Sci/Tech MediaDefender Defends Revision3 SYN Attack


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When MediaDefender rained down an attack of some 8,000 SYN packets a second on an open BitTorrent tracker that pointed the way to hundreds of thousands of copyrighted movies for the taking, it had no idea it was shuttering a legitimate San Francisco media company.

Revision3, the San Francisco-based site the produces and distributes the popular DiggNation show and others via the BitTorrent protocol, went offline over the Memorial Day weekend after its servers buckled under the attack. Revision3's distribution tracker was open, and was pointing the way for pirates to download copyrighted movies unbeknownst to Revision3.

MediaDefender is paid by the recording and motion picture industries to seed fake files to illicit torrent tracking services. When Revision3 closed the tracker during the holiday weekend, the result was a denial of service attack by MediaDefender, which had been seeding the tracker with fake torrents.

"Our systems were targeting a tracker not even knowing it was Revision3's tracker," Randy Saaf, Media Defender's CEO, said in an interview. "They were using the tracker as the tracker for their legitimate content. It had been open for years."

At, Revision3's tracker was used for 296,000 downloads, mostly of unauthorized copyrighted movies, Saaf said.

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