Feeds

Virus lab blogger collared by blundering copyright cop bot

Malware authors have rights too, says French legal droid

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

A malware researcher's website was nobbled last week by an automated bot that accused her of breaching copyright law.

Web storage biz MediaFire, which is used by Mila Parkour to host dozens of downloads for her Contagio blog, pulled the plug on her account because it contained three files that were flagged up for copyright violations. The alleged infringements were reported by a software bot that uses algorithms to search for copyrighted works and demand their removal under the US's controversial Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

It's believed the action was triggered by blog posts about a Microsoft security patch and "an old malicious PDF attachment" that was linked to phishing email attacks two years ago. Mediafire acted in response to takedown requests from a bot run by French copyright enforcement firm LeakID, and it's unclear who LeakID was acting for in this instance. It's been suggested that, unless the action was a mistake, LeakID is enforcing the copyright of malware authors. LeakID also failed to identify the infringing work, a requirement under DMCA rules.

Parkour's MediaFire account was restored soon after its suspension on Thursday, but only after her plight was highlighted by security biz Sophos. However, downloads have been suspended pending the outcome of Parkour's DMCA counter-claim, which LeakID is obliged to respond to before a 16 September deadline. The blogger took issue with this procedure in this missive, which covered the suspension of her storage box:

I understand that that the claims came from LeakID and I do understand that all claims must be checked and it takes time to check them. However, I do not appreciate auto-enforcement of American laws by foreign (and American) robots who do not even follow the filing laws. I think accounts should be suspended after the claims are proven to be true not before.

Parkour adds that she is considering moving the blog's encrypted downloads to an alternative host. Contagio, which is a popular resource among IT security bods, bills itself as a collection of the latest malware samples, threats, observations, and analyses.

Baseless software-generated takedown requests are not a new problem. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), among other organisations, has campaigned on the issue. Other recent victims of robo-takedowns have included US First Lady Michelle Obama and science fiction author Neil Gaiman. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.