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ESET Spreading FUD About Torrent Files, Clients (welivesecurity.com) 60

An anonymous reader writes: ESET has taken fear mongering, something that some security firms continue to do, to a new level by issuing a blanket warning to users to view torrent files and clients as a threat. The warning came from the company's so-called security evangelist Ondrej Kubovic, (who used extremely patchy data to try and scare the bejesus out of computer users (Google cache). Like all such attempts at FUD, his treatise ended with a claim that ESET was the one true source whereby users could obtain "knowledge" to protect themselves. "If you want to stay informed and protect yourself by building up your knowledge, read the latest pieces by ESET researchers on WeLiveSecurity," he wrote. Kubovic used the case of Transmission -- a BitTorrent client that was breached in March and August 2016 with malware implanted and aimed at macOS users -- to push his barrow. But to use this one instance to dissuade people from downloading BitTorrent clients en masse is nothing short of scaremongering. There are dozens, if not more, BitTorrent clients which enjoy much wider usage, with uTorrent being one good example. Kubovic then used the old furphy which is resorted to by those who lobby on behalf of the copyright industry -- torrents are mostly illegal files and downloading them is Not The Right Thing To Do. But then he failed to mention that hundreds of thousands of perfectly legitimate files are also offered as torrents -- for instance, this writer regularly downloads images of various GNU/Linux distributions using a BitTorrent client because it is the more community-friendly thing to do, rather than using a direct HTTP link and hogging all the bandwidth available.
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ESET Spreading FUD About Torrent Files, Clients

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  • An "evangelist"... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Friday August 04, 2017 @02:58PM (#54942747)

    ESET... Not a clue. But The Google tells me it's some anti-virus solution from Slovakia... So right off the bat, I'm not trusting them as an unbiased source. But really I stopped reading when that the guy pontificating is and "evangelist", which are usuanlly some sort of über zealot which, again, is not the way to aquire unbiased information...

    • ESET has a strong American presence in San Diego and their NOD32 anti virus is commonly shipped with Cisco secure link or whatever the heck their VPN solution is called now (my university 8 years ago used it where I used NOD32 from eset as requirement for their wifi network).

      ESET is far from a questionable source as I had a job interview with them to work with a managed service provider.

      Needless to say most AV software including ESET blocks all bitcoin mining software by default as well. It is annoying as e

  • Can't Tell... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hylandr ( 813770 ) on Friday August 04, 2017 @03:00PM (#54942771)

    Not sure if this is a clever slashvertisement for eset or a new push by the mpaa riaa anti-piracy mafia...

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Friday August 04, 2017 @03:00PM (#54942777)
    To be fair, hosting torrents of popular TV shows and movies is about the only way to get your cable provider to cut the cord to you.
  • for instance, this writer regularly downloads images of various GNU/Linux distributions using a BitTorrent client because it is the more community-friendly thing to do, rather than using a direct HTTP link and hogging all the bandwidth available.

    It is also usually a lot faster to torrent your Linus ISOs.

    • by Major_Disorder ( 5019363 ) on Friday August 04, 2017 @03:06PM (#54942815)
      Linux, Not Linus. Although, who knows, in the future it might be possible to torrent people.
      Dibs on Lucy Liu
    • I do that myself. The content is also generally verifiable via GPG checksums. The Linux or open source built bittorrent clients are far safer than the many clickable "download this client" tools that are linked to specific sites for warez and pirated clients. These are not only often poorly written and fragile, but they also installs lot of adware and 'seb speedup' tools that monitor your system and that you were not informed of when installing the client.

      Bittorrent has its uses. but many of its clients are

    • Not just Linux ISOs. A lot of Internet games download updates via Torrent. You can usually find this out by looking at their update client's network settings.

  • by laurencetux ( 841046 ) on Friday August 04, 2017 @03:06PM (#54942813)

    https://archive.org/details/di... [archive.org]

    like EVERYTHING that can be downloaded from the Library of Congress has a torrent available

    https://archive.org/download/d... [archive.org]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Torrents are controversial. The reason is that the technology vendors that built torrent technology, couldn't build the technology in such way that it wouldn't be widely used for piracy operations. While improving technology performance is good goal, it's not the only criteria for technology vendors. Avoiding areas where there's high risk of illegal operations is one important aspect of any technology development. If you think you're being innovative, and other "vendors" just couldn't figure out your ground

  • FUD, fear mongering, so-called security evangelist...

    This sounds like the poster on Slashdot doesn't want to read opposing ideas. Having used torrents they are good way to get dangerous data if you are not paying full attention. Looking for a movie, and it is in an exe format...

    Now I don't approve vilify the transfer protocol as torrents actual have a lot of safety features in them, more then normal http or FTP. However the torrent sites a full of shady files, that needs to be checked carefully. However

  • by Anonymous Coward
    On the one hand, we have so-called 'social media' telling us "You should SHARE everything about your life with everyone, it's NORMAL and NATURAL and only BAD PEOPLE want privacy and hide things!".. but if you want to 'share' a movie, or a song? "Oh, no, you shouldn't SHARE those, that's BAD and WRONG and you're a BAD PERSON!". The message works out to this: "We want you to SHARE things that MAKE US MONEY, but you can't SHARE things that COST us money, because we want YOUR money, too!". Them, them, FUCK THEM
  • I know torrents are used to share ISOs for Linux distributions which is legitimate. How much of the torrent traffic is to share copyright content?
  • The article cited three well documented cases of torrent client published malware, not merely one, and all within the same calendar year. That seems a good foundation to mistrust them.

  • Sweet. What's ESET?

  • by Toad-san ( 64810 ) on Saturday August 05, 2017 @01:38PM (#54947369)

    I haven't bothered to download a torrent in years. Almost invariably the torrent site was either wanting me to download an .EXE (which was often malware or virus-infected .. yes, I checked) or a torrent which itself was misleading, misidentified, or itself containing infected executables.

    It just wasn't worth the hassle.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You can use the same argument against downloading nearly any filetype from a non vetted site linked through a search engine.

      The situation you highlight is not representative of torrents alone, but of the internet as a whole for the last 20+ years!

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