[BitTorrent] Re: Can a tracker actively tell clients to stop downloading?

Bill Cox bill at viasic.com
Fri Jan 7 10:26:02 EST 2005

On Fri, 2005-01-07 at 04:25 +0000, jason_b_alonso wrote:
> This update mechanism could also be applied to the web site mirroring.
>  A high-traffic (or "slashdotted") web site can easily be torrented
> and updated with the Yum protocol.
> Can we move toward making this standard-ish?
> Jason
> --- In BitTorrent at yahoogroups.com, Blue Boar <BlueBoar at t...> wrote:
> > Bill Cox wrote:
> > > Very interesting idea...  BitTorrent and Yum could be pretty cool.  It
> > > sounds like a simple enough extension to the tracker response.  Some
> > > sort of a "move_to" key could do the trick.
> > 
> > There are security issues there.  Right now, the .torrent file is your
> > secure bit of information.  If you got the .torrent file intact from a
> > known-good source, then no one can trick your client into downloading
> > (well, keeping) the wrong thing.  All the tracker can do is go away, and
> > deny you service.

Both good points.  A mechanism like this could allow a trusted vendor of
data to support possibly thousands of torrents, and move seeders around
to where they happen to be needed.  It could support site mirroring,
possibly even help tracker reliability.  Whole linux distributions could
be supported package by package rather than with a single large iso, and
it could probably be supported from somebody's laptop as the master
tracker and seeder.

With such a mechanism in place, some hacker will very quickly try to
subvert it.  A proper public key signing method is probably needed.

How about adding a key would be added to the .torrent files, called
signature.  It's value would be a PGP signature of the info_hash value
by the trusted data vendor.  Clients would be responsible for verifying
the signature.  This would provide a high level of trust that the
torrent the tracker is pointing us to is indeed valid data.


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