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Some stuff

Lord Julus
VX-tasy [1]
August 1999

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I named this article 'some stuff' mainly because... well that's what it is... Firstly I wanted to name it some news, but then I realized that I have no time to gather 'new' news, or even so, those news would be already old, so I gave up... Also, what I wanted to say here is notoriety already and thus, no news...

First of all, the virus scene is shaken again... Not only that it is fucked up, as from three years now, but it is also shaken. Being fucked up comes from the fast changing of the operating system on the PCs, as you will read along in the Win32 articles, but the shaking comes from government involvment in the underground activity...

It's of good knowledge that the activity of the so called antisocial groups, like hackers, phreakers, virus writers, etc... was, is and will always be monitored by the government. Actually not quite by the government, but by some organizations that respond to the government and have the unique role of covering this area. It is very important from their point of view to let the people express themselves. First of all, anything which is free is less likely to happen. And, opposite, what is forbidden is searched to be done... Like the forbidden apple... On the other side, the minds of the people out there can sometimes hold treasures, and the govt. is so happy to use their ideas for free... Both these things make the govt. leave the underground to work and use the fruits.

But it comes a time when the govt. itself feels threatened. I remeber a movie where I first felt in love with the actress of my dreams. The movie was "The Net". Here, the company that was protecting the entire American system was also the one hacking into the system. This is the kind of fear you don't wanna feel... It's like being at work and seeing in the newspaper the photo of an escaped serial killer, which happens to look exactly like the housekeeper you hired yesterday to babysit your children... Get my point?

That is the time when the official feel that they need to sort of show off. Show to the world, that the underground exists by their allowence and that anytime they can crush it...

And here we come to what happened this year with the Melissa virus. Not being a very complicated one, the Melissa virus had two qualities. First of all, it was original. And second of all, it showed huge bug holes into one of the leading softwares available, the Microsoft Outlook, and also shading a black light on the name of the releasing company, the Microsoft monster. The unique quality came from that it was able to spread through e-mail (actually it was not completely unique, or new, but the method used was original). I remember a while ago while arguing on different e-mail lists about the existance of the mail spreading virus. I remember standing along the idea that it couldn't, cannot and will not exist, unless the user is stupid enough to run it!! It was valable then and it stands now to. The Melissa virus is not able to spread on a system unless the user detaches the e-mail and opens the file. Those are two actions which pose a question on the persons' IQ if they happen. However, somebody up there decided that it is the time to show off. VicodinES, the supposed author of Melissa got arrested, funny because of a Microsoft Office bug which left a mark on the original file leading to the computer. Suddenly, a big FTP area which hosted many vx related pages was shut down by the FBI. We all remember the sourceofkaos pages... Also, pushed by their luck, the FBI decided to close down the page of the Codebreakers group (the codebreakers released a virus which was able to steal PGP keys and upload them to; until the witchhunt began the FBI didn't touch their site, but only warned people to hold it as hostile). After the page was closed and the group was disbanded, suddenly a big silence sorounded everything. In the mean time, the biggest free web page hosts, Tripod and Geocities, began a massive action of shuting down vx related web pages. My page was killed in this war and I was forced to move to xoom.

Please not that as from a few days ago, The Codebreakers are back together and released their 5th e-zine. Looks like God is still around ;-)

Did this help?!? Did this help, I repeat?!? Man, it's like shouting on the radio: hay, people in 10 minutes there will be a 7 degree earthquake. What are you going to do?!? What are you going to do? Stay in the house or rush outside and be really, really in panic?

After all this crap, which made such a big publicity, the virus writters saw the big hole offered by the Microsoft tools and started to use them. One by one, more and more e-mail worms are starting to appear. This year and the next, I think, will be the years of the e-mail worm.

In this e-zine I will not speak about them as I have no interest in them, but mock my words (I like this ;-)): soon the e-mail worms will be everywhere!!

I remember reading the virus-l list hosted by Nick Fitzgerald, and I recall reading mails written by people working in NAI, DataFellows, etc. They were presenting the big clashes, the data loss and all the bad things that will happen due to the Melissa big spreading during only one weekend. They were saying big things like e-mails multiplicating at an EXP rate, servers going down, bussiness going down the drain... Bull-shit!!! Nothing happened... All the servers that were closed down were closed by their administrators to prevent what could happen. The reality is cruel: nobody was right. Someone showed a real hole in a so called universal software and everybody started throwing rocks.

Hey, smart dudes!! Read this: first write down decent pieces of software and then wine about them being hacked!! Don't start shouting before proving the quality of your work!!

You're gonna have to forgive me for being so angry, but I just cannot have this 'we are the boss' kind of stuff...

As for other news which you might or not hear about already, Jacky Qwerty and Vecna, two of the best win32 programmers and virus authors quit the scene, each for their own reasons (check the interview with Jacky Qwerty). I hope all the best for the 29A group even if it is a tough time.

Also, please note that my good friend Virtual Daemon told me it is ok to notify here that the Slam group is dormant, meaning there is no certainity that there will ever exist a new Slam issue due to the members' lack of activity. I do hope VD will do just fine in college as he will start this year, and also for all the other members.

As for another group that emerged with much hope and died quickly, that is DDT. I haven't got a clue why the memebers didn't continue their job after Billy Belcebú's quit. However, I see some of the members joined the Feathered Serpents, and some look like acting on their own. Good luck anyway!

Also, we are waiting for the first e-zine from the Ultimate Chaos group. Keep it up, guys!!

Most people knew that this issue was to be released on 1st of August 1999. The reason for the delay is first of all that I had to go to the seaside and have some fun, the second was that the millenium eclipse just took place in Romania, and the last but the most important one is that one very good friend of mine came to visit me here... Actually the story is longer. I do not recall exactly how it came to talk about, but I suddenly found out that Jacky Qwerty is a big eclipse fan and I invited him to come over and stay at my place. Because of university reasons, finaly he couldn't made it, but instead, guess who came? Mr.Sandman came with his girlfriend and they sleep in my bed as I type this ;-). I have to say he is a very cool guy and I hope we will remain friends. I kinda messed up the plan because I always seem to set up too many goals and ruin all... My idea was to take him and meet VD near Ramnicu Valcea where the eclipse was to be seen best. But, I had to go to the seaside and MrS came the same day when I left, so he had to stay in my apartment with my mother ;-) They got along pretty well as he speaks a very good romanian and Miss Sandwoman understands it perfectly. I have to say that this was one of the greatest summers of all. My only disappointment is the fact that I missed the encounter with VD, but we will surely meet someday...

Another fact is that my virus activity will probably decrease a little after this issue, as I also have other hobbies. For instance, since my childhood years I was fascinated with writing and Sci-Fi. So, I will probably dedicate some of my time to writing the novel of my life ;-). Wish me luck! I need it...;-)

So, for now this is the stuff... Read and hope you will enjoy it...

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