送交者: 4U4luC2 于 2005-9-01, 10:55:49:
Macrovision floods P2P networks with bogus files to battle piracy
By Humphrey Cheung
September 1, 2005 - 11:17 EST
Hollywood (CA) - Music labels, movie studios and game companies are trying to turn the tables on P2P networks by using active denial technologies: At the recent Entertainment Media Expo, Macrovision representatives gave us an up-close look at their new "Hawkeye" system, which floods file-sharing networks with fake search results and bogus files.
P2P users generally use search engines to find their favorite games, movies or music. The search can be done inside the P2P program or may be available through a website. Hawkeye tries to slow down piracy by flooding the networks with bogus information. The approach is not completely new and has been used by the Recording Industry Association Artists and even artists such as Madonna in the past. Macrovision, however, adds another twist: Hawkeye either causes file transfers to hang or downloads audio or video data that simply contain silence or noise.
Content owners can order Hawkeye "protection" for their content by directly calling Macrovision or filling out a form on the firm's website. Todd Dalke, a sales engineer for Macrovision, demonstrated Hawkeye to us by implementing a protection order for a Brittany Spears video. He targeted the FastTrack network, which is the technology behind the Kazaa program.
Hawkeye contacted all the supernodes on the FastTrack network and inserted fake filenames resembling Brittany Spears video files. In our demonstration, Dalke added in a bunch of X's and Y's to the end of the filenames so we could easily see the results. After just about three minutes several dozens of the fake files came up in searches for the Brittany Spears video. According to Dalke, Macrovision typically uses bogus metadata to attract downloaders. "We make it look good," says Dalke.
Faking files, however, is only the first stage of the Hawkeye system. What happens if the user actually tries to download one of these files?
Macrovision injects two types of files into the P2P network. The first, called a "sinkhole," will look like an actual file, but will never start to download and simply hang when the user tries to download it. The second file type will download and but contain only useless content data - such as noise. Dalke explained that Hawkeye aims to "frustrate the downloader into giving up" his research for content. According to Macrovision, 100 bogus files may have to be downloaded before catching a file the user is actually looking for - making the search for audio and video as much fun as looking for a needle in a haystack.
The company hopes that P2P users themselves may be unwittingly supporting the success of the Hawkeye system. P2P files are often downloaded to folders that are shared with other P2P users on a network. As harddrives have increased in size, users tend not to clean off the bogus files that Hawkeye spews out - multiplying the search hits on bogus files. "Our files sometimes reach the highest counts on P2P search engines," says Dalke.
To Macrovision, the P2P battle is one big chess match, where one side tries to quietly corner the other. Some content providers try to keep their protection measures secret - to fool users into the belief that no content protection actions are taken. However some situations are calling for aggressive protection, Dalke said: "Video games have a short profitability window of about one month and protection has to start before the actual release."
While Macrovision attempts to stop piracy with Hawkeye, the company admits that it may be an impossible goal to achieve as P2P networks adapt and change. According to Dalke, Hawkeye works well against most of the major P2P networks including EDonkey and FastTrack. But full protection against Bittorrent has not been achieved yet.