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Anti-piracy Vigilantes Tracking P2P Users

CowboyNeal posted more than 10 years ago | from the trojans-of-a-different-breed dept.

The Internet 864

brevard writes "From SecurityFocus comes news that a pair of coders with a deep hatred of software pirates have gone public with a months-old experiment to trick file sharers into running custom spyware they wrote that scolds users and phones home to a server. They circulated the program disguised as sought-after downloads like Unreal Tournament 2004 and Microsoft source code, and they have a website that updates in real time whever someone executes it. They've logged IP addresses for over 12,000 'pirates' since January. The EFF says the vigilantes may be committing a crime."

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864 comments

W00t... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608558)

Eff Pee

And... the Poll of the Day... (0)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608725)

Spyware?

Good [calcgames.org]
Whack [calcgames.org]

i hope (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608559)

i hope someone beats the shit out of these fags.

Re:i hope (-1, Offtopic)

macdaddy357 (582412) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608660)

Hell! I hope somebody busts a cap in their ass! Kapow Kapow.

Batman (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608560)

Vigilantes? Imagine how much more exciting would be if the villains were music pirates.

Trojans (5, Insightful)

myownkidney (761203) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608567)

That's what they are essentially spreading. There's asses should land in jail as soon as possible.

Re:Trojans (5, Interesting)

s20451 (410424) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608588)

Yeah, that's rich. They have a log of everyone who received a copy of their cracked software. Guess who gets that information in a deal with the Feds?

Actually, I think this is pretty clever.

Re:Trojans (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608658)

Actually, I think this is pretty clever.

You must be the type of intellectual that gets
hours of endless fun from a magnifying glass
and a colony of ants.

Actually, I think its pretty darn obvious.

Re:Trojans (3, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608687)

Isn't it a crime to intentionally compromise a computer system?

This is soooo stupid on their part.

Re:Trojans (5, Insightful)

plugger (450839) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608731)

I'm not so sure. The file was freely downloaded from their machine by others, who then passed it on. Ok, the software they offered has different functionality than the victims expected, but that could apply to any program that 'phones home' without the user's knowledge. As soon as the downloader opens the file, it declares its function on the screen. If this is illegal, so are the likes of Bonzai Buddy.

Just wait. (4, Interesting)

Moryath (553296) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608592)

It'll be about two more days now till someone alters the code and delivers a REAL malicious payload through the damn program.

Re:Just wait. (2, Informative)

clifgriffin (676199) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608720)

If the program is altered, it deltes itself.

Re:Trojans (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608662)

If they should be locked up, then so should all the b4st4rds who shove their spyware into innocent users computers and actually corrupt their operating system to steal extra viewers for their own pathetic adverts and websites.

I have been contacted many times by customers of mine complaining their website has been hacked, when in fact it's just their own computer that was hacked by supposedly legitimate US companies to alter the behaviour of IE!

Re:Trojans (4, Funny)

negacao (522115) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608684)

Can anybody point me to the proper network [e.g. kazaa, gnutella, etc] and maybe one or two of the filenames?

I'd like to get it, and examine it. Wouldn't it be hilarious if their own trojan DDOS'd thier own site? ;)

[I'd look on thier site, but it's already smoking.]

Well, their server *did* update in realtime... (4, Funny)

purduephotog (218304) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608568)

... until about 30 seconds ago. Now it just sorta smokes.

I guess what they say about examining the hex code for any file you download to look for suspicious strings seems really valid now.

And if you don't see any, run an unpacker and see if there is anything embeded.

Of course, you could just avoid running software someone else gives you....

Re:Well, their server *did* update in realtime... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608643)

And if you don't see any, run an unpacker and see if there is anything embeded.

Or simply use a firewall.

Re:Well, their server *did* update in realtime... (5, Informative)

flimnap (751001) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608671)

Their results page simply lists the following info--

Average time wasted: 12.888078236572 Seconds
Total time: 1383.75 Minutes
Hours: 23.0625 Hours
Operating for: 928.40555555556 Hours

Then there's a big table full of entries like this (reformatted to make it easier to view here)--

ID: 6442
PID: 3578
FPID: 1
Date: Mar 19 2004 07:42:53AM
IP: xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx
(Well really, let's not pick on one person ;)
Location: Germany
Run time: 17
Filename: Unreal Tournament 2004 ALL VERSIONS KeyGen Crack (1).exe

The site continues in that vein for some time... fascinating stuff.

My thoughts: Software piracy is bad, m'kay, but two wrongs don't make a right!

Obligatory /. effect comment (5, Funny)

tweakt (325224) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608569)

"...and they have a website that updates in real time whever someone executes it."

Yeah, not for long...

Re:Obligatory /. effect comment (5, Funny)

frs_rbl (615298) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608601)

A mirror here [riaa.org]

Kind of a clever idea to post it here (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608712)

If you see a webite you don't approve of, get it slashdotted. Legal DDoS at it's silliest :)

which crime? (4, Interesting)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608572)

Out of curiosity, which crime would they be committing?

Re:which crime? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608589)

Out of curiosity, which crime would they be committing?

The same crime we commit every night, Pinky...

TRYING TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD!

Re:which crime? (-1, Offtopic)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608617)

Narf! Zonk! :)

Re:which crime? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608663)

For the same crimes virus creators are jailed.

Re:which crime? (0)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608689)

Namely? Sorry, I'm genuinely ignorant. :)

Re:which crime? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608751)

which crime would they be committing?

Electronic trespassing. Making use of system resources that are not theirs. Stealing electricity, hard drive, memory space and performing unauthorised network communications. Crackers have been put in jail for much, much less than the above.

If they were disguised as codes for games like Unreal Tournament 2004 - I also imagine Epic games would have something to say about them:

(1) Distributing what is effectively a virus using the Unreal name.
(2) Taking the law into their own hands without the permission of the copyright holders.

Only the copyright holder can determine 100% if distributing such codes are illegal. There are circumstances where wanting a new code is legitimate (loss of the manual, living in a country where the game is not available at retail). However, I'm fairly sure that Epic has the ability to remotely de-activate codes that were being illegally distributed (with the game validating your code with a central server before you're allowed to play online) - they already have a system in place for dealing with people spreading codes.

Doubtless Epic wouldn't want to piss off potential customers by having a virus associated with them. And you bet your bottom dollar that the cracking groups are going to attempt to fight back and double their efforts to produce working codes now (if they've not done so already).

Mod parent up, and grandparent down! (0, Offtopic)

Prune (557140) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608758)

NP

Software is just INFORMATION (-1, Troll)

(1337) God (653941) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608574)

Software's just a collection of bits and bytes.

Why should it NOT be free? Information SHOULD be free in most cases.

These guys are the ones breaking the law -- they're hacking others' computers. We are not doing anything wrong. We're allowed to share with our friends.

Re:Software is just INFORMATION (1, Interesting)

Nova1313 (630547) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608616)

I write software for a living. There are places when it should be free. And there are times when it shouldn't (like when It goes to keep my lights on and my car running) I dont think it's wrong to download something even if it is say a copy of a game or music. There is nothign wrong with downloading it to me. It's when you actually use it without the license that it's wrong. Now I know poeple are going to say who downloads something and doens't use it. But honestly what if that happened? If someone had say 6000 mp3's they have never listened to but just had the data on disc? What makes that illegal exactly? It's not like it's owning stolen items. It's 0's and 1's in it's basic form. Just because it plays on an mp3 player doesnt' mean it's an mp3. You could run it through another piece of software and get today's weather data. Trojaning something like this is so disrespectful to others privacy. They definatly should be punished.

Re:Software is just INFORMATION (4, Insightful)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608644)

You may not like it or agree with it (I sure don't) but right now it's the law. If we don't like a particular law (such as copyright) then we need to get our elected officials to change it.

Re:Software is just INFORMATION (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608705)

That is the dumbest thing I've ever heared... what the hell is wrong with you. I'm not Pro-Copyright guy or anything stupid but ... what the hell?! You just live in your own little world... :-/

Weeeellll.... (1)

Stopmotioncleaverman (628352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608718)

Technically - if you reduce it down to its basic components - you have a point. But apply this to other ares of life and you start getting problems.

A car is, by your rationale, just a collection of iron, rubber, various textiles, and some other metals. These are in turn just collections of random molecules. You can collect molecules just by digging in the ground! What makes a car special?

The point is that a car is special because it requires input - design, construction, imagination and engineering. You can't just throw a bunch of molecules together and come out with ca r, any more than you can just hammer on a keyboard's 1 and 0 keys and come out with a full dvd copy of the latest movie. It's not that it's just basic components that causes the problems, it's the fact that it has been created.

Hence the thing called intellectual property. Yes, it may just be a collection of 1s and 0s to you, or to anyone else, in all its bare glory - but the point is that it's somebody's collection of 1s and 0s. You can't contend that it's as much yours as the person's who created it just because it consists of basic components, any more than you can contend that the latest car on the street is as much yours as the company's who created it.

Re:Software is just INFORMATION (1)

mobiux (118006) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608728)

I understand your arguement, but in most eyes, mine included, if you conciously spend the time looking for and downloading something, you are for the most part interested in running that.

Unless you are privately archiving random applications, just in case someone with a legal license may need them.

This same arguement could be used on anything.
"No officer, those 5 bails of pot are there simply to get them off the street, nothing illegal will be done with them."

Re:Software is just INFORMATION (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608677)

"We are not doing anything wrong. We're allowed to share with our friends."

That's right! A guy with 17 million friends can't be wrong.

Committing a Crime?? (-1, Troll)

polaris878 (716143) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608575)

They are obviously committing a crime... I wonder if this is the RIAA attacking on another front...

What do you mean maybe? (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608576)

They are committing a crime.

Heresay and Slander (5, Interesting)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608582)

Who's to say these guys aren't mixing in IPs of people, who, for example, might have flamed them on message boards? I'm sure their end game is to get a job offer from the RIAA and MPAA . . .

Re:Heresay and Slander (1)

Leffe (686621) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608696)

Who's to say that their information is worth anything at all... It's completely useless.

Where's the Mac version??? (5, Funny)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608584)

Once again, Mac users are left out of all the fun.

Dang it!

Re:Where's the Mac version??? (-1)

twoslice (457793) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608625)

Ummm, perhaps because Mac users are not interested in Windoze source code...

Re:Where's the Mac version??? (2, Funny)

byolinux (535260) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608650)

Okay, don't tell anyone, but you can download the source code to a large part of OS X, over here [apple.com]

Re:Where's the Mac version??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608694)

Well gee, since nobody uses those pieces of crap, why would anyone bother. What, they'll infect 10 people?

Of course it's a crime! (2, Insightful)

graveyardduckx (735761) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608587)

Isn't that fraud or false advertising? And aren't they encouraging piracy in a way by making more hits come up everytime someone searches for a particular app? On a related note, isn't it illegal to sell grass to someone while saying it's marijuana? Aren't the penalties the same? Why should this be any different. Charge them with piracy, slander for posting your IP, and being sleazy bastards for beating MS/SCO to this idea.

Re:Of course it's a crime! (3, Insightful)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608708)

On a related note, isn't it illegal to sell grass to someone while saying it's marijuana?

yeah, it's intent to supply, no controlled susbtances required.

To me this seems basic... (5, Insightful)

mobiux (118006) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608594)

They say they are tracking software pirates.
But realy pirates don't use p2p apps for warez.
That's kiddie crap.
More like they are tracking 14 year old's with a cable modem.

try IRC, now if they could track that, it'd probably blow their minds.

Re:To me this seems basic... (3, Interesting)

Leffe (686621) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608681)

Um... with a clientside virus, what would stop them from tracking it? (and probably irc client independant as they can just read the IRC(and whatever else you use) protocol data directly)

Evil crackers like these criminals are no less clever than the rest of us, they just put their cleverness into more questionable things ;)

Oh, and a question about IRC to anyone: The '/me' command, aka special CTCP action thingy... why does it use CTCP!?!?!?

whever? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608597)

Earl Whever??

How about?.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608598)

A virus that wipes off Windows, and says on boot up.......

Jajaja j00 Philphy W1nd0z3 1u5e|', W0|_|70 j00 lykkke 2 1n5477 03814|/| 700|\|1)(???!??!! OMG WTF LOL!

Re:How about?.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608752)

you know what's sad?

I could read that just fine :(

Yes, but watch out for hypocrisy... (5, Insightful)

BenSpinSpace (683543) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608600)

I believe most of us feel angry when reading about these vigilantes. I know I do. However, I would encourage all of us to remember that if these vigilantes were, say... tracking down spammers... then we would be extatic.

Yes, I'm aware that there's a difference between pirates and spammers. But keep in mind that the RIAA probably sees P2P users the same way that we see spammers. Annoying, a growing threat, and obsessed with large penises.

Re:Yes, but watch out for hypocrisy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608627)

Yes, I'm aware that there's a difference between pirates and spammers.


Yeah, one steals from software/media owners, the other steals fom consumers. Big difference. Stick it to the man, y'all!

Sharing Trojans (3, Interesting)

ravydavygravy (230429) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608602)

What I can't understand is why people would continue to share these programs once they realised they contained a trojan... The authors stopped sharing them because they found users were propogating them well enough anyway.

Surely any sane person would delete corrupted/malicous downloads from their shared directory?

Re:Sharing Trojans (2, Funny)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608612)

I heard it's not too healthy to share a Trojan after it's already been opened.

Re:Sharing Trojans (0)

polaris878 (716143) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608615)

Well it's obvious it would be affecting people who don't know what it is. Peopole that have no idea what they are doing would share it with others. It doesn't really make sense to me either...

They taught us in Health Education- (2, Funny)

purduephotog (218304) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608619)

- to never share someone elses trojan. That could lead to a disease somewhere where you usually don't want any irritation. ...

Re:Sharing Trojans (3, Insightful)

Gabrill (556503) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608634)

The same users that are too lazy to look up free alternative software are going to go through their file sharing archives looking for virii and trojans?

Re:Sharing Trojans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608736)

"The same users that are too lazy to look up free alternative software are going to go through their file sharing archives looking for virii and trojans?"

Yeah. Lazy bastards. All they had to do was type
http://sourceforge.net/projects/freealternat iveUnr ealtournament2004/
in thier browser. I admit it is quite lenghty link tho.

Re:Sharing Trojans (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608637)

Not true, most people that use P2P software are total morons, or at least there are enough to keep it spreading

you would also think a 2mb file size would tip people off that its not UT2k4 or Win2k Source Code

why? (0, Flamebait)

NuTTyGuY (749106) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608611)

Microsoft source code why would anyone download that anywayz? microsoft is a virus, one of the most dangerous

Re:why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608623)

microsoft is a virus, one of the most dangerous

No it isn't. Viruses usually do something.

Re:why? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608664)

WARNING: Parent poster is certainly under the age of 12 and just got his first Internet access last week. Please mod accordingly.

missing word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608631)

The EFF says the vigilantes may * be committing a crime.

*also

In Soviet Russia... (-1)

Rabscuttle (597317) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608632)

the P2P users are tracking anti-piracy folks!

In other news... (-1, Offtopic)

Seoulstriker (748895) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608639)

In other news, the increase in the number of pr0n downloads since the 90s has led to an increase in the number of sales of artificial vaginas.

That is why you need a trusted source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608641)

There are a variety of Warez websites on Freenet [freenetproject.org] which, while operated anonymously, have established a trustworthy reputation (which is cryptographically enforced by Freenet's "subspaces" mechanism). The operators of those sites value the reputations they have established, which provides a strong disincentive for them to distribute trustworthy software.

s/disincentive/incentive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608669)

Oops, guess its a bit early in the morning for /.

Anyone (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608645)

I'd like to call him personally and thank him for his excellent work. Anyone found the number yet?

Oh, I see Kevin Poulsen wrote the article. They're probably busy whacking off to each other on the phone right now anyway.

and suddenly (0)

fabio (78385) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608647)

they have this great hatred for slashdot

and the need for a new server

Fuck um, I say, fuck um. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608649)

Fuck um, I say, fuck um.

I don't see what all the fuss is about... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608651)

In Soviet Russia, dot slashes you .

Vigilante (4, Interesting)

clifgriffin (676199) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608652)

As clifgriffin, I speak for myself when I say that "vigilante" is not a word we ever claimed. We aren't raging against internet piracy or p2p. We're just doing a social experiment...to see how a program spreads, who downloads it, etc... Kapersky has flagged it as a Trojan, though I still stand firm in my belief that this is in no way a trojan as it does nothing even slightly malicious. I don't think we'd have the "Trojan Horse" analogy to fall back on if all the soldiers in the horse had done was send back a message saying they'd arrived. :D

Re:Vigilante (5, Insightful)

68K (234318) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608701)

It is a Trojan - it doesn't have to do anything malicious, just something that is blatently NOT what its description (filename in this case) suggests. And you're capturing data from the users that run it, so it could be argued that it is in fact malicious.

You're boring (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608713)

You just a script kiddy with nothing to do.

Don't worry, your attitude will change once you discover girls. Maybe someday you'll get laid, although I suspect you'll have to get a job first.

Pisser.

Re:Vigilante (1)

slavemowgli (585321) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608719)

You're right that the analogy probably wouldn't exist now if there hadn't been an actual attack by the soldiers in the horse, but it is nevertheless a valid analogy: a trojan is, after all, merely something that tries conceal what it actually is, no matter what the intent.

Re:Vigilante (4, Informative)

WARM3CH (662028) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608734)

This can certainly be classified as a torjan. Being malicious or not has nothing to do with classifying a program as torjan. The simple fact that you have a way to spread it, implemented some form of call-home functionality in it is sufficient to classify it as a torjan. About being malicious or not, some may say that sending private information (like IP address) back home can be considered as a malicious act.

Re:Vigilante (1)

clifgriffin (676199) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608747)

We had the IP when they downloaded the software.

Next.

Re:Vigilante (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608750)

the absolute funny part is that is it OBVIOUS when a file is your guy's trojan horse... it only works because many p2p downloaders dont pay attention to file sizes and number of sharers... your junk is too small to be correct.

you are only catching really stupid kiddies that scream "ohhh shiny!" and click...

maybe next time you guys should first off research your prank more before deploying it as it only fools the morons into downloading.

It is legal (2, Interesting)

TenPin22 (213106) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608661)

If I download some random file from kazaa and run it, I'm the only one to blame for what it does.

Its just irony that some of the filenames they used would contain illegal content if they were what they claimed to be.

An assumption rears it's ugly head again (1, Insightful)

TheDigitalRaven (749023) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608665)

Piracy = copyright violation Piracy != theft

Vigilante: Good or Bad? (4, Insightful)

handy_vandal (606174) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608666)

The EFF says the vigilantes may be committing a crime.

Vigilantes are, by definition, committing crimes.

A vigilante [ncwc.edu] is a private citizen who acts outside the law, taking the law into their own hands.

Some people (e.g. the vigilantes themselves) see this as a Good Thing -- enforcing Justice, where Justice would otherwise go unenforced.

Others (such as myself) see vigilantism as the roots of rebellion and chaos -- acting as a private government, in defiance of duly constituted authority.

Not that I have a hell of a lot of respect for duly constituted authority. Most of the cops I've met have been decent people, however, there's a long, sad history of cops acting as vigilantes, outside the law. Not to mention police states, governments run by mobsters, etc. etc.

-kgj

The real problem is... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608670)

I don't much care one way or another about the issue of going after software pirates, as there are some major assholes on both sides of the issue. But the problem with this approach is that if there are bugs in the antipiracy software it could end up screwing up a lot of people's systems and causing major expense and loss of time and effort. Moreover, it looks like people could convert this into intentional malware by renaming it, so that someone looking to download freeware documents on, say, the history of microprocessors, could end up with this crap on his machine. So I object strongly to the means, though I am ambivalent about the intent.

From the looks of their page (4, Interesting)

IshanCaspian (625325) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608674)

the software's not disguised as actual pirated software, but the keygens and cracks. AFAIK, those are in much more of a legal gray area than actual pirated software. Theoretically, if someone legitimately owns a piece of software, and they're on another computer, and they have the original installation media and they forgot their cd key at home, it wouldn't be terribly illegal to load up a keygen so they could play a round or two.

Or hell, even take the Baldur's gate series. I bought every single game in the series, and I still crack all of those games since I don't want to have to put the cd in when I play. What about somone who has their GUID banned by punkbuster? I don't believe they have any right to stop me permanently from playing a game I bought online...what if I just use a keygen and get another key?

Anyways, there's really not much of a case for what these people are doing. Besides, if they like vigilantes so much, what do you say we show them what a DDOS looks like?

Re:From the looks of their page (1)

clifgriffin (676199) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608700)

Not terribly illegal but still illegal.

It would either fall under the category of circumventing technical measures to protect a copyright.

Or reverse engineering a program against it's license.

Or if it is a keygen, using software without a valid license.

If that is in the gray area, my software is pretty legally safe.

Immunity from these... (2, Insightful)

baryon351 (626717) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608676)

And again, mac users don't have to worry about their malware.

Care to define how it's illegal? (4, Insightful)

NinjaPablo (246765) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608679)

The article is pretty light on that point. I think anyone who downloads "UT2K4 Keygen.exe" or "Photoshop Full.exe" knows exactly what they are trying to get, and they know the risks of what they are doing. And therefore, if someone wants to write an app that phones home and tells the companies that someone is trying to use a crack, what's the harm?

Self regulation is the way to go! (1)

jarich (733129) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608682)

If we don't regulate ourselves, the government will.

I make no call either way, but they are allegedly committing a crime by tricking people who are without a doubt attempting to commit a crime. Hmmm....

I know a lot of Slashdotters won't but a jury will have trouble with this one. :)

Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608745)

" If we don't regulate ourselves, the government will."

This is about the stupidest argument I've ever heard...

"Yes, we have free speech, but we should limit it or the government well".

Well junior, then you don't have free speech. You either have it or you don't. You're one of those who is glad we don't.

As to self-policing warez, the government doesn't give a shit about warez. Only Adobe and Microsoft do. Oh and you. Now you're all scary important.

I'll bet you think porn is evil, DJ's talking about "anal" should be banned, and if we all just prayed to jesus, our problems would be solved.

I'd call you a moron, but the moron union just called and they're laughing at you.

Here's another question... (5, Insightful)

clifgriffin (676199) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608683)

For those of you attempting to probe the moral questions of this project.

What if my software, downloaded with no warranty from Gnutella, displayed the weather conditions in Kenya?

I'd have their IP, and I could even safely retrieve the ID with legitimate pretenses.

However, since my software rebukes the downloader for downloading a file that appeared to be a crack, it is a Trojan and a danger to the peoples of the free world.

Just a thought.

Re:Here's another question... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608721)

maybe you should of thought of that before taking the action you did

Re:Here's another question... (2, Insightful)

DarkMagician07 (686278) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608727)

If your program gave me a pop-up stating that the information was going to be sent... then there is no problem. If your software grabs that information and sends it to you without my knowledge, then that *IS* a problem to me.

Whether or not it is misconceived as a crack for the latest warez, or a weather program that will tell me what the conditions are in Alaska, doesn't matter. It's the fact that you are taking this data without my permission and posting it in a public place where I may not want it advertised.

Hey, speaking of which? (1, Funny)

His name cannot be s (16831) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608686)

Does anyone have the keygen for the latest Mozilla (Linux Version)?

Oh, and OpenOffice. I need the keygen for OpenOffice. I think mine is about to expire.

Oh. Wait. I'm using Open Source.

Feh. Whatever.

its a dropper as well as a trojan (-1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608688)


the main exe drops another program called eye.exe that does the phoning home, the strings in the parent exe are decoys, it also it self modifies putting it into the polymorphic category.

Kaspersky classifies it as Trojan.Win32.DusBunn

best these boys put away visualC and pick up a few lawbooks

the whois info:

Griffin, Clifton clifgriffin@jsventures.com
Blogzine
503 Piedmont St.
Reidsville, North Carolina 27320
United States
3364327174

Name: gso31-106-207.triad.rr.com
Address: 24.31.106.207

Really, who cares? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608691)

Sounds like a couple of guys who wrote a crappy shareware program, that was overpriced, underperformed and then blamed "piracy" for their failure.

Some guys are worse than ex-smokers.

But seriuosly, just ignore them. They like the publicity, and you're just feeding it. Its like the jesus freaks who get upset a middle aged black woman bared her boob on TV. Big fucking deal.

They think jesus has lightening bolts he's going to throw at them. Superstitious morons.

They're all cut from the same cloth, they're really just a joke. Really, you can't take them seriuosly.

That's why... (1)

Infernon (460398) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608692)

real pirates use Usenet!!!

downloading cracks or keygens... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608702)

isn't illegal, now is it?
Downloading and using software X while you don't have a license for software X is illegal.
(I mean, they pretend their 'morally good troyan' is a keygen/crack for UT2004, and claiming that anyone who downloads that, or is searching for a keygen/crack is a 'software pirate')

Reverse-engineered, huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8608714)

Good. Glad it is. Even though that's probably against the DMCA or the UCITA. Both of which should die too anyway.

But, that's not the point. It would be nice to reverse-engineer it to go and inject php, start prodding the little bugger for cracks in the display.php engine, and let the server take itself down, by deleting whatever it has access to.

That'll teach them to propagate viruses along P2P. Or piss them off. They're a couple of kids my age (around 19), they'd be so pissed if their software DoSed itself.

Or we could just slashdot them.

/.ed already :P (1)

Stopmotioncleaverman (628352) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608738)

Their public web display of current tracking information has already been /.ed. Wonder if it took out their database as well? :P

Legal precedent ? (4, Interesting)

agslashdot (574098) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608717)

From the article - programs have circulated disguised as activation key generators and cracks for Unreal Tournament 2004, Pinnacle Studio 9, Norton Antivirus, TurboTax

IANAL, but this is certainly illegal. It is akin to a sting operation, like when you open your car door for the hooker on the street and it turns out she's really a cop and you are arrested for soliciting & prostitution.

You can't drop dollar bills on the road & then arrest citizens for stealing when they pick them up.

Using temptation to get at potential thieves does not constitute law enforcement, unless I guess you are the FBI or somesuch.

Yes, its probably illegal... (4, Interesting)

breakinbearx (672220) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608730)

but is it wrong? It doesn't spread itself, others spread it. When you download a piece of code off of a p2p network, you take a risk that it isn't what you think it is. Obviously, these people are rather intelligent, and it appears that they aren't evil, and just want to teach certain lawbreakers a lesson. And although it is vigilante in the sense that they are stepping outside of the law, they're not doing anything harmful. Now, if they were formating someone's hard drive when the executable was launched, it would be different, but this is just a small rebuke.

Props to these guys for sticking up for whats right.

Good for them (4, Insightful)

Cereal Box (4286) | more than 10 years ago | (#8608755)

I've said many times on Slashdot that if you want P2P to be taken seriously and not be labeled as a haven for pirates, you need to actively engage in discouraging the use of P2P for illegal file trading. These guys are actually doing that. Good for them. At least they're not acting like some hand-waving Slashbots ranting about how no one takes P2P seriously, all the while refusing to acknowledge that the majority of data transfered on P2P networks is copyrighted, and furthermore refusing to do anything about it.

My favorite comeback line: "Maybe we should outlaw knives because someone might do something illegal with them!" -- completely off-target. Right now, the situation with P2P isn't that a minority of people are using P2P networks to trade copyrighted materials, but that a minority of people are using P2P networks for trading non-copyrighted materials. Until P2P fans actively pursue and discourage the use of P2P for illegitimate uses, P2P will continue to have a bad rap and be pursued by copyright holders.
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