Identity Theft Using P2P Network
A Seattle man was arrested Wednesday on charges
that he illegally downloaded peoples' tax returns,
student aid applications and credit card numbers
through the use of popular peer to peer networks
used for file and music sharing.
According to the Seattle Post Intelligencer:
"The feds accuse Gregory Kopiloff, 35,
of using the information to steal people's
identities, then buying tens of thousands
of dollars in such electronics as laptops,
iPods and cell phones that he sold for
50 cents on the dollars.
Kopiloff is believed to be the first
person in the nation to be arrested
for using peer-to-peer software for
the purposes of identity theft."
The story continues with how he
was able to easily commit identity
theft against other people using their
"In peer-to-peer file sharing, people
download software allowing them to
connect to networks such as LimeWire,
Kazaa, Soulseek, eMule and Morpheus,
which gives them access to every other
laptop or PC that is part of those networks.
When people log in to these networks, they
type in a search term for the music they want,
such as Bright Eyes or Madonna.
But instead of typing in Madonna, Kopiloff
would type in tax return or credit report,
Relating to an original story we first published
last year regarding the dangers of using
LimeWire, a similar warning has arisen in
this latest espisode involving popular P2P
file sharing software:
"People engaged in peer-to-peer file sharing
don't realize what they are sharing is their
entire hard drive."
"This is the new world of identity
theft," he said.
"There are tens of thousands of
individuals making a living doing
this kind of work."
So, our tip for today is directed towards
those parents of children or even any
unsuspecting adults who are unware
of the potential identity theft which
can arise from using P2P file sharing
Make sure to either complete delete
and disable the P2P software altogether
from your personal computer -or- store
any confidential data on a separate hard
drive which is not online altogether.
To not do so, is to open yourself up to
identity theft and financial fraud.