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ThE MaStEr

A DISGRUNTLED FORMER EMPLOYEE has done what the big media mafiaa have failed to do by shuttering several Bittorrent tracker websites.

While the various music recording label and Hollywood movie representatives have spent millions on hiring lawyers and lobbying politicians to take down what they call "the pirates", the actions of a former employee at the web host Reality Check Network have seemingly done far more damage. The outfit hosts numerous Bittorrent tracker websites on its servers and at 11AM BST it suffered what it called a "malicious attack" on its network.

Later the firm said that it wasn't a "network based" attack but rather an old school instance of sabotage by corrupting the master boot records (MBR) of servers, conducted by a ex-employee who had "intimate knowledge" of the network and systems.

Essentially the MBR holds information about where the operating system resides and is read after the system completes BIOS execution at start-up. A corrupted MBR typically doesn't result in a loss of data, however repairing it is a fiddly and time consuming task.

At press time, Reality Check Network's website is still down.

The attack goes to illustrate, once again, the while the Bittorrent protocol might be decentralised, the job of serving up torrent pointers is still very much a centralised operation. While outfits like The Pirate Bay can afford to have redundancy in place, even it has been forced offline, albeit for minutes, from attacks by 'anti-piracy' groups. Smaller torrent trackers such as those hosted on the Reality Check Network are often much smaller operations without the contingency in place to withstand attacks.

Who knows, maybe the big media mafiaa will extend an offer of employment to this disgruntled ex-employee. After all the chap managed to succeed where it has failed miserably, though only because he was an insider

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A DISGRUNTLED FORMER EMPLOYEE has done what the big media mafiaa have failed to do by shuttering several Bittorrent tracker w


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