South Korean ISP ‘Infected’ Torrenting Subscribers with Malware – Ernesto Van der Sar 6/25/24


News reports from South Korea, reveal that Internet provider KT actively installed malware on the computers of over half a million subscribers. The malware was intended to interfere with BitTorrent traffic, presumably as a network management solution. A police investigation suggests that cost savings likely played a role too, which is not surprising given local file-sharing habits.

From a networking perspective, most Internet providers are generally not thrilled with BitTorrent users.

Historically, torrent traffic has placed quite a burden on the network, which is one of the reasons why Comcast quietly began throttling torrent traffic many years ago.

Another reason to limit torrent traffic is to reduce costs. BitTorrent users transfer large amounts of data that’s not always covered by cheap peering agreements, which can become quite costly.

Today, torrent traffic is a much smaller percentage of total traffic. Internet providers generally are better equipped to deal with it and all-out throttling has become a rarity in most countries. However, in South Korea, an even more concerning anti-torrent tactic was uncovered recently.

Last week, an in-depth investigative report from JBTC revealed that Korean Internet provider KT, formerly known as Korea Telecom, distributed malware onto subscribers’ computers to interfere with and block torrent traffic….

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