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Detecting BitTorrent

This is where you can ask questions and get and give help about hardware related issues. This Forum will be moderated by Taw with help from some other experts. So feel free to ask any questions you may have about computers.

Post Mon Sep 17, 2007 7:52 am

Detecting BitTorrent

Ok, my university's internet rules state that anyone using a BitTorrent client will be summararily disconnected and potentially banned. Let's leave all the moaning about how it's unfair that they're forbidding the use of a completely legal - and often indispensible - technology and concentrate on that which actually interests me. How can they detect BT traffic?

Is there anything particularly special about BT traffic that sets it apart from everything else or is the policy merely general scaremongering designed to keep the computer illiterate folk who can't tell their ARS++ from their L-BOW in line?

NB, this thread is purely to satisfy my curiosity and is in no way any indication that I'm attempting to break the terms of use set by the poor-quality ISP that has been rather unsubtly forced down my throat.

Post Sat Sep 22, 2007 12:38 pm

One way they can do it is by looking to see what ports you have opened on your computer. Another is to monitor the actual traffic and see if there are certain identifable sequences.

Post Sun Sep 23, 2007 7:43 am

Opening ports? Wouldn't that require administrative access to the router? Especially on a WiFi network...

Furthermore, what, exactly, consists of an identifiable pattern that wouldn't look the same as a simple download from somewhere?

Is there a way around it?

All in the name of science... obviously. *cough*

Post Sun Sep 23, 2007 2:26 pm

For "opened on your computer", substitute "opened on your computer or router/firewall"

Post Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:01 am

Have you considered the reason they may discourage it, is that perhaps it eats up their pathetic limited "bandwidth" ?

Post Mon Sep 24, 2007 7:20 am

Uni's are on JANET aren't they - fricken fast connection.

It's probs not to do with individual downloads eating bandwidth, but if thousands were doing it...

It may also be due to legal considerations, and finally - for security issues.

For instance, at ours i know skype is banned for this very reason (or was).

Edited by - Chips on 9/24/2007 8:20:41 AM

Post Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:03 pm

They banned skype? Punks can't get away with that I tell you! Tell them I'll meet them outside after class.....

QuEsTiOn AsKeR
Last Hope MOD

Post Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:15 am

try using an IP blocker like PeerGuardian, with Blocklist Manager. Keeps me invisible on that there interweb when I'm up to no good, avoids those prying eyes. And make sure that you have a decent firewall like Zone Alarm or BlackIce installed, you can forget that Windows firewall rubbish, it won't do jack to protect you. Is this that Vista machine you mentioned? good luck, you'll need it.

however, if I wear my other towel, the senior technician and domain admin one, not the dirty internet pirate towel, the reason they're doing this is primarily security. .torrents are full of shady bits of cr*p, trojans and the rest, seeming inncouous files carry payloads like rootkits, and so any responsible sysadmin will have the sreaming heebeegeebies over a bunch of grotty students killing his bandwidth and downloading shoite onto his network. So make sure that you've got a decent antivirus too, a really good one like NOD32 (thx Chet, best tip you ever gave me!) or Kaspersky. If you've got that Norton cr*p, forget it, get rid of it, complete waste of time, disk space and money, if you stumped up good cash for it.

I don't let my users download anything unless they can really prove it's necessary (or they're a senior manager or director, grovel grovel) and I have proxy users group in Active Directory which is the only means they have of getting on the interweb (and they can't use their USB sticks or wireless adapters from home 'cos I disabled all those in Group Policy, and removed all the cd-roms and floppy drives. Sadly all salesmen have to be allowed interweb access because of mobility, and they cause me the biggest proportion of headaches with their bungling smarmy spiky gel haired ineptitude. Useless users, none of them should be allowed anything more advanced than an Etch-a-Sketch.

I love my job

Edited by - Tawakalna on 9/25/2007 2:00:04 PM

Post Tue Sep 25, 2007 3:31 pm

It's a little tricky getting a copy of BlackIce nowadays Taw, IBM have killed it off and will stop updating it this time next year.

**shuffles off with a new headache**

Post Wed Sep 26, 2007 12:14 am

Not for your Mullah, it's not; I have it stashed away on Saruman

Post Wed Sep 26, 2007 7:27 am

IBM is canning BlackIce? BLAST! That was a very good program too.
I was using that for quite a long time until I did a recovery on my PC about two years ago, but didn't reinstall the program.
That program actually helped me track down a PC located in a South American Internet Cafe` which was infected with the Blaster Worm.

Post Wed Sep 26, 2007 3:52 pm


Post Wed Sep 26, 2007 3:58 pm

Either is or was ISS security.

Use to have blackice when I had Win 98 Still have the disk.

Post Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:42 am

Grrr, Zone Alarm doesn't appear to be compatible with 64-bit Vista. Bloody pain in the neck. Clearly, the technology is too sophisticated...

Post Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:55 am

I did warn you. And it isn't because Vista is too sophisticated, it's because M$ in their monopolistic wont, decided to exclude other software companies from the Vista development process, and made it (in the main) incompatible with most proven security products.

If it was me, I'd scrap Vista altogether and put XP back on, and then secure the machine properly. You really can't trust Vista to do what you want it to do. I've given Child No. 1 a new laptop this week 'cos she's off to uni this weekend (and I had stump up the fees too the other day, which hurt...) and I've XP'd it for her, but used StyleXP to skin it all the way as Vista. As far as she's concerned, it's Vista, she'll never know the difference, but I've Nod'd and ZA'd it up to the hilt, took MSN off and set up Pidgin, made Fiefox her default browser and stuck Ad-Aware and Windows Defender on from Autopatcher. It's as secure as i can make it.

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