Home » IT Services News » IT Services News No. 174 (Apr 2015) » Beware of Using P2P Software

Beware of Using P2P Software

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) software is popularly used nowadays for sharing of files, such as music and videos.  However, engaging in the peer-to-peer (P2P) network, one may invite a large number of computers around the globe to access one’s computer for downloading file.

There are critical risks associated with the use of P2P software, such as the spreading of malicious codes from untrusted sources, expose of sensitive or personal information to unintended/untrusted people, susceptibility to attacks caused by change of firewall settings, adverse performance impact on the network due to significant volume of traffic generated by the file sharing process, and copyright infringement due to downloading of pirated software and unauthorized copyrighted materials.

We strongly advised colleagues and students not to install P2P software on any computers connected to the University network as it does not only weaken the University’s ability to safeguard the overall IT environment, it may also cause themselves serious consequences, such as copyright infringement, without their knowing.  

All IT users are reminded to observe the The University of Hong Kong Statement of Ethics on Information Technology (IT) Use of the University which stipulates, among others, that "use of the IT facilities must not intrude upon the legitimate or convenient use of the facilities by others."  If the use of P2P software leads to network congestion or complaints from other users, it will be considered an abuse case; and the user accountable may be subject to disciplinary actions.   

 

John Lam
Information Security Team
Tel: 3917 5952
Email: joncclam@hku.hk