BitTorrent Sync Application

BitTorrent Sync Application
BitTorrent Sync Application

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BitTorrent Sync Application


            Given that private and professional internet users have rapidly become concerned with privacy and data protection the privacy that is accorded famous synchronization services of cloud files for instance Google drive, Drop box and one drive this matter has gained lots of scrutiny by the press.

Some of these services have been reported in the recent past to be sharing their information with government intelligence agencies without warrants/ BitTorrent has been observed to be an alternative by numerous people and by 2014 it already had 3 million users. 

This service is totally decentralized and provides most of the same functionality and synchronization that is a replica of cloud computing services. It employs encryption in the transmission of data and alternatively for storage remotely.

The significance of comprehending BitTorrent Sync and its consequent digital investigative implications to law enforcers and forensic investigators is critical to future evaluations.  Given the rise in home user bandwidth and the developments in professional and non professional computer power data volumes that are being created by computer machines are now increasing.  

For users of mobile machines accessing this data has been a tall order. With rapid connectivity and increased availability and internet access the notion of resilient storage,  high availability and off site back up has been moved from the domain that was mainly a preserve of large corporations and has become rapidly popular with users of computers as well as daily data consumers.

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Applications like Drop Box and Ever note control the reducing cost of hard disk storage witnessed in Storage as a Service (SaaS) providers for instance Amazon S 3. The key advantage of stemming from services like Apple iCloud, DropBox, Microsoft OneDrive, and Google Drive is the fact that their data tends to be stored in a fundamental extension of their machines with no necessity of user interaction upon installation.

It is backed up by a completely distributed data center model that is totally out of the financial reach of the ordinary consumer. This data can be accessed on various devices without necessarily reformatting partitions or wasting space through a creation of multiple copies of one file for all devices. DropBox and a number of other services have offline applications that permeate the synchronization of data to local folders to be accessed offline.

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Each of these services could be categorized as cloud synchronization services. This shows that as much as data is coordinated between user machines a copy of this data is remotely stored in the cloud. Most of this data can be freely accessed by government intelligence without a warrant.  Consequently, BitTorrent Sync offers this functionality without cloud storage and is thus believed to be the best option.

Given its advantages BitTorrent Sync application is now popular with those who want to replicate and synchronize their files. By the end of 2013 it had attracted 2 million users. This  work’s contribution entails a forensic evaluation of  BitTorrent Sync applications for clients left remnants upon installation, its behavior, and artifacts.  An evaluation of the network traffic sequence and file interactions employed as part of the process of interaction are also included.

This information can be of use to digital forensic investigators if BitTorrent Sync is installed on machines that have been subjected to investigation. It can be employed in the recovery of lost data, modifying this data or locating where it has been synchronized to.

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 By knowing the operational nature of BitTorrent Sync this could assist to get the right direction during digital investigations to extra remote machines where more relevant data could be replicated. This technology is applicable in several crime investigations including, industrial espionage, malicious software distribution and sharing of child exploitation material. The crime that is being investigated is what determines if the remote machines could be owned and put under operation by one suspect or by a cohort that has a mutual goal. 

The protocol is powerful because of the nature of file parts usage where each file is capable of being manipulated and controlled separately. Given that BitTorrent Sync at times tends to use a DHT in data transfers there is no leading authority that can be used to manage data authentication. Suspect files located on a system could be downloaded from several sources and uploaded to several recipients.

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There are three unique settings that establish the resources employed in peer discovery as well as the available path for transmission of traffic. BitTorrent Sync employs such peer discovery techniques to ordinary BitTorrentprotocol.  The localized peer discovery packet contains a BSYNC and a ping message type which includes the 20 byte mutual ID of the advertised share, IP address of the sender host as well as the port.

The LAN hosts that receive the packet will drop it if they have no interest in the shared ID.  Hosts that show some interest show it through a UDP packet response to the advertised port.  This response lacks a BSYNC header and the field of data has only the responding peer’s ID.

The three IP addresses are hosted on the EC2cloud service of Amazon. A get peers request is send to the tracker server by the client. Upon reception of this request the IP address of the client is added onto a list of available peers that are active for the specific tracker shared ID. Given that the client requests this list because of the secret possessed by it, the server’s response always has one active peer which is employed in requesting the client’s information.

Peer discovery can be done by clients through the use of a Distributed Hash Table (DHT). In this alternative peers can register their details by use of the secret word and the port. By employing this alternative users could avoid employing any kind of tracking server but they could find peer discovery as being slow in nature.

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The option of using predefined hosts is the last and undetectable technique of peer discovery.  The user is capable of adding a list of IP addresses and port combinations to shared preferences.  This peer’s list is likely to be directly contacted without necessarily having to look into a BSYNC packet that ahs a ping type of message.  Just like peer discovery methods BTSync permeates the user to put together several alternatives that impact the manner in which data can be transferred between peers.  If no options are set the seeding host makes attempts to directly communicate with the replicating target.

The forensic analyses of these utilities are problematic in nature. Unless there is a complete up to date local synchronization the data’s entire picture could reside in temporary files. Multiple data centers and volatile storage for instance the RAM of the system.

Any forensic evaluation done digitally on these systems should have particular attention on the access method. This is mainly the internet browser that connects to the access page of the service provider.  This temporary access highlights the significance of real forensic methods while carrying out investigations on a suspected machine. 

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If power is disconnected from the suspect’s machine investigators will lose more than access to the clients open documents and this includes authentication documents stored in the RAM such as passwords. There is an extra approach to forensics during cloud storage investigations. This entails access by use of complete client application regardless of whether it has been interfered with by the user. 

Anti-forensic attempts could be applied through a deletion of synchronized folders and uninstallation of the application.  If Dropbox is employed with the application of the client it creates a localized folder which synchronizes contents that are stored in it through an online duplication of the folder. Dropbox usually provides a storage space of 2GB for free but one has the alternative of buying more space.

OneDrive is meant to be an absolute online storage facility with the alternative of synchronizing copies of files to the folder of a client.  Most cloud storage facilities offer a method of synchronization that involve a kind of periodic checking to establish if there are changes made to versions that are viewed at a local level. They can also be used to make a comparison of online and offline copies upon re-establishing communication.

Just like peer discovery methods, BitTorrent Sync enables users to configure several options that impact the manner in which data gets transferred from one peer to another. The seeding host makes attempts of directly communicating with the replication target. The traffic tends to be encrypted through default in case it travels out of the local LAN. There is an alternative in application preferences to enhance LAN encryption if it is preferred by the user.

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If there is a blocked communication between hosts in case they are on different networks safeguarded by firewalls or in LAN segments which are locked by inbound access managed links. When a seeder creates a share it leads to the generation of a master key. It is essentially the all access key that permeates the share owner to modify, add or remove the share contents. The only case in which the key can be distributed to another one is when it becomes a trusted collaborator.  The read only key permeates the receiving user to read the synchronized data but not to modify the source contents whatsoever.

When trying to recover lost data it is possible to find that BitTorrent Sync has been installed on a machine. As a result if anti-forensic measures a number of files may not be recovered from the localized hard disk. If the secret is recovered for some share it is likely that the suspect’s secret synchronization will help forensic investigators to recover the information that is lost from all nodes in the share that are still active.

Ordinary forensic analysis of file systems tends to identify synchronized artifacts that are left behind from a certain share combined with successive data synchronization.  The collected data should be stored in a digital evidence bag.

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Defending the spirit of the web

Defending the spirit of the web
Defending the spirit of the web

Defending the spirit of the web: Conflicts in the internet standards process


The adaption and creation of principles is frequently replica of a game. In other words, the standards process is the replica of the activities of a formulated actor in the networks. The paper focuses on the development of web services choreography standards. It details the history and explains the technological arguments surrounding the standards. It entails a model of standardization, and look at a previous case from three perspectives. The first perspective is social- it follows the people involved in the standard process, an approximation of more complex approaches. The second is cultural- it looks at the ideas of the participants, particular ideas about technology (Edrei, 2016). The third is economic.

These three approaches are intertwined. Economic theories are important in explaining how individuals with a given set of utilities will interact. On the other hand, Economic theories are insignificant at determining where the utility comes from, but social theories are better for understanding how individual’s utility gets formed. The social research allows building and calibrating a better decision model.

Literature Review

  1. The social Perspective: Following the People

The standard process of constructing the web service composition consists of two decision process, development, and adoption. In the development process, the participants in a standards body create and debate the standard. A normal document is created when the official report goes well, which is frequently improved until it is introduced to a wider community for acceptance (Nickerson, & Zur Muehlen, 2013,).

Web services choreography describes the coordination of long-running transaction between business partners using usual internet protocols. It can be used in a diversity of domains, extending from supply chain management to media content solicitation. The foundations of web services choreography can be located in workflow management technology, which has been available since the middle of the 1980s.

In early 1990s large workflow users became aware of the possibility that they would be approved for the existence of several workflow solutions from different vendors. Standards were first created within the scope of workflow management coalition, but are increasing being defined by competing for uniformity groups, such as Business Process Management Initiative (BPMI), Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standard (OASIS), and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

In parallel to this growth, the use of Internet technology for application combination became feasible through the introduction of value-added models on top of the inevitable Hypertext Transport Protocol (HTTP) protocol used for the World Wide Web. These standards allow application designers to open their request for access to the internet. However, some applications give help for simple request-response message exchanges. More robust mechanisms are needed for the coordination of long-running transactions, such as the following exchange of Quotes, Orders, and Delivery Notes.

The web service compositions are not moving by themselves it is the participants in the choreography process who are packing up, leaving, and reassembling with a different standards organization. There are a finite number of people active in the composition process, and as a group loses momentum, some of the members will move to a livelier group.

Participants in the standards process are looking for a venue in which they could offer a standard that is technically excellent. When they are not comfortable in the group they are foundering, they jump to another group. From this perspective of the movement pattern of people leaving a group to another, it is essential to look the ideas.

  • The cultural perspective: Following the ideas

From the movements of the standards participants, the main reason for shifting group is disenchantment with the development of the business in the group. And this can be described as a growing sense that the actual standard is becoming too involved. For anyone quitting a conventional process because of the complexity of the conventional process does not appear to fit into a game-theoretic model, where the players are described as seeking to dominate each other for the fulfillment of the interests of their sponsoring corporation. Instead, they are engaged in something that looks like a process of aesthetic evaluation of the standard.

An aesthetic judgment can contribute to a strong value system. For instance, graphic designers of the modern school are taught to avoid that which does not contribute to the meaning of a page. And also programmers are also taught about clean versus kludgy code. The standard is explicitly disapproving of a potential use of Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) because it is counter to the spirit of the web.

It violates the design aesthetic of those who have built the web protocols. The phrase “the spirit of the web” is interesting from two perspectives. It is closer to an aesthetic than a rule; this is because there are myriad different ways to define a protocol and a myriad. Secondly, it suggests that the web has a spirit and this spirit is to be defended.

Most of standards have grown through Request for Comment (RFC) process, and it is described as follows: easily understood documentation, technical excellence; prior implementation and testing; clear, concise, and openness and fairness; and timeliness.

The participants in the development of web services are influenced by both the norms of the corporations they serve and the beliefs of the technical community they consider themselves part of it. For example, open source develops source while working on the job, sometimes without the employer knowing (Fielding, Roy Thomas, 2013). They define their identity in the hacker community. This may be the case that regular participants are similar.

  • The economic perspective: Following the Money

It is clear that a lot about standards can be learned by evaluating the potential benefits to the players involved in decision making. The vendors want to make money on standards, and by making the standard more complex, they increase the chance of selling products (Swenson, 2013). A programmer’s utility can be evaluated when a different criterion is looked than money. The development stage can be described as a stage of the collective invention, and as a part of this invention, new ideas are continually evaluated.

The dialogues captured in standard group’s discussions often concern the weighing of different attributes. It can be predicted that different groups would have different weights in mind for a similar set of attributes. In standard groups labor is voluntary, and switching costs are low, so quitting one standards body and reforming in another is a viable option.

In modeling, the standards creation process, one possible result of an impasse might be the migration to a different standards committee. And in methodological –the social perspective helps inform the economic perspective. The bylaws of the groups might determine the allowable jumps so that the movement between groups might be less random than it appears.

Vendors would want to serve on multiple standards committees so that they don’t report late if one takes off. Also, users might have little motivation to adopt one of these standards if the head does not move.

In conditions of high uncertainty, waiting might be the best strategy. It can be seen in web services choreography that there is an absence of user adoption and participation by vendors on multiple committees. Observation of different standards and their participants’ standards can be categorized as being driven by three different groups. The first two groups are self-evident.

Some standards are clearly driven by vendors, and some standards are clearly driven by users, for instance, Rosetta Nett is driven by a set of companies in the manufacturing industry. But there is a third set of specification such as HTTP where representatives of corporations are involved, but the standards do not drive by corporations. Those are referred as research-driven. Often, those engaged in the creation are financed by government research funding organizations (Kaman et al., 2014).

The representatives of corporations involved in these standards are often individuals who maintain a strong link with the research community. And the standards are sometimes created in standards groups that are strongly identified with the research community. In the understanding of the economies of standards development, It is essential to look at the funding sources and furthermore the sympathies of those on the committees.

Most software vendors are pushing for SOAP-based coordination standards in contrast. In contrast, the dispute between different standards for railroad track widths was resolved through the wishes of an important customer, the federal government. In rare cases, customers can overcome the wishes of vendors. Vendors often use the standardization process toward their ends and, in game-theoretic terms. The most accusation against vendors for conspiring to sabotage standards might be correct. There is always tension between the proposals of research-oriented participants and those who conscientiously represent the interest of their sponsoring firms.

The standard process is complex, and multiple perspectives, applying both social and economic techniques are more likely to yield insights than unique techniques. Future research might suggest ways of preserving or improving the overall functional landscape of official bodies.


Edrei, A. (2016). Divine spirit and physical power: Rabbi Shlomo Goren and the military ethic of the Israel defense forces. Theoretical Inquiries in Law7(1), 255-297.

Fielding, Roy Thomas (2013). Architectural Styles and the Design of Network-based Software Architectures. Department of Computer Science. Irvine, CA, University of California, Irvine, CA: 180.

Kazman, Rick, Jai Asundi and Mark Klein (2014). Quantifying the Costs and Benefits of Architectural Decisions. ICSE 2001.

Nickerson, J. V., & Zur Muehlen, M. (2013, December). Defending the spirit of the web: Conflicts in the internet standards process. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Standard Making (pp. 56-69).

Swenson, Keith D. (2013). Personal Communication. M. zur Muehlen. Hoboken, NJ. West, Joel (2013). How open is open enough? Melding proprietary and open source platform strategies. Research Policy 32: 1259-1285.

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Internet like a native language

Internet like a native language
Internet like a native language

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Internet like a native language

Manifestation of Age Disparity on Internet Absorption Differences 

That people born since 1991 are not like their elders is more evident in the way they use internet for communication, socialising and even in ecommerce compared to their parents’ generation. Although the manifestations of this trend are very evident today, the next 10 years are going to be explosive in terms of what this generation will be able to exploit the internet like a native language.  

Internet like a native language

One of the key manifestations will be the time spent on internet, it will not only fashionable for that generation to use internet enabled phones but it is indispensable as well. The peer pressure, the desire to be seen as trendy and up to date and the social media frenzy are just some of the reasons for the big amounts the generation spends online[1].  

In addition, the younger generation will tend to take up careers that are internet related such as e-commerce since they will find them easy compared to their elders. In addition to the fact that most work places are using internet integrated systems, even the system of education in the colleges and schools they will attend will be based on e-learning, something which will  leave them with no other option other than just remaining relevant and up to speed with the internet dependent lives.

Internet like a native language

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Rowland, Wade. Spirit of t Web: The age of information from telegraph to Internet. Markham, ON: Thomas Allen Publishers, 2006.

[1] W Rowland, Spirit of the Web: The age of information from telegraph to Internet. Markham, ON: Thomas Allen Publishers, 2006, P. 35-40.

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