Friday, January 23, 2009

Cox Blocked

I downloaded a movie using Bit Torrent off of Isohunt. But this movie was really a trojan of a new flavor. Turns out the wmv video file was set up to have the video codec to call back home for DRM activation over the net. So when you try to play this file, Cox Cable uses this to shut down the Internet connection. For a few hours there was no way to get back on. It seemed completely dead.
Fortunately there was an easy fix. Eventually you will get a page about DMCA violations with a link to restore the connection.

Every web site you try to access come back with this page.


That link is http://anydomain.com/?action=reactivate The second time this happened, I already knew this and was able to reactivate instantly.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

You downloaded a movie and were aught. Cox has nothing to do with it. They are required to follow the DMCA and lock you down, They are good enough that it is easy to get back up and running again. Cox did not trap you so top blaming the ISP. You decided not to pay for something and the owner caught you and demanded this action.

Anonymous said...

ahh but he /didn't/ download the movie - he downloaded a trojan uploaded by his ISP. Technically, as he didn't download copyright content, the DMCA doesn't apply...

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the second post. From the looks of the DMCA notice, it seems he downloade a 7 Gb or 700 Mb file, probably the movie. So the movie is on his machine, but without proper authorization by valid codex he can't play that material. When the movie called home to check if it was allowed to be played Cox found it wasn't allowed to be distributed in this manner yet and axed his connection.
One a side note, try not to download movies in overly DRM friendly formats e.g wmv or mp4. If you do run them disabled your internet in some manner the first time you do. If they don't work without an internet connection you probably don't want to execute that file anyway.

Anonymous said...

Two things. First, why would you download movies in wmv format? Second, if the wmv codec really did call home as you say, this could have been prevented with a software firewall like Zone Alarm or ESET's Smart Security package. You'd be surprised how many programs try to access your connection behind your back.

John Sokol said...

>it seems he downloade a 7 Gb or 700 Mb file, probably the movie.

No it's not the movie. There is no video data, just the wmv headders needed for the video codec's DRM to contact a server to "turn on" , but this just reroutes all html requests to this other box. I don't think it was just using DNS, but Didn't explore it that far.

Ambition said...

Liken this to an undercover cop posing as a hooker.

Offering to buy sex is still an offense even if you didn't actually pay to get laid.

Anonymous said...

> Offering to buy sex is still an offense even if you didn't actually pay to get laid.

But offering to download copyrighted content isn't itself a copyright violation.

And the "Making available" theory by the RIAA has been shot down as well.