U Web developer reveals Kazaa security problems

Dan Haugen

A University Web developer has co-authored a study exposing potential security problems with the popular Internet file-sharing program Kazaa.

The study, by Aaron Krekelberg and Hewlett-Packard company researcher Nathaniel Good, found that “a large number of users are currently sharing personal and private files without their knowledge,” including e-mail files, word-processing documents and credit card data.

Krekelberg recommended users keep the default settings after installing the program. Those settings do not allow users to share their files with other Kazaa users. By changing these settings, users can give others access to files in a particular folder on their computers.

“Your typical user has no idea what is being shared,” Krekelberg said.

Instead of sharing files in their “My Music” folders, for example, many users open their entire hard drives for others to download, the study found.

– Dan Haugen