The hidden risk of writing about filesharing

Whenever I read a story about security threats without numbers, my bullshit detector goes on high alert. And so it went with the Wall Street Journal's latest salvo on the perils of file sharing. The release of personal information to identity thieves over peer-to-peer networks is a "real and growing" problem. So real that "precise data on the incidence are hard to come by." Hundreds of millions of people use file-sharing networks, but the WSJ, by my count, only cites 52 actual cases of identity theft by this method. And then the kicker: A company called Tiversa, according to the Journal, charges $24.95 a month to monitor customers' computers for this ominous threat. Beep! I'm sure that the phenomenon of identity theft via peer-to-peer networks is real enough. But the possibility that a company is going to exploit this new security fear for undue gain? My detector says it's dead certain.