MediaDefender Leak Offers BlueTack Users a Reality Check

The Media Defender internal email leak offered plenty of information for the taking.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

MediaDefender-Defenders said that they hoped that the email leak will prove to be a viable tool to protect against anti-P2P efforts. This is something BlueTack has been trying to do. After the email leak, a text file that compiles the complete IP (Internet Protocol) list Media Defender used while dropping fake files onto various P2P sites and networks was posted. While judging the effectiveness of these lists had proven to be an impossible task before the major leak, the effectiveness can now be tested.

Slyck began the investigation when BlueTack’s ‘Paranoid’ IP filter blocked one of TVUnderground’s new eDonkey2000 servers. A request for comment or information on the matter to BlueTack’s team went unanswered. To this day, why BlueTack has blocked only one of TVUnderground’s servers is unknown. In the meantime, Slyck is currently in the possession of a copy of BlueTack’s IP filter lists, and further investigation into related matters appeared warranted.

According to the BlueTack website, “B.I.S.S. is a site dedicated to improving the safety and awareness of all our members and guests, providing News, Security articles, Software Reviews, Technical Support, Guides, IP Research and Free Software needed to help us keep our connections to the net and each other safe, secure, and free from unwelcome intruders.”

Among the things offered are the blocklists, which have been met with either acceptance by the file-sharing community or complete rejection. Some say that the blocklists allow users to simply block any anti-filesharing company and allow users to connect with non-industry IPs. Others say that there is no way to get the right IPs before the IPs are changed to different addresses, thereby rendering the filters ineffective. It’s been the subject of debate for quite some time amongst many experts with no real way to test the lists, at least until the Media Defender email leak.

The ‘Paranoid’ eMule IP filter was retrieved on September 27, 2007. The Level1 IP blacklist, which is supposed to block all known anti-p2p IPs, was retrieved on September 30, 2007. The idea behind getting these lists now is to offer ample time for Media Defender’s now public IPs to be added to the lists for a much more effective blocklist for PeerGuardian users.

Slyck then obtained a copy of the publicly available 14.3MB compressed text file which lists all of the Media Defender’s IP addresses. At this point, it became obvious that testing such a large volume of IPs would prove to be an overly time-consuming challenge, at least by hand. In order to alleviate this problem, it was best to test one particular IP range. Conveniently enough, the first range started with 116. Slyck then decided to test all of the IPs that started with the number 116.

The total number of IPs used by Media Defender starting with 116 was 1,474. Obviously, BlueTack did block all IPs that started with 116, but how many Media Defender IPs were successfully blocked? When Slyck investigated, there was a common theme that blocklists seemingly jumped over several ranges used by Media Defender. After some extensive study using the Level1 list for anti-p2p companies and the ‘Paranoid’ list, BlueTack would have successfully blocked 16 IPs. Thus, this sample test offered 1.09% protection against Media Defender in that range.

The IPs that were successfully blocked were:,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,, The remaining 1,458 IPs would still be allowed through even with these two filters being used today.

While BlueTack may still perpetuate the idea that their filters are 99% effective, these latest findings will only fuel criticisms towards BlueTack’s actual effectiveness. A complete test might not be possible short of creating a simple program to test every single number or spending weeks hand-testing every single Media Defender IP address. In the mean ime, it seems very apparent that BlueTack’s filters have a few holes.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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