Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


P2P, Filenames

The other day, Samablog and I did some P2P mining, after Michelle Malkin blogged about it. She links to P2P Provides Safe Haven For Pedophiles. There, Rick shows screen captures of extremely disgusting file names (“2 yo getting raped during diaper change”). He doesn’t download any files, but takes this as evidence for his title.

I don’t want to defend such sick behavior, but there are some things worth thinking about. First, are these files what they purport to be? That is, are they child porn, or are they trojan horses carrying spyware or viruses? (They could also be 5 minutes of someone screaming “You sick, sick bastard! Go get help!”) Second, are they being distributed by law enforcement or investigative agencies, who log every search and transfer?

So, it’s pretty quick and easy to come up with interpretations of the evidence that aren’t “P2P Provides Safe Haven For Pedophiles.” I have no interest in downloading such files to test the “alternate content” theories. An interesting test would be to run such searches, and dig into the IP addresses sharing such files. Maybe they are law enforcement?