Friday, November 15, 2013

Octoshape (octoshapepm)

I was first alerted to this when my mac asked me if I wanted to allow octoshapepm to accept incoming connections. This led me to a web search which led me to an interesting finding that CNN is basically installing a program that uses your computer to redistribute your content, but not really telling you that it is doing it.

The program itself is made by this company. This article gives a brief non-marketing overview of what the program actually does and how to get rid of it if you wish.

In short, as installed by CNN, the program acts as a realtime file distribution system, like bittorrent, except that its probably running without your permission, helping CNN deliver content using part of your bandwidth (you are uploading video data just as you are downloading it). There are security issues with this in addition to an issue of principle, where you are most likely being tricked into giving up part of your bandwidth to save CNN some money as well as exposing a new security hole.

I note that on my mac the program exits when I'm not watching a CNN stream, but I don't know if that is because I denied the program access to the internet (i.e I don't know if octoshape would continue to run after I quit if there were other clients pulling data from my computer).

Any how, the bottom line is that you should be aware that there is this program that is running when you watch certain CNN streams that has access to your computer and is uploading data from your computer to other users.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting this, I've seen this pop up a few times but had not noticed it was always at CNN. Will watch for it from now on.