AltnetBDE

Classification

Spyware

Data Miner

-

Altnet, Peer Points Manager, Altnet Brilliant Digital Entertainment

Summary

Altnet is an application to share copyrighted digital media. Usage of the application results in building a profile at Altnet servers. Brilliant Digital Entertainment, an advertisement company and owner of Altnet, may have access to these servers. If not cautious, the user profile may be shared with other companies. Altnet is bundled with Kazaa and Grokster but not a required component.

Removal

Automatic action

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Technical Details

Altnet sells and distributes digital media with the help of P2P networks. As a customer, the user also becomes a distribution centre for Altnet. Brilliant Digital Entertainment owns Altnet, hence the name AltnetBDE.

Altnet collects basic information when signing up to their network. The full name, e-mail address, gender, age and location are required to register as a user. While using Altnet, information about which files you have purchased, what you have shared and so forth are collected by Altnet. Unless a user opts-out, this information may be shared with a third party. It is unclear if 'opt-out' is sufficient enough from leaking the collected information to the parent company, Brilliant Digital Entertainment (an advertisement company).

Altnet has constructed a virtual payment system based on points. As a user, these points can be used to buy the rights to play digital media, such as a song or movie clip. When the digital media is purchased, Altnet searches for a second user that already has bought this digital media. The software then peer-to-peer downloads the digital media from the second user and the media is re-signed to the new user. The second user is then awarded with points for sharing this media. A user is also able to buy digital media with real money using credit card or other payment arrangements.

F-Secure detects Altnet because the software may disclose private information, letting Altnet build a profile of you. The software is also usually received while installing Kazaa or Grokster and was not desired in the first place. In many cases, the user was not aware Altnet Peer Point Manager represents an extra application, but assumed it was a part of the wanted application. Altnet's software can be removed without crippling Kazaa or Grokster.

If you understand what Altnet is and how it works, feel free to use it.

Date Created: 2006-01-01 11:32:35.0

Date Last Modified: 2006-03-15 15:00:00.0