Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
The Internet Networking Python Software Wireless Networking

BitHammer, the BitTorrent Banhammer 429

michaelcole writes: Its name is BitHammer. It searches out and bans BitTorrent users on your local sub-net.

I'm a digital nomad. That means I travel and work, often using shared Wi-Fi. Over the last year, I've been plagued by rogue BitTorrent users who've crept onto these public hostpots either with a stolen/cracked password, or who lie right to my face (and the Wi-Fi owners) about it.

These users clog up the residential routers' connection tables, and make it impossible to use tools like SSH, or sometimes even web browsing. Stuck for a day, bullied from the Wi-Fi, I wrote BitHammer as a research project. It worked rather well. It's my first Python program. I hope you find it useful.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

BitHammer, the BitTorrent Banhammer

Comments Filter:
  • by MetalliQaZ ( 539913 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @11:44AM (#48111945)

    but, so help me God, if Comcast blocks bittorrent traffic, I'm going to call for heads to roll!

    • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @11:58AM (#48112137) Homepage Journal

      Well, yeah, if someone is leeching your bandwidth, they aren't paying customers who can use whatever technologies they want.

      On the other hand, the cheapness of cloud bandwidth has eliminated all the legal utility of bit torrent for me. "Large" legal collections of things tend to be available for straight download nowadays.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jones_supa ( 887896 )

        On the other hand, the cheapness of cloud bandwidth has eliminated all the legal utility of bit torrent for me. "Large" legal collections of things tend to be available for straight download nowadays.

        Cloud distribution is probably also much more efficient.

        Don't get me wrong, I think BitTorrent is very cool technological achievement. But transferring data between semi-random hosts around the globe and opening hundreds of TCP connections per computer while doing it, is like the ultimate way to clog the pipes.

        • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @12:45PM (#48112781)

          Of course it's more efficient. It's the classic centralization vs. decentralization problem. Centralization is always more efficient overall. However, it has disadvantages: single point of failure, inflexibility, etc. In this case, one big disadvantage is cost: cloud distribution requires signing up for and paying for an account somewhere to store all this data. Peer-to-peer tools don't have this (though they do have the problem of how to distribute the .torrent files, which is semi-centralized but doesn't have to be since anyone can send them around to anyone else directly). Cloud distribution puts the data at the mercy of a single provider; peer-to-peer tools let everyone share data willy-nilly, and as long as one person, anywhere, has the data, it can be replicated to everyone else easily.

          Similarly, it would likely be more efficient if we all gave up our PCs and went back to using mainframes of some sort (or some kind of centralized server infrastructure, not an actual zOS mainframe), with our "PCs" just being thin clients, and us all having user accounts on them. The administration would be much easier and more effective, and the power usage would probably be much less than what we're doing now. However, that would put us at the mercy of a few providers, would likely cost more long-term, at least for those of us who manage our own computers and don't have to regularly call the Geek Squad for personal visits like my dumb neighbor, and would massively limit flexibility since we'd only be able to do things that are pre-approved for the most part.

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Friday October 10, 2014 @05:40PM (#48115773) Homepage

            Bittorrent tries to transfer data between clients that are close together when possible. That means that often the data can stay within the ISP's internal network, never going out over the clogged pipes connecting to the wider internet. Those pipes are where things get backed up, which is why streaming video providers like Netflix and YouTube offer to give ISPs cache servers to place inside their networks.

            BitTorrent can actually help ISPs, and be more efficient than centralized distribution from that point of view.

        • by nabsltd ( 1313397 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @12:50PM (#48112839)

          Don't get me wrong, I think BitTorrent is very cool technological achievement. But transferring data between semi-random hosts around the globe and opening hundreds of TCP connections per computer while doing it, is like the ultimate way to clog the pipes.

          BitTorrent uses UDP when done correctly, and pretty much becomes the absolute best way to get data to many computers very quickly.

          A torrent with few seeders isn't very efficient, but one with many hundreds of well-configured peers is hard to beat on overall transfer speed.

          • by yacc143 ( 975862 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @02:02PM (#48113673) Homepage

            Furthernore, having a router that cannot handle that many TCP connections is kind of broken. I'm using a Linux PC as the LAN server/router, and you can blast around what you want, have 10K NATed TCP connections and everything works fine. The cable company's provided "router", OTOH, does not even handle long running ssh connections (especially when they go idle for periods) without any torrent traffic properly. Worse, it does not even send a RST packet, so your local ssh client thinks everything is fine till it tries to send something, ...

          • efficient =~ !fast (Score:3, Insightful)

            by raymorris ( 2726007 )

            > A torrent with few seeders isn't very efficient, but one with many hundreds of well-configured peers is hard to beat on overall transfer speed.

            From that phrasing, it almost sounds like you're supposing that more speed is more efficient. Faster means less efficient more often than not. For something easy to visualize, a moped going 20 MPH requires several few ounces of fuel per hour. To go several thousand miles per hour, an X-37 must burn around 15,000 pounds of fuel per MINUTE.

            Downloading from many

    • It would be nice if this could get translated down into something that could run out of busybox on a WRT54G. I've got the latest Shibby Tomato with bandwidth limiting, and this would be a nice add-on.
    • by Jawnn ( 445279 )
      If you took money for a service, and then arbitrarily cut off paying customers of that service, it's most certainly not okay.
  • Heh, just the thing every business and school should run all the time :-)

    Oh sure, some student can argue he's downloading history references that he can only reach through bittorrent .. good luck with that :-)

  • Traffic Shaper? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Maybe he should be more angry at the business owners for using cheap routers and/or not implementing traffic shaping, etc. With a proper traffic shaping implementation, you can absolutely SLAM a connection with Bittorrent usage, even torrents with thousands of seeds and peers, and casual web-browsing remains essentially unaffected. I've download torrents that are several hundred gigabytes, pegging my connection the whole time. Thanks to my PFsense traffic shaper, it doesn't even so much as impact my ping

    • Regardless of whether or not this is a good idea, if more people start using VPNs in general that would be a good thing.
    • by Holi ( 250190 )

      Yes, because your local coffee shop owner is always going to be well versed in router configuration and network engineering.

      • Re:Traffic Shaper? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Jeff Flanagan ( 2981883 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @12:11PM (#48112323)
        They may not be, but if they want to provide working WiFi, they should hire someone who is.
        • by Luthair ( 847766 )
          Or more likely they just won't provide wifi and everyone loses?
        • Re:Traffic Shaper? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @01:44PM (#48113491) Journal

          Assholes are assholes, because they don't give a shit about anyone but themselves. These are borderline sociopaths, who love to skirt around the edges and fuck everyone else up, simply because they can. Giving them "geek street cred" for breaking things for the rest of us is not noble cause.

          Case in point, your suggestion, just because someone can leach 100% of the bandwidth from a mom n pop WiFi setup, will simply mean that nobody will be able to use it, because the choice of having a BitTorrent client running at the coffee shop screwing everyone, or paying someone to configure and maintain it will mean no wifi at the coffee shop. Which means BitTorrent guy will lose out as well, he is just too stupid to care.

      • Re:Traffic Shaper? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by spire3661 ( 1038968 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @12:14PM (#48112363) Journal
        He is supposed to HIRE someone that is. Just like you hire someone to install a water heater, or electrical lines. If you are deploying COMMERCIALLY, you should hire someone who knows what the fuck they are doing, or dont bother.
      • Then they should not offer it. I can't offer coffee either just 'cause I feel like it could boost my sales even though I can't tell coffee from motor oil.

      • Well those baristas aren't bimbos right? I mean, they got a degree for something :P
      • If they are providing public Internet services then if they are not an expert they should be paying someone who is.

        • by Holi ( 250190 )

          Or you can bring you own internet with you. If you don't like the service they provide for free, then pay for your own.

        • Yes, yes. Every little mom and pop outlet on the corner should hire someone to provide you with your free perk while you sip your $1.50 Americana the next three hours.

    • Re:Traffic Shaper? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 10, 2014 @12:04PM (#48112215)

      Maybe he should be more angry at the business owners for using cheap routers and/or not implementing traffic shaping, etc.

      Or he could do the correct thing and pay for a portable hotspot of his very own. Once you are paying the bills, you get to dictate the terms.

      If someone else is monopolizing the business owner's bandwidth, that's not your business. You can inform the business owner of the situation, but if they choose to do nothing, that is their choice to make, not yours.

  • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @11:48AM (#48111983)

    Vigilante beats up on people in order to get public wifi access that he believes is rightfully his

    That's what it amounts to. He can't get the access he wants, so he just pushes his way in and takes it.

    If access is so important to your work, why aren't you/they paying for it?

    • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

      That should have been "Self proclaimed vigilante"

    • by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @11:54AM (#48112083) Journal

      He can't get the access he wants, so he just pushes his way in and takes it.

      As opposed to the bittorrent user(s) who are pushing everyone else out of the way and preventing their access?

      Assuming that both parties are wrong does not logically lead to the conclusion that their wrong acts are equivalent.
      I'm on the side of preserving the common good, not protecting the random data hog.

      • by OzPeter ( 195038 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @11:57AM (#48112123)

        As opposed to the bittorrent user(s) who are pushing everyone else out of the way and preventing their access?

        Its one thing to do so with permission from the network owners .. its another thing to wade in and beat up on people just so you can get what you want.

        Two wrongs do not make a right.

        • by niado ( 1650369 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @12:20PM (#48112441)

          As opposed to the bittorrent user(s) who are pushing everyone else out of the way and preventing their access?

          Its one thing to do so with permission from the network owners .. its another thing to wade in and beat up on people just so you can get what you want.

          Two wrongs do not make a right.

          This is not in the summary, but in his readme on github the submitter states "After talking with the frustrated non-technical people who owned/managed them, I wrote this program to help network users and owners."

          The implication is that this tool is written for use by whomever manages the network. Most networks would have a "no bittorrent" rule, if the network owner was savvy enough to know this. The tool is an interesting enforcement mechanism.

          • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @12:41PM (#48112721)

            on github the submitter states "After talking with the frustrated non-technical people who owned/managed them, I wrote this program to help network users and owners."

            While the program can be used with the network owner's permission, the fact that it can more easily be used without permission makes it rather dubious.

            I think he's/we're going about this the wrong way. If this is really a widespread problem afflicting non-technical people trying to run a public wi-fi hotspot, what needs to happen is for router configs to limit the number of connections from a single MAC address by default. If you're a gamer or running bittorrent on your own network, it's easy enough to change those configs. But on a public hotspot, they're the ones who'll be forced to contact the network owners, not the people trying to get legit access.

            I'm also a bit skeptical that the submitter really talked with the owner. If you've got access to the router via the owner, the most obvious thing to try first is QoS. Assign torrent traffic to low priority, default everything else to medium (to catch encrypted bittorrent), and give ports 80 and 443 (http and https) high priority to keep web browsing customers happy. You need to be careful about giving ssh high priority because it's possible to run a tunnel over ssh and do your torrenting that way.

            • by niado ( 1650369 )

              on github the submitter states "After talking with the frustrated non-technical people who owned/managed them, I wrote this program to help network users and owners."

              While the program can be used with the network owner's permission, the fact that it can more easily be used without permission makes it rather dubious.

              True, but it is just a tool that can be used irresponsibly, like any other. An interesting comparison would be bittorrent itself.

              If this is really a widespread problem afflicting non-technical people trying to run a public wi-fi hotspot, what needs to happen is for router configs to limit the number of connections from a single MAC address by default.

              Yes that would be an ideal solution, though it would require manufacturer intervention, which is unlikely at best.

              If you've got access to the router via the owner, the most obvious thing to try first is QoS.

              I certainly agree. The submitter mentions several technical solutions including QoS on his github page, and says they are better than using his "bithammer" tool. The advantage of his tool is that it does not require much involvement on the part of a non-technical propr

        • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @12:48PM (#48112803) Journal

          Two wrongs do not make a right.

          As odd as this is going to sound, I disagree. A simple blanket statement that makes no allowance for corner cases? I'm going to need something more than that to be convinced.

          Let me explain...

          In this particular instance, the "wrong" of hogging bandwidth is far, far greater than the "wrong" of blasting the hogs into oblivion. Even though privately-owned and run, one should expect at least some sense of common courtesy when using a resource like wifi. If you want to download pr0n and/or ripped movies, for heaven's sake do it at home and pay for the pipe. There are very few legitimate reasons to run multi-GB BitTorrents at full-bore in a coffee shop, and I promise you that there are simply not that many people who desperately need an emergency .iso download of CentOS or Ubuntu away from home.

          Certainly, the guy could get a hotspot (as suggested), but that's like telling the guy to go buy his own property if they want a quiet park to sit in when a small group in the public park has a constant loud party going on. Also, hotspots don't always work as advertised - I lost count of the times I've had to duck into a rural/small-town MickeyD's or coffee shop because the stupid employer-issued hotspot/3g/4g device didn't have enough bars to get a decent connection.

          Maybe I sound like a dick for cheering this guy on, but think this through for a moment - if coffee shop owners start getting slammed with MPAA/RIAA C&D orders, if their costs skyrocket, and if they generally figure the wifi to be more trouble than it's worth, then eventually the "free" wifi will become metered, will be QoS'd down to practically nothing, or worse. None of us want that. I like knowing that if my normal connectivity goes tits-up, I can duck into a coffee shop, buy a cup of joe, and use their wifi to do what needs done until I can get connected normally again.

          It's abusers of the system that eventually become the reason why we can't have nice things, so this little "wrong" is a pretty nice way to keep bigger "wrong"s to a minimum, no?

          • by toygeek ( 473120 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @01:36PM (#48113415) Homepage Journal

            This, a thousand times owner. I rely on 'net connectivity for a living. If my internet drops, I'm packing my bags and going to one of my backup locations. One of those is a McDonalds, another is a local gas station that has wifi (?) and a friends house. The friends house is my first pick of course and usually the one I get. But if I have to go to McDonalds or the gas station and somebody is making it impossible for me to make a living and feed my family because someone is torrenting, I will feel every bit justified in using bithammer. Why?

            Because I have every right to use the network as the guy making it impossible for me to use it.

            • You have every right to use a network as presented. If the network doesn't offer QoS take it up with the provider. You have no business banning others because you're oh so important.

          • by mlts ( 1038732 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @03:47PM (#48114743)

            Tragedy of the commons.

            I see this during the weeks that there are festivals in Austin. People camping tables at local cafes, not ordering anything, but using the wireless network for Netflix, with an occasional uTorrent downloading a movie to watch later on.

            One coffee shop here in Austin chucked their Wi-Fi because the tables kept occupied with people who didn't even at least buy a drink. As soon as they stopped doing that, their business went up, since they had paying clients again.

            Another place turned off their APs from 11 to 1, and again, their business is booming.

            If I had a shop, I'd have a Wi-Fi system that would use one time passwords (doesn't have to be extremely secure... something like AOL's old system with two words and a hyphen between them is good enough) which grant the user time, as well as a block of bandwidth. These would be free of charge with a purchase. This way, if someone wants to download a 22 gig BD-R rip, they can... but they will be making a lot of purchases. Elaborating on this, there could always be two tiers, one paid for with the one use password, and free... so people who made purchases would have higher precedence than the person who is at work, but whose laptop is in their car in the parking lot with a terabyte torrent chugging away.

            It gets worse when you go RV-ing, to the point where a device with tethering or a personal Mi-Fi-like device is an absolute requirement. There are just too many people who will clog up a RV park's Wi-Fi, making it unusable for everyone else. Plus, for decent Wi-fi, it is expensive... and RV parks don't make that much money per square meter of space relative to a hotel or coffee shop.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 10, 2014 @12:04PM (#48112207)

        Assuming that both parties are wrong does not logically lead to the conclusion that their wrong acts are equivalent.
        I'm on the side of preserving the common good, not protecting the random data hog.

        In one case a person can't access Internet as he wants as an unfortunate side effect of the others usage and bad network configuration.
        In the other case the other person can't access Internet as he wants due to actively being suppressed by the first user.
        Yes, clearly the two wrong acts aren't equivalent. The torrent user is just an inconsiderate asshole while this dude is an outright malicious asshole.

      • As long as you understand that your and my definition if data hog may not be synonymous?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      A very different view on it. In fact a very good view to take on it. AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon all have data only lines you can buy. They are tad pricy but if access is that important...

      It would basically be like going to a public park and deciding you do not want any dogs other people brought around and bringing along a paint ball gun to run them off. But your dog is OK.

      So I predict an escalation in the 'war'. Bittorrent apps detecting this behavior. Then showing macaddr and machine nam

    • by niado ( 1650369 )

      Vigilante beats up on people in order to get public wifi access that he believes is rightfully his

      That's what it amounts to. He can't get the access he wants, so he just pushes his way in and takes it.

      That's an interesting level of hyperbole you have jumped to. Torrent use can easily render a consumer-grade connection unusable. These torrent users on public wifi are at best irresponsible, and at worst malicious vandals.

      The submitter's response to the problem is interesting, and while aggressive is certainly not violent as you've implied.

  • Free Wifi (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 10, 2014 @11:49AM (#48112003)

    You're using a free public network and selectively booting the users who don't fit into your specified profile.
    Why not just buy your own connection and stop being such a fucking Nazi?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If the torrent leeches don't care, why should he? And if you are neither him or a torrent leech, how is it your business to judge?

  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @11:52AM (#48112041)

    Other people are using a *public* wifi connection you're connected to, using some of the bandwidth you feel you're entitled to, so you attack them with a cache poisoning exploit?

    Hopefully you do this to someone who can hit back. Or just get arrested.

    • The wifi owners are lying to you and you want to block them, so you want to block them from their own network ? Not how it works...Y,ou will be end up banned from their wifi for blocking traffic. If your that worried about it, buy your own hotspot.
      • Did you read the same synopsis I did? He is not talking about the owners, he is talking about other users coming in and grabbing all the bandwidth in public hotspots.
        That would be an extremely useful tool in Germany, the hotspot owner is liable if someone is caught file-sharing over his/her access point. I can see owners wanting to run this, it would have to run under Windows though.

    • by Chirs ( 87576 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @12:04PM (#48112199)

      The issue is that cheap access points/firewalls run out of resources trying to manage (and possibly do connection-tracking) on all the different connections. If a bittorrent user suddenly opens up a few thousand additional connections (regardless of actual bandwidth) then that ends up knocking everyone else off that firewall.

      The bittorrent users could prevent the problem by limiting how many connections are allowed per torrent, but it sounds like they're not doing that.

      Rather than forcing bittorrent users off the network entirely, it would be better if the access point itself limited the number of connections per MAC address to something reasonable. This would prevent the symptom from occurring.

      • Rather than forcing bittorrent users off the network entirely, it would be better if the access point itself limited the number of connections per MAC address to something reasonable.

        Or if we killed NAT. This is one of many ways in which NAT breaks the Internet.

      • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @12:30PM (#48112577)

        The issue is that this guy is using a security weakness in a network protocol to redirect the traffic of users he doesn't like to himself. I'm sure you've heard the idea that the ends don't justify the means?

        Should hotels, coffee shops and other "public" wifi providers use better APs? Probably. Should APs in general be made better? Likely. Should bittorrent users be more considerate? Yes. Is this guy an asshole committing crimes on other people's networks in his own self-interest? Absolutely.

    • by Urkki ( 668283 )

      Other people are using a *public* wifi connection you're connected to, using some of the bandwidth ...

      They are not "using some of the bandwidth". They are DOSsing the router by filling its connection table. Quite different.

  • Self-entitled much? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 10, 2014 @11:53AM (#48112059)

    This basically boils down to: "My use is more important than your use, under a flimsy excuse that your use could potentially interfere with my use, I will deliberately abuse the network in order to wilfully interfere with your use."

    The computer abuse act and FCC guidelines about wilful interference comes to mind....

    • It would be nice if router logs showed suspicious ARP packets and/or declined to forward them except for specially privileged connections (e.g. via a flag in the access list). The router knows the addresses of users connected over WiFi, and it's extremely unlikely those WiFi users will be routes for other devices. This seems like a good measure in general to make MITM harder.

  • by dannywoodz ( 618593 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @11:53AM (#48112073)
    Right, so someone comes in, gets an IP address via DHCP, turns on BitTorrent and gets banned 'as long as the program [BitHammer] is running'. Rinse, lather, repeat: now you have no traffic on your network, because all IP addresses in your subnet are on the banlist. Niiiiice.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 10, 2014 @11:56AM (#48112101)

    I don't like your announcing on WWE programming, and I don't like Bittorrent BanHammer. Please leave Slashdot.

  • by Fnord666 ( 889225 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @11:57AM (#48112111) Journal

    Over the last year, I've been plagued by rogue BitTorrent users who've crept onto these public hostpots either with a stolen/cracked password, or who lie right to my face (and the Wi-Fi owners) about it.

    Huh? They lie right to your face about it? Wait a minute. Who the hell are you anyway and what do you have to say about it? If it bothers you, buy yourself a mobile hotspot and STFU. At least maybe they are actually buying food/coffee/whatever and aren't just using the cafe as their personal office. What's the next complaint? That their conversations are too loud and you can't hear your conference calls?

    • by omtinez ( 3343547 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @12:01PM (#48112163)
      Mod parent up. It's the tragedy of the commons, but taking justice into your own hands makes you just as bad if not worse than the BitTorrent users
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ilsaloving ( 1534307 )

        Bittorrent users are effectively performing a denial of service attack on an entire network that doesn't belong to them.

        Please explain how running a script like this, with the owners permission, makes the script-writer worse than the torrenters?

        The torrenters do not have a god given right to abuse someone else's network. I've been in places where the wifi is basically useless, but the shop is almost empty, which means there are people consuming wifi bandwith and not even having the courtesy of being a pat

  • I read the summary and imagined Soulskill hunched over his/her keyboard rubbing his hands together as he let out an evil giggle just before he hit return to publish michaelcole's submission. Knowing what hell was about to be unleashed on this poor soul.
  • Incredible (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ArcadeMan ( 2766669 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @12:05PM (#48112219)

    I'm shocked by some of the replies so far. Some of you are furious because this guy is trying to limit the people who abuse the system?

    Imagine you are at a buffet. It's all-you-can-eat but with no instructions or limits on the way to do it. Now imagine there's a few people at the front of the line and they're putting all the food available into buckets, leaving nothing but scraps for everyone else. Would you be pissed at those people or at the one who would stand up and yell "Hey, leave some for the others"?

    • Re:Incredible (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 10, 2014 @12:10PM (#48112303)

      I'd be upset if his solution was to poison the food so the people that took it all started vomiting.

    • I didn't realize badanalogyguy had another account.

      In your scenario bithammer would be you taking out a hammer and hitting the guy with the bucket until he stopped taking food most likely due to the fact he is now dead.
    • by niado ( 1650369 )

      I'm shocked by some of the replies so far. Some of you are furious because this guy is trying to limit the people who abuse the system?

      Imagine you are at a buffet. It's all-you-can-eat but with no instructions or limits on the way to do it. Now imagine there's a few people at the front of the line and they're putting all the food available into buckets, leaving nothing but scraps for everyone else. Would you be pissed at those people or at the one who would stand up and yell "Hey, leave some for the others"?

      Excellent analogy. Almost made coffee shoot out my nose.

      • Except the analogy is flawed. A better analogy would be that, instead of yelling "hey, leave some for the rest of us" (which is what SHOULD be done), this michaelcole has chosen to beat the guy to death with a crowbar. That lands you in prison.

    • Would you be pissed at those people or at the one who would stand up and yell "Hey, leave some for the others"?

      No. I'd be pissed at the owner for not setting and enforcing a policy, and I'd complain to them. And if the buffet was free, I'd be pissed at myself for expecting anything different.

    • He's not yelling anything. He is bodily throwing out the people holding the buckets. That might well be a reasonable response if he was the restaurant owner, but he's not.

      I wouldn't care if this guy ran this on HIS network. He has no business doing it on someone else's.

      Also, crap article. This doesn't belong on slashdot.

    • If this guy was the admin of the public wifi spot I'd be all for it. Of course, if he's the admin there are probably better ways to deal with the situation. At best he's gray hatting a solution to a problem that isn't his problem to solve.

  • by inhuman_4 ( 1294516 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @12:10PM (#48112309)
    The BitHammer relies on Local Peer Disocovery which gives priority to peers that are close to the bit torrent client. This is good for ISPs because it tries to keep the bit torrent traffic inside their own network instead of hammering peering connections. This also makes connections faster for the bit torrent client.

    If you want to get around BitHammer you just need to turn off Local Peer Discovery, if BitHammer can't find you it can't block you. But now the ISPs are going to get screwed because Local Peer Discovery is turned off. This will also make the torrents slower for the client.

    Sounds like a loose/loose situation to me.
  • ....every problem tends to look like a nail.

    If you read poster's GitHub page, he even admits there are better ways to do this than using his program. This program is not an elegant solution. It is the equivalent of using duct tape and plastic wrap to replace a broken car window. Sure, it solves the problem, but it's not a good longterm solution. Best usage case: solve the problem of BitTorrent users hogging the connection until proper QoS is set up.

  • I made a jammer to block mobile phone conversations that I don't want clogging public spectrum. Of course, it doesn't block my conversations.

  • by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Friday October 10, 2014 @12:19PM (#48112435) Homepage Journal

    This is not your Internet. If a public hotspot is being overloaded by any client, not just someone's porn torrent, then that's between the user and the network admin. It's not your job or your right to be The Internet Police. Running a BT client on a public net is a dickish thing to do, but I can imagine scenarios when I might need to do it myself: "oh crap, my root drive is horked and I desperately need to download a Debian USB image. Good thing there's a Starbucks around the block!"

    A sane policy would be for the net admins to limit the number of open connections or UDP sessions from a single machine. An insane policy is to think that "my technodick is bigger than yours and I'm going to knock you offline" is less than sociopathic.

    Guess what, OP: I don't like your SSH sessions interfering with my Skype. Check out my new SSHWACK Banhammer that frees open networks from latency-hogging assholes like you. Are you sure you want to start this game?

  • You mooch internet from some public hotspot and complain about someone abusing "your" bandwidth for torrenting, so you kick him off an access point that is neither yours nor one that you have the right to policy?

    Uh... yeah. Smart idea. Really. Uhhuh. Me slowly walking backwards has nothing to do with me trying to get as much space between you and me as I possibly can before someone might get the idea that we're in any way connected, not at all...

  • [~/src/bithammer-master]% ./bithammer
    File "./bithammer", line 57
    print "Finding network gateway ..."

    SyntaxError: Missing parentheses in call to 'print'

    So it won't work anyway.

  • by bobbied ( 2522392 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @12:37PM (#48112685)

    You write a utility that scans network traffic (strike 1) so you can find traffic *you* don't agree with (strike 2). Then, you engage in a DOS attack to stop it? (Strike 3). You are out; at least you should be.

    What on earth entitles you to do such nonsense on a network you don't own? The business owner can do what he wants and allow what he wants. If you want to offer to run your little hack, after explaining what it does and getting their permission have fun, but you have ZERO right to just march in and start making a mess of somebody's ARP cache because you don't like what's going on. Morally, You need permission to do this kind of thing on a network you don't own or legally control, so until you have permission BUTT OUT!

    You probably yell at your neighborhood kids for riding their bikes in the street or not crossing at the corners after the full "Stop, Look, and Listen" routine too.... If it's not your network, keep your packet sniffing and ARP poisoning attacks to yourself. You don't know if the BitTorrent traffic isn't the owner's laptop downloading CentOS in the back room or some guy working for the MPAA who hacked in from 2 miles away, and it's NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by hexchaimen ( 1906206 )
      ^Agreed! There are so many legit reasons to utilize torrents, ugh! Being an admin of over a dozen public wifi locations, the largest having nearly 1000 clients a day, with 30 WAPs. I never block bitTorrent only traffic shape to extreme cases (eg some one DL at 100Mbps for over 15mins will be bumped to a 10Mbps speed), and each client is in a /30 subnet to protect users from self righteous people like this.
  • by michaelcole ( 704646 ) on Friday October 10, 2014 @03:11PM (#48114411)
    Hey everybody, thanks for the comments. Most of you probably won't ever see this comment, but I appreciate your interest and feedback about the program. Believe it or not, I thought about alot each of the ethical issues yall brought up. And well, frankly there isn't a good way for strangers to work together anonymously. That's probably a good definition of a stranger. If you have any questions, I'm happy to answer them here. Anyways thanks again and best wishes! Mike

In every hierarchy the cream rises until it sours. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter

Working...