Accidental Bittorrent DDoS Attacks Neutralised by Updated Clients

By Gary Cutlack on at

Bittorrent has the power to do many things, mainly things to do with letting us watch new episodes of US TV shows six hours after they were first broadcast. But, if used badly, it can DDoS innocent web sites by sending millions of requests their way through incorrect tracker listings.

The problem lies with the BT protocol itself, which allows web site URLs to be added to torrents and advertised as public trackers. This then leads to downloaders attempting to connect to these sites, potentially triggering the sort of traffic overload and super-collapse similar to the crude DDoS attacks that are popular with the angrier members of the online community.

Help is on the way, though, with torrent client Vuze the first of the big boys to add support for a new amendment to the BT protocol that allows sites and trackers to declare which ports are open for torrenting business. Vuze says this will help "eliminate unwanted network traffic" that torrents can trigger, plus it's hoped that more torrent clients will introduce the traffic calming measures soon. [TorrentFreak]