MediaDefender suffers another blow, as anti-piracy tools leaked

September 20, 2007

MediaDefender suffers another blow, as anti-piracy tools leaked For a company that’s been set up to stealthily protect the intellectual property of its clients, Media Defender doesn’t seem to be too good at protecting its own intellectual property. Its suite of anti-piracy tools has been leaked onto the Bitorrent peer-to-peer (P2P) network. The leak comes just a week after 700MB of MediaDefender’s internal emails were leaked.

The software tools appear to have been released by a group called “MediaDefender-Defenders”, the same group that leaked the emails.

“This system is now released for the public in order to identify the decoys they set up,” the group said in a note included with the Torrent file.

The torrent file included the software tools that Media Defender uses to catch pirates using the Kazza, BitTorrent, WinMX, Ares, and Gnutella P2P networks, and even Usenet. MediaDefender-Defenders claim that the files were given to them by a Media Defender employee.

As TorrentFreak’s Ernesto pointed out, this is a huge blow to the future of MediaDefender.

“BitTorrent tracker owners and other admins who are involved in managing P2P networks can utilize the leaked information to brace themselves against companies like MediaDefender, who try to pollute their networks with fake files,” wrote Ernesto. According to TorrentFreak, the FBI has been called in to investigate the leaks.

This isn’t the first time that Media Defender has screwed up in recent times. In July, the company was caught setting up ‘dummy’ websites for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) in an attempt to catch those who download copyrighted videos.

Given the extremely discreet and sensitive nature of MediaDefender’s work, the leaks over the past week, as well as its bungled sting operations, will have a devastating impact on the company’s reputation.

Would you enlist a company to protect your intellectual property if that company can’t even protect its intellectual property?

The take away for companies wanting to provide anti-piracy services, is to that never, ever underestimate the tenacity and creativity of pirates: Piss them off, and they will come after you!

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