back to article Internet abuzz with BitTorrent bypass code

A block of 86 lines of C# code is creating a buzz online following claims it may make BitTorrent downloads untraceable. The code, sweetly named SeedFucker, is actually an exploit discovered last November that would allow a BitTorent user to fake the IP address of a server from where a file could be downloaded. It could also be …

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    1. Andrew Norton

      *ahem*

      if you look at radio, or VCRs or any other past example of new technologies impacting a pre-existing status-quo in the copyright area, you will find two things.

      1) the position of the so-called 'freetards' has persevered, and

      2) not only was the alleged damage not forthcoming, but usually the industries, when forced to, not only adapted but grew.

      1. blackworx
        FAIL

        @Andrew N

        That was pretty much my point, but rant on if it makes you feel better

  1. Skymonrie
    Paris Hilton

    Care?

    This will change nothing to be honest, if anything it will stoke up more support for anti-sharing measures.

    The “substitution rate" (how much lost per download) at the moment is at a ratio of 1:1 which doesn't make sense as it is. I discovered some of my favourite artists through P2P and have even gone so far as their live gigs, is this something I would have done without P2P???

    Idiot's like Murdochs son who recently stood up and said "downloading music illegally should be treated like robbing someones house" will only get more of a listen. I'm not defending freetards or attacking copyright, both have a place and BOTH can generate revenue.

    It's only a problem because, the copyright holders don't actually DO ANYTHING but sit on someone ELSE's work. Quite simply, kick the lawyers in the cojones and give the world a break. Unless the person in question is trying to make money out of it by running a dodgy media ring, not important, actually good to spread an artists vibes! That or start stocking "media" I'd actually want, never seen a Nujabes CD in the shops or even at HMV online...

    Back to the point. Other than not adding anything new to shroud ones address for discovering new music, if the it appears more people are downloading, the copyright kings will kick and scream "Piracies on the rise!"

    I would reallllly love to see some of the figures from artists who actually have people go to their gigs rather than "this month's" waste of space.

    Going to cinema > watching movie off the net

    Going to a live gig > listening to an mp3

    Paris - She knows she has tits

    1. Andrew Norton
      Coffee/keyboard

      ah, the 'substitution ratio'

      "The “substitution rate" (how much lost per download) at the moment is at a ratio of 1:1 which doesn't make sense as it is."

      It doesn't, and many people, including software companies (Such as EA at the news Spore had become the most downloaded PC game according to Torrentfreak - funnily enough, said list of most downloaded games was included in the DEAct consultation documents), have said it's nonsense. Then you have the ratio from the (extensively flawed) study Mr Orlowski championed a few weeks ago.

      One thing that didn't get a mention here (or at least i've not seen it), when it came to substitution ratio, was the nice little piece published earlier this week by the US GAO. You should be able to find it easily enough, but the gist was 'there's no evidence to back up loss claims, or the substitution ratios they're based on'

      Of course, that report, like the one by the Canadian Government saying p2p actually increases sales, and the ones by all the independent researchers (such as myself), will be ignored in favour of industry-sponsored ones, that have big losses, but give no data or methodology.

      Icon because that's what happens when people resort to substitution ratio arguments, as everyone knows it's a load of crap, even Labour Candidate Ricahrd Mollet, standing in South West Surrey (and formerly a high muckety-muck in the British Phonographic Institute)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Andrew Norton : *cough*

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/04/15/gao_spanks_piracy_exaggerators/

  2. Spoonguard

    -o̶̵̵-<◁

    We Await Silent Tristero's Empire

  3. Stefing
    FAIL

    Not quite

    http://torrentfreak.com/seedfucker-is-not-going-to-make-bittorrent-anonymous-100414/

    In theory, SeedFucker could cause problems for the anti-piracy outfits that track BitTorrent downloads because they would run into many fake peers. However, most reputable tracking companies confirm whether the material in question is actually being shared from a particular IP-address.

    “It might seem to some that this is a major change, but in reality it’s nothing new, nothing that isn’t already done by some trackers themselves,” an experienced BitTorrent developer told TorrentFreak when commenting on the code, adding, “It doesn’t substantively change anything, and will not change things in the conceivable future.”

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wtf?

    Wtf are "private Internets"? Is this an attempt at ironic kiddie speak?

    1. Dale Richards
      Go

      Private internets

      I would expect that private internets are internets that can't be accessed by the general public. Something like a darknet...

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darknet_%28file_sharing%29

    2. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge
      FAIL

      -1 internets for you!

      I don't see anything wrong with the term "private internet". An internet is simply a network of networks connected using the various "internet protocols" such as TCP/IP, UDP/IP or whatever other form of higher-level protocol you want to implement over the IP layer. If you've got a home/office router and you've got different subnets running off it, then you've got "an internet" right there. If this internet is being firewalled behind the same router box, then by definition, it's a "private" internet.

      This is the very simplest form of "private internet", but others are common. A corporate internet will very often have VPN (Virtual Private Network) access points so that a person (employee) can connect to the company's internal (private) internet by connecting to and authenticating themselves with a VPN server somewhere out on the (capital "I") Internet. In this case, a higher-level protocol again (ie, VPN) is built on top of the existing TCP/IP infrastructure and provides the illusion that all the company's computer are all on the same physical "internet" or subnet. In other words, VPN provides an "internet over internet" abstraction/encapsulation layer.

      There's nothing very difficult to understand about this (you might even call it "simples"), but unfortunately a lot of people can't even distinguish between "the Internet" and "internet" (as a set of protocols). It kind of ticks me off when I hear people who should know better obviously failing to understand even this simple distinction. At least when politicians and media spokesmen display the same kind of non-understanding it can be somewhat funny at times. But Reg readers? Tcshh!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Volume litigation

    In regards to an IP address used to "identify" an "alleged" copyright infringer, I happen to agree with this excerpt from an article on "volume litigation":

    If one assumes the practice is compliant with the Data Protection Act, there remains an argument that the process is flawed. The data provided by the ISP relates to the ‘registered keeper’ of the IP address at that time. This is different to the user. I am the keeper of my broadband account: it is though used by others in my household. This has been recognised recently by the Tribunale di Roma which ruled that an IP address is insufficient evidence to identify an individual. During preliminary investigations of a file-sharing copyright infringement complaint, the investigatory magistrate and the judge considered that the mere ownership of the connection from which the offence was committed was not sufficient to establish the liability of defendants, especially since the alleged infringement may have been committed by other people. It is widely accepted that the industry standard WEP encryption protocol used for wireless routers is not sufficiently secure to prevent illegal access to even a secured router. The risk of identifying innocent parties as ‘infringers’ is therefore great. This has been evidenced in the hundreds of individual testimonies which may be read at http://beingthreatened.yolasite.com/your-stories.php as well as in high-profile cases such as that of Ken and Gill Murdoch.

    Source: http://www.scl.org/site.aspx?i=ed14683

    The only thing the Digital Economy Act 2010 does is smooth the way for such volume litigation. Everyone ignores the family demographic (parents with one or more teenagers). This is the demographic that will be hit hardest financially (by such litigation troll firms mentioned in the Volume Litigation article).

    Hypothetical: what if someone developed a P2P system using Google Mail as the transport (so music files were zipped up and transferred via email)? If such a system prevalent prevalent, would it be possible to order Google Mail to be blocked or taken down? If such a system was developed, would it be acceptable for Google to check the contents of emails sent to/from it's Google Mail customers? It wouldn't be possible to use DPI because GMail uses encryption.

    Another one: I found an article somewhere (can't find it right now) about some Japanese teenager who has developed a "proximity sharing" application intended for use on the up and coming handsets that will sport Bluetooth 3.0 (transfer rates of 480Mb/s - same as USB 2.0). This completely changes the "sharing dynamic". Does it mean their mobile carriers would be required to disconnect customers accused of "proximity sharing"?

    I don't use any P2P clients - never have, never will (not knowingly anyway). I don't need to download free stuff, I'm fortunate enough to make enough money to buy things. I am, however, a parent, and I can't believe that I could now be held accountable for something one or more of my children does. Worse still, I could be held accountable for something one or more of their friends does on my network. What's the solution? Stop sharing the Internet connection completely? Is that what our society has been reduced to - being taught that sharing is a bad thing?

    I for one am disgusted at the display of "democracy" referred to as "wash-up", and the obvious influence and corruption injected by Mandelson. For this reason, I have decided to participate in the BPI Boycott:

    http://bpiboycott.wordpress.com/

    This, it appears, is the only means I have of protesting against what I believe is ill conceived (and possibly unlawful) legislation rushed through parliament. I refuse to finance the companies who engineered the Digital Economy Act, and I will not give my vote to any politician who voted for it. There are other forms of entertainment out there.

    By the way, the first I heard about this and how it could effect my life was at a "Parents and Teachers" meeting. Don't underestimate the P&T - news of this will spread like wild fire. After all, we (parents with teenagers) are the demographic that will be hit hardest.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      WTF?

      "I am, however, a parent, and I can't believe that I could now be held accountable for something one or more of my children does."

      And who else should be responsible for your children's actions? Or are you saying that you'd rather have your kids tried in an adult court and given adult sentences if it means you don't have to worry your lazy arse about what they're doing on their computers in their rooms?

    2. scrubber

      Not quite right

      "I don't use any P2P clients - never have, never will"

      Used BBC iPlayer?

      "Tribunale di Roma which ruled that an IP address is insufficient evidence to identify an individual"

      Indeed, but the owner of a speeding car is still fined if his car is caught on camera speeding and he can't/doesn't identify the driver.

      1. Bod

        Speeding car

        "Indeed, but the owner of a speeding car is still fined if his car is caught on camera speeding and he can't/doesn't identify the driver."

        However the IP argument relates more to the owner of a speeding car being caught for his neighbour speeding in their own car, if somehow his details could be associated with your address, or someone uses fake plates cloning your car, gets snapped speeding and the gov decide they don't care and will prosecute you regardless.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Car ≠ computer

        Car analogies=FAIL.

        Cars can kill people or be used to commit actual crimes with victims.

        The only solution to the BPI's woes is simple: Turn off the Internet.

        As the Americans say, let us know how that works out for ya.

  6. David Edwards

    IP Trace on P2P

    I have not spent much time looking into P2P issues, so tell me.

    Once the file sources have been located via the tracker sites by a downloader, a Peer to Peer connection is established between the sharer and the downloader. If a downloader ran wireshark they would see the REAL ip address of the source (or VPN end point) . Faking that Real IP address to the endpoint of a P2P would surley be impossible, or the packets would not know where to go.

    So its not ISPs that send IP addresses to the rights holders, its the rights holders trawining for "thier files", identifying sharers and then asking for the physicall address relating to the IP they have seen sharing the files?????

    (This is a question so no flames, I want to know how this works)

  7. Al fazed
    Dead Vulture

    Way to go

    Who downloads that pigopolist shite anyway ?

    Most films they are involved with and that I sometimes get to see, usually turn out to be rank remakes of tales of yore. Everything is drowned in very poor CGI, making a film appear like a very long comic strip ! DURR !

    Where went the art and creativity ? Seems like a visual cul de sac to me.

    Most music I hear these days is the same, just a rank remake of crappy pop tunes, once churned out by bands with names like "the Beatles", which in reality were once enjoyed only by grannies and very very young children, oh yeah and my son with Downs Syndrome.

    Mind you, some of the Beatles T-shirts doing the rounds are pretty groovey, and they are not free, and I'll bet that "the band" members do not get any royalties off these. AAAR !

    All the stuff I get to listen to or watch these days is usually available free of charge, NOT via P2P, but mainly as it is made to be distributed free of copyright.

    There you go Industry NIL, anarchists ONE.

    You should know, there are more of us than there are of you, anal retentive, need to pay to own it types. Because we are the worlds poor and you are not. The gap is apparently widening between us, so don't get any ideas about a career as a pop star, silly ! Or you'll end up as one of us anyway looking for stuff you can get for nowt ........

    I thought that this technology was supposed to narrow this gap ?

    Try this FREETARD haven,

    www.crackpots.org.uk

    ALF

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Testify!

      And ta for the linky.

  8. Jim Coleman
    Coat

    Erm...

    "...provide IP addresses to the authorities of files that are said to be infringing copyright..."

    Files have IP addresses? Who'd a thunk it?

    Mine's the one with the IP address to filename resolution lookup in the pocket.

    1. Dave 120
      FAIL

      What does "IP address" mean?

      Of course they do, that's their Intellectual Property address. Dummy.

      http://meeb.org/post/505849844/i-wrote-to-my-mp-two-weeks-ago-regarding-my-shock

  9. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Pint

    There's the money shot!

    Now why can't these shady characters write code for Microsoft and Apple?!

    1. Product ( BT ) running for yonks.

    2. Legal action threatened by govs.

    3. Patch available quicker than can you say "Get stuffed Mandelson!"!!!

    I am surprised it took someone this long to come up with some way around being caught ripping off the latest Hollywood cack! Don't give me that Linux distro cobblers, yes we know you can do that, but less face it, BT exists purely for everyone to rip-off the latest blockbuster and wonderful X-Factor wang offering from Sony Music corp!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Why is el Reg...

    ...leading this story with a pic of people climbing over the Berlin Wall?

    Seems to me that your general indulging of the economic, moral, political delusions (i.e. whims) of freetards is something of a pact with the devil.

    Reg should say it like it is.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  11. DaveB

    One step forward one step back

    I just hope that when this exploit starts generating false IP addresses they all point back to Mandy's computer.

  12. William 6

    napster -> bittorrent ?

    "No sooner had Napster been taken down than a new method of file sharing, BitTorrent, was rapidly adopted."

    there was others, bittorrent was not the drop in replacement as hinted to here. Gnutella and edonkey had way more users than bittorrent at that time.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    meh

    there are far more anonymous and secure methods of file sharing out there, it's just nobody can bothered with them at the moment as the chances of getting stung are so slight.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    This is hardly anonymous...

    Yes, it hides the true offender, but in doing so, it nails some innocent party who has absolutely nothing to do with the offence.

    But yeah, freetards/pirates couldn't give a monkey's about screwing up someone else's life with this, especially when it then costs those other people thousands of dollars in fees and hundreds of hours of negative effects on their health...

    This is so bloody typical about society lately - me, me, me, I don't care about the impact on other people.

  15. Watashi

    Anonymous proxy

    All you need to do is to put a link in your data chain that is outside the legal jurisdiction of any country working to get rid of copyright infringement. This way, neither the police or the ISPs can link what you are downloading / uploading with where you are downloading from / uploading too. As far as I know, ISPs are not going to be allowed to cut you off just because there are music tracks in your data transfers.

    At the moment, anonymising proxies cannot possibly handle all the P2P traffic - but I spy a good business opportunity for some little non-conformist country looking for a quick cash injection into their economy. Wouldn't it be ironic if we end up with a situation where millions of music consumers pay £5 a month to some far-off proxy server so they can have access to unlimited music. All that money that should be going to the music industry will get siphoned off by terrorists, international criminals and despotic leaders as a direct result of the attempts being made to stop illegal downloads!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Exactly...

      ... it invalidates the defining characteristic used in the bill

      get it now?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      No - I dont believe that the intention

      I believe the idea is not to pass the blame, but to undermine the confidence in the system. It would simply mean that determining the seeder by IP address would become unreliable, and hence useless.

      After all, its simply an arms race, with the Government falling for it hook, line and sinker.

      And as far as society is concerned, the privacy ramifications of mandybill are just the thin end of the wedge. This is about freedom versus control, as much as freetards getting stuff for nothing.

  16. Mectron
    FAIL

    Ridiculous

    Most company/organisations who complain about illegal download are court proven criminal entities who break the law on a daily basis. Any serious (IE: NON CORRUPTED) court of law will never accept any proofs provided by those companies. a log, a IP address etc... is way to easy to manipulate/spoof. but since the UK justice system (just like the US one) is now a full own branch of the MPAA/RIAA, regular joe does not stand a chance.

    The only way to curb piracy is to disolve he MPAA/RIAA and all other similar criminal gangs accross the globe, prevent media company from forming cartel and REGULATE (as in lower priced) media content and the amont of profits they can make. Exemple, who care that every one is donwloading Avatar on P2P. they allready made 2 billions with it. It should automaticly go public domaine.

    1. L1feless

      take this to the next step

      I can recall a film festival movie...My Big Fat Greek Wedding. This was originally released in a very limited # of theaters and won several awards at some key film festivals. Then a screener leaked online and it was all the buzz online. Because of this buzz It was then released on a much larger scale in multiple theaters and made millions. I am not sure if they still hold the record for most profit on a film by percentage but I know they did for a long time.

      I realize this is not the norm. but it sure does blow that 1:1 loss ratio idea out of the water.

  17. jon 72
    Grenade

    Take us up to broadcast depth

    Tracking downloaders across the internet is rat hole project and no matter how much money you throw at it the end result is failure, any good IT consultant will tell you that for nothing.

    Bearing in mind further still that even an old laptop plus wifi combined with freely available software can carve through the WEP encryption of most home routers passwords in around twenty minutes. Chance of a downloader getting caught becomes very remote indeed.

    Sadly times are hard and threfore must take advantage of the bean counters lust for cash ( and politicians ignorence ) so If we can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull and ride the gravy train till the wheels fall off again.

    1. J. Cook Silver badge
      Pirate

      Gods, I hope not.

      "Tracking downloaders across the internet is rat hole project and no matter how much money you throw at it the end result is failure, any good IT consultant will tell you that for nothing."

      Nope, I suspect IT consultants would charge good money for that advice, actually, and take a couple weeks to give you that advice.

      At least the ones I've dealt with over here, anyhow. :D

  18. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Boffin

    Does Seed**** make new IP addresses?

    Or just bounce traffic or fake traffic flows from existing IP addresses. If its the latter, you are inevitably going to end up with average law-abiding citizens getting swept up in the Data Protection Act dragnet when they in fact are not involved in any BitTorrent activity.

    Great for the downloaders, crappy for the rest of society....

  19. LawLessLessLaw
    Boffin

    It's about file sharing is it ?

    YHBT by your own govt. with scum like F. Sharkey as their dupe.

    This thing's going to get ugly.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Skype

    Some people might develop another P2P protocol for file sharing that works like the Skype protocol i.e. users can be routing traffic for other users. Alternatively, someone might even figure out a way to use the Skype P2P network for file sharing..... That would be extremely difficult to track.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    It would be nice...

    .... if the industries in question actually embraced the new technology, I'm sure that if they had looked at it as an opportunity from day one they would actually have bigger revenues and profits than they currently do.

    To me it's all about volume of product. Each additional item they sell via download adds very little to their overheads, but of course people do not appreciate being asked to spend the same amount for a download as they do for a hard copy. So what these industries should have done is gone for it hell for leather with marketting and capacity so that people could download a huge range (bigger than hard copy range), they could download really easily, and at a lower cost than hard copy. Now what happens? People get bitten by the downloading bug, instead of umming and ahhing over a £15 DVD maybe they buy a new movie for £7, then they notice that there's a huge back catalogue of old movies for £3, hey at that price I'll have a couple of those too. Therefore the volume of sales increases and even though the cost of each item is less than hard copy they make more profit as a percentage on each sale and they sell more items.

    Simples, well it would be if they'd actually done any of that stuff.

  22. Watashi

    Civil offence - proportionate damages

    The reason the BPI never got into sueing British downloaders is that in the UK (unlike in the US) damages are supposed to be proportionate to the harm done. If you download 100 albums, that's a £1,000 award - but the BPI would need to demonstrate you'd downloaded 100 albums. If you're busted for downloading 10 albums, they can only sue you for £100. To make sueing downloaders worth their while, they'd have to mount the kind of concerted spying effort that would quickly have them branded as dangerously intrusive nut-jobs.

    So, here we are at the cutting-people-off stage. Presumably, it is felt in the House of Commons that this amounts to proportionate punishment. However, this is all a swizz - if downloading music illegaly is that bad, just make it a proper criminal offence and get people fined by Magistrates. Only that will never happen, because downloading music illegally really isn't that big a deal, and there are better ways of dealing with the situation... just ones that are not so pleasant for the Music Industry giants.

    This new way of doing things is the best way to do the bidding of the Music Industry and other Big Corporations without attracting too much attention to what is actually being done. A stealth law, you could call it. Crime may not pay, but lobbying certainly does!

  23. JP19
    FAIL

    reaf this

    seed fucker wont work read http://torrentfreak.com/seedfucker-is-not-going-to-make-bittorrent-anonymous-100414/

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