Megaupload Not Secure Enough

by Andrew H
For this weeks blog I chose to read an article called “Meagaupload Is Dead. Long Live Mega!” by Charles Graeber. The article talks about Kim Dotcom who was recently indicted by the U.S government for conspiracy and briefly thrown in jail and his partners in the digital storage locker Megaupload have no intentions of quitting. Instead they have decided to introduce a new technology later this year that will again allow users to share and upload big data files however by different rules. It is a subscriber-based cloud system that allows users to upload, access and store huge data files on their databases; however this time each file will be encrypted and the user will be sent a unique for the files decryption. The point of this is to put any liabilities of stolen or illegal documents, videos, music etc. in the hands of the users that uploaded them. The article continues on about how the company Mega will not have any means of decrypting the files so that they cannot be responsible by them.

We have not talked to much about ethical issues and databases in class however when I saw the title I was intrigued because it was obviously about some kind of file uploader, or cloud based storage system. It turns out that is exactly what it is about and it turned out to be a very interesting article because it briefly covers the legal and ethical issues that came of Megaupload due to the fact that they were able to see what was uploaded to their databases. I think that every database should be encrypted to allow only the users that are granted permission, to access the files, however there should be somebody or sometype of program overseeing the databases that can check for illegal files. I hope that later in the class we will talk about securing databases.

Graeber, C. (2012, October 18). Megaupload is Dead. Long Live Mega! Retrieved from: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/10/megaupload-mega/

5 thoughts on “Megaupload Not Secure Enough

  • October 29, 2012 at 12:00 am
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    Interesting article. I used to have a Megaupload account before it got shut down by the ICE. I believe that Megaupload got into a trouble because when an user uploads a file, it was hashed and stored in their database. If someone else tried to upload the same file, the database dynamically updated so that a pointer is made to the already uploaded file. This saved a lot of bandwidth and duplicate files on their servers. The rumor was that they got shut down because Kim Dotcom was about to go IPO with his company.

  • October 29, 2012 at 2:20 pm
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    I too used to use Megaupload for all of my legal file sharing purposes. But as a former musician I would have to say that the constant infringement of copyrights via the internet is a huge problem that unfortunately will probably never be stopped. The online black market is huge and they will always find a way. Seeing this article is interesting since this new encryption may reduce most of the legal liability of the site itself and impose it onto the users.

  • October 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm
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    I think the issue of databases checking for illegal content is that there’s so much data to go through. In my experience, whenever I was looking for a tv show stream, one megavideo link would be taken down but there would be many other links to what I was looking for. And I’m wondering if hosting these illegal content was what helped megavideo become so successful as it did.

  • November 4, 2012 at 2:35 pm
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    Your article reminded me the article that I read couple days ago, Megaupload team will use advanced encryption to evade copyright cops now. (http://bgr.com/2012/10/19/megaupload-relaunch-advanced-encryption-deployed/). The new encryption method gives users stronger protection over their uploaded data because only uploader can have their own decryption code, and it is not stored in Megaupload database.

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