Pirating movies using Torrents? You’ll be spotted within 3 hours

Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/studiomuscle/1986423995/sizes/l/in/photostream/ ,Flickr

Image Source: Studio Muscle, Flickr

Not just movies. Music, games, books, you name it. If it’s popular (ie: if it has a lot of leechers or seeders), rest assured… you’re already on several watch lists. And don’t think you’re a smarty-pants with your fancy PeerBlock or other common blocklist software… they are but toys to the authorities, says mounting new evidence.

To arrive at this conclusion, researchers from the University of Birmingham have observed “1,033 swarms across 421 trackers for 36 days over 2 years.” They reported that “monitoring is prevalent for popular content (i.e., the most popular torrents on The Pirate Bay) but absent for less popular content.”

Users who think they can evade detection just by using common blocklists are probably fooling themselves. “Publicly available blocklists, used by privacy-conscious BitTorrent users to prevent contact with monitors, contain large incidences of false positives and false negatives,” the Birmingham team concludes.

Image Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tapaponga/4882557452/sizes/s/in/photostream/

Image Source: Tapaponga, Flickr

So, torrent pirates of the world, what is the solution to evade detection? Is it Magnet Links? Apparently not. Computer IP addresses don’t suddenly disappear when using magnet links. The monitors would still join the swarm and get a list of IP addresses if they use a torrent file with a regular tracker or even a a magnetized torrent.

What about setting up encryption techniques to hide all traces of your online traffic? This could stop external monitoring, right? Well sure, it prevents 3rd party snooping, but it won’t stop a computer from getting your IP address if the monitoring computer is joining the download swarm like in the cases studied above.

Even private trackers that require a special invitation to sign-up in order to participate, such as BitNation or TVTorrents, aren’t necessarily safe as they can be just as easily infiltrated by authority agents who then set up monitoring stations therein.

I guess if you’re using all of the above concurrently, you might stand a much better chance of remaining undetected to continue your illegal pilfering for now.

But if anyone has some advice on a SURE-FIRE way to outsmart the monitors that they would like to share to fellow download addicts, let’s hear it. Well, next to getting behind 7 proxies, I mean.

We’re all for freedom of information here at Intentious.


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Categories: Crime, Science, Technology

Author:Andrew Beato

CEO, Chief Editor and founder of Intentious. Passionate comment enthusiast, amateur philosopher, Quora contributor, audiobook and general knowledge addict.

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5 Comments on “Pirating movies using Torrents? You’ll be spotted within 3 hours”

  1. Name
    September 17, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    The only time I torrented anything, using instructions from lifehacker, I got three movies totally corrupted with viruses. Much more of a pain than it was worth. Totally useless – no wait – worse than useless.

    It just doesn’t seem worth the time and effort and the possibility of being monitored seems enormous.

    But I know I am in the minority for thinking that — what am I missing?

    • January 17, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

      Torrent files are crowd verified on many torrent search engine sites. Vertor.com is by far the best, least cluttered, verified torrenting site around. Browsing torrent sites is not illegal. Downloading torrent files is not illegal. Torrenting content is not illegal. Except if that content is copyright restricted/intellectual property without permission. If you’re doing that, you either need to a) stop, or b) learn the clever ways to hide (eg: see below commenter Holdek)

  2. Holdek
    January 16, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    I think using a proxy server, like BTGuard, is the only surefire way.

  3. APerson
    April 27, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    Surefire way is to rent a seedbox in a pirate haven, download the torrent’s to the VPS and from the VPS to you… the auths cannot access information on the VPS without court order so you are 100% safe.
    Also the auths are more looking for the main people not you.

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