Forum Thread: How safe are P2P programs?

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Relating to this vendor:
BitTorrent, Inc
And, this specific program:
uTorrent for Windows 2.x

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Wynn-M How safe are P2P programs?
Member 16th Aug, 2010 16:03
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Last edited on 16th Aug, 2010 16:11

I would like to try a P2P file exchange program. I installed uTorrent six months ago but haven't been brave enough to use it. I read up a lot about it and other like programs but was rather put off by reading the negative feedback from users on the internet regarding vulnerabilities.

I would welcome some feedback from users of this (or any other recent P2P program - good or bad!) to find out if vendors have improved on their security issues before I decide to make use of it.

According to the Secunia advisories reports over the last few years they do seem to be improving but there's nothing like hearing it from the horse's mouth.


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Anthony Wells RE: How safe are P2P programs?
Expert Contributor 16th Aug, 2010 19:36
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It always seems impossible until its done.
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thedillpickl RE: How safe are P2P programs?
Contributor 16th Aug, 2010 19:51
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Last edited on 16th Aug, 2010 19:54
Hi Wynn-M;

I have no experience as to how safe P2P is, but...

I would not use P2P on my regular machine. If you wish to experiment, use of an old unused machine that will not be connected in any way to your everyday system might be in order. This machine should be isolated in every way (except maybe the power tap) and use only a new hard drive or a wiped hard drive (suggest Gutmann). P2P can give access to everything, including personal info. Remember, encryptions can & will be broken.

If you use a new, high powered machine, you are only supplying resources to other peers. If you find the network proves safe, useful and is of benefit you may reconsider this, adding more resources to be used by all.

Read about P2P here:



p.s. @Anthony, sorry about cross post, seem to have the same general idea though! :)

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This user no longer exists RE: How safe are P2P programs?
Member 17th Aug, 2010 09:19
Last edited on 17th Aug, 2010 09:20 Hi,

The most important thing to consider as to the security or insecurity of P2P applications, is that while P2P applications might not have more vulnerabilities than any other piece of software (which entirely depends on the program and the developers), they are (in principle) connected to random strangers, so the potential existence of an exploit could put you in more immediate risk than other insecure applications, thought an exploit must exist before anything can happen

The same principle applies to your web browser (that normally connects to many different sites, and executes all the scripts it gets its hands on), which also, though not inherently insecure, places users at higher risk than other types of applications, due to it's exposure to the internet. This is why the Secure Browsing tab exists, for example.

In order for a cracker to be able to take over or damage your computer, there needs to be an vulnerability in the software you're running (Secunia advisories track these vulnerabilities in different software, and research finds new). Exploiting such a vulnerability can, in the more dangerous cases, let an attacker execute code on your machine. And anyone that can execute code on a machine can rapidly make it "his" machine.

If you decide to run a P2P program, sandboxing it or otherwise limiting it's access to your system makes the risk more manageable.

hope this helps.
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taffy078 RE: How safe are P2P programs?
Contributor 17th Aug, 2010 09:33
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Thanks for all the good advice here, guys. Simple to read and understand.

Co-incidentally, I was asked this question last night but I have no need to/intention of file-sharing and/or P-2-P.

So now, I've simply emailed a link to this. ;0)

Thanks again.

taffy078, West Yorkshire, UK

HP Envy Win10 PC and Compaq Presario screwed up by forced upgrade to Win10 from WIn7
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