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ExtraTorrent.cc > Articles > Study: File-Sharers Are Easy to Identify

Study: File-Sharers Are Easy to Identify

Study: File-Sharers Are Easy to Identify

Added: Thursday, February 17th, 2011
Category: Bit Torrent Freedom > The Right To Share
Tags:ET, p2p, Torrent, Piracy, Peer To Peer, Network, Hackers, Internet, BitTorrent, Google, utorrent, bitcomet, extratorrent, 2010, www.extrattorrent.com
Recently a study was conducted, revealing how using the same username across many sites exposes Internet subscribers to scammers. Now TorrentFreak’s team applied the same idea to a random sampling of file-sharers. The results were some eye-opening.

Researchers from the French National Institute of Computer Science has found that usernames collected from Google profiles and eBay accounts could be most likely linked to the other matching online profiles, thus enabling scammers to get a very detailed profile of their future targets.

While this study refers to Internet users in general, the idea is of particular importance for those who are infringing copyright by sharing files on the Internet without the rights owners’ permission. The matter is that anti-piracy outfits are now using profiling techniques to reveal the identities of users suspected of copyright infringement and to track the habits of initial uploaders. In other words, Internet subscribers targeted in “pay-up-or-else” sweeps are simply being tracked via their general Internet use – more specifically, following their comments.

For example, users caught up in such campaigns asked for advice at online forums, using not unique usernames, also used on some other forums, where they revealed who they were. One of the users was found to be discussing downloading the very same content he was accused of, another one entered a general talk about file-sharing. The third one had earlier emailed anti-piracy law firm using the same email address, which could be Googled to bring up the results including the user’s own website, leading to a WHOIS. When put together with his forename, which he freely published on the forum, it made the surname and address very easy to find out. This investigation, which took several minutes, results in valuable data to a law firm looking for new targets.

Another hour spent on a private torrent tracker for researching its top uploaders resulted in finding 65% of them on other online services, including YouTube, Last.fm, and lots of non-file-sharing related forums. In 20% of cases real names were quickly identified.

Generally, people using unique and easily identifiable usernames appear to be more vulnerable to cross-site profiling, so the readers are highly recommended to Google their own usernames and email addresses to see what the results would be.

Thanks to TorrentFreak for providing the source of the article

February 17th,2011

Posted by: 

Date:  Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Comments (7) (please add your comment »)

posted by (2011-02-17 19:20:21)
DEMONLORD avatarafter googleing my screen name, seems like some other torrent site either copy our torrents or is like a search engine for the torrents. very interesting. thanks for the read

posted by (2011-02-18 01:07:43)
No avatarHow can I delete my account? I can't find an option for it anywhere.

posted by (2011-02-18 06:00:33)
CaptCosmo avatarKinda sucks but now we are all aware of this. Now we know, keep low......

posted by (2011-02-18 10:24:21)
mahabon avatarGreat read. A very informative one. Lucky for me I don't use the same user names...

posted by (2011-02-18 18:04:02)
udaraaka avatarhmm, very useful post. From today I ll use different usernames for different sites.

posted by (2011-02-18 20:15:09)
No avatari agree with captcosmo it sucks

posted by (2011-02-19 11:08:52)
trauts avatarhave just this username/nick since mid 90's (old irc nick) so hard work out my "real name" from it LMAO ... but never used it as a name for any non "warez" related stuff ..... but ppl are daft they use same password for all sites same pin for all cards etc ... ppl dont want to use there memory 2 do things these days lol

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