posted on Jun, 29 2005 @ 12:50 PM
File Sharing through Peer to Peer networks, or P2P's as they are often referred to as, are as popular as ever despite recent rulings in the U.S. and
potential bans in other countries. Most users trade music, video, and photo files on these networks to avoid paying for them in a store. "Most"
users are harmless file swappers, however, some virus programers have learned that by hiding maliscious files in popular file names like "Paris
Hilton Video" or "Britney" that they can can distrubuted widely. Newer viruses are being used to search hard drives for sensitive information and
then allowing the info to be accessed on the P2P networks.
Recently a 30 year old nuclear power plant worker in Japan downloaded an infected file that allowed 40 megabytes of sensitve information to be
accessed by useres of a popular P2P network. The information was sensitive enough to cause real concern for the nuclear plant.
The infected computer was said to have distributed the confidential information to users of Winny, a popular peer-to-peer file-sharing network
in Japan, which has a quarter of a million users.
Officials of the Mitsubshi firm said the leak was caused by a 30-year-old engineer who used his personal computer for company work. The leaked
information included photographs of the interior of the nuclear power plants, and the names and addresses of inspecting engineers.
Even if you do not work with sensitive information you should be aware that there is no garuantee that a downloaded virus from a P2P can't cause harm
to your computer. Even with the latest ant-virus software some of the maliscious files can get by and cause a potential headache.
Some other abuses on P2P's include the upload of pictures of family and friends stored on user's computers being uploaded and displayed without
permission on adult content websites. Personal information and even school reports have been copied and used without the origonator's knowledge.
[edit on 6/29/2005 by looking4truth]