Thursday, May 29, 2008

MediaDefender launches denial of service attack against Revision3

Anti-piracy company MediaDefender, which defends its clients' intellectual property by disrupting the content on peer-to-peer networks, launched a denial of service attack (SYN flood) against Revision3 over Memorial Day weekend. The attack was launched after Revision3 discovered that their servers were being used by MediaDefender to post spoofed BitTorrent index files and Revision3 shut off their access.

Revision3, a legitimate company that distributes HD video over the Internet using BitTorrent, was not amused, and the FBI is investigating.

Any legitimate Internet provider should refuse to provide services to companies that engage in illegal or immoral tactics to try to stop peer-to-peer piracy of copyrighted content, such as denial of service attacks or interference with services that are being used legitimately, even if they are also being used for piracy. If they don't have methods which can be targeted specifically against the copyrighted content they are authorized to protect, then their methods cross the line, in my opinion.

MediaDefender's upstream network providers are Savvis (ASN 3561), Beyond the Network (ASN 3491), WV Fiber (ASN 19151), and SingTel (ASN 7473). They all should have a problem with denial of service attacks by their customer.

MediaDefender was previously in the news in September 2007 when its security was breached by hackers and 700 MB of executive emails and the content of VoIP telephone calls from the company were leaked to the Internet. This seems to me like a company that should not be in business.


Fredric said...

I read about this in the RISKs Digest and immediately thought that there was probably some Scientology crime syndicate relation. The attempt to deny people their freedom of speech rights just automaticalkly invokes the Scientology name.

I would like to hope that Repease3's people will file crimnal charges.

Jim Lippard said...

Greetings, Fredric! Good to see you here.

The names associated with MediaDefender are easy enough to check against the Scientology completions list--you can get lots of names from their email that got made public last year after they were hacked, such as their CEO, Randy Saaf. I'm not aware of any Scientology connection.

MediaDefender's parent company, ARTISTdirect, is a publicly traded company (stock symbol ARTD, traded over-the-counter) based in Santa Monica; interim CEO is film producer Dimitri Villard. Villard graduated from Harvard and was an editor of The Harvard Lampoon, which I'd say argues against his being a Scientologist. Russell Shaw is the only funny Scientologist I can think of.