Trojan "copyright police" strike movie thieves
A movie download site (miivi.com) has been reported to have an unexpected sting in the tail. It has been traced back to Media Defender who provide investigation and enforcement services for the MPAA. As reported by Blorge.com, after a whois search was performed that identified Media Defender as the registrant, the registration details were first changed and then the site was taken down a few hours later.
While the site was active it apparently offered (genuine) free downloads of complete movies, plus a bonus described as download acceleration software. This package seems to have been a trojan that additionally searched the victim's computer for potentially illicit copyrighted material. It is rumoured that the software searched for media files within a specific range of file lengths and prompted the user to delete them. There is currently no suggestion that the trojan "phoned home" but it is purported to have indiscriminately deleted all the media files it found, whether or not they were legal.
If these details are all valid, it is an interesting turn of the tables: the supposedly good guys using trojans to support law enforcement, even if only by deleting supposedly infringing material. One can't help wondering whether it is a taste of things to come, and if it is, what mayhem could ultimately result as each side ups the anti. However at this time the operation of the site as described would probably be an unlawful act on several disparate grounds (computer protection law and entrapment for starters) so it would be a surprising departure. When contacted by heise Security, Media Defender were not available to comment.