Limewire Sucks

And this article can prove it:

A Seattle man was sentenced to more than three years in prison Tuesday for using the Limewire file-sharing service to lift personal information from computers across the U.S.

The case highlights a type of identity theft that is probably more common than most people realize, said Kathryn Warma, assistant U.S. attorney in the Computer Hacking and Internet Crimes Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The man, Frederick Wood, typed words like “tax return” and “account” into the Limewire search box, Warma said. That allowed him to find and access computers on the Limewire network with shared folders that contained tax returns and bank account information.

As much as people strenuously wish to deny it, music piracy is both illegal and, more importantly, immoral (and I say that as a creator of intellectual property myself). However, if that argument fails to sway you, consider this; with Limewire, you leave your system open to a huge variety of malware. A significant percentage of the infected computers I see acquired their infections via Limewire, BearShare, and other P2P file-sharing networks. And if that wasn’t bad enough, you leave yourself vulnerable to scoundrels like Mr. Wood.

So: don’t use Limewire.

-JM

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2 Responses to Limewire Sucks

  1. It’s worse than that. The network, if you dig deep enough into its history, was started by a company (MusicNet) that wanted to beat Napster at the, ahem, sharing game. At first, MusicNet used opennap servers (this may or may not still be an active project on sourceforge). Then they switched to this new network topology and developed a proprietary client to ride it.

    Things went pretty well, as it proved to be a lot harder to shut down or to pin down individual users (as compared to Napster, which is a lot more like IRC). At any rate, without going into too much detail, their network was pulled out from under them by another organization (Kazaa) using malware within their own client. MusicNet got shut out, Kazaa took over, and since then there have been a number of “management changes” and topology changes.

    Basically, the client(s) and the network itself are designed to be rapidly mutable and necessarily contain what you and I would call “malware,” but which they probably refer to as network management tools. It’s kind of sad, when you think about it. On the other hand, I don’t especially mind that people who are pirating software and distributing the especially interesting kinds of pornography are having their machines compromised by the very network and software that allows them to do so.

  2. Jonathan Moeller says:

    “On the other hand, I don’t especially mind that people who are pirating software and distributing the especially interesting kinds of pornography are having their machines compromised by the very network and software that allows them to do so.”

    I agree. Gandalf was right: a treacherous weapon is ever a danger to the hand.