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Hackers make PCs download pirated movies

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 21 Dec 2005 13:41 User comments (41)

Hackers make PCs download pirated movies In a bizarre "attack", some hackers have made use of PCs infected with the lockx.exe rootkit to install a doctored BitTorrent client that then downloads Disney movies and the film version of the Mr. Bean comedy. The attack was linked to a Middle East-based group but the motive for it is still unknown. It was uncovered by FaceTime Communications, which believes the attack was simply just an experiment and could be used for other purposes in future.
Of course there is an obvious problem here for the users with infected machines and for anti-piracy efforts too; what if someone with an infected machine has unknowingly shared pirated content and gets sued? The lockx.exe rootkit file was bundled with a variant of the SDBot worm. Of course, it would be silly at least to say the concept of hackers using other people's PCs to download pirated material is in any way "new".

Thousands of infected (r00ted) PCs connect to IRC networks every time they are booted and act as file servers for pirated content for example. It is also possible (and most likely) that many machines connected to P2P networks have been hacked and may be used to spread new files quicker. The victims in these attacks are usually running unpatched insecure installations of Microsoft's Windows operating systems.

Source:
The Register

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41 user comments

121.12.2005 13:56

hahahah downloading will never stop

221.12.2005 14:17
OzMick
Inactive

Should be a good defence in court at least...

321.12.2005 18:01
jdeboer
Inactive

If piracy is a crime, i'm a criminal.

421.12.2005 19:12

But honey HOW did that gay porn get on the computer, I know it must have been those pirates that were doing that. Sorry had to take that shot.

521.12.2005 21:27

THOSE NO-GOOD DIRTY HACKERS!!! They stole my idea...

621.12.2005 23:22

Mr. Bean? Those guys have no taste. -- (||) Nehmo (||)

722.12.2005 6:52

this is what all of the world has been waiting for now you can go to court and say it wasnt me it was my computer it was bad.... lol this is the RIAA worst night mare since it was Sony that infected the world and they cant fix it..... this will grow like the wind so now everyone on line will end up being part of a bittorrent. this is so funny that its hard to beleive its true.... so everyone who gets hauled in can say my machine was infected and then I wiped it (after they burned it) and its not my fault and they can mean it...lol see there is a Santa.....happy downloading to all

822.12.2005 8:15

Haha, of course this has always been a possibility. I just can't believe it has never crossed my mind. Interesting little bit.

922.12.2005 14:06

I doubt if the MPAA cares where or how the videos get on one's machine when they start a law suite. Remember, they even sue dead people. It is ironic that Sony sortof showed the way for hackers to access PCs with it's rootkit DRM protection system. Sort of like Brinks Armoured Car supplying the armoured cars to the ones stealing the gold from Brinks Armoured car Company... One can almost expect something like this from studios that are more concerned about ripping of the public's money for crap video and audio instead of striving to make a good product. I wonder at what point the entertainment industry will feel they can make more money from law suits than by putting out a worthwhile product ???

1022.12.2005 14:16
OzMick
Inactive

Thats a conspiracy theory for you... THE MPAA WROTE THE WORM so that they could sue more people because all the P2P lawsuits are starting to dry up...

1122.12.2005 18:30
vudoo
Inactive

If you never believed in metaphysical stuff now is the time to start. It was said in Sanskrit that every greedy person or persons would get what is coming to them. It is called Karma. Now the bad Karma is coming to the Music and movie industry. While they are busy playing Daddy to a bunch of tech savvy computer geeks, the geeks are slowing the industry who they should start to worship instead of their mighty materialistic bull that they try and pull off onto the public. Now the tables are turning and they may be the ones who get sued by over 60 million computer users around the USA and the rest of the world and it will start a cyber war that has been long overdue. Good job Sony I suppose you’ve finally proven to the world just how much bologna you really are. Time to burry your heads in the sand because in the long run when it comes to lawsuits you have little room to run. Oh its sort of funny when Kazaa called your bluff and you the entertainment industry will be held in contempt of court. Now put that in your pipe and smoke it big guys. Next thing you know you’ll apply for disability for lack of common sense.

1222.12.2005 19:22
Razor89
Inactive

Nice rant, vudoo. In other news, I think it is quite hilarious that this has become so big. I will not incriminate myself, but let me put it this way: I have the knowledge to experiment on remote computers. I'm not saying I did, but if I did, it was fun. Anyways, it is very simple to cover your tracks, and even simpler if you want the average person to not discover you've been there. If these people were really smart, they wouldn't have been busted. Or, maybe they were busted on purpose as a cover up to another scheme...Wouldn't that be hilarious if everyone thought they fixed the problem, only to find out a few days later that their hard drive was completly filled with porn downloaded in the midst of the night? Razor

1322.12.2005 22:03
duckNrun
Inactive

it is quite feasable that what this group's intentions were was to solely provide a specific case example of hackers using infected computers to do the downloading without the pc owner's approval or permission. Thus the reason for their "unwitting" discovery. Perhaps, this group has no intention of doing harm but that this is actually their way of doing some good. It is all very easy for a lawyer to state that this thing happens all the time, but now a lawyer has PROOF that it happens, and can enter it in as evidence. And this proof used as evidence can cast a shadow of doubt upon the RIAA's lawsuits allowing reasonable jurors an easy out for returning a complete acquittal against a defendant sued by the (die or)Riaa. Or perhaps this was another attempt by Pinky and the Brain to "take over the world" (snarf) lol

1423.12.2005 4:02

""" ...Wouldn't that be hilarious if everyone thought they fixed the problem, only to find out a few days later that their hard drive was completly filled with porn downloaded in the midst of the night? """ LOL Razor89, and wife turns the PC on in morning only to get bombarded with loads of Naked Adverts to Sites and she wants an explanation!!! Hmmmmmmm very interesting reading and very worrying too. Seriously, Especially if these WORMS started replicating actual genuine system file names to protect themselves from from being detected. Would the fire walls allow the program access if it was already given permission and not recognise the genuine file from the cloned file. Endless what throuble it could get up too. LOT worse if it was the sick perverted Child stuff and it notified the authorities that you have this on your PC and has found a few details about you to give the police a starting point, if not actual address. God forbid it happening. I believe I have come across these types of files many a times on P2P and the old classic one is a massive 1gb upwards Rar file that gets to a point of downloading and stops and will never finish unless you go to a site and install their validation program(Yeah right, done it once and was hard work getting rid of the program). Was the Aurora and kept renaming itself. Even when the 1st spware or Trojan has bn obtained to complete the download you find that it is password protected requiring another program of Spyware or Trojan Noticed a new one recently or might not be sooooo new just multiplying quickly and again a RAR file and when extracted has a Spanner icon exe file and a txt file. Had something to do with some Search Technologies LOL. Probably search for all the trojans it can find and download them!!!!! Just make sure you are up to date with MS Updates, have active scan AV for all downloads, IM's and e-mails and a good firewall. Doesn't completely protect us but a 1000 times more than not having it.

1523.12.2005 4:16

They go thoruogh all the trouble of hacking and then they only take Mr Bean and Disney movies ? lol

1623.12.2005 4:22

I suppose at least you get a movie for all the trouble and grief it gives ur pc and a white elephant movie at that, instead of 90 minutes of a colour test screen or black picture.

1723.12.2005 7:33
Razor89
Inactive

B00KANEAR, I think you brought up a lot of good points...And I like your wife example. Anyways, this is actually very good and bad news at the same time...Like a box full of money with a bomb inside as well. We now have proof of our claims that is isn't our fault, but it also shows just how unstable the internet is. As long as there are people attempting to stop hackers, there will be hackers trying to stop the people stopping hackers. This may have been an example; they could have done much worse very easily. Instead of a movie, how bout an exe that ruins your system. I also agree that at least they gave a movie instead of a picture test, or worse...Your idea, how about a movie of illegal child porn? Oh well....At least we know they aren't out to ruin the computer world, because they could have already! :) Razor

1823.12.2005 11:48

this story makes a good point on ips cuz really you could easly say it wasn't you. and you could use this as an example.

1923.12.2005 12:03
rufranop
Inactive

these hackers are very clever

2023.12.2005 12:33

1. Google Bluetack in the UK and learn how to protect yourself. 2. Sign up for a good Proxy service. For a few dollars a month your IP is completely hidden from hackers or anyone else. 3. Buy a router with built in hardware NAT/Firewall protection, even if you are not networking. 4. Run a GOOD software Firewall-ONLY proggie. You want one that does that ONE thing, and does it well.

2123.12.2005 21:09
slew0408
Inactive

damn sucks for the victims, thats some interesting stuff though

2224.12.2005 15:01

This is the work of SPECTRE ! Very damn funny by the way.

2324.12.2005 21:09

That aint good news. So if they dont get busted for this do you think they will take it to the next step, if they do what could they do? Its the same old crap

2424.12.2005 22:35

"They go thoruogh all the trouble of hacking and then they only take Mr Bean and Disney movies ? lol" -It was probably a joke or a test to see what they could do. The hackers I'm sure had no interest in those movies.

2526.12.2005 12:15

i think the most dangerous thing on the movies is the price. If the price are lower no one download..but movie for a 20$ to buy it..it's so expensive. let's these compagny in hollywood make their price less expensive and they win for sure a question about downloading...can u be arrested for downloading or for just uploading files??? thanks

2626.12.2005 12:18
Razor89
Inactive

Well, according to what I have read, in Sweden or somewhere the supreme court ordered that it was only illegal to upload. You are spreading the file. Downloading, you are only requesting information that you could own already. I dont know how it is in US though...Haven't heard of such a case. Razor

2726.12.2005 12:28

if anybody know about the law in america or canada for downloaoding and uploading can he tell me pls?? thank you

2826.12.2005 13:02
Razor89
Inactive

According to wiki: "Under US law, "the Betamax decision" case holds that copying "technologies" are not inherently illegal, if substantial non-infringing use can be made of them." I understand this as, nothing is illegal as long as it has practical legal use. Also, "In practice, many, often most, of the files shared on peer-to-peer networks are copies of copyrighted popular music and movies in wide variety of formats (MP3, MPEG, RM, etc.) Sharing of these copies is illegal in most jurisdictions." How would you define sharing? I would not include downloading as sharing. Furthermore, "In spite of the Betamax decision, peer-to-peer networks themselves have been targeted by the representatives of those artists and organizations who license their creative works, including industry trade organizations such as the RIAA and MPAA as a potential threat. The Napster service was shut down by an RIAA lawsuit. In this case, Napster had been deliberately marketed as a way to distribute audio files without permission from the copyright owners." According to this, the only reason Napster was 'rightfully' shutdown is becuase it advertised itself as an illegal service. Many networks such as Limewire, Ares, etc. are still alive, and they all use notices saying that they are not responsible for illegal activity occuring on their networks. So, all in all, I take it that downloading is NOT illegal, as long as you own the thing you download. You should have already known that. Uploading shouldn't be illegal, as it could be seen as a practical thing...Someone had to upload in order for you to download, so if downloading is legal, uploading being illegal would in turn make downloading impossible. Razor

2926.12.2005 13:46

hi Razor why i wanna download something i already own?? i'm talking about downloading movies or files you don't have for sure.I'm not gonna download movie or file i have already. So in that case it's illegal??? and someone can be arrested by downloading files without uploading?? thanks

3027.12.2005 10:59
Razor89
Inactive

LOL I thought you already knew that. It is DEFIANETLY illegal to download OR upload something you don't own, and you made a mistake openly admitting that you do. Anyways, the only reason people have been getting around the copyright laws is by saying they would only download things they owned. If you stick to that story, you might be able to get away with some stuff, but I do not suggest, agree to, or even like that idea. ;) Savin my ass..... Razor

3129.12.2005 7:17

The problem is, how can anyone know what you've owned previously if your original ever gets lost? That's what bothers me. Who explicitly decides what I own? Under normal circumstances, I would say me, but who would believe me unless they've associated that object with me somehow? Suppose I've copied a cd for backup archiving purposes, and I lose the original (which I unfortunately have done without a backup). Where does that leave me, with an "illegal" backup? That's doesn't seem right. And, I know of not one individual who keeps all their receipts for things, not that all of them are that descripive of the product for the purpose of trying to prove a purchase anyways. The only alternative to that seems to be "registration"; a database which knows all of what you bought from a given company. I don't really like that. It's all relative.

3229.12.2005 7:38

In terms of uploading the content, I can't see how you can explicitly decide that one of them is legal and one is not (up/down-loading). After all, it is under the discretion of the downloader to choose songs that are available to him to download (ones that he owns). For the uploaders, they're just giving the owners a chance to download what they already own. That doesn't seem in any way illegal, to me anyways. However, it is possible that others can download it illegaly, but that would be against the original intentions of the uploader, but the uploader has no way of verifying that they ever had the product to begin with. It's an all or nothing situation.

3329.12.2005 7:41

Just a thought....... Sneaking into a walk-in theater or a drive in is about the same as downloading a movie. Does the MPAA plan on suing the 'sneeker' for $600,000.00 and threaten 5 years of jail time ?? One viewed the movie without paying.... When one listens to a track or two in an audio store, does the studio get a royalty payment for the music used?? If the studios have sued 7000 people and collected an average of $3200.00 [*]a suit, that would come to $22,400,000.00 total. Seems to me that they are making a lot of money off of P2P anyway... Where is the loss ?? ([*] I read a report where the MPAA and the RIAA stated that the average law suit was for $3200.00 and 7000 people have been sued..Some were sued for as much as $600,000.00 [still in litigation) down to a low of $500.00...)

3429.12.2005 11:09

hello everyone talking about downloading, uploading and laws. who have the right to stop you or arrest you in case you download??who??the compagnies..the police..or the internet compagnie. and how they know that you download illegal stuff if you do??from your ip adress??is it legal to check your ip and what you are doing on the internet or it's privacy ?? and the police have the right to come into your house and check what you are doing on your computer?? Who know the laws exactly??cuz some people say downloading is "legal" and some say "not" thanks

3529.12.2005 11:34
Razor89
Inactive

They can't really write the law, because who is to decide what is right? Who is to decide when there will be no loopholes? There is always a secret way to get past the law...Japan is forbidden to have a military. They have the 3rd largest(i believe) armed forces in the world. They get around it by naming it something else. Anytime they set up the law, it will be everchanging. It's illegal to download or upload at first. So we trade through emails...Then we dont really connect to each other. They say thats illegal, we form underground networks. They make that illegal...Hell freezes over....Nobody will ever end it. just make it look harder than it is with false advertising. Like the I for Inappropriate Downloading on movies...Just another scare tactic. Nobody for sure knows what is illegal and what isnt because when the laws were written, they could not forsee the current situation. There is this big gray area in the law because it depends on how you take the words. People can say one thing, mean another...You know? Razor Razor

3629.12.2005 11:43

hi razor..nice to hear from you again do you know any details of how they catch people who download?? and how they know who download? thanks

3729.12.2005 17:44
Razor89
Inactive

Well, the way I understand it is...In order to download, you have to make connections. Most of the time when you connect to anything on the internet, they can see your IP. They use the IP to track it to your ISP, inform your ISP of your fault, and then the ISP has to turn over your info in order to avoid a lawsuit. Next thing you know...They're at the address where the bills go. That's how I hear it happens...Never been caught lol Also, nice to hear from someone who knows me through my posts...I've helped so many people, it's good to see someone thankful and stuff. You guys are pretty rare and it makes the AD addicts and others who actually help proud and stuff. Thanks. Razor

3830.12.2005 7:19

hi Razor and everyone checking the IP is a good idea man..but how the compagny of the internet wanna check millions of ip in same time?? and why the compagny wanna check it??what's the reason??? besides..when you download something via the server of the compagny..the files will be deleted directly after or maximum 1 day to keep the server empty. I think the IP of the person and what he's doing on the internet it's privacy in america and they don't have the right to see what u are doing if you're not wanted (except for now). I don't know other countries. what you think??? besides if downloading and uploading is illegal..why they don't shut down some sites or servers?? i know they did, but there still alot.why the person on his computer is always the victim??it's not true?? (If santa clause came to you and have bad stuffs...stop santa clause don't stop the kids)

3930.12.2005 21:55
angeli15
Inactive

everything's illegal to them!!!! i mean what's wrong with "sharing"!!! some people upload movies from their dvds and share it in the net, what the heck is wrong with that!! they might as well forbid lending dvds to your friends!! and that doesnt only goes to movies but everything you share!!!!

4030.12.2005 22:33

@angeli15 well lending dvds to your friends is illigal as well lol , its all to do with.........................oh yeah forgot money

419.5.2007 14:02

can you watch shit mvies

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