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Revision3 attack traced to anti-piracy company MediaDefender

DDoS attacks are hardly unusual. A site says something controversial that gets under the wrong person's skin, and it's not long before they get flooded with enough requests to knock out their servers temporarily. When an attack happened over the weekend at the popular webshow site Revision3 , they started to wonder what they had to done provoke it. Now Rev3 has found the source of the attack, and that's raising even more questions. Rev3 was hit by MediaDefender, the self-described "leading provider of anti-piracy solutions in the emerging Internet-Piracy-Prevention industry."

Rev3? Piracy? They're a site that produces original shows! Why would some kind of draconian piracy-enforcement have a bone to pick with them? Turns out that the attack was targeted at Revision3's BitTorrent ports. They've been using BitTorrent, a popular peer-to-peer sharing protocol, to push their shows out to the public more quickly and cheaply through a distributed model. It's good for business, good for their fans, and nothing at all like piracy.

Rev3 talked to MediaDefender and discovered that the anti-piracy company had been covertly using the Rev3 BitTorrent tracker to move its own files, quite without the knowledge of Revision3. The attack happened when Rev3 caught on and blocked MediaDefender's torrent traffic. This apparently caused the MediaDefender servers to go completely nuts with attempts to reconnect -- over 8,000 a second -- and took down the entire Revision3 infrastructure, including the servers for all their video content, their advertising, and their internal email.

MediaDefender claims it didn't intend to attack Revision3, but as for using Rev3's resources for their own torrents, it's going to be hard to call that an accident. Rev3 has involved the FBI at this point, and it looks like MediaDefender is going to have some explaining to do. Also this seems like a happy enough ending, we can't help wondering whether there are hidden MediaDefender torrents lurking on the servers of any other legitimate services.

Tags: bittorrent, DDoS, MediaDefender, news, piracy, Rev3, Revision3