Is Apple running BitTorrent trackers at Cupertino?!

7 March 2016, 04:28

Amazing and strange news if true – BitTorrent news site TorentFreak reports that Apple is running several BitTorrent trackers at its Cupertino HQ. Trackers are typically used to distribute copyright material, although this isn’t always the case and there’s certainly no suggestion of impropriety here. It’s possible to figure out Apple’s use of trackers because – for historical reasons – the company has its own private range of IP addresses that nobody else can use.

Says the TorrentFreak report:

After doing some digging around on “Internet of Things” search engine Shodan this week we were surprised to discover Apple running tracker services on around three dozen IP addresses located at its headquarters in Cupertino.

Despite the technology’s typical use for distributing pirated media and software, BitTorrent Inc is actually a legitimate software outfit exploring ways to use the technology for the advantage of business and consumers. For example, Facebook uses it to transfer data.

Our thoughts on this matter? Is it a coincidence that Apple’s been investigating the Transmission malware recently? Would that involve setting up trackers for testing purposes? Wilder theories include the suggestion that future releases of OS X, iOS or Apple Music might make use of BitTorrent for data distribution purposes.

Notably, Apple bans BitTorrent apps entirely from its iOS and Mac App Stores.

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