Oh, wow. Shit’s going to hit the fan on this one.
MediaDefender is the despicable contractor frequently hired by the RIAA and MPAA to hack, pollute, and disrupt P2P piracy networks. The targets are usually BitTorrent trackers used by geeks to pirate music, movies, and television shows.
MediaDefender shamelessly uses fraud, entrapment, and felony-level hacking to attempt to catch pirates under the direction of the media companies. I’m amazed they haven’t been sued (or arrested) yet. Never underestimate the political invincibility of big-media money.
(Sidenote: BitTorrent as a technology is not illegal, although it is frequently used for illegal piracy, so the media companies try to conflate them. Or, more likely, the ignorant media execs and PR people simply don’t know the difference.)
Anyway, here’s what happened last weekend:
Revision3, the video production company behind Diggnation and a bunch of other online video shows, uses BitTorrent legally to distribute their own content with their own tracker.
MediaDefender had been exploiting a vulnerability in Revision3’s perfectly legal BitTorrent tracker. When Revision3 noticed and fixed the vulnerability, MediaDefender’s systems (seemingly automatically) launched a massive SYN-flood denial of service attack against Revision3. (This is very illegal.)
The majority of Revision3’s infrastructure was damaged or completely down from the weekend through Tuesday.
MediaDefender’s response was (paraphrased) “We didn’t do anything wrong and we’re going to keep operating this way.”
I hope Revision3 sues the pants off of them.