Tuesday, October 31, 2006

How P2P Software like Limewire Compromises Personal and Financial Information

The Denver DA's office recently discovered a lot of personal and financial information exposed by users of P2P (peer to peer) software like "Limeware."

The concern is that this information might be "easily used" to steal identities and commit financial crimes, or worse.

Other well known peer to peer networks besides Limeware are WinMX, Kazaa, Azureus, Bearshare, Zango and Morpheus.

Parents should note that a lot of times, children often are lured into downloading P2P software. My personal experience was when when my daughter downloaded Kazaa on a home computer. Unfortunately, besides music, we got a lot of adware/spyware in the "package," also.

The end result was having to pay someone to "unclog" my system.

According to Wikipedia:

P2P technology as a computer "network that relies primarily on the computing power and bandwidth of the participants in the network rather than concentrating it in a relatively low number of servers. P2P networks are typically used for connecting nodes via largely ad hoc connections. Such networks are useful for many purposes. Sharing content files (see file sharing) containing audio, video, data or anything in digital format is very common, and realtime data, such as telephony traffic, is also
passed using P2P technology.

The dangers of P2P software have been well documented and the FTC has even issued a warning about the use of it, here.

If you insist on using it -- I would highly recommend reading an article by Thomas Mennecke at Slyck News -- where he explains exactly how users are compromised and how they might avoid the problem.

In his own words:
There’s little doubt the threat of identity theft continues to plague the online world – and has become highly focused on P2P. Yet this serious security threat is also the easiest to avoid. This threat to the security of the end user occurs for one reason, and one reason alone.

Link to story about Denver DA finding personal and financial information, here.

Link to Slyck article, here.

Here is a post I did - based on another post by Paul Young (fellow blogger) - on Zango:

Prying1 - Digging Up the Dirt on Zango and Who Advertises for Them

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