Peer-to-Peer

Auto dealer, debt collector settle with FTC over data breaches

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The Federal Trade Commission has settled with two companies over allegations that they leaked sensitive data of individuals via file-sharing networks.

FTC, file-sharing app developer settle charges

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The Federal Trade Commission has settled a case with the maker of a mobile peer-to-peer application over allegations that the program automatically shared files with the public by default. The agency's complaint against FrostWire LLC said this caused consumers who downloaded the app to "unwittingly disclose personal files, like pictures and videos, stored on their smartphones and tablet computers," according to an FTC news release on Tuesday. Under the deal, FrostWire is barred from using default settings that allow these files to be shared and is required to freely update users to a new version that corrects the problem.

Scammer of military site sentenced

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Stealing data from military rosters posted on peer-to-peer (P2P) servers has led to a six-year sentence in federal prison for a California man, according to reports. Gathering personally identifiable information on 16,000 military members from an account belonging to the U.S. Army and Air Force Exchange Services (AAFES), Rene Quimby, 42, parlayed the data and used social engineering tactics to obtain further information from the site's support staff. He then used the credentials to order merchandise from an online store, which he then sold for profit. A judge also ordered him to pay $210,000 to the AAFES.

New "indestructible" botnet comprised of 4.5 million PCs

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A new botnet made up of more than 4.5 million infected computers is "practically indestructible," according to researchers at Kaspersky Lab. But some disagree.

FTC closes probe into LimeWire inadvertent file sharing

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The Federal Trade Commission will not take any action against LimeWire as the result of an investigation the agency opened into the popular file-sharing program's security controls.

Fake Angelina movies lead to malware via QuickTime

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Researchers have discovered two movie files on file-sharing networks that are taking advantage of Apple's QuickTime Player to download malware from malicious websites. The .MOV files, both masquerading as the new Angelina Jolie film Salt, prompts a user to download a codec to view the video, Marco Dela Vega, threats researcher at Trend Micro, said in a blog post Friday. The files use a feature in QuickTime version 7.6.6 called wired actions, which allows files to take certain actions, such as visit a URL. The attack does not take advantage of a flaw but instead relies on social engineering to trick users into downloading the malware, Apple said, according to Trend. — AM

Losses from software piracy exceed $51 billion in 2009

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The theft of computer software not only takes profits away from legitimate software makers but it also contributes to the spread of malware, according to a study released Tuesday by Business Software Alliance and analyst firm IDC.

BitTorrent users targeted in new trojan extortion ploy

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Security experts warned on Monday that attackers are targeting users of BitTorrent, a file-sharing application, in a novel scam that attempts to panic them into spending cash to avoid fines and imprisonment.

P2P ban bill gets House approval, on to Senate

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The U.S. House of Representatives last week passed legislation that would restrict the use of peer-to-peer (P2P) software on federal computers. The Secure Federal File Sharing Act, introduced by Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., bans the "recreational" use of file-sharing software on federal systems and networks, including those owned by government contractors. The federal Office of Management and Budget must approve other uses in a case-by-case basis. The bill, which the U.S. Senate now will consider, comes in response to several incidents of sensitive documents being exposed in federal file-sharing networks. — DK

FTC notifies 100 organizations about P2P leaks

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The Federal Trade Commission announced Monday it alerted nearly 100 companies, both small and large, that their sensitive data was leaked on file-sharing networks.

Twitter accounts compromised in torrent site scam

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Twitter this week reset the passwords on an unknown number of accounts after discovering malicious file-sharing sites were set up to steal user login information.

U.S. House to toughen internal cybersecurity policy

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For the first time, the U.S. House of Representatives will require its staff and members to take part in an annual IT security training program -- one of the mandates under new policy set to take effect next year.

Federal P2P ban weighed

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New legislation introduced in the U.S. House on Tuesday would restrict the use of peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing software across the federal government. The Secure Federal File Sharing Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, comes after numerous sensitive government documents were found on P2P networks, including blueprints for President Obama's helicopter, Marine One. — AM

House weighs bill protecting accidental P2P data leaks

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A bill now under consideration by the U.S. House requires peer-to-peer providers to tell users when they are sharing files that all can see.

First lady's safe house location leaked on P2P

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Also found: a listing of the locations of all U.S. nuclear facilities and a document containing the personal information of hundreds of thousands of U.S. military members.

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