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Leaks Prove MediaDefender's Deception 230

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the well-lookie-there dept.
Who will defend the defenders? writes "Ars Technica has posted the first installment in their analysis of the leaked MediaDefender emails and found some very interesting things. Apparently, the New York Attorney General's office is working on a big anti-piracy sting and they were working on finding viable targets. It also discusses how some of the emails show MediaDefender trying to spy on their competitors, sanitize their own Wikipedia entry, deal with the hackers targeting their systems, and to quash the MiiVi story even while they were rebuilding it as Viide. Oh yes, they definitely read "techie, geek web sites where everybody already hates us" like Slashdot, too."
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Leaks Prove MediaDefender's Deception

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  • Mixed feelings... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by KingSkippus (799657) * on Monday September 17, 2007 @08:53AM (#20634905) Homepage Journal

    You know, I hope people keep this incident in mind if they are considering going to work for a disreputable company, a company whose primary missions is screwing people, especially when those people that are being screwed have a Robin Hood-like reputation and are a lot smarter than you. The sad fact is that there will undoubtedly be a lot of collateral damage due to this episode. As pointed out in the Ars Technica article, a secretary who happened to be working for MediaDefender whose worst crime was answering phones and getting coffee for his or her bosses now has the social security number, home address and phone number, and salary information out there for everyone to download and look at.

    I think that an even worse fallout of all this is that companies are going to be even more anal about stuff like e-mail policies and such. At my company now, they content-block us from accessing Gmail. I'll be that companies will start doing crap like blocking employees from even sending e-mail to Gmail now, the attack vector that allowed these e-mails to get leaked.

    But still, even after having said all that, I love it when an evil company doing evil things gets their due like this. It's entirely possible that MediaDefender might go out of business because of this. If you're one of their customers whose detailed contract information got leaked, how likely are you to do business with them again? Although it occurred in a totally scummy way that I just can't endorse, I can't deny the end result of big media companies being a little more skittish to hiring these outfits to do their dirty work is a Good Thing.

    • Don't despair! [despair.com]
    • Re:Mixed feelings... (Score:5, Informative)

      by dc29A (636871) * on Monday September 17, 2007 @09:11AM (#20635111)
      MediaDefender wasn't only screwing people. They were screwing their clients as well (the big labels). I read a few of their emails, and one particulary caught my attention. I think Universal asked MD to produce stats about illegal downloads after they started another wave of lawsuits to see if these lawsuits have any effect on downloading (they were hoping it goes down).

      One MD scumbag then forwards this email to his lackeys and he adds: "If you want a good laugh" to the forwarded mail.

      These scumbag know that what they are doing is worthless, it doesn't stop piracy, but they both piss off users and rip off their own clients.

      They also received one confidential study from a think-tank in Washington DC, the nice presentation had some extremely disgusting stats: only about 17% of the piracy comes from illegal downloads, the vast majority comes from people borrowing CDs ... so much for the MAFIAA's claims.
      • by gravos (912628)
        the vast majority comes from people borrowing CDs

        What a second... you mean that those damaged CDs that don't work when you put them into a computer may actually help to curb piracy in some appreciable way? I am shocked and awed.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by renoX (11677)
        Sigh, I wonder how this got moderated insightful?

        What MediaDefender does is making the download of real files difficult by seeding false files and gathering data on downloaders for statistics and maybe also for prosecution.

        A client wants to know if the lawsuit stopped people from downloading so they provide statistics to see by how much, how is-it 'ripping off their client'?
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          Maybe because the MD's actions on receiving the email was to forward it to his employees with a cover message that basically insulted his customer and implied that he knew that what he (or the customer) was doing was worthless.

          At the very least it's rather unprofessional behaviour. I won't go into how unprofessional it is to have your company's emails leaked onto the internet...
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        These scumbag know that what they are doing is worthless, it doesn't stop piracy, but they both piss off users and rip off their own clients.

        Why is a measure to curb piracy always "worthless"? Just because piracy won't stop tomorrow doesn't mean the approach is bad, or that it isn't making a difference. We still haven't eliminated crime, yet we still pour government funding into police. We can't cure a plethora of diseases, yet we still try to treat them. Why is it always so black and white?

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Sloppy (14984)

          Why is a measure to curb piracy always "worthless"?

          When that's really all it's about, it's not worthless. But these guys aren't working on the problem of curbing piracy. The only way to curb piracy is to make ethical arguments (to the pirates) about the consequences of taking without paying -- the effects of denying patronage to artists (e.g. causing people to simply give up, causing some to "sell out" and seek dubious/compromising sources of funding, etc). These guys just put up minor roadblocks but d

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by raju1kabir (251972)

          Why is a measure to curb piracy always "worthless"? Just because piracy won't stop tomorrow doesn't mean the approach is bad, or that it isn't making a difference. We still haven't eliminated crime, yet we still pour government funding into police. We can't cure a plethora of diseases, yet we still try to treat them. Why is it always so black and white?

          We still try to treat diseases, yes, but that doesn't meant that anything someone does in the name of fighting disease is automatically admirable.

          When Med

    • by igb (28052) on Monday September 17, 2007 @09:14AM (#20635143)
      Of course, in a country with a sensible data protection regime, forwarding personally identifiable information to a weakly-protected gmail account would be a non-no in and of itself, One of the problems with the US's absolute lack of constraints on companies' use of personal data is that the casual mailing of SSNs can go on, and management have no reason to deal with it. In europe, that sort of stuff is locked down into HR department systems.
      • by Martin Blank (154261) on Monday September 17, 2007 @10:05AM (#20635765) Journal
        "Casual mailing" of SSNs can (theoretically) get a company in trouble under federal HIPAA laws and under certain state laws like California's SB1386. Many companies are working on locking down their e-mail, often with smart filters that look for strings like SSNs or driver's license numbers, among other things, and automatically encrypting them before going out, sometimes even before leaving the department while remaining within the company.

        This doesn't stop the need for laws which are much more clear and restrictive on the use and control of personally identifying information, and which have more bite when they are enforced.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          "Casual mailing" of SSNs can (theoretically) get a company in trouble under federal HIPAA laws

          As MediaDefender is not a Health Care provider HIPAA does not apply.

        • by ednopantz (467288)
          Exactly how does legislation stop stupidity again?

          I just got a list of SSNs from a client, cleartext, over email. They had no idea the numbers were there. The IT guys swore up and down that the system didn't contain SSNs, but there they were. No malice, just stupidity.

          It strikes me as vastly more useful to have an identity system that is more resistant to attack than putting a lot of faith in the good sense and good intentions of IT admins, DBAs, clerks and interns. The whole "one secret, many points of
          • Legislation on its own will not stop stupidity. The mistakes made by the MediaDefender employee that led to the leak of its internal messaging is a prime example. However, it may lead to solutions to help protect those who don't understand or know better from making stupid mistakes. A more complete overhaul of the system requires a great deal of time and energy, and will take much longer to address than locking down some of the existing issues. In the meantime, something should be done to mitigate the f
    • Re:Mixed feelings... (Score:5, Informative)

      by badenglishihave (944178) on Monday September 17, 2007 @09:30AM (#20635297) Homepage
      I do find it funny that people will be paranoid about GMail now... the only reason these MediaDefender-Defender guys got in is because they knew the password. Perhaps GMail is more insecure than other email providers; however, afaik they didn't hack into his account, they just found out his password from another site and used it to log into his email. Not exactly GMail's fault.
    • While it's unfortunate that the innocent (or semi-innocent) are paying a price too, you can't tell me that the secretary had no idea what business they were in. She may not have appreciated the kind of backlash she was risking, you can't tell me that she didn't have to deal with angry calls all the time letting her know what people thought of this "business."
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by teh_chrizzle (963897)

        you can't tell me that the secretary had no idea what business they were in.

        when i lived in seattle, i worked for a startup company in the same building as 180 solutions. our offices were right across the hall from theirs. at the time i had no idea what they did, and i would run into their people in the hall from time to time, usually it was their receptionist. she was really cute and very outgoing, far too nice to be working for such a despicable company. when i learned what they did and saw the coll

    • As pointed out in the Ars Technica article, a secretary who happened to be working for MediaDefender whose worst crime was answering phones and getting coffee for his or her bosses now has the social security number, home address and phone number, and salary information out there for everyone to download and look at.

      To be blunt, my first thought was "work for them, hang with them". But where does that lead?

      Yes, it would be pretty neat to bleed those companies dry by by "discouraging" people from working for
    • by neoform (551705)
      I'd want to punish Hitler's secretary (provided he/she wasn't forced into the job).
    • At my company now, they content-block us from accessing Gmail. I'll be that companies will start doing crap like blocking employees from even sending e-mail to Gmail now, the attack vector that allowed these e-mails to get leaked.

      Interesting. Why did your company never view this 'vector' as a problem for sites such as Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail, which both launched as far back as 1996? The tools that GMail offers are not that much different, I'm sure the mass forwarding of mails to a web mailbox was possible

      • AC's right. They block all of the major web e-mail providers.

        • Our company has the worst blocking software I've ever known. Bugmenot.com is classified as "Hacking" and Insecure.org is apparently ok. Too many other examples to mention, I wish I knew who the content filter supplier was.
    • by aqui (472334)
      If you dish it out, you shouldn't be surprised when something comes back your way.

      Again I agree with the post above I feel sorry for some of the employees caught in the middle, but have little sympathy for the company.

      When you actively seek to disrupt somebody else's activities (legal or not), especially with questionable tactics it won't make you popular and there is going to be backlash.

      Law enforcement activities should be left to law enforcement officers that have been empowered by democratically elected
    • by AJWM (19027)
      I can't help but wonder why things like spreadsheets containing sensitive data like SSNs and the like are being emailed around in the first place, and what position this Jay Mairs held (I sincerely doubt he still holds it after this leak) to be on the mailing list for same.

      Oh, I understand why the stuff was in a spreadsheet at all instead of an appropriate place like a secured database -- that's just because people are stupid about that sort of thing in the first place, and it's just too easy to throw the
  • by jkrise (535370) on Monday September 17, 2007 @08:56AM (#20634945) Journal
    I think this revelation brings to light the extent to which companies will go - to deceive the public, the mainstream media... and then continue with their illegal practices after a short time.

    Microsoft's recent downplaying of the unexplained Windows Updates is another case in point. Where is Mark Russinovich's article that does a 'diff' of the replaced files, and explaining the 'new behaviour' in detail - like he did in the Sony rootkit case?

    It is a bit sad that many of these incidents do not figure in the mainstream media - which seems to be in the powerful grips of these Corporate thugs.
    • by radarjd (931774) on Monday September 17, 2007 @09:09AM (#20635083)

      It is a bit sad that many of these incidents do not figure in the mainstream media - which seems to be in the powerful grips of these Corporate thugs.
      While it's possible that some corporation may be exercising some undue influence, it seems just as likely (if not more) to me that people simply don't care. Have Sony's CD sales been hurt by the rootkit incident? (And I mean on a meaningful level, not anecdotally.) Has Microsoft lost business from its anti-trust issues? Those have certainly received a great deal of media attention, but the greatest portion of the public seems not to care.
      • by jkrise (535370) on Monday September 17, 2007 @09:34AM (#20635349) Journal
        While it's possible that some corporation may be exercising some undue influence, it seems just as likely (if not more) to me that people simply don't care.

        I did address this issue in my original post. I speculated that this happens becasue Mainstream Media is simply reluctant to publish these issues, which have a vital bearing on true competition in the IT industry. The BBC has an article on the EU anti-trust ruling; but none at all on the Media Defender clowns circus. If it did, there would be much larger pressure on them, than discussions at Slashdot, Digg, Flexbeta ArsTechnica and so on.

        In fact an email at MD discusses precisely this apathy in the mainstream media; and why they should relaunch the whole thing under a different name. Microsoft has simply relaunched the same core Office applications and the Windows operating systems in different names at different points in time. The intention is clear: To subvert proper competitive development, impede progress, ruthlessly maintain lock-in; etc. The media must resist such intereferences... otherwise such secondary media sites will make take away their business in tech reporting at least.
      • Are you kidding?

        Between the DRM Rootkit, DRM, extra copy protection on Sony Pictures DVD's, and now a rootkit on a Thumb Drive, the movement to Don't buy SONY is growing. It shows in their financials.

        http://finance.yahoo.com/q/cf?s=SNE&annual [yahoo.com]

        Note Net income 2005 ending March 31 was 1,523,693 in 2006- 1,050,736, and in 2007- 1,073,788. This is a downturn of almost a full third in one year.

        For the most part they are moving away from being a manufacture to an investment firm much like the Sears Roebuck c
    • by Stavr0 (35032)

      Where is Mark Russinovich's article that does a 'diff' of the replaced files, and explaining the 'new behaviour' in detail - like he did in the Sony rootkit case?

      Ha! I see what you did there... (Russinovich sold to MS a year ago) but seriously, I'd like to see Steve Gibson's[grc.com] take on the Stealth WUA thing. He's got just enough of a tinfoil hat to uncover the juicy details...

  • by CaptainZapp (182233) * on Monday September 17, 2007 @08:58AM (#20634957) Homepage
    This may be nitpicking, but I was somewhat shocked about the tone of the (paraphrased) emails. There seems a lot of f**k and s**t flowing around from the head honchos of this dodgy outfit right to the bottom.

    Now don't get me wrong. I'm neither squeamish, nor easily offended. But in professional, corporate email communications such a tone has about as much justification as surfing porn at work.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by eskimoboy (690127)
      funny you should mention that, as it is, in fact, the other thing they do at "work"
    • by artg (24127) on Monday September 17, 2007 @09:35AM (#20635359)
      This sort of thing echoes the Watergate tapes : there is a certain class of person that feels bigger by acting aggressively, and swearing is a socially-acceptable form of aggression.

      Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
    • by JRHelgeson (576325) on Monday September 17, 2007 @09:44AM (#20635465) Homepage Journal

      But in professional, corporate email communications such a tone has about as much justification as surfing porn at work.

      And to that point - it is their JOB to surf porn at work, to seek out child porn and notify the DoJ and the New York Attorney General's office of the material so that the AG could pursue the offender as part of their own investigation.

      Yet, I do agree that the use of profanity does show a lack of professionalism. Much like the theory that you can tell a lot about a man by the way he treats his waitress. These emails reveal that they have an air of arrogant superiority about themselves, that they operate above the law, and that they are immune from "teh bad d00dz". They are convinced of their moral authority and moral superiority.

      To wit:
      I have a fair level of certainty that they got themselves infected with spyware, adware, trojans. They surf sites in the dark corners of the 'intertoob' seeking out nefarious content, evil trackers and child predators. In going there, they are in the stomping grounds of the best of the worst when it comes to infecting computers using the most current 0day exploits.

      (Side note -- Stick with me here)
      I personally do not run anti-virus. I deal with malicious content all the time. I know what is running on my machine at all times. If I were to run an AntiVirus, it would delete half the files on my hard drive that was gathered as evidence in investigations, or malicious tool kits used to exploit systems that I use in teaching classes.

      Whenever I venture to evil sites, I start up a virtual machine, I have two - they are called "Hindenburg" and "Titanic" that are not current on their patches and run no anti-virus. I purposely seek out infections and malware on these machines so I can analyze the machines postmortem. I have a tremendous amount of respect and even admiration for my opponents. They are VERY good at their game. As such, I am careful not to let my guard down.

      (My point)
      I'll bet that what they've done is get a real machine infected, one that was not sandboxed, connected to the internal domain, and the user was running with not just local admin privileges, but with full domain admin privileges. OOPS! This infected machine reported back to the hackers, who then connected back in to their hacked box and set up user accounts on the network and also rooted the boxes.

      At this point, no amount of changing passwords or firewalls or IDS will get the intruders out. They need to rebuild every box on their network, from scratch. They need to stop thinking of themselves as an "academic institution" that needs full access to the internet (no outbound restrictions on the firewall) and where proper security practices "don't apply to them".

      Proper security and safety protocols were not followed. The arrogant attitude of "we're security folks, policies don't apply to us" is what let this happen.

      Further your affiant sayeth not, :)
      Joel Helgeson
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And to that point - it is their JOB to surf porn at work, to seek out child porn and notify the DoJ and the New York Attorney General's office of the material so that the AG could pursue the offender as part of their own investigation.
        In other words, a pedo's dream job.
      • by Xest (935314)
        ...the word on the street is simply that one of their staff signed up to a torrent site from one of MediaDefender's IPs with the same gmail address as username and password as he used for his gmail account where all these e-mails had been archived.

        It's true that simple mistakes lead to major errors, you only have to look at the Half-Life 2 source code leak where a member of staff was e-mailed a key logger trojan giving the attacker all the info they needed to get the code out of there.
        • Re:Actually (Score:5, Interesting)

          by JRHelgeson (576325) on Monday September 17, 2007 @11:35AM (#20637105) Homepage Journal

          ...the word on the street is simply that one of their staff signed up to a torrent site from one of MediaDefender's IPs with the same gmail address as username and password as he used for his gmail account where all these e-mails had been archived.

          Heh, they all but went out of their way to provide access to the hackers. The top brass had his emails being forwarded to his Gmail account, bypassing any and all security they had set up on the corporate network.

          Then the hackers got the usernames and passwords and gained internal access to the network, establishing admin access on the domain. They apparently set up packet captures, or if MediaDefender were the ones capturing packets, they found them and this is where they captured the VoIP calls.

          "Keyloggers, we don't need no stinking keyloggers!"
          The worst infections to get rid of are those who have admin access to the network and who maintain their access using normal everyday network admin utilities (From my experience, the French are especially good at this). I have worked with sites that have been hacked where the intruders have obtained an administrator level password, then gone in and set up RPC over HTTPS on the domain servers, then the hackers have set up their own 2003 server, added it to the domain, promoted it to domain controller and had the hacked company's Domain Controller perform an outbound sync (using the RPC over HTTPS) to the hackers 2003 server. Any password changes the users make on the home network will be replicated to their off site "guest host" malicious server.

          The hackers later added Distributed File Shares or DFS, and used it to replicate file shares (i.e. user folders) information to their hacked domain controller. The hackers basically set themselves up as a run-of-the-mill remote office that synchronizes over a low-speed wan link.

          This company was totally Pwn3d... I wouldn't be surprised to see the same thing happened here with the amount of information they collected.
      • No, it was simpler than that. The guy who's gmail account was 'compromised', registered on a p2p site with his MediaDefender (or gmail) address and used the SAME password as his gmail account. There was no 'hacking' of the MediaDefender's computers, just user stupidity.
    • I'm sorry, but I simply cannot agree with you. Sorry, you are horribly wrong on this one. I, for one, spent a lot of time surfing for porn while at work (some shadier porn pages used to contain a few quite interesting malware infectors).

      So yes, sometimes surfing for granny porn at work has its place. But take my advice, do it before lunch. First, you will definitly save a lot of your lunch money, and it keeps you from making your work space a messy place.
    • You've never heard the Nixon tapes.
  • by wwmedia (950346) on Monday September 17, 2007 @09:00AM (#20634975)
    • Anyone have a link to the Gnutella database torrent? I only saw the email and phone call torrents on TPB.
    • That transcript is a black-hat's wet dream.

      For those that don't want to read through it, it's classic PHB scumbag B.S. They're running exchange on one side, so there's going to be trouble finding a compromise unless the disks are taken out of production.

      The buzzword B.S. level is so high I think I threw-up in my mouth a little.
  • The weakest link (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kj_in_ottawa (838840) on Monday September 17, 2007 @09:02AM (#20634995)
    Some smart yet misguided people have their plot foiled by the weakest link, the human. I'm glad this whole miivi thing has been exposed. I think how it has been brought to light serves as a good reminder to the rest of us. No matter how secure your app, or how great your plan, all it takes is one person who doesn't understand policy or the consequences of following it and all is lost. Cheers
    • by z0idberg (888892)
      Speaking of smart people.

      My favorite quote from the article/emails:

      (while discussing communications between the Miivi site and its "customers")

      "Make sure MediaDefender can not be seen in any of the hidden email data crap that smart people can look in."
  • Journamalism 101 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jalefkowit (101585) <jason@@@jasonlefkowitz...net> on Monday September 17, 2007 @09:06AM (#20635057) Homepage

    I know it's pointless to ask things like this of the /. "editors", but the summary of this story is almost completely useless to anyone who is coming to the story cold (like me).

    Would it have killed someone to have rewritten the submission so that it explained:

    • Who MediaDefender is
    • What the "leaked MediaDefender emails" are
    • What the "MiiVi story" is
    • Why I should care

    ?

    I can go Google all that stuff and find out for myself, but why would I bother, if it's not clear to me why the story is important in the first place?

    • Actually, if you'd been on /. over the weekend, you would have gotten the first installment of the series. I was thinking this was a dupe, but it turns out it's just a link to a story discussing somehting which was on /. last night. A meta-dupe, if you will.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      News flash, it's a summary. If you want journalism go read the article, unless it was posted by Roland P. of course.
    • Re:Journamalism 101 (Score:5, Informative)

      by ZachPruckowski (918562) <zachary.pruckowski@gmail.com> on Monday September 17, 2007 @10:03AM (#20635741)
      MediaDefender is a company that the RIAA and MPAA hire to pollute Bittorrent trackers with fake torrents, track torrent usage, and spew false data out to torrents.

      A group called "MediaDefender-Defender" got someone's password and spilled thousands of emails from within MediaDefender. Apparently some idiot forwarded all his corporate mail to Gmail, and used an easy password.

      "MiiVi" was an attempt by MediaDefender to create a fake file-sharing site to entrap people. About two people fell for it, then they were exposed by Torrentfreak.

      You should care because this company lied about its involvement with an attempt to "entrap" (legally, it's not entrapment, but it's still pretty morally grey). You might also care because it's another attempt by the RIAA and MPAA to screw over file-sharers. Or maybe you don't care about it. There's no assurance that you'll find everything on Slashdot interesting.
    • by tero (39203)
      I know it's poinless to try to tell things like this to /. "users", but if you would have clicked the story you would have seen a short section called "Related Stories" just before the comments.

      In that little section you would have found two links to articles that are - surprise - related to this story.

      Following those links would have taken you to the whole backstory story and you could have read that right here on Slashdot without having to do any Google searches.

      Isn't technology fantastic

      ?
    • Related stories 101 (Score:4, Informative)

      by Scrameustache (459504) on Monday September 17, 2007 @10:47AM (#20636341) Homepage Journal

      I know it's pointless to ask things like this of the /. "editors", but the summary of this story is almost completely useless to anyone who is coming to the story cold (like me).

      Related Stories
      [+] Your Rights Online: MediaDefender Denies Entrapment Accusations 104 comments
      Ortega-Starfire writes "We've previously discussed the subject of MediaDefender setting up a site to catch movie pirates. Ars Technica covers the response from MediaDefender, which basically states the entire thing was a mistake and was only an internal site they forgot to password protect, and that they were not using this with the MPAA. The article asks: 'If this is true, why did MediaDefender immediately remove all contact information from the whois registry for the domain? Saaf said that after everything hit the fan, the company decided to take everything on the site down because it was afraid of a hacker attack or "people sending us spam." Yes, spam. The MPAA's Elizabeth Kaltman also chimed in to say that they had no involvement with MiiVi: "The MediaDefender story is false. We have no relationship with that company at all," she told Ars.'"
      [-] IT: Internal Emails of An RIAA Attack Dog Leaked 412 comments
      qubezz writes "The company MediaDefender works with the RIAA and MPAA against piracy, setting up fake torrents and trackers and disrupting p2p traffic. Previously, the TorrentFreak site accused them of setting up a fake internet video download site designed to catch and bust users. MediaDefender denied the entrapment charges. Now 700MB of MediaDefender's internal emails from the last 6 months have been leaked onto BitTorrent trackers. The emails detail their entire plan, including how they intended to distance themselves from the fake company they set up and future strategies. Other pieces of company information were included in the emails such as logins and passwords, wage negotiations, and numerous other aspect of their internal business."
    • by Ilgaz (86384) *

      I know it's pointless to ask things like this of the /. "editors", but the summary of this story is almost completely useless to anyone who is coming to the story cold (like me).

      Would it have killed someone to have rewritten the submission so that it explained:

      • Who MediaDefender is
      • What the "leaked MediaDefender emails" are
      • What the "MiiVi story" is
      • Why I should care

      ?

      I can go Google all that stuff and find out for myself, but why would I bother, if it's not clear to me why the story is important in the first place?

      Slashdot is linking stories and inviting discussion on those stories.

      You could click these showing up right under the "scoop":

      Your Rights Online: MediaDefender Denies Entrapment Accusations 104 comments
      [+] IT: Internal Emails of An RIAA Attack Dog Leaked 413 comments

      So;

      Who MediaDefender is
      ^^RIAA Attack Dog
      What the "leaked MediaDefender emails" are
      ^^Internal Emails of them
      What the "MiiVi story" is
      ^^^ Your Rights Online: MediaDefender Denies Entrapment Accusation
      Why I should care
      ^^^Besides obvious ethical re

  • nice one, thats my evening's humorous reading sorted out then. Purest, addictive, schadenfreude - what a delight.

    its always cute when you see a big firm like that caught with its breeches down, but when its the sneaky bugger who where behind MiiVii on the receiving end its extra juicy.

    tell you one thing, I wish we could get a current tap on their email to see what they are saying about this one! :-)

    on a more serious note, this came out because one single employee forward all his email to a gmail ac
    • I wish we could get a current tap on their email to see what they are saying about this one!

      One of the few occasions when I'd really advocate spyware on a few selected computers...
    • If they have any sense - debatable - they'll be meeting face-to-face only.
  • Good Time . . . (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dausha (546002) on Monday September 17, 2007 @09:13AM (#20635135) Homepage
    Is this a good time to mention that access to these internal emails was gained illegally? Sure, he was stupid enough to use the same password on different systems, but that doesn't mitigate the invasion of privacy.

    • by artg (24127)
      Isn't whistleblowing always illegal (in the sense that it always violates contractual agreements) ?
    • Re:Good Time . . . (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kadin2048 (468275) * <slashdot.kadinNO@SPAMxoxy.net> on Monday September 17, 2007 @09:40AM (#20635417) Homepage Journal
      Legally, the "fruit of the poisonous tree" doctrine applies only when there's some sort of causative link between the illegal discovery of something and the investigation into it. E.g., if a police officer breaks into your house without cause and finds your coke-cutting equipment, you're probably safe. But if your house gets broken into by a(nother) criminal while you're away, and in the course of the ensuing investigation the police find your stash ... tough luck. That's pretty much how I see this situation. The fact that the information came out because some guy's GMail got hacked pales in significance compared to the content that was disclosed, and I don't see any reason to cover my eyes just because of the source, when the source was just due to chance (or, perhaps, some sort of karma/fate/God).

      Morally, these scumbags gave up any claim to anything a long time ago. Morally, they all deserve to be soundly beaten and left for dead on some island somewhere so they can learn to play nice with each other or starve. Because that's sadly illegal, pointing and laughing at their misfortune is a close second.
      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by Dausha (546002)
        "Legally, the 'fruit of the poisonous tree' ..."

        I never said anything about that doctrine, of which I am familiar. That involves illegal government action that yields criminal evidence. This involves non-government action that is itself criminal. This is the same comparison we have with apples and oranges: none. The person reporting the information is the criminal actor, in my assertion.

        "Morally..."

        Morally, we all deserve to be soundly beaten. I did not raise the moral character of the email account holder,
    • When.... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Chineseyes (691744)
      When celebrities have their sex tapes stolen no one goes around saying what a tragedy a crime has been committed. We say what kind of idiot would tape themselves having sex. So why on earth would you think that when MediaDefender has their internal e-mails and tracking database stolen people are going to feel pity for them especially when they do business for such an unsympathetic cause. Instead people are gawking and gloating at this the same way they gawk and gloat when some celebrity they don't like g
  • by AftanGustur (7715) on Monday September 17, 2007 @09:30AM (#20635293) Homepage


    In case someone wants to have a look, Here is a on-line mailbox with all the leaked emails [hopto.org]

    • by z0idberg (888892)
      Interesting email, about considering using their employees home IP addresses, most likely to try and get around IP blacklists. http://jrwr.hopto.org/msg02207.html [hopto.org] Contains a list of a bunch of employees home IP addresses. Woops. Might see a few of them changing ISPs if they have any sense.
    • Thanks so much for sharing this link! Some fascinating stuff in there! A few lols at MediaDefender's low opinion of Digg users!
  • by dj245 (732906) on Monday September 17, 2007 @09:45AM (#20635487) Homepage
    Wikipedia entries tend to be sanitized for companies anyway asa a matter of company policy. Employees aren't supposed to post- its in almost every contract there is. Every contract I have ever seen for a major company has something that basically states you may not act as the PR agent for the company or speak publically for the company. This is basically what you are doing by posting on wikipedia.

    So the guys in PR are the only ones in the company posting over the long term. Anyone else doesn't work for the company, or won't be working there long (yerfired!).
    • There's a difference between prohibiting your own employees from posting material and deleting material posted by outsiders.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 17, 2007 @09:49AM (#20635541)
    MiiVi would be such a cool name for a text editor. Especially if it ran on Nintendo consoles.
  • Glancing through the news and some of the e-mails, the good news is the best way not to be implicated in any of this is to be an old fogy -- I don't think any media mentioned in these e-mails is from the previous century. Apparently us old geezers who like 1980s and 1970s music get a free pass.
  • viide.com (Score:5, Funny)

    by zerocool^ (112121) on Monday September 17, 2007 @09:52AM (#20635569) Homepage Journal
    Well, they haven't learned anything, their new miivi replacement site, www.viide.com, which isn't live yet, has the following whois credentials:

    Registrant:
      MediaDefender, Inc.
      11965 Venice
      Venice, CA 90066
      US
      310-306-9110
     
    Domain Name: VIIDE.COM
     
    Administrative Contact:
      Saaf, Randy info@mediadefender.com
      11965 Venice
      Venice, CA 90066
      US
      310-306-9110
     
    Technical Contact:
      Saaf, Randy info@mediadefender.com
      11965 Venice
      Venice, CA 90066
      US
      310-306-9110
     
    Record last updated 07-17-2007 03:10:09 PM
    Record expires on 02-07-2008
    Record created on 02-07-2007
     
    Domain servers in listed order:
            NS0.DIRECTNIC.COM 69.46.233.245
            NS1.DIRECTNIC.COM 69.46.234.245
    • The average mouse is not stupid enough to fall for the average mousetrap. Instead, you will get the really greedy and the really stupid ones. Which in turn means two things. First of all, you think your mousetrap is working (because you catch mice) and second, you breed more intelligent mice.
    • Total Cash Flow From Operating Activities

      So how long did it take you to null-route the 2 DNS addresses? It took me less than 5 minutes.
      • by yuna49 (905461)
        Well, you won't see any of the sites I host then, since I use DirectNIC as well. [directnic.com]

        Don't blame them just because you don't like one of their customers. Do you think every DNS registrar reviews every registration (in their case, an online registration) to make sure it passes some kind of Slashdot cleanliness test?

        BTW, DirectNIC is an excellent registrar with good customer support. Sure they cost a bit more than GoDaddy, but I've found they're worth the $15/year I pay.
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday September 17, 2007 @09:53AM (#20635587) Homepage
    Oh yes, they definitely read "techie, geek web sites where everybody already hates us" like Slashdot, too."

    Duh, most of us that are here too much can pick out those shills. They are very obvious to anyone paying attention. I believe there is a website out there that tracks them and even links accounts on different sites to specific people at Idiot-defender.

    What they do is ineffective except for catching the 13 year old girls that dont know anything. they dont even put a mild dent in the real sharing groups. One of the guys at work was running around with a new DL DVD he got in the mail from a group member full of zero day songs and even stuff that has not been released yet all at incredibly high bitrate. He also had a copy of the Simpsons movie in 1080i which was mind blowing, it had to be a digital conversion from a not released yet BluRay master or someone broke the digital cinema format to convert it in a theater projection booth with a laptop.
  • by yuna49 (905461) on Monday September 17, 2007 @10:00AM (#20635687)
    I don't see any mention in the article of even an attempt to get the NY AG's office to comment on this story. Nor do I see any mention of it on the AG's own web site. If ars were a newspaper, the editors wouldn't have let this story appear at all without at least an official "no comment" by the Attorney General's office.

    A quick search this am for "new york attorney general mediadefender" turned up no mainstream press reports about this story.

    According the ars piece, by the way, the AG's office appeared to be interested in porn downloads, not, as the editors here put it, "working on a big anti-piracy sting and they were working on finding viable targets." From TFA, "Although the full scope of the project cannot be extrapolated from the e-mails, the information available indicates that MediaDefender intends to provide the Attorney General's office with information about users accessing pornographic content. Other kinds of information could be involved as well." (That last sentence is so vague and general that it could refer to almost any information of any kind anywhere on the planet.)

    Don't the editors at least read the stories themselves before they post them to Slashdot?

    None of these comments is a defense of either MediaDefender or the NYAG. I'm more concerned about the shoddy reporting that passes for journalism on geek news sites like this one and arstechnica. Particularly the latter, since the articles I've read there in the past gave off the semblance of decent journalism.

    • by bjc23 (1101765) on Monday September 17, 2007 @10:21AM (#20635955)
      The WSJ got a 'no comment' from the NY AG ( http://www.moneyweb.co.za/mw/view/mw/en/page94?oid=161203&sn=Detail [moneyweb.co.za] ). The AG's case was definitely related to child porn; not piracy.
    • by Ilgaz (86384) *
      This story would mark the end of professional IT media. I have read some of mails randomly, it is some sort of Big media Watergate scandal of 2000s. All those large media companies show up either as customers or people who they demostrated their technology to. There is a media company asking their PIRACY data to decide which single they should release next.

      Slashdot is not claiming to be a media site, it is a portal, it links to sites. If IT media is sold out, Slashdot can't setup IT sites just to link.

      Check
      • by yuna49 (905461)
        Slashdot is not claiming to be a media site, it is a portal, it links to sites. If IT media is sold out, Slashdot can't setup IT sites just to link.

        I'm not asking that Slashdot become a "media site." All I'm asking is that they check to see that the summaries they post are, in fact, consistent with the article that is cited. In this case, we were told the AG's involvement had to do with piracy while the article said it had to do with pornography. A day on Slashdot contains perhaps one or two dozen articl
    • Don't the editors at least read the stories themselves before they post them to Slashdot?

      You must be new here.
  • ViiDi? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ChrisStrickler (1157941) on Monday September 17, 2007 @10:02AM (#20635709)
    Following the Nintendo pronunciation of Wii (as Wee), would this not be sound like ViiDi would be pronounced "Vee Die" I'd check to see if they are scandinavian and suicidal.

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