'Cyber Cowboys' ! 'If you are a pirate I shall DoS you' and such silly acts...

By Suseela N and Dinesh Bareja

The game has just begun. Hollywood and Bollywood production houses have tied up with anti piracy outfits to try to secure their movies and profit from the naughty junta.

But the question is – is the modus operandi justified?  This is how these anti-piracy work . they send a copyright infringement notice to the IP address owner who hosts pirated movies. If the owner does not take down the movies, another notice is sent. If the owner still shows no response, they launch a cyber attack! These sites face denial of service (DoS) attacks. In simple words, the site is flooded with millions of automated requests to download the files. With the site (usually) being unable to handle such huge load of requests, it crashes.

Read this: Cyber attacks are illegal in most countries including India. International law prohibits cyber attacks.

So what does one make of Girish Kumar, the managing director of Aiplex Software? He is not a law maker, he is hacking someone’s private domain. in the real world one sees criminals using muscle power and in the cyber world, Mr Kumar is trying to use cyber power. Unfortunately, he does not seem to have a clue about the business and comes across as a sabre rattling script kiddie. His business is SEO and maybe he should stay in that domain.

What this company has done or proposes is illegal and I am surprised he has not yet been paid a visit by someone from the law enforcement team. In the meanwhile he has been hit by the pirates after which he stopped making silly claims about ridding the world of piracy !

Going deeper into the issue.

Attacking with denial of service will hardly affect cyber piracy because there are many torrents that cannot be detected.  Also, note that pre DVD copies are made using the downloads and sold in the market. SO HOW IS THE DATA SECURE? Interestingly, anti pirate outfits like Aiplex are paid good money per movie by naïve movie producers who should understand this as an unnecessary overhead cost, a scam and an illegal act. Probably, something they can save for their next movie!

What the producers should also realize is that they can also be held under the IT Act for abetting illegal online activities!

Lets talk about Microsoft and let us be honest about the software. While a small portion of the population in the world uses genuine version, the rest uses pirated copies. Inspite of the widespread piracy Microsoft is still a giant in the software industry. They did pull up their sleeves on cyber pirates like launching an anti-piracy campaign in China (Oct 21, 2008) but today they too have accepted the existence of pirates. This is what Microsoft’s Paul Cooke says in his blog – Pirated Windows 7 will get updates.

Microsoft is not supporting piracy but they are dealing with the situation logically. For example, pirated software will not be able to access necessary updates from the website.

A better way to handle cyber piracy is to put the vulnerable data under strict security, right from the origin.

Anti-piracy outfits like Aiplex should stop pulling such scams and stay away from mafia style acts of DoSing. First, this is an illegal activity so they are illegally trying to wipe out another illegal activity. Its like you do not go killing criminals just because they are criminals. Second, don’t enter a personal domain without RIGHTS! Cyber Police exists to take the necessary action. Stop treating yourself a messiah, God, or fake Tom Cruise of Mission Impossible. YOU CANNOT WIPE OUT CYBER PIRACY! Not by DoSing a handful of sites because there is no way you can reach every site on the net.

Finally, this guy seems to have started trouble for other outfits like the RIAA, Australian Motion Picture Association etc since they all came under attack by this hacker outfit ‘n4chan’. Another self styled cyber vigilante is this law firm in USA that was also under attack.

Interestingly, Mr Kumar, at one time was offering his services and awesome knowledge to the Australians on telephonic interviews and after being attacked he has been saying that he never did any of these things and has been misquoted by the media.

Well sir, you got your X minutes of fame and now you have also got yourself a place in the hall of whatever where your ‘naïve claims and exploits’ will be preserved for eternity !

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