Latitude6363

Malware on peer 2 peer networks.

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http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0016-p2p-file-sharing-risks

I've read articles such as this one by the ftc and tiversa. They say that their was specific malware designed to change the share folder settings on p2p to add your personal documents into the p2p share folder so it would be shared with everyone around the world. Is this likely to happen they would create such a complex malware code. Wouldn't it be easier just for the hacker to have access. Why mess with sharing it with everyone

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Classic p2p does not share your folders the way explained in the article. Simplified, what happens is, you create a torrent file which contains the information regarding the files/folders you want to share via p2p. YOu distribute the torrent file and anyone who downloads it will connect to you and others who have shared/downloaded the files/folders in order to get their copy. A typical p2p application will perform hashchecks as well (to see if the downloaded content is identical to the specifications in the torrent file). If there is a hash fail (no identical match, meaning that something tampered with it or the download was corrupt), the downloaded content will be rejected.

 

This means you can't all of a sudden start to upload your personal folders without knowing it. There is a variety of applications out there that may change some settings, but since p2p file sharing is legit I doubt that any well-known application will do this, it would make them very, very unpopular and they could face legal actions.

 

The article is right though stating that you risk downloading malware when downloading via a p2p client; this is especially true when downloading illegal content, cracks and such. An uploader can include malicious content in their torrent and for that reason I'd recommend not to download any torrent that does not contain legitimate content and/or is from unknown uploaders (for example, many linux distros distribute isos via torrent). The advantage of using p2p is that, if you have a lot of seeders, you can have a higher download speed, which can be handy when you have large files to download.

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