list of known bad trackers out there, so this is just going to turn into a game of Whack-a-Mole between the parties responsible for the bad tracker and the downloaders. Problem is, there are an awfully large number of people trying to download the files; it's not going to take very long at all before bad trackers are detected and their IPs permanantly blocked. I'd expect this to happen even quicker on Torrent listing sites that allow their users to provide feedback on a per Torrent basis or have forums for feedback. And since we're talking about a community built on sharing data, I doubt that the individual sites are going to be keeping their lists to themselves either...

Not withstanding the fact that bandwidth is cheap. If someone finds their latest Torrent download has frozen at 98%, they are probably just going to shrug it off and find another Torrent, only by this point there will have been enough time for forums to get some feedback about which Torrents are actually good. All this is going to buy the Studios is a short delay in the time it takes someone to get their files, probably less than a day for even the highest quality feature film. Plus, they'll almost certainly be cursing the studios even more for the delay instead of thinking "Gee, maybe I should go and spend some money".

Somehow, I suspect that this is yet another instance of a media company being taken to the cleaners with a "magic bullet" solution by a group of snake oil salesmen. Heck, it might even be some of the same bunch that told them DRM would prevent people taking unauthorised copies of audios CDs, and we all know how well that's working out for them. I can't help but wonder what the situation would be like if instead of assuming all of their customers were crooks they had spent that money on providing tangible extras people might actually want and/or reducing prices...

Maybe I shouldnt (0)

Boomshanka (788195) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649626)

Gee maybe I shouldnt download the next episodes of CSI Milwaukee or Gregs Anatomy....

Thankfully (0)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 8 years ago | (#13649641)

my sweet pron torrents arent poisoned
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