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Next Generation File Sharing With Social Software
Robert Kaye, MusicBrainz

Track: Social Software
Date: Tuesday, February 10
Time: 2:00pm - 2:45pm
Location: California Ballroom B

Social software applications like Friendster, Tribe.net, and LinkedIn have proven that it is easy to build an online network of friends. P2P applications like Gnutella, Kazaa, and eDonkey have shown how effective file-trading applications can be.

However, in the times when the RIAA is suing the world for downloading music from the net, it's time to combine social software applications like Tribe.net with file-sharing applications like Kazaa. The Tribe.net aspects of this application allow users to create networks of their friends and then allow file sharing between members of their networks.

The primary goal of the social software aspect is to keep the RIAA and MPAA out of your social network in order to avoid detection. Fringe benefits from this approach include music discovery features -- basic search facilities in file-sharing applications assume that you know what you are looking for, but social networks can allow users to highlight their favorite music and build communities based on musical tastes.

To avoid detection, the file-sharing application should use common off-the-shelf technology to avoid detection by the bad guys. All connections should be tunneled over SSH and port numbers should change frequently. Using these techniques, the bad guys won't be able to tell the difference between a legit VPN session and a Britney Spears track being swapped.

This talk will introduce the concepts above and present social network models, detection avoidance strategies, attack strategies, and a real-world safety evaluation of such systems.

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