If a user of peer to peer (P2P) networks is allegedly caught searching for, downloading, sharing or uploading contraband files such as copyright-protected music .mp3 files, they might mistakenly believe that their only option is to plea bargain with authorities. However the P2P user, who the authorities are all too quick to brand as an offender, may actually be an innocent victim. It is possible for an attacker to exploit both the underlying design of P2P networks as well as implementation flaws in P2P applications in order to implicate another P2P user in behaviour deemed unacceptable by the authorities.Link to New Scientist article, Link to "Entrapment" paper (Adobe PDF)
In the worst case scenario, an attacker can anonymously trick an innocent P2P user into downloading a contraband file from another user on the P2P network. If authorities participate in P2P networks in order to identify offenders, the innocent P2P user may have downloaded a contraband file from an authority. This article will describe how a P2P user allegedly caught committing an offence relating to copyright violation, such as sharing/uploading/downloading/searching for contraband files, might not have been knowingly involved, or might not have been involved at all.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: firstname.lastname@example.org.