P2P Slammed as "New National Security Risk"

Peer-to-peer software sharing, which has now become almost synonymous with copyright infringement, has always been a proverbial bogeyman to media producers, who fear losing customers and revenue to easily obtained free content. Now, critics allege that P2P may be dangerous to whole nations, as unsuspecting users unwittingly share confidential documents to millions. Retired General Wesley K. Clark, board member of Tiversa, a company which trawls P2P networks looking for sensitive information, warned against the dangers of unrestricted P2P use in his address at a United States Government Reform Committee hearing.

"We found more than 200 classified government documents in a few hours search over P2P networks," said the General. "We found everything from Pentagon network server secrets to other sensitive information on P2P networks that hackers dream about. If everyone knew the scope of the risk of P2P networks, America would be outraged and demand solutions. If you wait for the lawsuit, you have waited too long." Clark revealed that many of the leaks were both fresh and complete, distributed on home computers over P2P networks; to combat the problem, he suggested regulation and mandatory defensive active monitoring programs, especially for sensitive government documents.

Of course this isn't the first time P2P has come under fire for leaking potentially damaging materials. In March, the United States Patent and Trademark Office released a study on how file sharing threatened national security. According to USPTO CEO Robert Boback, the study found "thousands of corporate cases from banking statements, server passwords, financial data, public company data, human resources, medical records and Fortune 500 company minutes on compliance." Henry Waxman, chair of the US House of Representative's Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, invited LimeWire and StreamCast to testify along with other interested experts on illegal filesharing, hoping to better grasp, and better fight, this growing problem.

News source: Full Story on vnunet.com

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The United States Government™ is very concerned about the leakage of classified documents and secrets - that's why they prosecuted the New York Times.

Seriously.. who is Clark kidding?

This is Bulls**t because if they have really found all this why annoucing it on the news for? The general has just posed as a national security risk. Now the Al Qaeda, China, Russia, Iran is going to be scouring the P2P network for information. Way go to General Feckup! Nice way to shoot oneself in the foot! Did the Media mogul pay you to say these things? I really doubt a non-retired general would make this announcement on the news!

if this was such an easy way for hackers to get this info, umm wouldn't you think they already do it they are some of the smartest people around. i tried searching for pentagon secrets i didn't see anything at all "Your search did not result in any matches" pentagon revealed a few things, nothing i was even remotley interested in. and national security revealed some movie.

for all those that think this article is soo true, go find some of this info on P2P and lets us all know where it is, so we can look too as we all want to see national security secrets. the fact this article even says it found 200 odd files is a joke in itself, there are quite a few hundred million files out there on P2P in all the different p2p networks around so good luck finding those 200 odd files

Gentlemen, welcome to the world of "blame shifting"!

Their motto: "Instead of fighting the illness at its core, we just practice amputation on the affected body part! Much more effective. Who cares if they're missing an arm and a leg, at least they're alive!"

P2P isn't to blame. They shall blame the people who leaks those CONFIDENTIAL document and the poeple who install P2P sharing software on computer work.

Pip'

Maybe if government employees wouldn't run Limewire and share out their entire hard drives on company equipment, stuff like this wouldn't happen.

Security risk? Sure. National security risk, make a big deal out of it media story? NO.

The biggest threat to national security, in the USA, is Bush and his administration. This is what happens when you vote for someone who is a good Christian instead of someone who is a competent leader.

The biggest threat to national security, in the USA, is people who are so ignorant as to blame one man for all of the things that hundreds of thousands of other people do.

Foub said,
The biggest threat to national security, in the USA, is Bush and his administration. This is what happens when you vote for someone who is a good Christian instead of someone who is a competent leader.

Bush stole the election, twice. But a lot of people actualy voted for him. I'd say that an ignorant electorate is the worst threat to national security that there is.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither and will lose both." Benjamin Franklin

roadwarrior said,
The biggest threat to national security, in the USA, is people who are so ignorant as to blame one man for all of the things that hundreds of thousands of other people do.

If he can't stand the heat he should get out of the kitchen.

Hmmm. Does The US have "National Security". The events of 9/11 says it all !
Just as well the Soviet Union didn't bother with it's missiles, all they needed
was (supposedly) a few nutters with "box cutters".

People of America, you are being fooled, just like we are here in the UK.
Governments have found a way to control their population. "We must
give up some of our freedoms to fight the war on terror!" and "What is
your carbon footprint?"

Demand a REAL inquiry on the events up-to 9/11 - the excuse used for
invading Iraq, Ron Paul for President! Read a little history on the Bush family!

I don't understand why p2p is legal in the first place. There's a huge difference between freedom and illegal activity.
Currently p2p is used for only two purposes:
1. to transfer Linux/BSD cds
2. to illegally transfer media and documents.

I say only allow p2p for transferring Linux/BSD cds.

Also, 'free speech' will still be there even if p2p never existed.

water.hammer said,
I don't understand why p2p is legal in the first place. There's a huge difference between freedom and illegal activity.
Currently p2p is used for only two purposes:
1. to transfer Linux/BSD cds
2. to illegally transfer media and documents.

I say only allow p2p for transferring Linux/BSD cds.

Also, 'free speech' will still be there even if p2p never existed.

I completely agree. The only reason people blather on about "freedom of speech" and other nonsense is because they want something for nothing, and P2P allows that.

P2P isn't a security threat, it is however a totally illegal and immoral use of Internet bandwidth, and I look forward to the day when the smug ******* at The Pirate Bay are brought up before a court and asked to pay back the millions they make off illegal downloads (plus interest :)).

i am not going to comment on your abilty or knowledge on this topic as that woudl be mean. but you are absolutely incorrect, it is not just linux that is distributed legally over p2p, neowin actually uses torrents to transger files, i know i downloaded a video legally from here via a torrent. and there are indeed many legal uses, and as for banning p2p, you can illegally copy videos using a VCR, or rip DVD's using a computer but were they ever banned, hey you can even email your mates any illegal fies you want, but shoudl that be banned to, i can send illegal files over MSN they don't check, FTP site, burrning a disk, USB drive , jeez i can just go over my mates house and copy files over the network, hey lets make networks illegal.

This is complete BS it is a technology to transfer files economically. there are hundreds of ways to get illegal content, not just p2p, don;t blame technology for what illegal things people do, hey if thats the case gun manufactrers should all be locked up for the rest fo their lives for all the murders that were performed with their guns.

whocares78 said,
incoherent excuses snipped

The simple truth is that I would wager 90%+ of P2P usage is for illegal purposes. If most people use guns to kill, then it stands to reason a gun is a lethal weapon. If most people use P2P for illegal purposes, it stands to reason P2P is a primarily illegal technology. Yes, we can use other technology for illegal acts, that will never change. But who the hell is kidding who when they argue that P2P is being used primarily for legitimate purposes? Especially with organisations called the PIRATE bay specifically touting the use of P2P for this purpose.

It is precisely because P2P is the most convenient and hardest to trace that it is being used to commit illegal acts. Try sending a 3GB ISO via email, or hosting it, and see how quickly you run afoul of your web host, or the authorities.

Until P2P can be cleansed of the majority of illegal software, it should quite rightly fall under suspicion as an underhanded distribution technology.

7Dash8 said,
The simple truth is that I would wager 90%+ of P2P usage is for illegal purposes. If most people use guns to kill, then it stands to reason a gun is a lethal weapon. If most people use P2P for illegal purposes, it stands to reason P2P is a primarily illegal technology. Yes, we can use other technology for illegal acts, that will never change. But who the hell is kidding who when they argue that P2P is being used primarily for legitimate purposes? Especially with organisations called the PIRATE bay specifically touting the use of P2P for this purpose.

It is precisely because P2P is the most convenient and hardest to trace that it is being used to commit illegal acts. Try sending a 3GB ISO via email, or hosting it, and see how quickly you run afoul of your web host, or the authorities.

Until P2P can be cleansed of the majority of illegal software, it should quite rightly fall under suspicion as an underhanded distribution technology.

Funny that most of the illegal ( "pirated" ) stuff you can find on p2p networks is first distributed by ftp.
So lets ban ftp aswell, and also IRC, just in case. Heck, let's just ban the internet altogether

ichi said,
Funny that most of the illegal ( "pirated" ) stuff you can find on p2p networks is first distributed by ftp. So lets ban ftp aswell, and also IRC, just in case. Heck, let's just ban the internet altogether :rolleyes:

Yes, I love drama too. But back in the real world, we find that FTP, IRC and the Internet are not primarily being used for illegal distribution of software. P2P is being used primarily for the distribution of illegal software. Noone is talking about banning P2P, it should be better monitored to weed out illegal activity, or a P2P client developed (as I believe MS is doing) which is better controlled to reduce illegal activity.

After all the dramatics, smoke and mirrors, the reality still stands: P2P is almost exclusively being used to distribute pirated software, and it bears closer scrutiny. And it's quite likely it will get closer scrutiny. If you're not using P2P for warez, you have nothing to worry about.

7Dash8 said,
If you're not using P2P for warez, you have nothing to worry about.

Oh yes, the "you don't need privacy if you aren't doing anything illegal" :cheeky:

But back in the real world, we find that FTP, IRC and the Internet are not primarily being used for illegal distribution of software.

Are you sure?

7Dash8 said,
complete BS snipped

ROFLMAO
hardest to trace you say, umm try tracing the fact i rented a dvd and ripped it to my pc, try trace the fact i got a video and used my VCR to make a copy.

I never tried to argue it wasn't primarily used for piracy, but hey so was high speed dubbing on tape decks, i simply argued it had a lot more leagl reasons than just download linux.

You say a gun is a lethal weapon when by your own standards you should class it as illegal as guns are primarily used to KILL, can you give me a use for a gun that is not to kill, scare or injure someone, even actually designed to do it, so they have been designed to perform an illegal act, as they are designed to kill which in every country i have ever been to is completely more illegal than downloading a song or 3


i can quite easily put a 3 gig iso on a n ftp site that noone would even know about unless i told them where it was and the account details to get to it, My isp woudl have absolutely no idea what i have on there, especially if it is hosted on one of my own servers. i can quite easily put it on a mem stick or removeable hdd, and i can tell you both those ways are also a lot harder to trace than using p2p.

I really don't think you understand the technology as well as you think

Clearly it is you who doesn't understand technology. This discussion has always been about the distribution of illegal software, not about one person pirating software on their own machine. But again, I assume you're a P2P user, so talking common sense to you is clearly a waste of time. I also applaud you for trying to throw red herrings here and there to take the discussion of its topic.

I challenge you to put that 3GB ISO on your FTP server, then make it publicly available and see how quickly it is traced back to you. Do the same thing with P2P and it can't be traced to the original source as easily since the fragments are being downloaded by hundreds if not thousands of users directly from each other, not hosted on a traceable server.

Also putting a 3GB ISO on an HTTP or FTP server would result in a massive bandwidth bill, whereas P2P spreads this cost. P2P was, and is, the primary means of illegal software distribution, and I have no doubt the party will soon come to an end for those who think they are entitled to things they do not pay for.

7Dash8 said,
I challenge you to put that 3GB ISO on your FTP server, then make it publicly available and see how quickly it is traced back to you. Do the same thing with P2P and it can't be traced to the original source as easily since the fragments are being downloaded by hundreds if not thousands of users directly from each other, not hosted on a traceable server.

Also putting a 3GB ISO on an HTTP or FTP server would result in a massive bandwidth bill, whereas P2P spreads this cost. P2P was, and is, the primary means of illegal software distribution, and I have no doubt the party will soon come to an end for those who think they are entitled to things they do not pay for.

People don't use their own FTP servers to spread illegal stuff, they either use public FTP servers from companies or universities, or just hack web servers to set up a "dump". If done right there's no way to trace the uploader.

That's were the warez scene lives, and most stuff only reaches P2P networks after being fetched from those FTPs. They were being used before the P2P usage became massive, and are still in use because their provide anonymity, higher download speeds and the possibility to move stuff from one server to another in a blink.

You're right about P2P spreading the bandwidth costs though, and that's why lots of companies are using bittorrent instead of hosting their downloads on their own servers.

Every blaming p2p networks. Why nobody blames people's stupidity in sharing classified file in these networks?
Bloody American analysts of my socks.

Next on the news at 7:
People found leaking top secret security information through speech. That is right, our past time is back; what used to be a fun and enjoyable way of communication is now spreading government secrets!

oh noez!!! :cheeky:

uhm...
i claim that unrestricted postal mail service is a national security risk...
let's not blame the holes in the government, rather blame the transportation systems... uhmm.... yeaaaa......

just trying to find BS reasons to be able to censor internet (especially P2P) so no1 complains about it...

Glassed Silver:mac

We found more than 200 classified government documents in a few hours search over P2P networks

I doubt this is being leaked through government machines. Having worked for a defense contractor, I can tell you that their computers are locked down pretty tight (even the ones not cleared for classified work). I will bet that idiots brought work home, worked on their unsecure home machines (or home networks), and left documents on hard drives that end up being shared over p2p.

Revealing that classified material ends up in p2p networks should help reinforce that you should NEVER, EVER do classified work on a machine that has not been cleared for it.

OH NOESSS TEH GOVERNMENT SECRETTZZZ.

Sigh. The American government is a wasteful PoS that is moving closer and closer to totalitarianism each day. Soon all the sheep here will be calling Bush "Big Brother" and they won't have any negative opinion about it.

mm so the plonker sharing the data is not in the wrong but the software/network that allows the plonker to give out there files???. so instead of going to the source of the leak and sacking etc the said plonker they are blaming everyone else for the lack of security.. so who is the real plonkers then?? :P

WoW it's about time someone from the governement realised this is happening. WoW I can't believe they finally woke up abput this. Anyone in security and mantaining security on networks is a 24/7 job with the uber-leet people watchin whats happening on America's IT infrastructure. See not everyone as much as we wish is not as technically savy as many of us Neowinian's and may not maintain a secure computing environment.

Just another example as to why America needs to invest in their own people and talent pool before the pool is gone to overseas companies not that this hasn't happend with America's military IT infrastructure is outsourced. Everything pretty much in the government is outsourced. Sad this is...

People may think I am a heretic but I for one am against illegal file sharing, and yea if you can code then you may have found security vulnerabilities that can and do facilitate the distribution of illegal and yea Top Secret government information and the poor unwhiling souls who have been found by the governments "magic lantern" and other ins and outs that may be built into Vista. Will and do get prosecuted. Even if they had no idea.

Now to end my rant but I will say this is a problem and a cat and mouse game and who loses out in all this?

WE do!

as quoted previously "Bull Sh&t"

the governebnt has the biggest and best firewalls, the best IT security people and can easily block P2P inside their network, i would bet a years wages this whole article s simply a scare tactic. none of the info makes any sense, it's not that hard to stop. plain and simple, the CIA and FBI and NSA etc etc will know quite easily their is P2p traffic on their network as they do a lot of monitoring of thier traffic.

this whole thing is a load of crap

maybe the government should be wondering how these "citizens" are getting these "private documents". Or maybe the government should stop downloading free music off of the computers inside the pentagon..... :P

*sets shared folder to
C: \ Documents and Settings \ USER$342 \ Important Documents regarding the safety of the United States of America"*

sounds more like the government has an 'Employee' problem...when you let an idiot take home 'classified' documents...bad things happen....but to fix it....you need to Fire Employees starting from the TOP.

Nice agenda. Those users are a national security risk, not the software and systems they use. Besides, if government workers are that careless about confidential documents they are a disgrace and should be replaced by people who know how to take care of the data they are trusted with. And if their employers can't manage to enforce stronger security protocols they're just the same.

Or telephones???? It seems that people with a "phone line" can use it to distribute government information through something called the "the internet".
How dare such a equipment exist!!!!!

Electricity. It's the real culprit. None of this would be possible without electricity. That's why Bush bombed the hell out of Iraq's generation infrastructure: To make Iraq more secure.

Intelligence... I blame intelligence (or lack there of) because without it we wouldn't have to the know how to construct the devices that enable people to share these secret documents. I also blame documents.

Since we are into blaming... I blame secrets themselves. If they had no secrets they wouldn't have to care about them being spread :cheeky:

"We found more than 200 classified government documents in a few hours search over P2P networks," said the General. "We found everything from Pentagon network server secrets to other sensitive information on P2P networks that hackers dream about."

I claim the honor of being the first to call BULLS**T on this...

Why would you call bull**** on it? You can get myspace passwords, bank account numbers, credit card numbers...why should other hidden information not appear?

Awareness of this problem will cause the military to tighten internal security (already has).

Currently, I work at a bank and I deal with internet-related fraud regularly. Not all information is gleaned from P2P networks, but you can find enough private info to scam credit cards and phone numbers directly from them, which is why I rarely if ever use p2p.

/USAF veteran

Unwonted said,
Why would you call bull**** on it?

For one thing, the article makes a lot of claims and doesn't back any of it up with any evidence. Doesn't tell us which P2P networks it supposedly found these "Secret document" on or when they found them.

Moreover, if they really found classified government documents, how would they know they weren't fakes? They're not the government, they're a private company. So, if they really did find classified documents, they'd have to verify this with a government source. Who would promptly turn them in for national security violations. What's wrong with that picture?

Hrmmm... when's the last time the government stood up and said: "Oh, yes: Those are our secrets you have there. Yep, that's our secret stuff you've got. Go ahead and tell the world where you found it." Never, right?

Hence, the "bull****" call.

Unwonted said,
Why would you call bull**** on it? You can get myspace passwords, bank account numbers, credit card numbers...why should other hidden information not appear?

Awareness of this problem will cause the military to tighten internal security (already has).

Currently, I work at a bank and I deal with internet-related fraud regularly. Not all information is gleaned from P2P networks, but you can find enough private info to scam credit cards and phone numbers directly from them, which is why I rarely if ever use p2p.

/USAF veteran

cause it is. nothing appears on P2P unless someone adds it, if you are adding national security docs then you should be shot plain and simple

Unwonted said,
Why would you call bull**** on it? You can get myspace passwords, bank account numbers, credit card numbers...why should other hidden information not appear?

Awareness of this problem will cause the military to tighten internal security (already has).

Currently, I work at a bank and I deal with internet-related fraud regularly. Not all information is gleaned from P2P networks, but you can find enough private info to scam credit cards and phone numbers directly from them, which is why I rarely if ever use p2p.

/USAF veteran

p.s. what is a USAF veteran and why should anyone care ??

Croquant said,
Hrmmm... when's the last time the government stood up and said: "Oh, yes: Those are our secrets you have there. Yep, that's our secret stuff you've got. Go ahead and tell the world where you found it." Never, right?

Hence, the "bull****" call.


Contrary to popular belief, General Clark is not a member of the government. He was sent to forced retirement in 2001. Yes, he was forced out of the military. He ****ed off a LOT of people in the pentagon and the white house by going around them to request ground troops in Kosovo.

He's no more an expert on internet security then your neighbor. Ask him about infantry combat, and you should listen. Ask him about international relations...well, he burned a lot of bridges on his way out of NATO and the Army.