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P2P - Kazaa Privacy Problems and Risks
Exchange and Collaboration Tools and Technologies
"Usability and privacy: a study of Kazaa P2P file-sharing"
= must have
As file haring and P2P networks become a viable exchange model for many of us, there are still many issues to be resolved and some problems to be fixed before these tools can be effectively utilized for serious work.
According to this report a large percentage of Kazaa users have either accidentally or unknowingly shared their private files with everyone who has access to the Kazaa network.
Apparently, the Kazaa software, already plagued by spyware issues, poses serious threats to computer users as it makes possible, while users do not realize it, to unwillingly share key files and directories in one's own PC, allowing uncontrolled access and download from others.
Using various experiments to analyze the usability of the Kazaa file sharing interface, the researchers discovered that the majority of the users in the study were unable to tell what files they were sharing, and in certain cases, were not even aware they were sharing files at all.
The researchers created a set of dummy files on a server to simulate a typical situation of a user utilizing Kazaa Media Dekstop. They simulated a real situation by creating in typical folders personal files with private information like credit card numbers. Through this escamotage the researchers were able to discover that in a 24-hour period many of the personal files had been accessed and downloaded several times by unique visitors.
This nine page Acrobat PDF report is freely available for download. It does a good job in clarifying issues and problems that may have been long underestimated by P2P users.