USA Today reports about a man in Seattle has been arrested for conducting wide scale ID theft through P2P networks. Gregory Thomas Kopiloff used Limewire to have access to people’s personal files in order to gather financial information to be used in online fraud and ID theft. Kopiloff used this data to spend up to $73,000 USD in purchases, using details from at least 83 identified customers.
The reason for the ease with which fraudsters such as these can gain access to information is because careless users unwittingly may be sharing all sorts of folders in their computers, and not only folders containing music, videos and/or software. In some cases the settings were placed by teenagers, leaving their parent’s files open. When people share an entire drive, for example, they leave all of their personal information stored in their documents open to scrutiny.
So kids, I hope that you have learnt your lesson. Do not use P2P client software! Use BitTorrent instead.