The Yomiuri “don’t-link-to-us” Online reported a couple of weeks ago that, according to a study conducted by networking security company Net Agent Co., Winny is currently running on more than 500,000 PCs—an increase of almost 200% since Winny developer Kaneko was arrested (and stopped working on the application) two years ago. I am not completely sure about the methodology behind these numbers though.
If I’m correct, you can also connect to the Winny network with the more recent Share P2P client (pronounced 「シャレ」): are Share users represented in Net Agent Co.’s data set? Or did they just look at the nodes connected to the Winny network, and concluded that every such node equals one Winny installation?
Another Yomiuri article tells us that “[a] Japanese software engineer based in California has developed software that can detect personal computers containing files illegally obtained with Winny file-sharing software.” The article simplistically continues: “To find a computer storing an illegal file named “A,” the user only has to enter “A” in the software. The software will then locate the e-mail address of the user of the PC in which the illegal file is stored.”
How can you “detect personal computers” and even “locate the e-mail address of the user of the PC” containing “files illegally obtained with Winny”? I seriously doubt this is possible at all—for example, how to recognize “files illegally obtained with Winny” if they’re copies of the original? The software is probably just capable of locating the IP address of the computers offering a file with filename X (possibly without the owner being aware of it). That’s definitely compromising, but there’s no way they can find out your email address that easy.
Also worth noting: Japanese ISP Plala, who was already constraining WinMX and Winny traffic on its network, has announced it will start blocking all Winny traffic from July 17 on. Dedicated Winny fans however can get around this default setting and turn off Plala’s Winny filter for their own account. Non-blocked Winny traffic on the Plala network will remain constrained though.