BitTorrent Crash Linked to Military Satellite Hack

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When you want to get a precious cargo moved in a cool way in a Hollywood movie, look no further than Frank Martin, aka The Transporter. When you want to get precious stuff from A to B over the Internet, the 'cool' way is by using BitTorrent. But did you know you can hack a military satellite with it in seconds?

Transporter3There can be no denying it, there is a definite link between BitTorrent and movies. The movie industry has been at war with the famous protocol from the instant it realized that its not just Linux distros it can effectively shift around the Internet. When it comes to large files, BitTorrent is the delivery king.

But what if you want to move a precious cargo around in a Hollywood fantasy world? What if you needed a method of getting something from A to B, using a person who is as content agnostic as BitTorrent? Well, you could try to hire Jason Statham’s character in The Transporter movies. Now in his third outing, Frank Martin is a driver/courier who specializes in getting things from A to B while asking few questions. Some of his guidelines would please many BitTorrent fans, especially the “no names” and “don’t look in the envelope” rules, but sadly, not everything is sunny in torrent world.

In his latest movie, Transporter 3, Frank has to work with a human cargo – the rather attractive daughter of a Ukranian minister, previously kidnapped by the bad guys – and take her from France to Odessa. But this is TorrentFreak, so at this point you weren’t expecting a movie review, but something about BitTorrent.

A few minutes after the hour mark, the true evil of the bad guys becomes apparent. At the order of the chief baddie, an operative is told to “hack into a military satellite”, which he achieves in just a few seconds and, as is compulsory when anyone in Hollywood hacks a computer or cracks a code, the camera swings to a computer screen as rows and rows of complicated-looking text rolls by, dramatizing the process.

It seems that an old Mac version of the BitTorrent Mainline client, developed by BitTorrent Inc., is used to hack the satellite. Unfortunately, or perhaps part of the process – it crashed immediately.


Concerned at this nefarious use of our favorite technology, we contacted the person responsible for this piece of technology, to find out what on earth is going on. In response to the report, Andrew Lowenstern, the developer of the old client noted: “Clearly, the technical consultants for Transporter 3 have good taste in obsolete BT clients. You can see they created that crash report themselves since it says the exception type is a breakpoint.”

It’s disappointing that a movie as realistic as Transporter 3 has been let down by a lack of technical accuracy, especially when the storyline and acting were of the highest calibre, and the stunts so believable ;)

Nevertheless, great fun!


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