Torrents have firmly established themselves as the successors to classical file sharing services within the online community. The advantages are obvious: Thanks to distributed and decentralized data transfer, even large data quantities can be disseminated quickly across the globe. Moreover, the choice of offered legal software is enormous, as is that of warez. The number of daily users must consequently be very high, surely in the range of several million. Accordingly, it is attractive for criminals to use torrents to distribute malicious code and offer analogously prepared malware files.
Based on the malware statistics that G Data collects as part of its malware information initiative, the website www.torrentreactor.net is particularly worthy of mention as a source of malware. In the last three days alone, more than 2,400 occurrences where G Data has prevented infection of domains by malware from torrents have been reported to G Data Security Lab. By comparison, there were 9,400 reported malware files among file sharing services in the entire preceding month. Should this trend continue, a doubling can be anticipated for the current month via this infection path alone.
Ralf Benzmüller, manager of G Data Security Labs, warns, "Against the backdrop of the current figures, we can only warn all Internet users against using peer-to-peer and torrent downloads. Aside from any possible copyright problems associated with the downloading of warez, there is an increased risk that the downloads are infected with malware."
The following domains already stood out in August as particularly prevalent malware distributors: