07 September 2012

Researchers Find Most BitTorrent Users Being Monitored

Phys.Org (09/05/12) Bob Yirka

Birmingham University researchers have found that users who frequently access BitTorrent file-sharing sites are more vulnerable to having their Internet Protocol (IP) address logged by monitors within three hours of accessing the site.  Led by Birmingham's Tom Chothia, the researchers found the extent to which monitors are tracking users on file-sharing sites by monitoring activity themselves over a two-year period.  Users who go to BitTorrent sites generally become aware of blocklists, which are lists of the IP addresses of known monitors.  However, the researchers found that these lists include many false positives and negatives, making them almost useless in preventing monitoring.  In order to determine which clients were real users and which were monitors, the researchers identified several characteristics of monitors that make them stand out.  The researchers found that monitors are much busier and more active than users who generally tend to only log on when they want a certain file.


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