The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Friday, March 19, 2004

Anti-Piracy Vigilantes Strike 

Anti-Piracy Vigilantes Track File Sharers.

A pair of coders nurturing a deep antipathy for software pirates set off a controversy Thursday when they went public with a months-old experiment to trick file sharers into running a Trojan horse program that chastises users and reports back to a central server.

As of Thursday, the crime-busting duo's server had logged over 12,000 victims of "Walk the Plank," and a sequel they call "Dust Bunny," since the cyber sting secretly launched in January. The programs have circulated disguised as activation key generators and cracks for Unreal Tournament 2004, Pinnacle Studio 9, Norton Antivirus, TurboTax, and as a copy of the leaked Microsoft source code -- all titles chosen for their popularity on peer-to-peer networks. When executed, a large message appears scolding, "Bad Pirate!"

Apparently some people at the Electronic Freedom Foundation think this might actually be illegal... and they might be right. After all, two wrongs don't make a right... but it is kind of funny. Any time you download something over the net, you are taking a risk. If nothing else, the website they've setup to track the program is kind of funny.

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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.


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