By Elinor Mills
March 6, 2009
Security experts have long cautioned about the risk posed by the use of
peer-to-peer file sharing by individuals working in corporations,
warning that the practice creates holes that let malware in and
sensitive data out.
Their message may be having an impact in the P2P development community.
A trade group representing peer-to-peer file sharing providers next week
will publish a report that finds P2P software companies are modifying
their programs in an effort to make it harder for users to inadvertently
share sensitive information.
For corporate IT administrators, that shift can't come soon enough. The
problem was highlighted by the recent news that avionics blueprints of
President Obama's helicopter had leaked through a peer-to-peer network
used by a defense contractor to an IP (Internet Protocol) address in
This isn't the first time sensitive data has trickled out via popular
file sharing networks. Last summer, personal information of some 1,000
former patients of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center was believed to
have been leaked via a peer-to-peer network. Sensitive health care and
financial data has also been found on file sharing networks, according
to studies from Dartmouth University and P2P network monitoring service
provider Tiversa, which also uncovered the leaked presidential
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