Up until now, the global ‘war on piracy’ was being carried out in a fairly similar operations to the more traditional wars against poorly understood foe. Take a look at the respective wars on drugs and terror. Much like these wars, it’s primarily being carried out by the American government, with the UK following in close tow.
In 2012 the war on piracy suddenly stepped up its game. In America, the assets of net entrepreneur and Megaupload.com founder Kim Dotcom were seized, resulting in a long, difficult fight (Kim won, kind of). In the UK, a number of service providers began banning known peer to peer (P2P) file-sharing sites from being accessed on their services. This began with The Pirate Bay, and is expected to extend out to the sites Fenopy, haring downutch downtimes.
This is how we usually wage wars, attack the source of the problem. Hunt down drug dealers, bomb terrorist training camps, it’s traditional. The individual addicts and attackers are harder to trace, so it makes more sense to damage whoever’s providing them.
Yet the internet is a different story. The networks that handle P2P traffic are symbiotic; if one company dies, the other one will. Customers trust the networks that handle their files, and so they go about their business using the networks. Simply deleting the files from a server is no longer going to be of any use – those who have been downloading the files will simply move to another server that will only host the files for that company.
So what can be done to disrupt the ongoing business of these companies? There are a couple of options.
Reduction of the quantity of data that is being stored: this is of the most diameter, and has the potential to be the most effective. Data removal can be implemented by reducing the quantity of storage that is being used. Memory sticks and disks can be used to do this, and the other options can be combined with physical damage of the hard drives so that they are effectively nonfunctional any more.
Computers that are used to do file sharing can be cloned, and data can be put onto these. The other options for data storage are external media such as USB sticks and SD Cards which are small enough to hide in your average jacket pocket.
This is far less disruptive than physically destroying the hard drives so that they can be used again, and extremely useful if data regain from a natural disaster or virus is what it is.
If cloning of the computers is not an option, hard drives can be removed and recycled, or used forasure that can be sold for scrap metal. Hard drives can be replaced more easily than other computers as they can have operating systems copied from them, and there are refurbished machines available that will perform almost as well as a new computer.
The local thieves can be rounded up, but first they will get a good look at the hard drive, and there may be a Museum of Modern Man where they will do their damage and then fled the scene.
This may happen to a friend of a friend, or a college mate across the country, or even a relative somewhere far away who lives near you. Since viruses are recurring and attacks are becoming more sophisticated, it may be a good idea to buy some additional protection for your computer system. Most computer stores have anti-virus Among other Protection programs, so let them know you have an anti-virus ready to use.
And remember, as long as the anti-virus is rated mature, you can let it protect your home computer, you can even protect all three computers in your household and still enjoy total privacy. Who knows what may attack your computer one day. Maybe someone who has an email address you do not recognize, maybe someone who tried to bug your latest email address, or someone who just stole your identity to launch an identity thief of your children.
But if you’re still attached to your oldfashioned ineffective anti-virus software, you really need only look in a used computer to find that even an novice user could damage a badly working system with ease. In this used computer, the virus may be outdated, but the protection program most likely is not, so no alarm is called.