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Ghostleech

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Warning: ghostleeching is considered cheating by private trackers. Use your head or lose your account.

What is ghostleeching?

A sample ghostleeching scenario.

The bittorrent protocol is inherently insecure. This means that if I know the info_hash of a torrent and the IP+Port that your torrent client is running on, I can connect to you and download the torrent from you, even if I am not a member of your private tracker.

In this scenario, the seeder is not you, but the peer you have scraped. By directly knowing the infohash and IP+Port, you are able to bypass the tracker and download from the seeder directly

Case 1: You are NOT a member of a private tracker, but your friend is

If your IRC friend is on a /good/ private tracker and you are not. Just ask him for:

a) the torrent info_hash (eg: c12fe1c06bba254a9dc9f519b335aa7c1367a88a&dn)

b) an IP address:port of a seedbox user

Convert the infohash to a magnet link:

magnet:?xt=urn:btih:INFOHASH

magnet:?xt=urn:btih:c12fe1c06bba254a9dc9f519b335aa7c1367a88a&dn

and add that magnet link into your torrent client of choice and add the Peer using the given IP address:port

Congratulations! You are enjoying private tracker speeds, without private tracker autism.

Case 2: You ARE a member of a private tracker

Perhaps you want to download some files without taking a ratio hit:

  1. Grab a torrent.
  2. Pause the torrent or severely limit the download speed
  3. Write down all fast peers (IP and Port)

On a different IP:

  1. Add the torrent to your client
  2. Remove the tracker (which has your passkey and identifying information)
  3. Add the peers and you are good to go!
Note:
  • It looks suspicious if you grab many .torrent files, but don't actually download anything because you /ghostleeched/ it all. Many trackers automatically detect this. Mix up actual downloading with /ghostleeching/
  • It is unsafe and suspicious to add a .torrent. Let it announce to a tracker (get peers) and then stop it. What you want to do is cultivate a list (IP+Port) of seedbox owners and "Archivers". The best way to do this is to download a torrent the normal way, but log all traffic. Sort by speed and you have your seedbox users
  • With this list you can bypass steps 1-3. Add your torrent (IN A STOPPED STATE); remove the tracker; add your peers
  • It is risky to ghostleech on small swarms (<10 peers + Old torrents). Let the size of the swarm protect you

FAQ

Scraping peers

You want to build a list of seedboxes and Archivers. Don't do this manually. Download for a week normally, but log all your activity with iptraf or iftop. Then sort by speed to get your list

I can't add peers

Some clients prevent adding peers if you remove the private tracker. You have 4 solutions:

  • Use a DHT-Patched client (utorrent serenity)
  • Use a utorrent DHT Patcher
  • Use an /old/ Azureus Peer Injector
  • Get the info_hash, convert to magnet link and add the magnet URI

It takes a while for the torrent to start

It can take up to 5 minutes. If the torrent hasn't started by then, your peers are bad.

How can I detect if I was /ghostleeched/

No method at the moment. If you have a seedbox assume you were /ghostleeched/.

How can I prevent /ghostleeching/

Due to the protocol there is no easy way (other than stop using private trackers). You can try changing your ports every day. However this is not a reliable method, since the /ghostleecher/ will just grep your IP in the network logs to find the new port.

Notable cases

IPT was involved with a similar technique. They took peers from PTP/BTN/HDB, added them to their own tracker, and gave them to their own swarm (the IPT users)

Can I be banned for this

Yes. However, as a /ghostleecher/ in case 1 you have nothing to worry about since you can get a new IP. If you are providing the info_hashes+peers use your head.