Pirates' Cove Issue One A New Regular Column Appearing In Phrack Magazine By Rambone 1) Introduction Well first off, I'd like to introduce myself. I go by the handle Rambone, and I run a board in the Midwest area. I'm sure a column like this is a shock to a lot of reader's, but after talking to Dispater, many readers, and people in the hacking and pirate world, we came to this conclusion: Piracy and *Warez Dudez* have come a long way in the last five years, and are a definite part of the underground. Whether you read the magazine for information about hacking, phreaking, or even those great PWN stories, I think this column will be a welcome part of Phrack Magazine. 2) Virii Some poor unsuspecting fool downloads a program, unzips it, and instead of checking it for a virus, starts the program up. After deciding it's a lame game, he deletes it and turns off his computer, going to sleep without a worry in the world. The next day he wakes up and tries to turn on his computer, but it tells him, "Bad or missing COMMAND.COM" or something of that nature. This is just an example of what's happened to countless people in the pirate world, not expecting what is soon to be hours of frustrating reconstruction of his hard drive. Even though virii have been a common problem for many years, it hasn't been until recently that they have made an impact in the Pirate world. Whether it's bickering between groups, or even a lonely individual who has absolutely nothing better to do than beat his meat and put out a trainer with a fucking virus in it, it is wrong. The people responsible for it that play a roll in the distribution of the software are, in my opinion, the biggest culprits; they know what they are about to do, and have no conscience in sending it out. Just the mere fact that the only way they think they can get back at another group is by distributing a program with a virus or a Trojan is moronic. I'm not preaching the fact that groups should or should not bicker. That is always going to happen. What I an saying is that there is a responsibility by the groups to be cool and stop the distribution of programs with virii or Trojan's. On the flip side of the coin, most sysops do not intentionally send out these infected programs. They are sent up to the BBS, and by the time they are caught, it's too late, and they are already all over the country. My main concern is for the user. If all one group was doing was giving another group problems, then there wouldn't be one. But to irresponsibly release a program containing a virus has to be one of the lowest retaliatory responses that can be done in the pirate world, and needs to be stopped to bring piracy back to a higher level it once had before the rash of bombs began. *Note to user* Most virii are in the form of trainers and cracks, so be wary of every one you have or get. The best way to check is with PKUNZIP -T and McAffee's Virus Scanner; I've found it to be the most reliable. If anyone is having trouble with being able to temporarily open a .ZIP, .ARJ, etc., I have a sharp .BAT file to do this and will type it up in a future issue. DO NOT use a program without at least scanning the directory you unzipped it to, even though scanning the zip is much safer. 3) Nets Some issues here will be the discussion of up and coming nets, as well as established ones. Let me first explain what a net is: a net is a group of messages sent out over the networks via modem. They are then received by a BBS and sent to the appropriate message subs for the sysop and users to read. One up and coming net in particular that would be appealing to a wide variety of sysops is called "CyberCrime." This net is looking for boards that are Fido compatible, i.e.: LSD, Telegard, WildCat, Tag, Remote Access, Omega, QBBS, Paragon, Infinity, Revelation, Cypher, etc. This net is heavy into P/H/C/A as well as pirate discussions. They are also hooked into TSAN general discussions and are working on sysop's connections with other nets. If you are interested in joining this net, apply at Infinite DarkNess, (305)LOOK4-IT, log on as Cybercrime and password=Death, and follow the instructions. Fill out the CyberCrime node application. MidNight Sorrow will call your BBS (must be a full-time system), login, and upload CYBER.ARJ, the CyberCrime official start-up kit. After that, you're in. 4) BBSes Because of NSHB/USA/TGR busts, I have decided to hold off on any reviews of BBS's. Hopefully the paranoia over these busts will subside, and we can pick this area back up. 5) News Update Well, as we all know by now, The NotSoHumble Babe and The Grim Reaper, sysop of The Void, got busted for carding. This has been written up and talked about in every magazine out, so all I'm going to say is that it's brought a lot of paranoia to the pirate community, and some good boards have gone down as a result. Since I have not spoken to Amy or Mike about this I will not go into specifics. Amy (NSHB) was a member of USA (United Software Association) and Mike (TGR) ran a BBS called The Void, and was an INC Distro Site. But until I hear back from a certain person at USA, I'm not going to talk about some 3rd party gossip, so this will be continued in the next issue. 6) New Warez Game of the Month: Star Trek: 25th Anniversary Graphics [CGA/EGA/VGA] Sound [ADL/SNB/PCSPK] Controls [Mouse/JS/KYB] Cracked by [EMC/USA/Razor?] Supplied by [?] Cracked by [Separate Crack] Protection [Dox Check] Three cracking groups claimed to put this out first. Since I saw it released by EMC first for a few hours, this is who I'll go with. This is one of those games that, whether you are a Trekkie fan or not, you'll love. The opening screen depicts the Enterprise screaming across your screen, and the music from the original soundtrack blares through your speakers (if you use a soundcard). You then are thrust into a mock battle with another ship, and your adventure begins. You are then directed by Star Fleet to go on your first mission, where you will try and save a planet. The graphics are excellent, and remind me a lot of the new Sierra-type games, with the backgrounds painted in. This game has an adventure theme as well as several space combat scenarios, and a mouse is recommended to be able to get around as quickly as you can in combat scenes. The puzzles involved are very hard, and there is both a walk-through and cheat out on your local BBSes. So if you cannot get through some of the puzzles, there is help out there; you just have to find it. *Note* Well that's it for now. I had to take out 60% of this article because many people are laying low for a couple of months, so look for more in-depth coverage in the future including interviews, BBS reviews, profiles, and cracking tips.