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MediaDefender's Denial Of Service Attack On Revision3

from the how-friendly-of-them dept

Lots of you are probably familiar with MediaDefender. They've been around for many years (we first mentioned them back in 2000) with the business proposition of basically helping big entertainment companies disrupt any sort of unauthorized file sharing. In the early days, that just meant putting up spoof files to annoy people. But it's become a lot more sophisticated since then -- including tricking people into downloading spoof files with malware that actually scans your computer for infringing files. Then, of course, there was the infamous attempt to create an entire fake honeypot file sharing system to try to catch people for unauthorized file sharing. The company has also been accused of a variety of different denial of service attacks against sites it believes are promoting file sharing. On the whole, pretty much everything the company seems to be associated with would be considered dirty tactics. What's amazing is that in pulling all these dirty tricks, MediaDefender never seems to get in much trouble for it. However, it may have picked the wrong target this time.

Over the weekend, there was a lot of buzz about the fact that online video company Revision3 was taken totally offline thanks to a denial of service attack. As a whole bunch of you are sending in, Revision3's CEO has now put up a post explaining how it was actually MediaDefender that very obviously launched the denial of service attack on Revision3. There are some details missing, but effectively what has been pieced together is that Revision3 uses BitTorrent (properly and legally) to help offload the bandwidth costs of distributing its videos (this is exactly what BitTorrent was originally built to do). MediaDefender, however, used a backdoor into Revision3's BitTorrent tracker to inject its own nefarious torrents -- basically piggybacking off of Revision3's tracker. Revision3 noticed the backdoor and closed it -- at which point, MediaDefender's system started flooding Revision3's servers with over 8,000 pings per second (MediaDefender claims it should have been once every 3 minutes).

So, it doesn't appear to have been a malicious attack by MediaDefender on Revision3 -- just a sneaky, poorly implemented one (which, at this point, seems par for the course on just about everything MediaDefender does). And, in doing so, it took a totally legitimate business nearly completely offline for a few days, and doesn't seem particularly apologetic about it. And these are the guys that the entertainment industry trusts to save it from the "evils" of unauthorized file sharing.

Filed Under: bittorrent, denial of service attack
Companies: mediadefender, revision3

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  1. identicon
    Chronno S. Trigger, 29 May 2008 @ 3:37pm

    Re: revision3 will be down for a day I suspect

    According to the article on Revision3, the FBI are involved so this should be fun.

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