LimeWire offers the sharing of its library through the Digital Audio Access Protocol. As such, when LimeWire is running and configured to allow it, any files shared will be detectable on the local network by DAAP-enabled devices (e.g., iTunes).
Being free software, LimeWire has spawned several forks, including LionShare, an experimental software development project at Penn State University, and Acquisition, a Mac OS X–based Gnutella client with a proprietary interface. Researchers at Cornell University developed a reputation management add-in called Credence that allows users to distinguish between "genuine" and "suspect" files before downloading them. An October 12 2005 report states that some of LimeWire's free and open source software contributors have forked the project and called it FrostWire. The makers of the LimeWire software have now installed a security device that can track most viruses in files.
LimeWire was the first file sharing program to support firewall-to-firewall file transfers, a feature introduced in version 4.2, which was released in November 2004. LimeWire also now includes BitTorrent support, but is limited to 3 Torrent-uploads and 3 Torrent-downloads, which coexist with ordinary downloads.
Gregory Thomas Kopiloff of Seattle was arrested on September 7 2007 in what the U.S. Justice Department described as its first case against someone accused of using file sharing computer programs to commit identity theft. According to federal prosecutors, Kopiloff used LimeWire to search other people's computers for inadvertently shared financial information and then used it to obtain credit cards for an online shopping spree.
A known trojan exploiting a vulnerability involving Apple Remote Desktop started to be distributed via LimeWire in late June. It affects users of Mac OS X Tiger and Leopard. A recent investigation showed that of 123 randomly selected downloaded files, 37 contained malware. Though this is a very small sample size, it illustrates that the level of risk associated with the Limewire sharing model was about 30%.