A bulletin board system or BBS (also called Computer Bulletin Board Service, CBBS) is a computer server running software that allows users to connect to the system using a terminal program. Once logged in, the user can perform functions such as uploading and downloading software and data, reading news and bulletins, and exchanging messages with other users through public message boards and sometimes via direct chatting. In the early 1980s, message networks such as FidoNet sprung up to provide services such as NetMail, which is similar to email.
Many BBSes also offer online games in which users can compete with each other. BBSes with multiple phone lines often provide chat rooms, allowing users to interact with each other. Bulletin board systems were in many ways a precursor to the modern form of the World Wide Web, social networks, and other aspects of the Internet. Low-cost, high-performance modems drove the use of online services and BBSes through the early 1990s. InfoWorld estimated that there were 60,000 BBSes serving 17 million users in the United States alone in 1994, a collective market much larger than major online services such as CompuServe.
The introduction of inexpensive dial-up internet service and the Mosaic web browser offered ease of use and global access that BBS and online systems did not provide, and led to a rapid crash in the market starting in 1994. Over the next year, many of the leading BBS software providers went bankrupt and tens of thousands of BBSes disappeared. Today, BBSing survives largely as a nostalgic hobby in most parts of the world, but it is still an extremely popular form of communication for Taiwanese youth (see PTT Bulletin Board System). Most surviving BBSes are accessible over Telnet and typically offer free email accounts, FTP services, IRC and all the protocols commonly used on the Internet. Some offer access through packet switched networks or packet radio connections.
CLASS (CLS) was a notorious and prolific warez group that existed between January 1, 1997 and January 9, 2004. The group was the target of federal raids such as Operation Fastlink. They specialized in cracked games, and sometimes had elaborate art in the cracktro or release (i.e. music, 3D animation, logo designs, etc.). They were a global group and had many members worldwide. Class used their group abbreviation, CLS, as a suffix at the end of the files they released.
This group was involved in a long-standing rivalry with a competing game pirating group known as MYTH. The two groups released strictly ripped games, as opposed to the CD image content released by groups such as Fairlight. Games would be split into the base rip, which would have as little content as possible to fully play the game; additional media (usually movies or digital music) would be released as add-ons. For some releases, intro movie add-ons were released as well.
They used advanced compression methods (most notably ACE) to reduce the size of the required downloads as much as possible; installers were specially crafted to use the abnormally compressed files. Many of their releases included a WAVE Injector/UHARC compression scheme, that decompressed and situated the files into a specific folder. These programs were at the core of their rip operation, as these programs (Wave Injector coded by CLASS/BACKLASH) are vital in decompressing the rips (i.e. games).
CLASS stopped producing as of January 9, 2004, by releasing an endtro. This stated that after 1,234 releases they were giving up their throne.
CONSPIR4CY (releasing mostly as CPY) is a warez group founded in 1999 in Italy. They rose in notoriety after releasing Rise of the Tomb Raider and Inside in August 2016 under the name of CONSPIR4CY, though they continued using the CPY tag with the release of Doom in September 2016. They became the first group to create proper cracks for games protected by the latest Denuvo DRM software. They cracked Resident Evil 7: Biohazard only five days after its release, at the time the shortest amount of time taken to develop a crack for a Denuvo DRM-protected game. In July 2017, the warez group SKIDROW criticized the methods used by CONSPIR4CY to crack games using Denuvo DRM.
Active from 1999 to 2006, DEViANCE was one of the most prolific warez groups. Their dissolution has been described as the end of an era, and the current affiliation of ex-DEViANCE members is a reoccurring argument between groups. Describing members of a modern warez group as ex-DEViANCE became something of a joke within the warez scene.
Jump through a portal and you get to fight some seriously tough ax-wielding cows.
This Easter egg is an inside joke among Diablo diehards: There was a rumor about the first Diablo that if one of the random cows that appeared throughout the game was clicked on enough times, a portal to a secret level would open.
This rumor came true with the sequel, with a hidden level full of heavily armed bovines.
Shoot the final boss–a giant demon head–with a rocket launcher, then enter the “noclip” cheat code. Walk through the hole you’ve made in the boss’s head, and into a room.
In the room you’ll find another head, that of John Romero, the creator of the Doom series. He’ll say, backwards, “To win the game, you must kill me, John Romero.” Shoot him a bunch of times and you indeed win the game.
eMule is a free peer-to-peer file sharing application for Microsoft Windows.
Started in May 2002 as an alternative to eDonkey2000, eMule now connects to both the eDonkey network and the Kad network.
Often used by clients looking for extremely rare content, the distinguishing features of eMule are the direct exchange of sources between client nodes, fast recovery of corrupted downloads, and the use of a credit system to reward frequent uploaders. Furthermore, eMule transmits data in zlib-compressed form to save bandwidth.
eMule is coded in C++ using the Microsoft Foundation Classes. Since July 2002 eMule has been free software, released under the GNU General Public License; its popularity has led to eMules codebase being used as the basis of cross-platform clients aMule, JMule, xMule, along with the release of many eMule mods (modifications of the original eMule) on the Internet.
As of August 2017, it is the fourth most downloaded project on SourceForge, with over 685 million downloads.
A pubstro is a computer that has been cracked into, and had an FTP server installed. This FTP server is used to facilitate the transferring and spreading of warez, or copyrighted software.
This is typically accomplished by scanning broad IP address ranges with port scanners in search of servers running open ports that are vulnerable to attack by various scripts (e.g. CGI, PHP, VNC, etc.). The scripts are utilized to gain entry into the server whereupon the cracker uploads server software and creates logins. Many crackers will then patch the server against the very vulnerabilities they utilized to compromise the system thereby protecting it from being hijacked by other FXP groups.
Although widely used among FXP boards, pubstros are frowned upon in the warez scene
* FXP Board
An FXP board is an internet forum composed of members which distribute access to FTP servers or pubstros. These forums are used to provide access to servers usually containing warez. FXP boards generally differ from other forums by having a very selective membership, typically opening public registration for a limited time and then closing until further notice.
There are several types of members of FXP boards, each with their own job:
Scanners scan IP ranges for vulnerable computers with a fast internet connection. Once a vulnerable system has been found, the information is passed on to the rest of the board and subsequently the hackers.
Hackers gain access to and install an FTP server on the systems the scanners have found using different tools depending on the vulnerability.
Fillers add Warez to the FTP server, transferring files via FXP from other sources to the newly compromised servers once the hackers have posted the admin details for the FTP servers.
Most FXP boards have a time limit on the release time before the release can be posted as a race. If the release is complete and posted after the pre limit it should be posted as a normal fill in a mirror section. If it is still posted in the race area it will be nuked and moved to the appropriate section.
FXP boards are the main reason for lots of activity on FTP servers, as the links are posted on multiple boards. Leechers soon exploit the servers, sometimes causing a huge slow-down due to consumed bandwidth.
Topsite is a term used by the warez scene to refer to underground, highly secretive, high-speed FTP servers used by release groups and couriers for distribution, storage and archiving of warez releases.
Topsites have very high-bandwidth Internet connections, commonly supporting transfer speeds of hundreds to thousands of megabits per second; enough to transfer a full Blu-ray in seconds.
Topsites also have very high storage capacity; a total of many terabytes is typical.
Early on these warez sites were mainly distributing software such as games and applications after the release groups removed any protections. Now they are also a source of other copyright protected works such as movies and music.
It is not uncommon for sites to charge for access to the content, although this is frowned upon by the scene itself due to the decreased security
FairLight (FLT) is a warez and demo group initially involved in the Commodore demoscene, and in cracking to illegally release games for free, since 1987. In addition to the C64, FairLight has also migrated towards the Amiga, Super NES and later the PC. FairLight was founded during the Easter holiday in 1987 by Strider and Black Shadow, both ex-members of West Coast Crackers (WCC). This West Coast was the west coast of Sweden, so FairLight was initially a Swedish group, which later became internationalized. The name was taken from the Fairlight CMI synthesizer which Strider saw Jean Michel Jarre use on some of his records.
he developers of GTA clearly love to mess with the idea of the Easter egg.
Go to the top of a building and jump off it.
You’ll miraculously go through the window of a neighboring building.
You’ll be inside a room with a pedestal, on top of which is a big chocolate egg with “Happy Easter!” written on it.
While playing the AGI version of the game, type “BEAM ME” outside the prison cell after you, as Rosella, vanquish Lolotte. You’ll be transported to a room straight out of The Jetsons, full of folk in white labcoats. They introduce themselves as the developers of King’s Quest IV. Whoa, super-meta.
XDCC (Xabi DCC or eXtended DCC) is a computer file sharing method which uses the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) network as a host service.
Limitations in the original DCC protocol prevented the transfers of very large files, or groups of files. XDCC was developed to allow batching of files together, and requesting/sending those files to others.
XDCC was initially a script written in 1994 for ircII by Xabi. This script extends the ircII DCC command. Now XDCC refers to IRC bots running file sharing programs in general. XDCC bots serve one or more usually large files for download using the DCC protocol. Though XDCC is commonly employed in distributing illegal content, such as warez releases of software, music, and movies, it can also be used in legal ways.
Unlike peer-to-peer transfers, XDCC servers are often hosted on connections with very high upstream bandwidth, sometimes in excess of 100 Mbit. Often FTP servers are also running on the XDCC servers to facilitate uploading of materials to them. Many XDCC servers run on security compromised computers.
Magic Carpet is a 3D flying video game developed by Bullfrog Productions and published by Electronic Arts in 1994.
Its graphics and gameplay were considered innovative and technically impressive at the time of its release.
An expansion pack, Magic Carpet: Hidden Worlds, was released for DOS in 1995 which added 25 levels and winter-themed graphics.
A compilation package, Magic Carpet Plus, which included the main game and the expansion was used as a base for PlayStation and Sega Saturn ports that were released in 1996.
A sequel was released in 1995, Magic Carpet 2: The Netherworlds.
Megaupload Ltd was a Hong Kong-based online company established in 2005 that operated from 2005 to 2012 providing online services related to file storage and viewing.
On 19 January 2012, the United States Department of Justice seized the domain names and closed down the sites associated with Megaupload after the owners were arrested and indicted for allegedly operating as an organization dedicated to copyright infringement.
Subsequently, HK$330 million (approximately US$42 million) worth of assets were frozen by the Customs and Excise Department of Hong Kong.
The companys founder, New Zealand resident Kim Dotcom, has denied any wrongdoing, and the case against Dotcom has been the subject of controversy over its legality.
In 2017, a New Zealand judge ruled that Dotcom should be extradited to the United States, but Dotcom remained at liberty in New Zealand pending the results of an appeal. On 5 July 2018 the New Zealand court of appeal found Dotcom and three of his former colleagues were eligible to be extradited to the U.S. authorities. His lawyer said they would appeal to the New Zealand Supreme Court.
The shutdown of Megaupload led to denial-of-service (DoS) attacks on a range of websites belonging to the U.S. government and copyright organizations by the Hacktivist group Anonymous.
On 19 January 2013, Megaupload was re-launched as Mega under the domain name mega.co.nz (later moved to mega.nz). The re-launch date was chosen to coincide with the one-year anniversary of Megauploads takedown by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Exactly 25 years ago today, some Microsoft coworkers and I launched a complex and costly prank.
We printed up hundreds of realistic shrink-wrapped boxes of a fake product, Microsoft Coffee, and snuck it into stores all around the greater Seattle area.
Customers were amused, retail was confused, and the local news and tech media covered the prank.
Until Microsoft’s PR flacks freaked out, and covered it all up. They scooped up all remaining boxes, denied Microsoft did the prank, downplayed the scale of it to the media, and imposed a ban on real-world pranks which largely remains to this day , ensuring all pranks from then on would need to go through them, as virtual press releases.
Napster is a set of three music-focused online services.
It was founded in 1999 as a pioneering peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing Internet software that emphasized sharing digital audio files, typically audio songs, encoded in MP3 format. As the software became popular, the company ran into legal difficulties over copyright infringement.
It ceased operations and was eventually acquired by Roxio. In its second incarnation, Napster became an online music store until it was acquired by Rhapsody from Best Buy on December 1, 2011.
Later, more decentralized projects followed Napsters P2P file-sharing example, such as Gnutella, Freenet, BearShare and Soulseek. Some services, like AudioGalaxy, LimeWire, Scour, Kazaa, Grokster, Madster, and eDonkey2000, were also brought down or changed due to copyright issues
Pando was an application which was mainly aimed at sending (and receiving) files which would normally be too large to send via more conventional means. It used both peer-to-peer (BitTorrent protocol) and client-server architectures and was released for Windows and Mac OS X operating systems.
Pando shut down its servers and ceased business on August 31, 2013.
As of February 24, 2014, the Pando Media Booster had been hijacked, and unsuspecting persons who installed a prompted update had their internet browsers hijacked, and a virus called the Sweet Page browser virus was installed on their machines.
Pando is very easy to use. Once the PC or Mac software is installed, you simply drag a file or a folder (up to 1 GB) into the open window. Pando begins uploading that file to its servers immediately, and opens an email form. Simply type in the email address(es) that you would like to receive the file and hit send. When the recipient opens the email and clicks on the small .pando attachment, Pando begins delivering the file, using Bittorent, from the sender’s computer as well as Pando’s servers and any other people receiving the file.
Razor 1911 (also known as RZR and RazorDOX) was founded in 1985, to crack software for Commodore 64, but also had a major presence in the Amiga and the IBM PC warez scenes. They were subjects of raids in Operation Buccaneer and Operation Fastlink. The group made a comeback in June 2006, and since then has cracked modern copy protection schemes listed below. In March 2012, Razor1911 announced that their tester and coder DYCUS, who had an active role in making trainers and testing the groups releases, had died of cancer. Since then, the group has seldom released cracked games, focusing on DRM-free titles from GOG.com, often for Linux and MacOSX.
Razor 1911 (RZR) is a warez and demogroup founded in Norway, 1985. According to the US Justice Department, Razor 1911 is the oldest software cracking group that is still active on the internet.
SafeDisc was a copy protection program for Microsoft Windows applications and games that are distributed on optical disc. Created by Macrovision Corporation, it aimed to hinder unauthorized disc duplication. The program was first introduced in 1998, and was discontinued on March 31, 2009.
SecuROM is a CD/DVD copy protection and digital rights management (DRM) product developed by Sony DADC. It aims to prevent unauthorised copying and reverse engineering of software, primarily commercial computer games running on Microsoft Windows. The method of disc protection in later versions is data position measurement, which may be used in conjunction with online activation DRM.
United Software Association era un grupo warez de PC de IBM. En 1990 formaron una alianza con el grupo Fairlight. En las liberaciones con Fairlight se social llamar como EE.UU./FLT. En 1992, varios miembros de United Software Association. fueron arrestados por El servicio secreto de los Estados Unidos.
Usenet is a worldwide distributed discussion system available on computers.
It was developed from the general-purpose Unix-to-Unix Copy (UUCP) dial-up network architecture. Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis conceived the idea in 1979, and it was established in 1980.
Users read and post messages (called articles or posts, and collectively termed news) to one or more categories, known as newsgroups.
Usenet resembles a bulletin board system (BBS) in many respects and is the precursor to Internet forums that are widely used today. Discussions are threaded, as with web forums and BBSs, though posts are stored on the server sequentially. The name comes from the term users network.
A major difference between a BBS or web forum and Usenet is the absence of a central server and dedicated administrator. Usenet is distributed among a large, constantly changing conglomeration of servers that store and forward messages to one another via news feeds. Individual users may read messages from and post messages to a local server, which may be operated by anyone.
Usenet is significantly different from modern P2P services; most P2P users distributing content are typically immediately identifiable to all other users by their network address, but the origin information for a Usenet posting can be completely obscured and unobtainable once it has propagated past the original server.
NZB is an XML-based file format for retrieving posts from NNTP (Usenet) servers.
The format was conceived by the developers of the Newzbin.com Usenet Index.
NZB is effective when used with search-capable websites. These websites create NZB files out of what is needed to be downloaded. Using this concept, headers would not be downloaded hence the NZB method is quicker and more bandwidth-efficient than traditional methods.
Each Usenet message has a unique identifier called the Message-ID. When a large file is posted to a Usenet newsgroup, it is usually divided into multiple messages (called segments or parts) each having its own Message-ID. An NZB-capable Usenet client will read all needed Message-IDs from the NZB file, download them and decode the messages back into a binary file (usually using yEnc or Uuencode)
μTorrent, or uTorrent (see pronunciation) is a proprietary adware BitTorrent client owned and developed by BitTorrent, Inc.
With over 150 million users it is the most widely used BitTorrent client outside China; globally only behind Xunlei.
The μ (Greek letter m) in its name comes from the SI prefix micro-, referring to the programs small memory footprint: the program was designed to use minimal computer resources while offering functionality comparable to larger BitTorrent clients such as Vuze or BitComet.
The program has been in active development since its first release in 2005. Although originally developed by Ludvig Strigeus, since December 7, 2006, the code is owned and maintained by BitTorrent, Inc.
The code has also been employed by BitTorrent, Inc. as the basis for version 6.0 and above of the BitTorrent client, a re-branded version of μTorrent. All versions are written in C++.