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Is it safe to click Launch Application upon clicking a bittorrent "magnet link"? :

enter image description here

Could I get a virus by doing so?

How safe is this compared to manually downloading the .torrent file to harddisk and then opening them (double-click)?

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Don't think so. I think it is referring to the torrent its self, which like to have viruses.. I believe that the downloading of the torrent is what it is considering a potential attack –  ekaj Apr 29 '12 at 1:28
    
@ekaj I mean assuming the torrented file itself is clean, is launching it through a magnet link a potential attack zone? –  Pacerier Apr 29 '12 at 1:47

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Its about as safe as launching any other third party application to run an arbitrary file.

Lets say you go to www.dodgysite.notreal, and you get a popup asking you to run a external application without prompting, hit do nothing, and run like hell. The worst case scenario here is you end up launching an application with a known vulnerability, and your system is compromised through that.

On the other hand, this will happen if you launch any filetype not handled by chrome or explicitly stated as being safe. Its just a sanity check type warning not to run random crap. As such, as long as you're actually clicking and running a magnet link, from a reasonably trustworthy site, you should be safe.

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The image does shows the link requested (magnet:?xt=urn:), I was wondering is it possible that there is something else linked instead of a torrent file? –  Pacerier Apr 29 '12 at 3:44
    
Its about the same. If its a non magnet file link thats opened, your torrent client will just barf on it, and refuse to have anything to do with it, really –  Journeyman Geek Apr 29 '12 at 3:50
    
What about a magnet link from a random site? –  Pacerier Mar 20 at 16:57

I got brave (or stupid?) and launched the application and checked "remember my choice". Utorrent opened, I loaded the torrent and all was fine.

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thanks for your first answer! Just a tip though: While past experience is great, always try to answer the question directly as possible when using an answer. I'd recommend using a comment for such past experiences. –  Jeff F. Mar 20 at 15:19

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