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What's This About?

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What's This About?

There was an article in yesterday's Daily Mail about a couple who were accused of cyber theft. Apparently they were charged with sharing the game Race07 and identification was by their IP address. The sum of £525 was mentioned.
They were eventually rescued by the magazine Which? Computing. Apparently they couple are among a large group of people whose computers are not protected against being 'taken over' by file sharers.
My friend was a bit bothered about this story and as I look after her computer (a Vista laptop) I can be sure that it is as secure as I can make it i.e. the wireless connection is encrypted and password-protected, she has a firewall in the router and on the machine, up to date anti-spyware and anti-virus protection. She is a light Internet user and doesn't visit dodgy sites or receive any spam.
I assume that these people might have had an insecure wireless connection but would appreciate further discussion as the paper didn't say what went wrong in this particular case. Also, are ISPs allowed to pass on details of customers identified only by their IP address?
6 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Re: What's This About?

It's not a case of allowed to, it's a case of they have to if ordered by a court.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: What's This About?

Light user are the worse as they are not net savy I look after an old lady of 80 and she manages to get a virus and download porn simply because she doesnt know what its all about. If they are a light user they may not be up to date with the latest fixes and the AV may be out of date hence the problems
Cliff_Jordan
Grafter
Posts: 228
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: What's This About?

According to this - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7697898.stm - they didn't have a wireless connection. The article possibly throws a bit more light on the subject but does not really answer your original question.
Cliff
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Re: What's This About?

Whiffler - thank you very much for your efforts to find out more. As you say, the article doesn't give much away other than it wasn't due to an unsecured wireless connection. I hate it when you get these scare stories with no factual information on how to avoid it happening to you.
I look after the computers of several of my (elderly) friends and thankfully they are all very careful and have never been infected but I can understand why this particular friend was alarmed (as I am for that matter).
Moderator
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Re: What's This About?

Quote
Pirate Bay makes no secret of the fact that it inserts the random IP addresses of users, some of who may not even know what file sharing is, to the list of people downloading files, leading investigators up a virtual garden path.

That is what probably what happened, the IP was just added to the swarm.
I doubt the couples PC was at any risk, it's done to muddy the waters and things.
Will Moderate For Thanks
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Re: What's This About?

If that's the case then they should close it down as this must be illegal. In view of the fact that it is so easy to do, would it be any safer using a proxy server to hide your own IP address? I have read about software downloads to do this but don't want to mess my computer up, especially if it is not necessary. I recall using Onspeed when I was on dialup and that acted as a proxy.
Just looked it up on Wikipedia and I think that I will leave well alone!