I started Comcast internet service in 2011. Since that time, we have received three notices of illegal copyrighted material being downloaded from BitTorrent. Last week we received another one which makes four. Each time we have checked with Comcast to see what we can do to prevent recurrance, because no one in this household uses BitTorret at all, and certainly not to illegally download programs that no one here cares about. We pay for streaming video through Netflix and Hulu and are satisfied with those services.
We have a secured wifi network with a strong password that has been changed multiple times. We have 4 Macs and 1 PC. We use the Norton Security suite provided by Comcast and perform regular scans and checks. We have asked if there is anything else we can do to prevent mis-use and been told no by the Comcast chat technicians. I have refuted in writing each time we receive a notice, both to Comcast and to the DMCA.
So I am following up here: is there anything else we can do? Is it possible that we are being hacked through some method not related to our wifi? I do not want to lose service or be held responsible when the new anti-piracy measures come into effect in July if we are accused again.
Text of notice below:
Notice of Action under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
Abuse Incident Number: Not Applicable Report Date/Time: Wed, 16 May 2012 08:18:35 -0700
(Name & address redacted)
Dear Comcast High-Speed Internet Subscriber:
Comcast has received a notification by a copyright owner, or its authorized agent, reporting an alleged infringement of one or more copyrighted works made on or over Comcast's High-Speed Internet service (the 'Service'). The copyright owner has identified the Internet Protocol ('IP') address associated with your Service account at the time as the source of the infringing works. The works identified by the copyright owner in its notification are listed below. Comcast reminds you that use of the Service (or any part of the Service) in any manner that constitutes an infringement of any copyrighted work is a violation of Comcast's Acceptable Use Policy and may result in the suspension or termination of your Service account.
If you have any questions regarding this notice, you may direct them to Comcast in writing by sending a letter or e-mail to:
For more information regarding Comcast's copyright infringement policy, procedures, and contact information, please read our Acceptable Use Policy by clicking on the Terms of Service link at http://www.comcast.net.
Sincerely, Comcast Customer Security Assurance
Copyright work(s) identified in the notification of claimed infringement:
Evidentiary Information: Notice ID: 315-5978688 Asset: Game of Thrones Protocol: BitTorrent IP Address: 188.8.131.52 DNS: c-67-169-94-103.hsd1.ca.comcast.net File Name: Game of Thrones S02E07 HDTV x264-ASAP[ettv] File Size: 409100656 Timestamp: 16 May 2012 03:37:38 GMT Last Seen Date: 16 May 2012 05:59:45 GMT Torrent Info Hash: 1b07cde7a6a2cdcf5acc5e9d63aaa1
I do not have HBO service, but I do watch the show over at a friend's house who does subscribe to HBO.
The previous notices alleged downloads of True Blood and the movie Thor, all via BitTorrent. No one in this house has seen any of those, nor has any interest in them, and no one uses BitTorrent. The prior notices were for alleged incidents dated 8/18/11, 8/24/11 and 8/31/11. We assumed that since we changed the password and security protocols, we were no longer having this problem, but having received yet another notice this past week confirms that the problem persists.
If you're only using 4 macs and 1 PC and have no roaming devices, i.e. smartphones, tablets, laptops. Get a good router that can be setup per MAC address, exclude everything else.
With that said, it's highly unlikely you're getting hacked to use your service to download via torrents. I would lean to either the wireless security is not setup or there is a user in the house that is not truthful. I do repairs for a living and have seen this exact same scenario many times over.
We are using the Motorola Surfboard Modem that we rent from Comcast, connected to an Airport Extreme with a not easily guessable network name that does not relate to our physical address, and wpa2 encryption enabled with a strong 15+ character password set. We connect to the internet via Ethernet using DHCP. I used to have a guest network set up that allows access to the internet without using our private network but it was disabled during a connection problem that has since been resolved.
Of course we are innocent. So what happens next? Would we go to jail or pay some huge fine if they could prove the alleged file(s) was downloaded to our account? Will Comcast cut us off? I'll tell you...if I were to be downloading copyrighted files, and found out that the owners could track me down...I would stop downloading immediatly and remove the, alleged, file(s) from my possesion.Could they still prosecute if the offending file(s) are deleted? All they need is a IP address that, supposedly, downloaded it? I would like to know if a lawyer would be required to clear this up. What happens next?
1 Mac and 1 PC of the ones listed are laptops. All 4 members of our household have smartphones. I will try your dedicated MAC address solution.
Have you tried giving the security assurance ppl a call? They may have some ideas and/or be able to look closely at your account to see if the problem is there. Otherwise it looks to me like you are doing everything right.
NERD is giving out very bad advice. Do not ignore or trivialize your receiving notifications like this.
You have been targeted by a copyright troll, a legal firm that extorts people to make settlements based on mostly unsubstantiated claims of visiting their websites, downloading pay material, sharing files, etc.
They will subpoena Comcast to provide your personal information based on an alleged "infringement," using the IP number that Comcast assigns you when you sign on to the Internet using Comcast. With this information, they will begin a campaign of harassment and extortion, offering you a very expensive settlement to not take you to court and expose you to public ridicule. (Note, in five years, maybe a dozen people have actually been taken to court and none successfully prosecuted.)
Comcast will turn over your information to the troll firm within a certain number of days. You may wish to hire an attorney to "quash" the subpoena, but this will result in the same information being delivered into the troll's hand -- and then the extortion will start. I highly recommend getting an attorney qualified in this line of work (i.e., copyright and Internet law). It will put your mind at rest and help to prevent you being called into federal court for something you only allegedly did.
BTW, Comcast has joined other Internet service providers (ISPs) in a suit to stop this type of extortionate practice, but for now, it will not fight in your behalf personally; it will turn over your personal information. Be aware. Here's a helpful website: http://fightcopyrighttrolls.com/.
I received one of these notices as well today and have scanned two of the computers so far for the file in question, and will probably look into a way to block bit torrent access.
The stuff I read about the "copyright trolls" is pretty scary. If you've received a notice through Comcast, and take steps to see that they don't ever get notified again, will they, or have they already dumped your personal information over to the troll company, and if not, when does that occur? I really don't want any part of this.
I just got the same email from comcast and of course I too am innocent. There is no phone number or anything in the email regarding appeals. I spent 2 1/2 hours on the phone with them getting transferred from agents all over the world who didn't know what I was talking about and kept saying that comcast did not send the email! But finally I got teh frauds department and they kept accusing me of stealing music illegally!!!! THis is preposterous. How do we fight this?