About my site

28th September 2007 : I thought it about time this page was edited slightly since it has been nearly 5 years from the last update. This website has now reached 10 years in age, time that I have enjoyed. The last 4 years however have essentially seen nothing more than maintenance fixes, subtle updates as I tinker around the edges, Woodmann has also graciously provided the hosting for the last 4 years protecting me further from the excitement of battling censors and others who have sought to destroy this place.

The future of this site is assured and it will always remain on the web either in live form or as an archive, however I am now doubtful I will ever be able to dedicate any significant time to greatly enhancing its contents (not unless a major donor can fund me a few years from the daily grind ;-)), major overhauls are needed and have been for a while, both in content and design, this is an endeavour I probably won't have the time to carry on with. I invite you therefore to enjoy "CrackZ" in the twilight.....

The beginning From whence I came Censorship Attempts
Under Siege (2001 attacks) Free Providers The BSA TPA games
Macro'vision' (or lack of) The Latest Why I reverse engineer About Me

I started this site in theory back in May 1998 (about 9 months after first getting regular access to the net), initially I was planning on just having a well-maintained tools page for reverse engineers (at that time traditional sources like LordCaligo's now infamous site were not updating so there was a need). A few months earlier I had written a small MS Word document "The Newbies Guide To Cracking" which consisted of 15 or so programs which I had cracked, the document to this day can still be found in most tutorial repositories (in fact its still probably one of the most recent and generates very positive feedback to this day).

You can download my guide written back in May 1998 here, (232k (237,854 bytes)), some of it might even still be relevant now although you'll probably not find many of the target programs (I didn't retain them). Note that this document is virus free, sadly the passage of Internet travel has seen some instances of the document infected with a Word Macro virus (this original has of course been through 3 leading virus scanners).

My very first page started at Xoom, a free provider which then offered a fair amount of space and no horrid sponsorship banners (that of course has now changed). I posted my initial tools page and some small tutorials (borrowed from the Word document) and within 2 months Xoom closed the site (the Xoom server also had reliability issues at that time). I've not to this day ever established why the site was closed (no acknowledgement ever came from the Xoom Webmasters when I asked on several occasions).

Shortly after, I was offered in good faith my own domain at zencrack.org, sadly this too was to last just 2 months before a combination of threatened legal action by EmuLive Imaging Corporation and my discovering the domain had been obtained using fraudulent means closed the site. I should like to state that I condemn outright all fraud, its an incredibly stupid pastime (practiced by many of the 'teenage warez' groups). Again, I re-emphasize that "I was offered this domain in good faith" and I do believe that someone was eventually prosecuted for credit card misuse.

Censorship Attempts

From the very first day of inception my pages have always endeavoured to give away reverse engineering information for free to anyone who cares to learn. Naturally the nature of such content and lack of commercial banners has resulted in continual censorship attempts. My second site at Xoom lastest not much longer than 2 weeks (this time I hadn't even uploaded anything other than an index page), shortly afterwards another free provider (FortuneCity) also objected to my contents too, an attempt at co-ordinated censorship it would seem.

Fortunately in mid-August 1998 I met "LiteSpeed" on IRC who offered me my long standing WCO account, I also took steps to ensure that both he and the ISP could not be embroiled in any legal action. For 15 months this site was fast, reliable and my host gracious, I was also not subject to any legal action. I had hoped this would continue indefinitely, yet sadly it did not and on the 10th of February 2000 WCO was forced to close the site after a federal complaint (see below for more recent details).

Only a week later the same bigots also attacked my newly obtained zencrack.org domain (which is and was a little known mirror), the hosts have now suspended the site and this I'm sure will be permanent. It seems that censors are incapable of behaving in a mature manner and always elect instead to complain via the side door (from discussions with other webmasters it seems you'll be lucky to discover their identity). Of course they somehow manage to turn a blind eye to the release groups who have distributed for free in the last 12 months every single full version of their 'paying members' applications to the legions of CD copiers and warez users.

...and yet more censorship

Most other censorship I have experienced has been weak and merely inconvenient, on the 7th of January 2000 I tried to use an inactive FortuneCity account to store MASM & TASM for my visitors (neither is warez as they are both 'abandonware'). Yet within 2 days the little gem below arrived from FortuneCity. You see, I don't mind genuine warez sites being removed, I'd actively support their deletion, with the hundreds of Appz/FTPz/Gamez and so on they link too, and thats whats really gauling about FortuneCity and providers like them, because I could easily find such sites on their server.

All censors have one thing in common, they don't want 'intelligent cracker pages' or free information, instead they want solely to transform your web surfing into 1 big 'online shopping' experience to support their greedy shareholders who think e-anything must be a profit goldmine. New web-users will soon find only 'approved content', software numbering hundreds already exists for this 'filtering'. You'll be bombarded and compelled to click wave after wave of non-stop banner advertisements for useless products you'd never buy in a million years (much like the dross of today's TV), eventually they know you'll buy something just to be rid of the wretched things. I have actually replied to this e-mail, although (call me cynical), I'll wager a lot of money there will be no response (there is no money in it for them after all).

Your page(s) at http://www.fortunecity.com/skyscraper/rofl/182/ have been removed as they violated our rules on page content.

Our content regulators had the following comments to make regarding your content:

warez-automatic

These comments, and the mail address crackz__@hotmail.com, have been posted in the FortuneCity Jail to deter other users from breaching our content rules. Your account for user zencrack has been deactivated. You will not be able to use this account, nor will you be able to set up further accounts using the mail address crackz__@hotmail.com.

If you think you have received unfair treatment, you may apply to have this restriction, and the posting in the Jail, removed by mailing appeals@fortunecity.com.

FortuneCity Administration
support@fortunecity.com

'Content Regulators', I'd really like to be one of those :-), it is of course just another commercial phrase for 'censors', like you couldn't see that. The laughable suggestion that blacklisting my e-mail address might somehow deter or prevent me and others from re-opening another account is plain ludicrous. See FortuneCity, anyone can open another account with as many free e-mail avatars as they care to remember, they can do it again and again, swamping your silly servers with warez and goodness knows what else week-in week-out (as many of your paying customers probably do), but I don't want to prove cheap points, you are welcome to continue with your ethical profit business, there are sadly, somewhere, people in this world that must be supporting you.

23/03/2000, and I'm trying another 4 providers. Bizland.com (I should have guessed from the name) have already failed abysmally (these people won't let you upload unless they are sure they can sell you something), Xoom (once again using another of my famous Hotmail avatars), tripod.com & VirtualAve.net. I have to confess that I don't hold out much hope of these lasting much longer than 1 or 2 months, besides which I don't plan on staying with them for any longer than possible (commercial sponsorship banners are more than I can bear).

31/03/2000, and with luck you are now reading this document on my new servers (thanks ds and LiteSpeed), I live in hope that the censors will now leave my site alone, is it really damaging your commercial interests that much?, I somehow doubt it.

Why you shouldn't use free providers

Actually I hadn't intended to add this, but I'll give you a case in point why you definitely shouldn't use free providers for your next reverse engineering page. Back in March a friend set up a mirror of my site on Tripod.com, this was intended solely as an emergency backup whilst I was struggling with providers. Sadly he disappeared when my main site returned and I was starting to recieve e-mails about problems I had fixed, 1-email later to abuse@tripod.com and this was the response.

From:  "abuse@tripod.com" <abuse@tripod.com>
To:  CrackZ The Cracker <crackz__@hotmail.com>
Subject:  Re: Report of Abuse (KMM5770527C0KM) 
Date:  Mon, 16 Oct 2000 14:58:28 -0700

Hello CrackZ,

The member and the site you reported have already been removed from our servers.
I wanted to clarify that the creator of the page is in no way directly associated with Tripod, 
Angelfire, or the Lycos Network. These are companies that provide a package of content and 
services, one of which is the utility that allow members to build their own homepages.

Neither Tripod nor Angelfire exercise any editorial control over what our members place on 
their pages nor their other Internet related activities. We do, to the best of our ability, 
delete pages that contain material that are in violation of our Terms of Service. If 
potentially objectionable pages are brought to our attention, we certainly evaluate those 
pages and act as quickly as possible.

I hope you will find that our prompt response addresses your concerns. If you have any 
further questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for the information.

Abuse Specialist
Tripod.com - Part of the Lycos Network

Indeed, when I next want to nuke a useless site (like porn) hosted on a free providers server I won't hesitate to contact the very friendly and very automated 'Abuse Specialist' :-).

Bigoted Software Alliance

05/04/2000, and I can now reveal the eventual destroyers of my 'Micuan' site, notwithstanding the other attacks I was subjected too, read the letter below :-

7th February 00

RE: NOTICE OF INFRINGING ACTIVITY
Domain: WCO.COM
URL: http://www.wco.com/~micuan/

To Whom It May Concern:

The Business Software Alliance (BSA) has determined that the domain(s) listed above, which 
appear to reside on servers under your control are engaged in unauthorized activities 
relating to circumventing copyright protection of computer programs published by the 
BSA's member companies.

1. IDENTIFICATION OF CIRCUMVENTED WORKS.

Work                 Copyright Owner
MicroStation         Bentley Systems, Inc.
Photodraw            Microsoft Corporation
3D Studio Max        Autodesk, Inc.

2. INFRINGING MATERIAL OR ACTIVITY FOUND AT FOLLOWING LOCATIONS:

<URL Censored> Bentleyj.htm
<URL Censored> Mspdraw.htm
<URL Censored> 3dsmax25.htm

Webpages contain information for circumventing copyright protection.

3. STATEMENT OF AUTHORITY

Based upon BSA's representation of the copyright owners in anti-piracy matters, we have a good 
faith belief that none of the materials or activities listed above have been authorized by the 
rightholders, their agents, or the law.  BSA represents that the information in this 
notification is accurate and states, under penalty of perjury, that it is authorized to act in 
this matter on behalf of the copyright owners listed above.

We expect that you will take expeditious action to remove or disable access to the materials 
described above, and thereby prevent the illegal reproduction and distribution of pirated 
software. As you know, illegal on-line activities can result in 50 million people on the 
Internet accessing and downloading a copyrighted product worldwide without authorization 
* a highly damaging activity for the copyright holder.

We appreciate your cooperation in this matter. Please advise us regarding what actions you 
take.

Sincerely,

<Name Removed>
Investigator

Contact Details:
Business Software Alliance
1150 18th Street, N.W., Suite 700
Washington, D.C.  20036
E-Mail:  Abuse@bsa.org
URL: http://www.bsa.org
1-888-NO-PIRACY

The BSA worldwide members include Adobe Corporation; Autodesk, Inc.; Bentley Systems, Inc.; 
Corel Corporation; Lotus Development Corporation; Macromedia, Inc.; Microsoft Corporation; 
Network Associates, Inc.; Novell, Inc.; Symantec Corporation; and Visio Corp.

I want to comment on this in as unbiased a way as I possibly can and as I am a responsible web author I have removed the name of the BSA's investigator. The BSA itself is just an industry funded muppet organisation which takes its orders from its fee paying clients (listed above), evidently what the BSA knows about reverse engineering and how to prevent illegal piracy would fit easily on the back of a match box. If you ever doubted what really frightens these commercial organisations then you know that the legions of scam warez sites, porn peddlers and CD copiers are all safe for a good while longer.

I want to thank WCO.COM for acting in a non-bigoted and responsible manner during those last few months, so readers if you are looking for a provider that supports its users you could do far worse than WCO. I wouldn't promote WCO however since shortly after the BSA incident they decided to impose punitive bandwidth charges on my site, thus forcing my long standing provider to terminate the account in the first month with a ridiculous bill ;-(. My only choices were to either try and recoup these charges through advertising banners or shut the site, the site shut shortly afterwards.

Under Siege

At the end of March 2001, my .jp mirror site (then my primary site) which was not backed up by a particularly strong or feature rich router, was attacked using massive PING packet floods, these DOS ('denial of service') attacks took place over a 3 month period and were regrettably very successful at flooding the router, ultimately taking the site offline for 11-12hr periods (until the router was manually restarted by my admin).

These attacks were very frustrating for me but more especially I felt really sorry for my admin (who gives of his time and resources freely so that 500,000 of you (so far) can leech my site), at times I just wanted to take the site completely offline and give in, it would have been easier. Examination of the times that the attacks took place confirmed very little, besides which, any idiot can time an attack job, co-operation with upstream providers seemed like another option, but it would inevitably take months, if indeed they would co-operate.

Then one day I sat back and thought about the situation; who out there would actually really wan't to destroy my site so much? or to the extent that they'd like to sit there night after night nailing my router. Checking my sites update log I realised that prior to the attack there had been very little controversial new content posted (even in the previous 2 months), it is always tempting or flattering to believe that some large corporation is really out there to get you, but the reality is almost always much simpler. Drawing on what I knew about the attacks on +fravia's site and them being perpetrated by prominent members of the cracking community (recent converts to lucrative protectionist jobs) it became blatently obvious I was under attack by several individuals who simply wanted my site taken offline, to this day I have always had a very good idea who the attackers of both +fravia's site and mine were (friends in the same community all but told me who was responsible). The solution was elementary, I parted a particular IRC channel for good and the attacks trailed off after 2 weeks, a happy co-incidence?, well I think not.

3/9/1 Attacks

Most recently my site has once again been troubled by the censors, about 1 month ago an author complained about the following page, after reviewing the page I realised that I had inadvertently left a serial # which lamers could have used on this page (when my site was revamped in 99 I thought I'd removed all such name / serial # combinations) however one wonders why the complaint in August 2001, the product has reached v2.32 and the document is at least 3 years old, is someone monitoring my site for content to complain about?, I wonder.

Most recently the admins of my site have received the following e-mail from the dear folks at Trialware.org (the receipt of which caused them to immediately panic and shut down the site).

From: admin@trialware.org
To: abuse@xxxx.net
Subject: http://208.50.16.104/crackz/Miscpapers.htm
Sender: admin@trialware.org
Date: Thu, 30 Aug 2001 18:43:25 -0600

Please shut down this illegal crack site
http://208.50.16.104/crackz/Miscpapers.htm
__________________________________
Trialware Professional Association
  http://www.trialware.org/

Evidently, like the BSA, the TPA is another one of these moronic muppet organisations, although their members are not allowed adverts or pop ups on their sites, the TPA makes its money by, you guessed it, selling advertising banners on its own pages, one of its members also prides itself on producing CD copying software. Never mind though, they are apparently also looking for help on how to shut down crack repositories, of course these terrible illegal crack sites are incredibly hard to find, look for example at all the cracks on my site TPA fools (there isn't even 1, but you didn't look that far I know), maybe you should start out by learning how to find an 'illegal crack site' before sending out your automated 2 line threatening e-mails, maybe you should go very careful where you send them too, else I might take some expeditious legal action against you.

2 days later, and the spineless TPA also decided to send an e-mail to cjb.net too, just to get my relocator shut down as well (how predictable, since I've noticed they have also targeted tE too). As a social engineering experiment I decided to send the TPA admins an e-mail to ask them why exactly they might be targeting my site, and you guessed it, they couldn't (or more likely wouldn't) reply, instead they made *another* complaint to the admins of this server, unfortunately for the TPA I had switched a few links immediately after sending them my e-mail since I had anticipated (call it intuition) they'd just complain again. No problem though, anyone can see that the TPA wasn't really out to prevent piracy, merely it just wanted to try and get itself a few high profile kills, (I'm flattered), sadly they have failed quite spectacularly and in return for their inconvenience I have graciously forwarded 146 members software to the various cracking groups ;-), I am sure the TPA's members will be gratified to know that their products will now be cracked and distributed quite freely to any lamer that wants them.

Many thanks to Woodmann for his support during this attack. Without him I might have given up.

TPA Games

After sometime I decided I'd play a little game with the TPA, my good friend [yates] graciously setup on his own server a copy of my site (it still stands to this day), it would prove far too tempting for the TPA (I apologise in advance for the length of this log) :

Mar 3 14:16:43 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.15.237 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=6991 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=2321 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 4 14:16:37 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.15.237 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=48484 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=2406 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 5 14:03:05 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.15.237 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=56874 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=3866 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 6 14:33:09 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.15.237 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=28285 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=1299 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 7 13:38:09 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.15.237 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=64490 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=4004 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 10 14:23:46 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.11.56 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=10523 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=3365 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 10 16:29:27 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.11.56 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=31647 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=3279 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 10 16:30:10 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.11.56 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=31884 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=3334 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 11 14:03:33 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.11.56 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=18302 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=4510 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 12 13:47:31 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.11.56 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=15085 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=3605 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 13 13:59:56 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.11.56 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=26429 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=1648 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 14 13:53:17 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.11.56 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=13069 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=3792 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 17 14:32:57 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.11.56 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=7473 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=2411 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 17 14:37:30 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.11.56 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=13382 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=3924 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 17 14:37:52 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.11.56 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=13458 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=3940 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 18 13:48:21 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.11.56 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=58391 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=1687 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 18 14:02:26 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.11.56 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=65217 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=3057 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 18 14:04:07 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.11.56 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=153 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=3110 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 19 14:00:51 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.11.56 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=44295 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=3204 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 19 14:16:36 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.11.56 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=51507 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=1078 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 19 14:18:28 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.11.56 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=51960 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=1130 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 21 13:38:20 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.22.171 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=32262 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=4317 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 21 13:46:50 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.22.171 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=40578 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=2023 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 21 13:47:12 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.22.171 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=40914 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=2071 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 21 13:47:34 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.22.171 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=40965 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=2081 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 21 16:13:03 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.22.171 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=3905 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=1304 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 24 13:35:02 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.22.171 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=11705 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=3260 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 24 14:03:45 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.22.171 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=25075 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=2284 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 24 14:07:39 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.22.171 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=26012 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=2380 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 25 13:51:50 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.22.171 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=29443 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=1397 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 25 14:05:30 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.22.171 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=35224 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=2699 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 25 14:12:21 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.22.171 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=37289 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=2917 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 26 13:49:47 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.22.171 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=59929 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=1527 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 26 13:57:14 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.22.171 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=1068 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=3334 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 26 14:02:55 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.22.171 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=2763 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=3488 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 26 14:03:54 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.22.171 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=2900 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=3505 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0
Mar 31 17:55:54 router kernel: *TRIALWARE-radiant.net**** IN=ppp0 OUT= MAC= SRC=207.34.73.61 DST=217.35.22.171 LEN=48 TOS=0x00 PREC=0x00 TTL=98 ID=56263 DF PROTO=TCP SPT=2611 DPT=80 WINDOW=16384 RES=0x00 SYN URGP=0

Indeed, even after so many attempts (probably automated), the Trialware morons continued trying to access my site a few more times in April before e-mailing BT in a vain attempt to get [yates] shut down, sorry TPA and Mr. Fullerton, we already covered that eventuality, (a long time before you even thought of it). As I write this (July 2002), the TPA has finally admitted defeat in trying to kill reverse engineering sites, (their site says 'lack of interest'), the truth however is probably something else. Either way, Mr. Fullerton has quite a colourful history of being a bit of a moron, should you fancy combing UseNet for him, I wouldn't bother though unless you are seriously bored.

Macrovision Games (January 2003)

Purveyors of fine protectionist software 'Macrovision' have graciously found the time to exercise their 'pitbull' lawyers, whose technical competence extends to saving webpages and stuffing them through a fax machine (I'm not joking, you honestly couldn't make this stuff up if you tried ;-) ). Once again the mention of magic words like 'DMCA' and '$500,000 liability' panicked the ISP into losing its balls, shut down. Despite all of my FLEXlm archive having remained frozen in time for at least 2 years, their concern was only for 'legitimate users' and of course their $105 million revenue forecast, now who said there wasn't money in shoddy licensing products ;P.

So for the nth time, I'll say it again. If you have a problem with material on this site then e-mail me, rather than filling your legal teams pockets, I'm perfectly reasonable and will instantly remove anything you deem to be a problem. Of course, I'm of the opinion that sites such as mine actually serve quite a useful purpose, I'll bet most of the protection developers have visited here at least once during its lifetime, how else would you keep up with our tricks ;-).

Site Offline April - June 2003

The last few months of downtime are not as exciting as the censorship attempts that usually result in my site disappearing from the web. Instead, merely a very long tale of poor customer service, server problems and laziness on my part, the specifics of which I feel no real need to divulge. Woodmann has vowed to continue hosting many of the scenes most important sites for as long as he can. I have very little time personally to dedicate to this site much longer so updates will probably be quite sporadic.

2007

Why do I publish / reverse engineer?

Essentially I regard reverse engineering as nothing more than an intellectual challenge and by publishing my work on the web I hope to encourage others to take an interest in the programs they install too. On my site I give you the basis of my knowledge which involves many hours of my work for free. I dislike the dongle snake-oil sellers who sell for vast amounts of money 'uncrackable dongles' that offer honest developers little more than 5 minutes protection. I dislike even more the Microsoft's of this world, that impose through underhand means their will upon unsuspecting users, in December 1999 two-thirds of my visitors were using MSIE as their browser :-(.

I can assure all software developers reading this, that most "commercial pirates" i.e. those individuals that might have one day bought your software don't care for learning at all. Here is an example of my tracking of just one visitor, observe the pattern of behaviour.

1. I know to start with that this particular visitor landed on my site from Altavista. His keywords were 'PageMill' (a rather good Adobe product) and 'CrackZ' (self-explanatory I guess).

2. From my main page he went immediately to 'Time-Trials'. I knew then his OS was Windows 98 & his browser MSIE 5 (I also knew lots of other things too). He didn't stay there for long though and hit the back button.

3. Undeterred he tried my 'Key Generators' section where he remained for some time (probably trying to understand what to do with source code). He left my site directly to go to another page (I checked it later and can confirm it contained an Adobe PageMill time-trial crack which we can only assume he downloaded). My guess is he got the URL from a separate search window.

So, what do you think?, was that individual ever going to buy Adobe PageMill or learn to reverse engineer himself?, answers in not more than 2 letters on a postcard :-).

We probably all know that any man and his dog can find "warez" and "cracks" on the web, you don't need anything more than a search engine to steal software which really isn't fair to the honest software authors. I don't think many of us really understand the feeling of spending 6 months on a piece of software only to have it cracked a day (sometimes even an hour) after its release date for use by all and sundry.

I don't think I hold any extreme political views and I don't begrudge software authors a living, the web is now such a vast sprawling place that there are literally millions of sites dedicated to illegal activities, 99% of pirates out there aren't interested in "how" a crack was made (even the simplest), only "if" one is available for them to download. I don't welcome the "if" variety of visitors. If you are prepared to learn then you gain my respect, if you want only to take, then elsewhere is where you ought to be. In order that my site appeals to as wide an age group as possible, obscene language and pornographic images will never find their way onto this site, nor will any advertisements.

About Me

I am obviously reluctant to publicly disclose too many of my personal details on this website. In fact I don't see that who I am should be very interesting to anyone anyway (and if you really must know just ask me and I'll tell you). The question of web anonymity (in retrospect) is one that I probably don't take too seriously, in 10 years of being on the web only 3 visitors (of some 500,000) have ever expressed an interest and I'm not naive enough to believe (like software protecting) that you can stop everyone from breaching your defences.

Most people know I am in my mid-20's and classically educated in the UK, a lot of friends know my real name since trust is a key issue in any community. There are no pictures of me on the web, again see above, as far as I'm concerned what I look like is even less interesting than who I am, unless Shania would care for a picture! :-). I also enjoy fine food, beers and wines, my family, my dear pets, concerts, as well as the occasional tipple. I firmly believe that your own time on this world is the most precious commodity indeed, music and travel are two influences no lifetime should be without.


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