Malware optimize

New MPAA site peddles illegal movie downloads and possible spyware


ZeroPaid has a new report on an alleged attempt by MediaDefender Inc, self-touted as the "leading provider of anti-piracy solutions in the emerging Internet-Piracy-Prevention industry," of launching a new Web site that attempts to what amounts to an entrapment operation.

After being Slashdotted, the site in question, "MiiVi," has apparently been taken down. A simple Google search reveals that it has indeed been up at one point recently.

The allegation was made against the site solely based on the DNS records of "miivi.com," which shows that it was registered by MediaDefender, a known MPAA-sponsored organization, according to ZeroPad. This begs the very real question of what eventually happens to the collected data of the poor souls who are foolish enough to have registered their particulars.

Let's do a poll on this first.

Moving on, the disconcerting fact is that the site apparently also offered a software download. Here's an excerpt from ZeroPaid:

"It offers WHOLE DOWNLOADS of movies as well as the ability to download and install a 'miraculous' new program that offers 'fast and easy downloading all in one great site'."

ZeroPaid claims that the download in question "scans if the user has downloaded copyrighted files," though it did not furnish any proof to back it up.

As an IT professional, I cannot help but note the increasing use of custom -- and questionable -- applications that are offered as downloads. I mentioned previously in The Death Of The Anti-Virus Software that existing signature-based antivirus techniques are quickly being rendered obsolete. In fact, even the major AV vendors agree: Major AV Vendors: Pure Signature-Based Approach Insufficient.

Where do you see the industry heading in this regard? Share your experiences or tips in the discussion.

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

21 comments
royhayward
royhayward

I run Linux, currently I like my Debian the best, but I have used Mandrake, Susse, and Red Hat. I also have a Solaris 10 machine. One of the reasons that I do like Debian the best is that when I go to get the latest Distro that I don't have to enter any registration credentials. I moved away from Susse when they turned into Novell and wanted to know my eye color to download the iso. I understand the need for corporations to have some user base knowledge. (if only 14 year olds are downloading your stuff, they probably won't be signing up for you big support contracts.) But making the quest for user data required and invasive turns this user back into a shopper looking for a different vendor. If you must have my user data, don't ask for my name, email or phone number. You won't get real ones. I may volunteer them if there is a legitimate benefit to me, so make them optional. If you want the city, state or province, and country. Gender and age. that is fine, but if I start to feel the hair on the back of my neck stand up, I will just back away and go somewhere less Orwellian.

apotheon
apotheon

"[i]I will just back away and go somewhere less Orwellian.[/i]" I like you already. (edited to include relevant quote)

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

How long it would be before the "L: word was brought up.

apotheon
apotheon

The main focus of what dylan623 has to say is not about Linux -- it's about GNU. It's obvious, from other postings, that dylan623 is a pretty hardcore GNU/FSF advocate. If the most popular GPL-licensed OS was CP/M, I'm pretty sure dylan623 would be talking about how miraculous and trustworthy CP/M was rather than how miraculous and trustworthy Linux is. It's useful to recognize the difference between a Linux advocate and a GNU/FSF advocate.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

It blew right past me. Thanks for the information. (this is not sarcasm)

apotheon
apotheon

Sometimes, common experience leads us to make unnecessary assumptions. Mistakes happen, and this one was a particularly understandable mistake, I suppose -- especially since many people are not fully up to speed on the FSF's place in the Free/Libre/Open Source Software world, and/or are not familiar with dylan623's other comments here at TR.

paulmah
paulmah

Where do you see the industry heading in this regard? Do share your experiences or tips with us.

jck
jck

Prove it, and forward it to the FBI. If the MPAA is knowingly pushing malware, spyware, and things considered to be a violation of cybersecurity law, it needs to be stopped. It doesn't matter if it's a 14 year old script kiddie in Belgium or a 40-something programmer in Los Angeles. Electronic vandalism and invading peoples' privacy needs to be stopped.

jck
jck

How did that get on my main discussions list? I got fooled. Didn't even look at a date. Bad me. :^0

jck
jck

Oh well, I got fooled...again. :^0 Plus, I had to go to the walk-in doc a little while ago. Next week, I see my physician for a follow-up. Then after that, I go see a specialist. Woohoo for a body falling apart. :^0

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I hit the button and that branch got pruned, but it still left this zombie awake.

jck
jck

But, why did a 2 year article show up in my "Discussions" main list? Holy heck, Batman! Someone's sabotaged the SQL SP! lol :^0

seanferd
seanferd

And yes, that is just one of the interesting things that MediaDefender has done.

royhayward
royhayward

Stop digging. On the industry side, they are in a hole. I read a really clever article or blog, (I think it was here on TR) that questioned the marketing strategy of suing or prosecuting potential customers. This is just more of the same failed strategy. Movies and Music are on the internet. This means that some people will not pay for them each time they watch them. Its like having an air show. You can't stop people from watching from outside of the stadium. But if you offer them something that they can't get outside the stadium, they will pay to get in. Or maybe they will only be charged for this content/feature. As for they fools who signed up with this site. There is are two proverbs for them, "If it seems to good to be true, it probably is." and "There is one born every minute." When someone offers you miraculous software, (or millions of dollars in inheritance from a dead relative in Nigeria), it is a scam. Don't give them any information. As I think about this, when I originally registered with TR, I used fake everything. I have since updated my profile, but even sights that look normal and harmless to me get the fake ID from the get go, and only after I start to like them and find value with them do I provide legitimate information. And then only what benefits me. So these "poor souls", will probably learn a valuable lesson. And they obviously need to learn it fast.

mjwx
mjwx

Quiet the contrary in fact, many music and film distributors posted record profits this year and the film industry as a whole had an 8% increase in revenue. http://www.bmi.com/news/entry/234156 http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3ic5575a8c4f61aadd68a0d344f476d5da It's not like the movie and recording industries aren't making a profit or even making as much profit as they were last year it's that they could be making more profit. This site should invalidate any claims the RIAA and MPIAA have in court. They put up a site to entice people to download a movie and possibly to install spyware, that's borderline illegal if not completely illegal most places. But of course this wont happen, the RIAA and MPIAA don't officially have any connections to Media Defender.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Ah yes, the way to deal with falling sales is to pi$$ of your customer base eh? I buy next to NO music these days. The industry has irked me to no end, so I am engaging in my own private boycott.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

Indie labels have their share of suck, but typically you get good music for a fair price and you don't have to pay the middle man (RIAA/MPAA) to do...uh....something. Interestingly enough it seems that Indie movie labels are really starting to come out and you're starting to see good movies on a low budget actually get picked up and played (think Napoleon Dynamite)

ostrich67
ostrich67

I buy music. I support indie performers of many genres and I usually get my money's worth from their (reasonably priced) CDs. I don't download movies or major-label music because most of it is overpriced at "free".

wmlundine
wmlundine

...anti-spyware laws? If not it should be.

Dr Dij
Dr Dij

if it's overseas. OUter Mongolia, Timbuktu, the tropical island paradise of Vanuatu. Do you think you could shut them down there? The net needs an effective method to block outlaw areas of the net. e.g. areas that do not respond to requests to shut down malware, other sites at ISP level. TIll then you should block large address ranges in a router, i.e. 5 ISPs are responsible for most malware hosting sites. block there address ranges. Doubt you'd ever have a valid need to see a site hosted in China or Russia that has mostly malware.