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Cyber Wars : Revision3 vs MediaDefender May 30, 2008

Posted by xk0der in : Random Musings , trackback

A popular Internet Television network named Revision3 was brought to knees by a cyber attack from a company named MediaDefender, offering services to prevent copyright infringement using P2P distribution method. You can read the complete story here: Revision3 CEO: Blackout caused by MediaDefender attack.

The story seems to be straight out from a Scifi movie. An interesting read, but what’s more interesting are the tactics used by MediaDefender to achieve their goal. The tactics used could well be described as Guerrilla Warfare.

One of their primary tactics is to contaminate the P2P networks with fake and broken files. They create multiple sources for these decoy files and rate them high, so that they show up at the top of a search result, in a P2P client. Other commonly used method is Denial Of Service (DoS) attack.

Apart from this, MediaDefender has been accused of creating multimedia sharing websites to lure people into uploading copyrighted content. MiiVi is(was?) one such website. MiiVi was advertised as a place where you could get full length movies for downloads. MediaDefender, initially denied its involvement with MiiVi, but a major E-Mail leak found MediaDefender guilty. Wikipedia entry for MediaDefender provides more evidence (facts/stories), linking MiiVi to the MediaDefender company.

As the ars technica news entry points out, P2P is also being heavily used for legitimate file sharing. To give an example many of the Linux Distros are available for download over bit-torrent. I once used P2P to transfer (to my project mate) big documents and source-code and related-files of my college project, when you could only send like 1~2 MB of files as e-mail attachment.

Apart from this, what happened to Revision3 could happened to any other business. So where are we heading towards? A supposedly legitimate business is attacking other legitimate business. Crackers/Terror outfits are already using MediaDefender like tactics to attack governments/organisations across the globe. Virtual warfare is gaining momentum. Interesting!

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