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First Share Arrests

Laughing Man

It is being reported that three arrests have been made by Kyoto police for unauthorised distribution of copyrighted material (Gundam anime is mentioned) using anonymous P2P network Share, abortive successor to Winny, and these are the first arrests for using this network. Such reports do deserve critical reception, however, as they are inevitably presented such as to further the interests of law enforcement and copyright concerns, so some more careful analysis is required.

Those familiar with Share will know it has long had a reputation for uncompromisable security, which may have been dealt a fatal blow; the details provided in the report are, however, ambiguous, particularly compared to some of the forensic crowing such statements have previously included.

The lack of details may be based on the immediacy of the arrests, but doubtless has the intended effect of discouraging users, especially if these arrests were based on some other line of enquiry; the article also fails to clearly state whether their distribution involved introducing entire files onto the network, or merely downloading them (the article seems to imply they introduced entire files onto the network).

It remains to be seen whether this involved a systematic cracking of the Share protocol (parts of the protocol were cracked some time ago), or a more indirect circumvention of the security as with the Kaneko arrest. Still, it underlines the need for continuous development in such software, and is probably the death knell for Share.

Given that P2P of this sort is a technological arms race, it is not really a surprise that a program which has gone un-updated for years has been compromised. P2P users wondering where to turn after the apparent compromise of both Winny and Share will doubtless need look no further than Perfect Dark, currently under active development, as well as the erstwhile, though insecure, bittorrent network.

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