Tuesday, November 18, 2003

It was so colossal the line snapped!

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

According to the developers of Earthstation 5, their file sharing client offers water-tight anonymity, is more secure than Fort Knox, has been translated into 12 languages, downloaded 22 million times and supports more than 15 million simultaneous users 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Operating from a refugee camp in Palestine, the pioneering company responsible for bringing P2P bliss to the masses are so successful that they are able to keep 1500 staff on the payroll!

This is undoubtedly the most elaborate fairy story since the bible was cobbled together! It's not unusual for software developers to over hype their beloved progeny, yet few would stoop so low as to deliberately introduce malicious code which could allow remote attackers to delete critical Windows files from the computers of unsuspecting file sharers. This is precisely what clued-up peer to peer junkie, Random Nut, alleged last month.

The predictable, official ES5 response came in the form of a half-denial of the accusations. The lead programmer conceded that while it may be possible for a hacker to exploit the client in this way, providing the means to do so was not a deliberate attempt to compromise the security of computers connected to the ES5 network. 'Filehoover' goes on to assert that what Random Nut has exposed is not a booby trap, rather an essential part of the software's auto-update feature. Nevertheless, a hastily released update of the ES5 client, minus this component, was made available to reassure users of the network, while Random Nut's vitriole towards the developers was put down to bad blood emanating from previous clashes.

I'm aware this is old news, however, as I suggested not so long ago that if you are at all concerned about the lack of anonymity offered by the majority of file sharing clients you should check out ES5, I felt I should bring this information to your attention. I don't know if the allegations are justified or not, though judging by ES5's dubious PR history and the developer's misuse of the Zero Paid forums I'd advise you to think twice about installing the client if you value the data stored on your computer.

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