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Posted by on Sep 4, 2012 in Internet |

Study: Most torrent users are being monitored

Study: Most torrent users are being monitored

(Cc) Sirius Rust

A by the University of Birmingham in England indicates that any user to download content via torrent will be tracked by a company within three hours. Something very rapid and extensive, which surprised the researchers.

The trace data are then used by the owners of in the hunt against those who violate this law. The research was conducted over a period of three years by a group of computer scientists, who presented a paper at a conference this week in Italy.

In reaching this conclusion, observed traffic from a collection of 100 files of The Pirate Bay for two years, analyzing what was happening around them. They found that the files are monitored popular content (the list of “top 100″ for example), while the least popular are monitored only (although they are also occasionally tracked).

Vs Real User Monitor

The protocol operates on “trackers”, servers that help users to find others interested in exchanging parts of the same file. The entire group of people who are sharing the same file simultaneously is called “swarm” (swarm). When a user joins a swarm, warns the tracker, which provides a list of peers in the network.

This system allows two basic systems to monitor network BitTorrent. In the indirect form, monitors simply join the network to get the tracker them a list of all IP addresses used by other users to download the file, but then take no action. Direct monitoring, however, goes further and communicates with the other peers.

Indirect monitoring can not deliver as clear evidence that a couple is infringing the copyright, since a client can join a network without exchanging any files. With direct monitoring they can see how much the user has downloaded a file, and if you share files with others.

The researchers used several criteria to distinguish between a current BitTorrent user, and someone who joined the network only to observe the activities of the rest. Monitors tend to have such a significant portion of the IPs connected to BitTorrent networks tend to be connected by a long period of time, and each IP is connected to several different swarms. Few BitTorrent users use the system so intensively.

The study obtained more data to interact with other users. BitTorrent clients exchange files in small pieces called “blocks”, and must advise what blocks are, and what they lack, so that the exchange can take place. If a user is trying to download a file, you should go announcing that increasingly blocks as time passes, and never should report that does not have a block when before I had said yes. Researchers discovered, however, that some behave in this manner. This behavior was not observed in any of the swarms that shared public domain content, so it makes sense to try to monitors.

The researchers created with these systems a list of IP addresses that they suspect are being used to monitor, and compared with known information about who is watching the BitTorrent network. In some cases, the IP correspond to companies that had already recognized before this network monitor. In other cases, belonged to groups responsible for promoting copyright protection, but have not acknowledged that monitoring software. ISPs also belonged to some, apparently at the request of the copyright driving companies.

The study also compared the list of IPs to block lists (blocklist) used by some BitTorrent users to prevent their clients to communicate with IPs that are suspected of belonging to companies monitors, and although some agreed, also found false positives and false negatives. This means that the block lists do not adequately protect users from being detected by the monitors.

The research may help some to create better systems to block these monitors, but also companies that are conducting these activities could take steps to improve their systems and make them more difficult to detect, making them behave more like users real.

Link: Trading popular files on BitTorrent? You’ll be spotted within 3 hours (ArsTechnica)

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