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Argument: Free file-sharing sites often transmit viruses and ad-ware

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Supporting evidence

  • Walter S. Mossberg Mailbox from The Wall Street Journal. "The Practical Case Against File Sharing". October 20, 2005 - "These sites are major transmitters not only of viruses, but of spyware, which your antivirus program can’t stop. Even if your PC has a full, up-to-date security suite, with antispyware software, you are asking for trouble by downloading from “file swapping” sites. Many of the people I hear from who have had to take drastic, costly steps to save heavily infected PCs attribute their problems to the fact that their kids were frequenting file-sharing sites."

Many peer-to-peer networks are under constant attack by people with a variety of motives.[1]

Examples include:

  • Poisoning attacks (e.g. providing files whose contents are different from the description, aka "spoofing")
  • Polluting attacks (e.g. inserting "bad" chunks/packets into an otherwise valid file on the network)
  • Defection attacks (users or software that make use of the network without contributing resources to it)
  • Insertion of viruses to carried data (e.g. downloaded or carried files may be infected with viruses or other malware)
  • Malware in the peer-to-peer network software itself (e.g. distributed software may contain spyware)
  • Denial of service attacks (attacks that may make the network run very slowly or break completely)
  • Filtering (network operators may attempt to prevent peer-to-peer network data from being carried)
  • Identity attacks (e.g. tracking down the users of the network and harassing or legally attacking them)
  • Spamming (e.g. sending unsolicited information across the network--not necessarily as a denial of service attack).

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