File-Sharing Users Could Reconsider the Software
Denver law-enforcement officials have cautioned users of file-sharing software, particularly 'LimeWire', as it could have a security flaw enabling wrong people to capture users' personal data. As per information of Denver DA spokesperson, Lynn Kimbrough, while Denver police was conducting a routine identity theft investigation, it regained personal and financial information of about 75 individual and business accounts from a Denver apartment. The information included tax records, bank account information, online bill paying records and other data, which appear to have been gathered from PCs using LimeWire.
LimeWire is 'peer to peer' software that computer users employ to share MP3 music files, pictures and videos. It the computer user permits it, there is a possibility that other users can gain access to a shared file on that user's computer. The 'Federal Trade Commission' estimates nearly a million computers sharing files online everyday.
File-sharing software can allow access to large volumes of information, be it music, games or software. A computer that connects to an informal network of other computers can download special software, which is running in those systems also.
According to Kimbrough, someone sitting at a PC in Denver exploited the program to illegally access files and documents in computers all over the country. She added that since the file-sharing software is free and easy to download, it is popularly used among young adults and teenagers for 'computer to computer' sharing.
Denver investigators are trying to figure out if the access to information was purely a result of lack of security safeguards on the targeted computers. Alternatively, there could have been a breach in computer security that enabled the hacking despite the firewalls and anti-spyware products installed to prevent such thefts.
As per a statement from the DA's office, while the investigation is still on, officials urge people who are using LimeWire or file-sharing software to keep their computer security updated. They are also advised to deploy adequate firewall, anti-virus software and other preventive measures on their PCs. It might be worthwhile for users to consider uninstalling and removing file-sharing software from their PCs and let a reliable computer professional assess the latter.
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» SPAMfighter News - 02-11-2006