FIRST MAJOR P2P SHAKE-UP
Update: (4:10am EST - 11/14/02)
by John Deegan, STReport Editorial Staff

The RCMP, in an interview, stated they are not interested in any other activities one may find occurring on P2P networks.  They are however, concentrating on Hacking and Computer Fraud.  The fact that Stalking is involved has accelerated the urgency and intensity of the investigation. They said.  While the incidents of computer fraud in P2P networks is vague, it none the less occurs in the form of hijacked identities and credit card fraud.  Hacking involves a great many more areas of violation including break-ins, illegal use of computers, malicious interference, unauthorized data retrieval, data destruction and more.

According to one of the victims, the RCMP has recommended that she pay particular attention to anything unusual including noting if she is being followed and to log all telephone calls, emails and activities when using her computer.  STReport has learned of one alleged assailant's computer nickname after having obtained a copy of an email sent to the victim, threatening to "visit" her home.  The email was sent by "sixpack@budweiser.com".  When contacted for comment Budweiser stated they were unaware of this incident but stated; "they frowned upon such activities and would, themselves, look into the matter."

"Considering the geographical expanse of such incidents, its easy to feel confident one can easy fade into the woodwork" said one investigator.  He went on to say "that with the treaties and agreements in place in the three countries involved, these perpetrators of computer fraud, hacking and online stalkers have no idea how easy it is to come up with them."  Not many people are aware of the excellent relationship between Canadian and US authorities and that both Britain and the US are signatories to an international treaty aimed at severely punishing hackers.

Breaking Story (7:45am EST - 11/09/02)

In what can only be termed as a major shake-up has occurred in the P2P arena.  Seems a number of hackers have taken it upon themselves to expose user's names, addresses and other personal information obtained through their efforts and then stalk the victims personally.

In particular, two women have been accosted online with their names and addresses being revealed for all to see in chatrooms.  One victim is in the UK, the other in Edmonton, Canada.  The Canadian Authorities were notified yesterday at 3:10am by the single mother who complained of being stalked by a hacker.  A formal complaint is to be entered later today.  It is not known at this time if the UK victim has filed a complaint yet.

Apparently,  the log files of others who witnessed the online events have been supplied to the authorities.  These log files have IP addresses and access ports along with ISP's (Internet Service Provider) identities providing access to the alleged assailants.  While ISP's are normally reluctant to reveal subscriber information, its been reported that since stalking is involved there will be little resistance offered.

According to early reports, these incidents have been happening irregularly for almost two months and indicated to have happened in the popular WinMX P2P networks in the chatrooms provided therein. While not directly related to file sharing, shared files offered on the P2P network are usually copyrighted works. As such, these incidents will more than likely delight the opponents of P2P network file sharing such as the RIAA and the MPAA

The United States, United Kingdom and Canada have anti-hacker and privacy protection laws on the books to protect computer user information along with strong copyright laws.  The UK, in addition to existing anti-intrusion laws, has recently enacted an equipment seizure law pertaining to copyrighted works shared illegally via computer networking. Additionally, the US has included computer anti-hacker and network intrusion laws into its Cyber Terrorism laws as a result of 911 thus, making the penalties far more serious including mandatory jail time. Further, the US and the UK have signed an international treaty that allows hackers to be extradited. We expect to announce further details of this investigation later today.