Anti-BitTorrent snake-oil

Akonix, a "security firm" has a new product that lets corporations block BitTorrent packets (Q. Er, like a firewall rule? A. Yeah, like that, except more expensive). In order to promote it, they're telling lies about BitTorrent, telling their customers that BitTorrent users can "inadvertently share files containing sensitive information, and the P2P application installer may automatically share files or folders -- including password files -- without the user's knowledge," which is simply untrue. What this "product" does is block access to a file-transfer protocol that is widely used in many different fields, from providing Congressional hearings footage to delivering urgently needed software like the Windows XP Service Pack 2, to shipping entire operating systems like the many Linux distros that circulate via BT.

"In today's corporate environment, there are very few legitimate business uses for consumer P2P file sharing," said Michael Osterman, president of Osterman Research. "Unauthorized activity within an enterprise network creates situations in which companies run the risk of security leaks or illegal activity. Products like Akonix Enforcer allow IT departments to block and monitor all P2P activity, removing another security concern from IT managers and freeing up network bandwidth for legitimate business communications."

"BitTorrent is a growing and popular P2P file-sharing network, particularly for movie files. In addition to the risk of music copyright violation, disclosure of corporate data and potential virus infection, BitTorrent users expose their company to potential legal action from organizations like the Motion Picture Association of America," said Francis Costello, chief marketing officer at Akonix Systems. "We are continuously working with more than 250 customers, including three of the largest global media companies, to address the latest security threats from file sharing. Blocking users of the BitTorrent network provides our customers with the most complete solution for managing P2P available."

Companies like this are the reason so many enterprise users treat corporate IT as damage and route around them.

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(via Waxy)