For the most part when it comes to downloading torrents, spotting a fake or one laced with malware is relatively easy as you would only have to scan the comments and the negative votes. However there are times when the torrent might be new or unpopular which means that comments and votes are not available, so how do you tell then if the torrent you are about to download is a fake or contains malware? Well thanks to a Symantec patent, it seems that the anti-virus company is hoping to help make your future torrent downloads a safer and much more informed one at that. After all no one likes spending hours downloading a torrent only to find out it’s a dud, right?
So basically how Symantec’s proposed system will work is that instead of merely scanning the files as per normal, it will instead determine the torrent’s legitimacy based on the reputation of the other downloaders, so if a download has a reputation and an IP address that has been linked to fake or malicious torrents in the past, their reputation would be lower. According to the patent’s description, “For example, if an entity has been involved in several torrent transactions that involved malware-infected target files, the reputation information associated with the entity may indicate that the entity has a poor reputation, indicating a high likelihood that the target file represents a potential security risk.”
Of course there’s no telling if and when Symantec will actually implement such a system in their products, but given that there are an estimated quarter of a billion active torrent users a month, we’re sure that many of them will be more than happy to subscribe to such a service.