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Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

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Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby neonsquid » Thu Jun 12, 2008 6:14 am

Hey guys, I have an interesting problem that I am hoping someone knows more about than I do. In short (And I know this might sound crazy), I suspect that someone is maliciously crashing my entire computer because I am attempting to download something they don't want me downloading.

Basically it's like this... About 4 months ago or so, I was downloading some torrent files with Azureus, and my computer started just freezing about every 30 - 45 minutes or so while I was trying to download. When the computer would freeze the mouse could not be moved, the keyboard did nothing, and all sound froze in its tracks (producing a horrible glitch sound, I might add). At the time I found this odd since it had never happened before, and simply proceeded to physically turn off my computer using the power button, then start it back up and resume downloading (I did this a few times, and then realizing the problem was going to keep happening, gave up on it). Shutting down Azureus stopped this freezing from occurring.

Anyway, the next morning I awoke to an unpleasant cease and desist sort of email from my ISP (Cox). The letter essentially told me I was downloading a copyrighted file, and to stop doing so and remove the offending content from my hard drive. Once I had removed the specific file I received the email about from my download queue.... my computer no longer crashed while running Azureus.

So what I want to know is this.... does the RIAA or a third party company that they have hired sabotage computers in the way that mine seemed to be? Has anyone ever experienced anything like this, or heard anything like this before?

Thanks in advance for any info or answers you guys have!

PS: I'm asking all of this because I am now experiencing the EXACT same problem again... So I'm expecting another email in the morning from Cox *sigh*.
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby Downloader » Thu Jun 12, 2008 7:12 am

I have experienced something like this. As I am behind a router though, it only effected my router/net connection. I just got myself a new IP address and the problem magically went away. Mediasentry are known for DOS attacks, my guess would be it was them, or someone like them.
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby Dazzle_2 » Thu Jun 12, 2008 2:25 pm

On WinMX/WPN we have seen this type of attack frequently, its normally UDP flooding done by multiple servers operated by Media Sentry. A simple way to check where the attack is originating from is to run Peer Guardian2 and view the rather fast results your likely to see.

Some folks think blocking them is the way around this problem but they have factored that into their attack methodology and when they believe they are blocked by you closing their "port of interest" they will try to access as many ports as they can to tie up your machines half/open sockets limit and a lot of your local resources to deal with the tremendous amount of traffic they deliver to your firewall.

The symptoms are exactly as you describe, machine starts to crawl and even closing the app wont help for 5 or so minutes as they look for openings, the only cure is to obtain a new IP (very simple in the case of DSL), and by magic all your problems disappear.

If you are a fine upstanding member of the community feel free to contact the FBI and explain that this particular group of commercial cyber criminals are currently at work and seem to be demanding a visit :)

You can always stop using torrents btw and go back to older styles of p2p, in most countries downloading for personal use is legal, its uploaders they actually threaten to sue, with torrents you have to engage in both operations so you are open to those interesting "c&d" letters, they do have some use though to help stoke your winter furnace :lol:
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby neonsquid » Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:10 pm

Thanks for your replies Downloader and Dazzle_2. When this problem first happened, I kept telling myself there was no way that it was any form of sabotage.... because surely those sort of under handed tactics MUST be illegal, right?

Likewise, does it really matter if I was committing the act they think I was committing? I mean, if all I am doing is downloading and not seeding once the download is finished, then in order for them to know what i'm up to wouldn't they have to either spy on me, bait me, or otherwise commit some other sort of invasion of privacy? These people are not the government, they are a damned company. Surely there must be ways to combat their invasive and underhanded tactics.

I have a cable connection, with a static IP as far as I know. I don't know how difficult it would be to getting a floating IP, but I'll have to look into it. Or, utilize a VPN of some kind I suppose.
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby Downloader » Thu Jun 12, 2008 5:08 pm

I also have cable, changing mac address should supply you with a new IP (at least it does for me). I have a spare router that I use for such situations. If you cannot get a new IP this way I am not sure of a possible solution.
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby neonsquid » Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:28 pm

Just an update, I was able to get into the settings for my router and shift the MAC address from the router, to the computer's MAC address, effectively changing my IP. The freezing of my computer has since stopped... So this has indeed fixed the problem, at least for the time being.

Thanks guys for taking the time to help me out!
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby Downloader » Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:43 am

If it happens again just change mac address again :P. My understanding is that cable IP addresses are largely static, in that you keep getting the same IP assigned to your mac, but changing of the mac will request a new IP, the other IP when time comes up for renewal will be released for other users. So if you are dos'ed again switching macs back to the router aught to provide you with another unrelated IP address.
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby Dazzle_2 » Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:00 am

Well done Downloader 8) , thats an excellent tip that I,m sure may will find very helpful

I hope this demonstrates to Randy and the gang at Media-Defender that we will never give in to their childish attacks, persistance is never futile :D
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby Downloader » Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:57 am

I would call media defender and co "hackers" but I think their technical skills only go as far as script kiddies. :lol: One day they will DOS the wrong IP and be taken out by real "hackers".
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby georgegad » Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:32 am

Downloader wrote:One day they will DOS the wrong IP and be taken out by real "hackers".


I do like that idea. :)

I know im a technopheble so im probably wrong, but if there making a habit of trying to connect to random open ports can something be written to identify this activity and send something nasty back up the line? They are trying to open a connection, you could always help them. It wouldnt matter how nasty your return attack was or what it did to them because they should never have been hacking your system anyway. They can hardly report to the fbi that they were hacking your system and came to harm.

But then maybe i read too much sci-fi and not enough tech books.
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby multivariable » Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:52 am

lol @ technopheble
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby ..Ñøßߥ.. » Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:01 am

Downloader wrote: One day they will DOS the wrong IP and be taken out by real "hackers".


That day has already been and gone, Media Defender had a huge amount of internal emails spewed all over the interent, and their has been a number of other smaller case, long may it continue! :mrgreen:
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby Downloader » Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:36 pm

I am fully aware of that, it was an interesting read. It wasn't a hack either it was social engineering. The idiots automatically forwarded their internal emails to a Gmail address, signed up to a forum using the very same email. Proceeded to spout of crap in the forums identifying themselves. The kicker? They used the same damn password on the forum as they did for Gmail. I honestly don't know who is dumber This guy http://www.slyck.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=43063 or Media defender. :lol:
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby LANjackal » Fri Jun 13, 2008 9:01 pm

Maybe it's what I download, but I've never experienced what the OP is talking about.
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby Downloader » Sat Jun 14, 2008 8:27 pm

LANjackal wrote:Maybe it's what I download, but I've never experienced what the OP is talking about.



Its extremely random, I was surprised when I saw the post. Well not that surprised, this is slyck after all. 8)
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby neonsquid » Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:20 am

Well the odd thing is, I tend to stay entirely away from RIAA related artists, and I don't really download any films (Thus avoiding the MPAA as much as I can). I have downloaded software in the past, which was what I was signaled out for when I got my first and only letter from my ISP, but recently I haven't been downloading anything like that. I was exclusively downloading music from smaller name record labels and more obscure artists, so i was very surprised to have my computer come under attack so randomly and then persistently.

I wrote earlier that changing my MAC address stopped my computer from freezing, but after 1 full day the problem returned. I changed my MAC address back to the original one, and this has held up for a few days. I'm going to call the torrenting quits for a while until I can find a more secure and permanent solution.
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby Downloader » Mon Jun 16, 2008 1:07 am

I got DOS'ed for tv shows, they are pretty indiscriminate.
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby MrFredPFL » Mon Jun 16, 2008 11:58 am

i'm just wondering. it's all very well and good to make a pile of circumstantial evidence that says, in effect, "well, it could be them and it sure sounds like something they'd do" - but do you actually have anything concrete that points to anyone in particular?
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby Downloader » Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:15 pm

MrFredPFL wrote:i'm just wondering. it's all very well and good to make a pile of circumstantial evidence that says, in effect, "well, it could be them and it sure sounds like something they'd do" - but do you actually have anything concrete that points to anyone in particular?


I have logs of the IP's those IP addresses correspond to IP ranges known to be from MD from their leaked emails. Can i conclusively prove it? No I can't, do all signs point the it is most likely MD, yes. I have the same proof it is them, that they supply the **AA that users downloaded a file. :wink:

So considering I don't consider an IP address to be identifying evidence of copyright infringement, I suppose I would have to give MD the same benefit of doubt. After all what is good for the goose is good for the gander. hence why i said:

Downloader wrote: Mediasentry are known for DOS attacks, my guess would be it was them, or someone like them.


It could just as easily be some script kiddies with access to a botnet.
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby MrFredPFL » Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:28 pm

thank you for understanding my point, downloader. i am happy you have at least researched this enough, when it happened to you, to have some actual evidence of what happened.

what i am driving at here is: does the OP have any such evidence? it wasn't my intent to imply that the scenario described never happens to anyone. but at least let's try to come up with, at a minimum, the level of evidence used by the **AA or D/L, before convicting these people in our minds. so far, i have seen zero actual evidence that this is what is happening to the OP. i'm not saying i don't think it is, ir i do think it is - but after all, i think everyone here would agree there are OTHER things that can crash a computer too ;)
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby Downloader » Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:51 pm

Oh absolutely MrFred. But changing the IP definitely resolves the issue. So one would be drawn to the conclusion that it is outside interference that is causing these issues. Whether that be an incorrect DNS, MD, Botnet, or an error in the ISP cable service. The op would have to log his connections at the time of the problem to draw more definitive conclusions as to the exact nature of the problem. Although I admit is is easy to jump to conclusions (as I am sometime known to do :lol: ). It is a passionate issue, and sometimes we need the level heads like yourself here at Slyck to even us out. :)

But The OP question was does the **AA MD and the like crash/sabotage computers? The answer is yes. Is it them in this circumstance? IMO it could be, but further investigations are warranted to get something closer to a definitive answer. Might I suggest the OP try peerguardian and log some IP addresses, while peerguardian is not a magic bullet against C&D letters, it can help ID who exactly is interfering with your connection.
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby Paladwyn » Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:56 pm

You know, come to think of it...I had a similar problem.

It was when I use Shareaza and connect to the networks. It would act all buggy and fishy, just do strange things and would kill the internet to every computer but itself, and even then net traffic would be a crawl. The only way to clear it was to reboot the router.

Then I realized, I forgot to open the right port for Shareaza, since then I use static IP's for all the devices that use internet (4 computers, Xbox, Wii, 2 Nintendo DS's, Printer, Laptop, guests laptops, and a dynamic IP range for temporary connections). I set them up intricately to work in a system that woulnd't change, so when the kid decides to get a song from Shareaza, it won't kill the network becuase his IP changed again.

Possible to check into something like this going on? I really doubt it, it sounds like you've factored into that already. However, good information for anybody wanting to set up a network as well - I've been running a home network since the days of BNC off Windows 95, man that was a nightmare :)
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby James R. Bath » Sat Jul 05, 2008 7:02 pm

DDOS definitely. They are constantly, along with more recently Phyber Communications, filling up my firewall logs. That slows your computer somewhat and the rate at which it can make new connections. Crashing maybe by sharing viruses or various disruptive/slow/fake/spy "media players" for "encrypted" files. Mostly, I think they attempt to slow you down with fake files and constant connect attempts. It would be nice if there was a way to sue them for that. Any regular users attempt to do DDOS on a corporate site and they face jail time in addition to being sued.
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Re: Does the RIAA/MediaSentry crash computers?

Postby Overnet User » Sun Jul 06, 2008 12:31 am

I have also had this problem of the crashing computer possible from the cartels. I just had to restart my computer many times and let the torrent download and once it was done, the problem seemed to go away. I don't know who exactly was doing it but it has happened more than once on more than one torrent.
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