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New Techniques Developed for Monitoring Peer-to-Peer File Sharing

New Techniques Developed for Monitoring Peer-to-Peer File Sharing

Highland Park, NJ (PRWEB) December 15, 2003

Blocking peer-to-peer file sharing has become increasingly difficult over the last few months, due to the spread of new clients that encrypt traffic or can bypass traditional firewalls. However, a new product by MesoCom offers help to companies and universities stop such activity.

Users of peer-to-peer file sharing networks have entered into an arms race with companies and universities that are blocking the traffic, and with a music industry that has pursued users in the courts. The race began in 2000, when the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) shut down Napster, and users shifted to the decentralized Gnutella network. The race has accelerated in the last year, with the released of clients that offer strong encryption, HTTP tunneling, and other measures to prevent eavesdropping and bypass security. The situation is particularly dire for university networks, where if one student finds a client that isn’t blocked, soon most of the students on campus will know about it.

To solve this problem, MesoCom has studied many of the newer clients, and developed techniques for detecting them. They recently released a product, P2P WatchDog, which monitors or blocks unauthorized peer-to-peer traffic for university and corporate networks. The system, which can also detect many older clients, is fast enough that a standard workstation can easily monitor all of the traffic through a T3.

The system was recently installed by a university in Massachusetts, who found that their current system was detecting less file-sharing traffic, but that their bandwidth was still being saturated. Peer-to-peer clients had simply evolved beyond traditional detection methods. After installing P2P WatchDog, it became clear that the students had migrated to clients that their previous system could not detect.

The company is currently marketing a peer-to-peer detection library for Linux, Windows, FreeBSD, and a variety of other operating systems. They offer per-CPU and bulk licensing for vendors of firewall, traffic management, packet shaping, intrusion detection, and other networking appliances. They also offer a monitoring and blocking application for Windows, which requires purchasing a license. A free monitoring application is offered for Linux.


About MesoCom

MesoCom LLC is a privately held company based in New Jersey. Their focus area is high capacity Ethernet logging applications, and various forms of scientific computing. In addition to consulting services, they also market P2P WatchDog, which monitors peer-to-peer file sharing. For more information, contact Ken Ellis at +1 609.937.2001, or visit our web site at

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