Feeds

Firm gives P2P networks adware infection

Microsoft investigating DRM loophole

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Not content with poisoning P2P networks with fake music files, an ally of the big media companies has decided to lob pop-ups and adware at users, according to research done by reporters at PC World.

Overpeer grabbed headlines in 2002 for its work infecting P2P networks with garbled music at the behest of some major music labels. It now looks like the company - a subsidiary of Loudeye - is sending out contaminated files that launch numerous ad-filled browser windows and that try to take over a user's homepage. Loudeye is standing by the practice, saying P2P users are getting what they deserve.

"Remember, the people who receive something like (the ad-laden media files), in some cases, were on P-to-P, and they were trying to get illicit files," Marc Morgenstern, a vice president at Loudeye told PC World.

Two US courts have ruled that decentralized P2P networks are legal and have blocked the major record labels from holding P2P software makers directly accountable for their users' actions. These legal decisions prompted the media giants to sue individuals suspected of trading copyrighted files. Now users must also face a type of PC ad assault.

"A reader initially alerted PC World to an ad-laden Windows Media Audio file, titled 'Alicia Keys Fallin' Songs In A Minor 4.wma,'" the magazine wrote. "We then found two other WMA files and two Windows Media Video files that had been similarly modified."

"Using a packet analysis tool called Etherpeek, we determined that each media file loaded a page served by a company called Overpeer (owned by Loudeye). That page set off a chain of events that led to the creation of several Internet Explorer windows, each containing a different ad or adware."

Ads from seven different ad-serving companies appeared when the magazine ran the supposed Alicia Keys file. Just one of these firms - Kanoodle - responded to PC World and said it would immediately remove its ads.

Microsoft also said it was investigating whether or not the adware violates Windows DRM (digital rights management) policies. Hackers could potentially mimic Overpeer and use the Windows Media DRM loophole to install more vicious malware on users' machines.

The full PC World report can be found here. ®

Related stories

Kazaa colleague sues RIAA
I poisoned P2P networks for the RIAA whistleblower
Porn filters ineffective against Tribbles
RIAA chief invokes Martin Luther King in pigopoly defense

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.