Morpheus gets help from Gnutella after attacks

Saying that it was besieged with a massive denial-of-service attack that shut users out of its popular peer-to-peer file swapping service Morpheus, StreamCast Networks rolled out a new software tool Friday based on the open-source Gnutella technology.

          Saying that it was besieged with a massive denial-of-service (DoS) attack that shut users out of its popular peer-to-peer (P-to-P) file swapping service Morpheus, StreamCast Networks rolled out a new software tool Friday based on the open-source Gnutella technology.

          StreamCast, formerly known as MusicCity Networks, introduced the Gnutella-based Morpheus Preview Edition after over 1 million of its users were shut out of the network last Tuesday due to what was originally believed to be a software glitch. Morpheus was previously based on a technology called FastTrack licensed by an Australian company, Sharman Networks. StreamCast at first pinned the shutdown on the fact that another FastTrack licensee, KaZaa, upgraded its software, making it incompatible with Morpheus.

          In a message posted on the company's website Friday, StreamCast/Morpheus CEO Steve Griffin blamed the shutdown on "dual attacks," however, saying that the company's servers were hit by a "massive" DoS attack, and then a separate attack was launched against their computers and Morpheus software programs. The second attack consisted of encrypted messages being repeatedly sent directly to users' computers, changing their registry settings, he says.

          Believing that the attacks were continuing as some users tried to connect to the old Morpheus User Network, the company switched to the new Gnutella-based application, Griffins explains.

          The company says that it appears as though the attacks came from the closed FastTrack P-to-P network that Morpheus shared with rivals KaZaa and Grokster, implying that the shutdown may have been plotted by one of its competitors.

          Ironically, all three P-to-P applications are under fire from the US recording and motion picture industries, which have lodged copyright infringement suits against the parent companies. StreamCast is due to appear before a Los Angeles District Court judge this week.

          Meanwhile, the company is encouraging its members to build a new network with the Gnutella-based software, and is asking for user input on the application.

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