[[Morpheus Says Kazaa did it]]
In a strange twist to the now infamous Morpheus hack story, Kazaa BV founder and FastTrack creator Niklas Zennstrom issued a statement saying "MusicCity (also known as StreamCast Networks) has failed to pay any amounts due to Kazaa BV under the parties' license agreement. As a result of MusicCity's breach, Kazaa BV did not provide version 1.5 to MusicCity. Kazaa has also terminated MusicCity's license."
What this means is that the failure to connect experienced by Morpheus users, was probably due to Kazaa not supplying the new software to MusicCity.
Why would Kazaa deny access to millions of users? Doesn't any filesharing network wholly depend on the number of its users? How much does MusicCity owe Kazaa?
and here's another question, if Kazaa get advertising revenue and rent money from Morpheus for the use of the network, why should we feel sorry for them and accept spyware?
Kazaa also admited to Newsbytes that "advertising traffic generated by users of the competing Morpheus software was redirected to its own servers last week."
But both these statements from Kazaa do not explain what Morpheus called dual attacks. Kazaa issued yet another statement claiming that We understand from public accounts that (Morpheus) also speaks of an attack in the same timeframe. Sharman Networks did not initiate, or have any connection to this attack
As far as the possibility of Kazaa being involved in any modification of a users PC without the users knowledge the statement reads None of this was of our doing.... We have no ability to affect the operations of other licensees.
So in one statement Kazaa deny any involvement to Morpheus' network troubles and in another they claim that they had something to do with it.
For the time being then we have to believe the unlikely story that someone attacked the Morpheus web site while almost simultaneously Kazaa were denying Morpheus users access to the FastTrack network and receiving redirected advertisements from Morpheus...
To add insult to injury Kazaa are also offering a little migration application which offers Morpheus users the opportunity to import their settings and partial downloads to Kazaa.
As the first news concerning this story broke it became evident that the p2p landscape was up for big changes. The RIAA is bound to pounce on FastTrack suggesting that this fuss proves it is a centralized network and can therefore follow Napster's path into oblivion. Unless, of course, claims that Kazaa acted under RIAA orders when it kicked Morpheus out prove to be true.
Since Morpheus bailed out of FastTrack the new Morpheus Preview Edition has been downloaded 8 million times. In the same time period Kazaa 1.5 has received 4 million downloads, proving that it has enticed some Morpheus users. This user leak from Morpheus to Kazaa is bound to continue as long as the software remains primitive and if the Gnutella network buckles under the immense influx of new users.
In an ironic twist Kazaa now claims to be the no1 FREE p2p application. Morpheus is dead. Long live ex-Morpheus users.
[[The Morpheus Hack]]
When we reported that Morpheus users were vulnerable, MusicCity vehemently denied any such possibility. Following 2 days during which the Morpheus site was down however, an official announcement from Steve Griffin, StreamCast/Morpheus CEO claims:
"This week MusicCity and Morpheus users suffered dual attacks. First, early this week MusicCity's servers were hit by a massive Denial of Service attack. Soon thereafter, Morpheus users found that a separate attack had been launched on their computers and their Morpheus software programs."
The most worrying part of the letter though is the following:
"It appears that the attacks included an encrypted message being repeatedly sent directly to your computers that changed registry settings in your computer."
So according to the company, the attack enabled access to a Morpheus users registry when that user attempted to log-on to the FastTrack network.
The reasons behind the attack are not yet clear but many possible scenarios have surfaced.
A popular interpretation of the hacks claims that MusicCity themselves, riding on the recent vulnerability stories, carried out this "attack" in order to dicredit the FastTrack network and find their way out of it. Rumours of Morpheus leaving the troubled network and moving to Gnutella had already been spreading and such an attack would offer a great excuse.
MusicCity is officially denying any involvement and in an official statement claims
"Lastly, we want to address some of the misinformation we've seen recently. There have been many comments that we caused these problems intentionally. Let me assure you that we would NEVER treat the Morpheus users in this fashion. Others have said we would re-launch with a paid subscription model, again, not true."
Another scenario claims that the RIAA is behind the attacks. In this way the credibility of the most popular filesharing program would be shaken and as an added bonus the FastTrack network would also be hit. Although such an act is not inconsistent to the RIAA's M.O., proving such a scenario is extremely difficult and no proof is likely to be found.
These events are bound to damage FastTrack.
Firstly questions are raised about the safety and credibility of the network and secondly by abandoning it MusicCity are depriving it from its most profitable customer. The enormous loss of users is bound to affect FastTrack and to further isolate them in their current legal battle with the RIAA.
Morpheus Preview Edition has already been released and although still rough around the edges, the company claims that it offers a decent alternative to other filesharing programs. The official announcement reads:
"Morpheus Preview Edition, which is based on the very large network of Gnutella users. The new software will provide you with the ability for faster searches, the display of more search results, and many more new and exciting features. KEEP IN MIND that this is only our preview edition. Any time change occurs, many object and think the old version was better. Our objective is to create a new and exciting software product."