Peer to Peer File Sharing–Don’t Do It!

Another story from a computer user, courtesy of Tech Support Guy.

One of our teens had, unknown to us, not just one but four of those under her login on her dad’s computer. She knew it was illegal but, like her friends, did it anyway. One downloaded file carried a Trojan that turned off the antivirus file definition update feature. Ended up having a professional wipe off the hard drive to get rid of it.”

Nothing prevents the clever cyber-criminal from giving a malware download the same name as a popular song.  And really – at a buck a copy from iTunes or Amazon, why would you let your kids “share” songs on the Internet and risk the huge fines that can be levied if the RIAA (Recoding Industry Association of America).  Read these starling settlements (Wikipedia).

“The RIAA names defendants based on ISP identification of the subscriber associated with an IP address, and as such do not know any additional information about a person before they sue. After an Internet subscriber’s identity is discovered, but before an individual lawsuit is filed, the subscriber is typically offered an opportunity to settle. The standard settlement is a payment to the RIAA and an agreement not to engage in file-sharing of music and is usually on par with statutory damages of $750 per work, with the RIAA choosing the number of works it deems "reasonable." For cases that do not settle at this amount, the RIAA has gone to trial, seeking statutory damages from the jury, written into The Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act of 1999 as between $750 and $30,000 per work or $750 and $150,000 per work if "willful." In the case RIAA v. Tenenbaum, the jury awarded the RIAA $22,500 per song shared by Joel Tenenbaum resulting in a judgment of $675,000 for the shared 30 tracks (this was later reduced to $67,500 by the judge) and in the case RIAA v. Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the jury awarded $80,000 per song, or $1.92 million for 24 tracks (this award was later reduced by the judge to $54,000, though the final amount of damages has yet to be determined).”

Your children need to appreciate that their college fund is going up in flames.  Tell them to knock it off, and tell them why.


About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at

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