Private Torrent Sites are being infiltrated

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 13, 2007
Updated • Jun 9, 2013
File Sharing, Security

I read an interesting article over at the TorrentFreak blog about how so-called private torrent sites were being infiltrated by piracy investigators.

It confirmed that piracy investigators have been gaining access to private torrent sites by either joining them when they were still open for registration or being invited from someone in the inside. It was always pretty obvious to me that private could not really mean private if the site owners did not know each of their users personally.

This system was bound to fail right from the beginning and the article on TorrentFreak only confirms this.

Peter Anaman, a senior internet investigator for legal firm Covington and Burling has admitted that his organisation has infiltrated unnamed private BitTorrent tracker sites and shares their method of gaining access; Anaman added, “Once you’re in, you never take action. You just listen?

I think the last quote is probably the only clue that private site owners could get to identify the moles in the system.Why would they keep users in the system who never share files? Who seem to click on many files but never download them or stop downloads shortly after starting them?

The piracy investigators can adopt new tactics of course which leads to the conclusion that private trackers have and will never be safe. Don't rely on them as your only source of security. If you want security stop using p2p networks.. What's your stance in the matter?

Update: With private trackers opening registration ever now and then to the public, it is safe to say that the majority are tracked by companies specialized in tracking these kinds of things. The data gathered this way can be used in a variety of ways, from the computation of statistics to the take down of the tracker.

While it is unclear if and how the data is admissible in court, it is fair to say that it provides companies with information on how private torrent sites operate.


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  1. some said on June 11, 2007 at 10:12 am

    plz i want an ivitation to torrent damage or t.leech pleaseeeeeeeeee very important thx

  2. Luke said on April 27, 2007 at 5:35 pm

    Heh… Maybe it’s time to put the old school, BBS style rules into use: you can only leach as much as you seed ;)

    They can’t simply sue everyone. And for every site they shut down 3 or 4 new ones open up. The prices of music and movies keep going up because these people waste millions tilting at windmills like this.

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