P2P Problems

There has been a significant increase in malicious code posted on P2P networks.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing networks are having more problems than just dramatic declines in download numbers. Security company TruSecure, through its division ICSA Labs, warned in January that there has been a significant surge in malicious code posted on P2P networks.

ICSA Labs officials claim that 45 percent of thousands of free files they collected via Kazaa, the most popular P2P client, contained viruses, Trojan horses, and back doors. Fizzer and Magic Eightball are just two of the viruses that have spread via Kazaa downloads in the past year.

The problem extends beyond casual home downloaders, says Bruce Hughes, of ICSA Labs. "Organizations need to warn their employees about file-sharing applications and the danger they pose at work and at home," he says. Proceed with caution.