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Inside the Shadow Internet

michael posted about 10 years ago | from the cell-structure dept.

Software 954

Paladin144 writes "Wired has a report about the mysterious 'pirate networks' that obtain new movies, music & games before they are released and spread them throughout the net. It's not as simple as putting a movie on LimeWire. These people are highly organized and very paranoid about secrecy. They maintain a hidden network of top-level FTP sites that get the best files first and allow them to trickle down the pyramid and into many a slashdotter's sweaty little fingers."

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fuck (0, Offtopic)

(TK)Max (668795) | about 10 years ago | (#11236334)

you all.

Hey!!! (0, Offtopic)

Fuck you all, losers (845358) | about 10 years ago | (#11236342)

That's my line.

Well.. (5, Interesting)

lightdarkness (791960) | about 10 years ago | (#11236335)

Well... I used to be apart of one of the pyramids, before I got caught.

I used to have access to the Distro section of an elite IRC channel, known across the net.

They would give movies to those few, who would then take them to the regular channel.

It's really crazy, and insanly hard to get in to, but you would get stuff very early.

Also, easier to get caught, as I found out.

Re:Well.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236340)

lol, what?

Re:Well.. (4, Interesting)

dont_think_twice (731805) | about 10 years ago | (#11236341)

Details, please. How did you get caught? What was the punishment?

Re:Well.. (5, Interesting)

lightdarkness (791960) | about 10 years ago | (#11236368)

Supprising, they punishment wasn't bad.

They shut off our internet, until they could get a letter to us, and we had to sign it, saying we wouldn't do it again.

Let me guess... (2, Funny)

worth (132011) | about 10 years ago | (#11236381)

You live with your parents?

Re:Let me guess... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236391)

Better to live with your parents, than to parent the living. I guess that'd be a pretty nice slogan for the VHEMT [vhemt.org] . Or not. Maybe that's why I don't make the big bucks in advertising.

Re:Let me guess... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236469)

VHEMT rocks.

Re:Let me guess... (4, Informative)

lightdarkness (791960) | about 10 years ago | (#11236394)

Yes I do, i'm only 16 now, was 13 when this happened.

Re:Let me guess... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236446)

Heh heh. I'm 33 and let me tell you a 'when-I-was-your-age' story... When I was your age, you weren't even born yet, me and some friends had two C64s and two Amiga 1000s set up in an apartment. Back then, you called long distance to the BBS of interest. We used all the phreaker tricks to get free phone calls. The phone company knows when you do this and when you exceed a certain amount of time, they come to get you. And they did. Heh heh. I wasn't there when it happened, I was the hardware guy. But anyways those were the days.

Re:Let me guess... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 10 years ago | (#11236491)

when I was 13, I was in the MaBell phone system, but I didn't get caught.

Re:Well.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236367)

I remember being part of something special during the whole "star wars II" pirate thingy on IRC. The fuckers made me go through like 10 phone calls, before they would even let me get to be the 5th person in the queue to get the movie. But damn it was sweet watching it before everyone else.

Re:Well.. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236376)

"elite IRC channel"

Shut the fuck up.

Re:Well.. (1)

lightdarkness (791960) | about 10 years ago | (#11236481)

Well... it was.

It wasn't some IRC channel with a bunch of guys that had 2 movies on it, it was one of these "Top Level" sites like that guy was talking about.

Anyone heard of TMD?

Re:Well.. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236379)

Wow. You're so cool!

Re:Well.. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236396)

That's why you need to shut and lock your bedroom door. You never know when your parents will walk on in...

Re:Well.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236416)

elite IRC channel.. ooohh... sounds pretty fucking underground

Release groups (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236445)

A solution needs to be found for finding .torrent files that are cryptographically authenticated to be from a certain trusted release group. Then, third parties cant poison tthe network with fakes without cracking the trusted release group's keys.

China: Bulk for Private, Piracy Networks (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236498)

China is the location of most of these private networks dedicated for piracy [phrusa.org] . If we really wanted to stop the Chinese, what we should do is to fight fire with fire. Create a worm or virus that attacks only networks and computers in China.

The work or virus would re-program the computer at missile command in Beijing. Imagine the "fun" when a Chinese ICBM automatically launches and lands directly in Canton.

fp (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236336)


Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236348)

yhttfp. yhl. if, yfi. hand! S.

(You have tried to First Post. You have lost. In fact, you fail it! "Sucka".)

In closing, I will now go play video games for several hours!

hey! (-1, Offtopic)

cartzworth (709639) | about 10 years ago | (#11236338)

You insensitive clod, I have hyperhidrosis!

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236339)

my name is moses
you betta know this

Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236361)

Moses? The guy who parted the sea?

More like the guy who parted his butt cheeks [tinyurl.com] and got what was coming to him!

In closing, yhttfp. yhl. if, yfi. s. See above.

I thought it was generally known (3, Funny)

saskboy (600063) | about 10 years ago | (#11236343)

These people talk and probably spend a better part of the day or night on IRChat and do so because they have no more social life, than the average /.er.

God bless them

Re:I thought it was generally known (5, Insightful)

Sheetrock (152993) | about 10 years ago | (#11236392)

I've read that mega-pirates don't even enjoy the majority of what they crack and distribute. It's all about the process for them -- some like to defeat copy protection, most like the social circles and ego they've got from being first to release or having the best stuff to offer.

Menace to society, indeed. Maybe they'd do better to pick up programming and write free software rather than cracking someone else's, but I think you've hit the nail on the head; it's not even about the software or movies or music being pirated, in my opinion, when one gets in to the degree these folks have. They get nothing out of what they do but they get nailed harder than spammers or spyware purveyors.

Re:I thought it was generally known (4, Interesting)

saskboy (600063) | about 10 years ago | (#11236472)

You're exactly right. The people who do the most sharing, and especially the bleeding edge stuff are in it simply for the thrill of going against the Machine, and there aren't even enough hours in the day to listen to every song they have, or watch every movie. They simply have it, because it is there, and it gives them status with their peers. And I don't mean peers in the P2P software sense, I mean peers as in people. These people have no or little offline life. Their friends are mostly online, and may be in other countries even. I wasn't being a troll when I said they have no social life. I mean they have no social life, as 80%+ of society views a "real" social life.

Re:I thought it was generally known (-1, Troll)

mboverload (657893) | about 10 years ago | (#11236473)

As a slightly-better-than-the-average-pirate, I can second this observation. You think I PLAY all the games I pirate? You think I watch ANY of the movies I get? It is all about the collection, and being able to provide at a whim. Want to play Rome: Total War? Ok, wait 2 minutes while I load the cd images into Daemon Tools and install. Want to see the Hulk? Ok, wait 2 minutes while I stream it out to my living room computer. I built a comptuer with half a terrabyte of memory just to hold my downloads.

Its about knowing you CAN, not that you ever will.

The Rules (5, Funny)

da3dAlus (20553) | about 10 years ago | (#11236344)

The first rule of the shadow internet is, you do not talk about the shadow internet.
The second rule of the shadow internet is, you DO NOT talk about the shadow internet. ...

Re:The Rules (2, Insightful)

TheHawke (237817) | about 10 years ago | (#11236404)

That, actually holds true in this day and age.
Usually the time to when the law would catch wind of something like this and act would be like, a couple of months, maybe three. These days... ehhhhhhhh, more like 2-4 weeks, tops!

The ack-acks have the law enforcement groups running their donut-encrusted behinds off on on things like these, so the best way to let others know, is not to be hasty about it.

Swelled egos + big mouths = big trouble down the road.

The Rules-Anarchy has no rules. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236483)

"The ack-acks have the law enforcement groups running their donut-encrusted behinds off on on things like these, so the best way to let others know, is not to be hasty about it."

Maybe the third rule should be "Don't underestimate thy enemy"?

"Swelled egos + big mouths = big trouble down the road."

Then again, don't.

Re:The Rules (1)

Vampyre_Dark (630787) | about 10 years ago | (#11236449)

The third rule is that you must imagine a beowulf cluster of shadow internets, running linux!! Even if for only to recycle a bad slashdot joke. Yes, Mr Durden does had a cluster of weed in his basement, yes he did smoke some before posting.... why do you ask?

Re:The Rules (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236475)

actually the first rule on all sites is always something like "this site doesn't exist, don't talk about it [deluser]"

Re:The Rules (3, Insightful)

SELainWhoAmI (735936) | about 10 years ago | (#11236477)

The first rule of referencing Fight Club is to NOT reference Fight Club. The second rule of referencing Fight Club is to NOT reference Fight Club.

Curious tone (4, Interesting)

mistersooreams (811324) | about 10 years ago | (#11236349)

The tone of the Slashdot article summary makes these people sound like rather romantic pirates (in the original sense), having exciting adventures with clandestine societies and having a strict code of secrecy.

The truth of the matter, as the article reveals, is that it's people like these that caused so many problems for our friends at Valve and are responsible for most of the other irritating leaks of software. While I'm for P2P, fair use, BitTorrent et al as much as the next Slashdotter, I don't think these people are really up to any good. They are not much more than Internet criminals.

Re:Curious tone (-1, Offtopic)

the_unknown_soldier (675161) | about 10 years ago | (#11236359)

is that it's people like these that caused so many problems for our friends at Valve

If valve want to continue with this steam activation shit on an online game, they can go fuck themselves. Good on the crackers for pissing off that excuse for a deceloper.

Re:Curious tone (1, Offtopic)

NATIK (836405) | about 10 years ago | (#11236436)

You may flame me for saying this but i really like the steam network, i personally bought Half-life 2 in retail and had some troubles getting it to work (took 4 hours).
Still i think the steam network works and is a great way to store your games and have access to them from anywhere. I do have one thing that worries me and that is when valve decides to shutdown the steam servers or remove some games, those games will then be unplayable without some sort of release from valve or some sort of crack. Also i feel sorry for those people that would like to play HL2, who dosnt have internet access, i think valve should have done something for those people.

Summary: IMO the steam network is a good idea but HL2 should be able to run without it like the original HL.

Valve is not your friend (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236384)

" so many problems for our friends at Valve"

Valve is a business. They're not your pal, they're not your relative, they're not the cool people next door.

They're a business that is out to make money. Never forget that about any company. Even Apple.

Re:Valve is not your friend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236484)

Oh no! They're trying to make money.

God forbid a business should make money.

Re:Valve is not your friend (0, Offtopic)

atrizzah (532135) | about 10 years ago | (#11236490)

...especially Apple

Re:Valve is not your friend (3, Insightful)

Reteo Varala (743) | about 10 years ago | (#11236500)

You make that sound like a bad thing.

At least these companies offer something in return for that money. Say what you want about the greedy "rich people," they got to be that way by trade, not theft.

Perception (1)

SoupaFly (558227) | about 10 years ago | (#11236410)

At that level of the game, it doesn't really matter what the bits are. It's about controlling the flow of the data. I really think at that level, they could care less whether the files eventually hit P2P or not. I'm sure there is a lot of stuff that no one really cares about (Gigli, anyone?), but it's new and it's important/valuable data to someone.

Re:Curious tone (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236413)

While these are the same people that were involved with the Valve incident, they are also the people who actually began distributing movies/music/etc and made BitTorrent and other P2P so popular. Peer-to-Peer has always been a good idea, but it could have been another decade before it saw widespread adoption if not for these groups.
In many ways, these people are also responsible for there being a fight against the **AA in the first place. If they hadn't made piracy such an issue, laws would have continued to have been passed behind our backs.
This isn't to say they don't do harm, or that aren't many people fighting the good fight legally.

The nerve (1, Flamebait)

Propaganda13 (312548) | about 10 years ago | (#11236456)

Those damn internet criminals that take from the rich and give to the poor. How dare they be romanticized.

Re:Curious tone (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 10 years ago | (#11236468)

Your post seems contradictory, but I really can't tell for sure. I don't believe that P2P and fair use are compatible concepts, I've seen nothing that suggests that giving copies to other people is legal fair use.

Valve? Well, in an age where distributing infringing copies of videos obtained in shady ways, I don't see how the Valve incident can be considered distinct and subject to a different set of ethics.

Re:Curious tone (4, Insightful)

Have Blue (616) | about 10 years ago | (#11236478)

The real truth of the matter, as the article also reveals, is that these people don't *care* that they caused so many problems for Valve or any other company. They also don't care about breaking media monopolies, changing distribution paradigms, and only just barely care about possessing and using the media and programs they pirate. It's all about getting attention and respect, and being online lets them reduce the chance of getting caught and ignore any side effects their "races" cause.

Software? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236353)

All I want to know is where to get FlexLM crack kits... All the files I got that were supposed to be like this great information were copy-and-paste jobs of 1994 usenet posts.

yes, ther is nothing like (5, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | about 10 years ago | (#11236354)

spending hours and hours developing contacts so you can get a copy of a movie filmed from inside a theater.

yeah, that'll hurt the industry.

Re:yes, ther is nothing like (1)

kormoc (122955) | about 10 years ago | (#11236374)

esp after 2 hours of working at a real place you could see it yourself at the theater or buy the dvd...

yep. (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 10 years ago | (#11236479)

My wife left a book someplace, and asked me to go get it. I spent 1.5 hours in traffic.
I got home and told her, next time I'll just work an extra hour. That way I can buy you a new book, and 4 more books for me.

reinforcing stereotypes (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236358)

Well, that's a great way to portray yourself to the world. Yep, sounds like Linux users are a bunch sweaty, movie-stealing, game-theiving copyright-infriging hairly smelly hippies.

Nothing like reinforcing a stereotype on a Saturday night.

Re:reinforcing stereotypes (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236411)

You forgot gay. Anus-licking ass-humping sperm-swallowing man-raping guy-kissing scrotum-fondling penis-eating homofags.

Re:reinforcing stereotypes (1)

dont_think_twice (731805) | about 10 years ago | (#11236471)

If you spend your saturday nights posting to slashdot, you forfeit your right to complain about others reinforcing negative geek sterotypes.

Excellent overview of the pirate network (5, Interesting)

IO ERROR (128968) | about 10 years ago | (#11236360)

The pirate release networks have been operating like this ever since people figured out how to connect two computers together. There has always been one or more topsites for any pirate group, and you can only get in by invitation.

Back in the day, these sites were run on BBSs whose phone numbers were non-published and which only a few people had access to. These days it's FTP sites, but the principle is the same. And frequently it's not their own FTP sites, but someone else's site which isn't properly secured, but this happens more at the lower levels.

Anyway, the networks run the same as they always have. You're either in or you're out. And most people are out.

this is old news (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236439)

we read this the week before it was published.

Thank goodness for these people (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236373)

Without the threat of piracy, its a good bet that CD's and DVD prices would be 50-100% higher than they are today.

If economics and history teach us anything, its that producers of any product, whether its widgets or music, or movies, will raise the price as high as they can in the absence of any competition.

Since Government sponsered "Intellectual Property" is a defacto monopoly supported by the government, the only relief we have is to just grab the stuff if they charge too much.

where's teh source? (-1)

Chuck Bucket (142633) | about 10 years ago | (#11236375)

this is interesting, but where is the source? Do they know someone in the industry, or how do they get the files to start with? As for keep it secret and private, check out privoxy, and then tor; it's as secure as anything I've seen as it doesn't allow anyone to see where your data is coming from or going to.


Re:where's teh source? (2, Informative)

TheFairElf (669537) | about 10 years ago | (#11236440)

If you read the article, you would know.

THE INSIDER: Industry and theater employees run their own straight-to-video operations. Hackers looking for prerelease videogames target company servers. And before that long-awaited CD hits Amazon.com, moles inside disc-stamping plants have already got a copy.

/obvious (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236380)

I for one welcome our secret 'pirate network' over lords.

With all of the RIAA/MPAA crap going on lately, how else am I going to get my illegal copies of the 'Hamster Dance' MP3?

Secret society... (3, Funny)

Create an Account (841457) | about 10 years ago | (#11236385)

I think I just read about these guys in The Da Vinci Code.

Frank is... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236386)

http://www.geocities.com/common_chaos/another_log. txt

Nessun the former owner of irc.rizon.net... aka his real name Jason Downey.

Umm, 'scuse me mr. reporter, its "VPN" .. (5, Insightful)

torpor (458) | about 10 years ago | (#11236387)

.. not 'shadow internet'.

Virtual Private Network.

The oh-so subtle difference between positions (shadow internet vs. VPN) is that if someone does a google for VPN, they'll realize just how damn easy it is.

"Shadow Internet"-way just sounds comic-book super-hero, and as we all know thats as literary as most peoples thoughts go, it won't be obvious that 'any joe can build their own private and secret Internet on top of the Internet [openswan.org] '.

(Not just 'elite techno-psycho-fascist' types hell-bent on destroying 'systems'. *Anyone*.)

Obscure, eh?

Re:Umm, 'scuse me mr. reporter, its "VPN" .. (0, Offtopic)

Firedog (230345) | about 10 years ago | (#11236432)

So that's what George W. Bush meant by "internets"... he's part of it and he let it slip out!

Re:Umm, 'scuse me mr. reporter, its "VPN" .. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Luddite (808273) | about 10 years ago | (#11236447)

>> Virtual Private Network.

More like "Virtual Pirate Network"

Re:Umm, 'scuse me mr. reporter, its "VPN" .. (1)

Nicholas Evans (731773) | about 10 years ago | (#11236499)

"Shadow Internet"-way just sounds comic-book super-hero, and as we all know thats as literary as most peoples thoughts go, it won't be obvious that 'any joe can build their own private and secret Internet on top of the Internet'.

Dude. It's a /wired/ article.

In the day (4, Interesting)

rockwood (141675) | about 10 years ago | (#11236388)

I also remember certain #'s on irc. #warez and man others, that had hundreds of users in them, though always password protected. I would try and try to get in... but to no avail. I even went as far as setting up a bot network and when the irc split, I jump in and took it over, frantically posting whatever I could think of to get them to allow me to stay. Problem was.. with hundreds of users already having access, I got stomped with other splits by several hundred bots. I lastest but a glorious few seconds. Ah, but those few seconds were the best seconds of my life... those few seconds when I was, for a vague moment, 'in' one of the channels.

Anyway, I always wondered that is they kept things such a secret, how does *anyone* find out about them, or get access to them, etc. I used to own a local ISP, had dual T1's and dealt with thousands of users and net-friends, spent sleepness nights +O on numerous icr #'s /ctcp & /dcc and fserving what I could get and give back... but nothign worked. And hell, at that time I was merely looking for early release of OS's, prior to buying them so that I could get a techincal jump on questions from customers who were running those OS's. I always bought my software, I merely liked being ahead of the game.

Wannabes (4, Insightful)

jericho4.0 (565125) | about 10 years ago | (#11236389)

As in any criminal conspiracy, it takes years of undercover work to get inside. An interview subject warned me against even mentioning Anathema in this article: "You do not need some 350-pound hit man with a Glock at your front door."

Don't make me laugh. Anyone who belives for a moment that geeks racing each other to crack warez are going to defend their 'turf' with contracts against journalists is a fool.

Re:Wannabes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236465)

havent u ppl noticed that most of these *insiders* are under 18 why 'cos the law is easy on them and they can be set free no matter how much the industry lost 'cos of 'em. BTW i'm 17

Re:Wannabes (1)

Anonymous Luddite (808273) | about 10 years ago | (#11236488)

Journalists do get shot [cjfe.org]

just not by geeks.

(and why the hell would the hitman need the Glock if he weighed 350 lbs? just wondering...)

* Gasp * (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236390)

These villians have resorted to Gopherspace! No one will ever find them now.

Re:* Gasp * (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | about 10 years ago | (#11236458)

Not unless someone invents a time machine that can take the RIAA back to 1993.

Don't all it the SHADOW INTERNET! (2, Funny)

The Bandit (17525) | about 10 years ago | (#11236395)

If you do this, that would make the MPAA and the others "THE LIGHT" of the Internet. This makes me want to up-chuck TocoBell food and re-eat it.

Age old struggle... (4, Insightful)

Duncan3 (10537) | about 10 years ago | (#11236397)

And by that I mean AGE old struggle.

Every pirate eventually hits puberty, discovers girls, and suddenly has better things to do then rip off "da man". Just like almost all those hippies are now lawyers.

Re:Age old struggle... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236444)

No offense, but that's the dumbest fucking thing I've heard this year so far.

Re:Age old struggle... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236460)

Don't worry, eventually your voice will break too. In the meantime, go rent (or rip off) the movie "Swimming with sharks".

I tried to make a non-flaming title for this (1, Flamebait)

djfray (803421) | about 10 years ago | (#11236399)

wired doesn't seem like the most honest magazine to me. they hype a lot of their stuff. about a year ago they had something about some programmer who was supposedly setting up cladestine gambling servers for the mob. no way to verify these stories, and obviously sensational. you make the connection

Ah the memories (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236401)

Of course, I do recall many years ago being extremely envious of those folk who constantly upload the latest and greatest everywhere. The ones with the best ratios and the like. The guys that always annoyed the ones trying to download stuff on a ratio.

Of course, they had to be careful too - for the credo "there's no honor amongst thieves" holds true. May seem stupid, but one pissed-off kid, tired of fighting for access and stuff might just decide to screw it all and report the site. And it's not easy to balance the line - the kid you pissed off may just decide to make a "tip" out of spite or revenge. It's a tough life. The only thing that makes it easier is the ??AA - sure that guy on the FTP may piss you off, but the ??AA piss you off even more, so it's not worth making the "tip". (Just goes to show... even O'Reilly's Safari service gets notified of people pirating their books.)

it's on! (1, Funny)

BoomTechnology (832547) | about 10 years ago | (#11236403)

Mess with the best, die like the rest.-Crash_Override

Pissed off people (5, Interesting)

mellon101 (730405) | about 10 years ago | (#11236406)

This article, and whoever it was they interviewed... really has some of these guys pissed off. http://www.vcdquality.com/index.php?page=nfo&id=46 020 [vcdquality.com]

Re:Pissed off people (1, Troll)

jericho4.0 (565125) | about 10 years ago | (#11236496)

What a bunch of chldish losers. "hope your mother gets rapped (sic) by 10 men with aids and you die a shity death you pc of shit...."

And the article tries to spin them out as smart, misunderstood reble types. BWAHAHA! losers.

A few forgotten roles (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236407)

The article didn't mention The Brains - the crackers who break the copy protections for games/apps or The Carders - people who use stolen credit cards to purchase a valid serial # for games/apps. Insiders are pretty rare.

And what's with the glorification? It's pretty boring stuff, expect when two groups release the same thing just a few minutes apart. You mainly sit in front of IRC all day long. In the Western countries it may be about bragging rights and prestige. In Asia, these releases are big business for a lot of computer stores. You feed your ego, they feed their family. What a waste of time.

If they don't like it, thay shouldn't look for it (2, Insightful)

psyburn (790106) | about 10 years ago | (#11236408)

With what's left of P2P from the glory days, what do you expect from a bunch of ppl not wanting to get sued.

too complicated (1)

clambake (37702) | about 10 years ago | (#11236412)

The upper reaches of the network are a "darknet," hidden behind layers of security. The sites use a "bounce" to hide their IP address, and members can log in only from trusted IP addresses already on file. Most transmissions between sites use heavy-duty encryption. Finally, they continually change the usernames and passwords required to log in.

I would think they'd just use freenet, tor or i2p and be done with it?

Busted! (5, Funny)

dj245 (732906) | about 10 years ago | (#11236430)

In April, federal agents interrogated Frank and impounded all his computer equipment. So far, no charges have been filed. "But the Feds had no idea about Half-Life," he boasts. "I was never connected to that shit. If they found out, I'd be in jail."

So the pirate the feds arrested, interrogated, and impounded in April, but didn't file charges yet against, is the Half-life guy. That narrows it down quite a bit.

except (2, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | about 10 years ago | (#11236461)

the guy who git half-life was german, and was arrested by the german police after the Germans learned that an American(HINT: it was his computer that was comprimised) was trying to lure hime to the states so the FBI could arrest him.

"The Scene" (0, Offtopic)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | about 10 years ago | (#11236435)

As far as I can tell, this story was about (or planted in support of) a P2P-distributed miniseries called "The Scene". Sponsored by Sony, this fake docudrama takes a member of one of these 0-day groups from someone who just wants to share, to someone getting paid to supply DVD pirates with video, and probably eventually to his being caught and prosecuted.

Oh, different article. (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | about 10 years ago | (#11236455)

My bad; I thought the Slashdot story was about this article [post-gazette.com] .

Big deal (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about 10 years ago | (#11236442)

Big deal - we had these 20 years ago, in 1985! Wired news, always on the cutting edge.

Spooks and cracks (4, Interesting)

rueger (210566) | about 10 years ago | (#11236453)

Hmmm, once again a post about piracy seems to be populated with replies warning about The Danger, and telling how some guy has mended his ways and now refuses to be a pirate. Coincidence? An attempt to make file sharing seem a lot more risky than it is?

Don't these posts [slashdot.org] seem to have a real "Reefer Madness" [reefer-madness-movie.com] feel to them?

What the Wired article really demonstrates is how it will continue to be difficult if not impossible to stop electronic piracy.

Even though I don't condone such theft, and would prefer that all media be acquired through legitimate channels, the fact is that the genie is out of the bottle. The folks who like to distribute music, film, and warez will continue to stay one technological step ahead of the RIAA, MPAA, and the police.

Which one? (1, Funny)

macz (797860) | about 10 years ago | (#11236454)

Is this the shadow internet invented by Al Gore?

Or run by Dick Cheney from a secure location?

What is it with Vice Presidents getting all the crap jobs?

BBBB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236466)

so let the Billionaire Benefactors of Boneheaded Benevolence BITE it once in a while. Maybe the guy that invented the CD....WHO GETS NOTHING FOR HIS INVENTION...contrary to the propaganda from the well heeled....will have the last laugh.

Lets all sing a few verses of the 'Internationale'
for all of them and let the spirit of Lenin reach out from the grave and find a new Ekaterinberg for lords of the RIAA and MPAA.

Traffic analysis (1)

jlmcgraw (140716) | about 10 years ago | (#11236470)

I'd imagine there are probably about 10 - 15 major peering points for traffic exchange in the global internet (more, less, you tell me?) It would be very simple for law enforcement to do a quick top 100 users graph from those points, a little bit of correlation, weed out the obviously ok sites (CERN, etc) and voila! Your users exchanging gigs of data on a steady basis and out like sore thumbs. Then the Feds drop by for a closer look...

Has everyone forgotten that what appears to be a point to point connection in fact travels over many public routers, each of which are subject to whatever level of scrutiny it's owner feels like applying? They might not be able to tell exactly what you're exchanging, but based on timing and size, can make a decent guess.

Re:Traffic analysis (2, Interesting)

BluhDeBluh (805090) | about 10 years ago | (#11236482)

This isn't true - the topsites are usually hosted by people working at ISPs etc, and have a relatively low amount of traffic - 10 to 15 sites accessed by a small amount of people (they're impossible to get into). These are then distributed into more sites with more members, then couriered down to the downloaders via BitTorrent. It's a triangular shape.

Whatsmore, I hear they are heavily encrypted nowadays as due to the FBI's recent involvement it is very, very secure. The pirates are paranoid.

so chances are (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236474)

the Feds have already infiltrated some or most of this, but there's no pressing reason to move in immediately. These people aren't scheduling gang hits or anything.

Maybe I'm naive.

Pirate Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236486)

Fuck Hollywood, ppl used to entertain themselves. Thety come along, steal our culture and /demand/ projected revenue.
Bluegrass sucks somehow, yet Buffy the Vampire Slayer rules - too bad ppl don't remember that hot chicks attended wicked hoedowns back when it was cool.
Sellout bitches.

Secret? (5, Funny)

age of reason (845243) | about 10 years ago | (#11236487)

"These people are highly organized and very paranoid about secrecy."

That`s why they made Wired.

God Bless them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236494)

They do a service to all the people who want movies, but do not want to get looks of pity from snot-nosed teenagers at blockbuster on fridays.


Anonymous Coward | about 10 years ago | (#11236495)

This article came out like 2 weeks ago moron
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