Torrent Guard: fake file detection and malware prevention in BitTorrent

09 September 2012

P2P networks do not escape being a vehicle for the transmission of malicious files. A new software tool developed in Spain, Torrent Guard, will serve us as our ally to prevent and easily detect this type of files that disguise themselves under the appearance of legitimate contents in the BitTorrent network.


A tool to protect our computer

P2P networks do not escape being a vehicle for the transmission of malicious files. A new software tool developed in Spain, Torrent Guard, will serve us as our ally to prevent and easily detect this type of files that disguise themselves under the appearance of legitimate contents in the BitTorrent network.

The popularity of the BitTorrent network has not escaped the notice of malware developers, who see in the P2P network a great opportunity to disseminate their files. By using fake files with names that do not reflect their actual contents, malware generators seek to infect the users’ computers. A few years ago, they made use of the eDonkey network to make a killing, and the victims infected by malware propagated through fakes via this P2P network were in the thousands.

Over time, it has been BitTorrent the channel that has gained ground in the Internet P2P arena, which explains why those malicious files can increasingly be found in this platform. Their growth has been quantified by researchers of the Carlos III University of Madrid. Their research found that, out of 29,330 .torrent files downloaded via The Pirate Bay, one of the most widely known BT search engines, over 12,000 were fake or contained some kind of malicious software.

This has been the reason that motivated the Madrid university’s researches to develop a tool enabling to detect those fake torrent files. The tool, known as Torrent Guard, can be used either as a plugin for Vuze (one of the most popular clients used in this P2P network) or through a web service that analyzes torrents downloaded into the user’s computer to check whether they are trustworthy. We may also provide the hash ID or the magnet link of the file to have it analyzed.

The project is still in its earlier stages, and its proponents have declared that the cooperation of some trackers will be required in order to improve the product. The idea has immediately grabbed the attention of many sites related to the BT network, and both the aforementioned The Pirate Bay and the OpenBitTorrent and PublicBitTorrent trackers have already contacted Torrent Guard’s developers to prevent malware from remaining rampant throughout the P2P network.

Readers may visit the project’s web site to quickly and safely analyze their torrent files.

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Source(s): ADSL Zone
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