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Current issue : #47 | Release date : 1995-04-15 | Editor : Erik Bloodaxe
IntroductionErik Bloodaxe
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DBS Primer from American Hacker Magazineunknown
Your New Windows Background (Part 1)The Man
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A Guide To British Telecom's Caller ID ServiceDr. B0B
A Day in The Life of a Warez BrokerXxxx Xxxxxxxx
International Scenesvarious
Phrack World NewsDatastream Cowboy
Title : A Day in The Life of a Warez Broker
Author : Xxxx Xxxxxxxx
                              ==Phrack Magazine==

                 Volume Six, Issue Forty-Seven, File 20 of 22

                    A Day In The Life Of A Warez Broker
                                Xxxx Xxxxxxxx
                               414 - Area Code

    I am a warez broker.  Why, you might ask.  Well because I take
warez from one BBS to another and make credits along the way.  In case
you're not familiar with the term, "Warez" or "ELiTE", let me fill you in.

    Warez - are files that are protected by the US Government via
copyright laws, and are not allowed to be used unless purchased.  This
would include most programs you can buy at your local Best Buy,
CompUSA, or EggHead Software.  They are files that you should _not_,
and I repeat _not_ give to a friend, even if it is for a backup copy in case
your house burns down, and his doesn't.

    Alias: Warezzzzzzz, PHiLES, Wares, The Motts (just kidding)

    ELiTE - is a status.  Above the rest, or in this case, below the rest.
You are ELiTE if you transfer large amounts of files over some distance,
whether it's with a disk, or phone line, ISDN line, or Internet.  Who cares
what the medium, you just must transfer more than one program. No little
kiddie, since you are 13 and you got a friend to give you a copy of DOS
5.0 and Windows 3.0, you are not ELiTE, and Super Nintendo cartridges
don't count!

    Alias: 3l33t, PRiVaTe.

    How do you become ELiTE?  YOU DON'T!  You are asked.  I am
so sick of people hopping on perfectly legit boards asking for ELiTE.  It is
such a pain in the ass!  You aren't going to get ELiTE if you ask for it on
an ELiTE board.

    But enough of a little background.  For those of you that are still a
little cloudy as to what exactly ELiTE is, why don't you go read the next
section of Phrack.  Let's move on......

    A day in the life of a Warez Broker is very interesting.  And can be
very exciting.  Most things are time dependent.  Being as credits are the
exchange for being the first uploader, it is important to get the files first,
clean them up first, and upload them first.

    I do not belong to a Group.  There are many out there, but I have
not joined any as being public is the best way to get caught.  Instead,
myself and a bunch of some very loyal friends all funnel their Warez
through me.  Since I am one of the only ones with a real job (8-5), I
spend many evenings and nights uploading filez that my friends have made
available for me on my private BBS.

    It didn't start like that though.  It started as a competition
between my friends.  At some point they were no longer excited with getting
the new Warez, and I seemed to have the most time.  Now we all talk back
and forth often, and we all have our purposes:

    (names have been changed to protect the defendants)

    >The Cringer - He takes the files off the internet.  Actually both
The Cringer and I take them off the Internet, but he seems to always come up
with the lists of site to go to.  And they normally are REALLY good.
    >Raxstallion - He tests all the games.  For some reason he is really
good at games, and can always find the bugs so we can give an honest
report on the game.  I think he's so good because he doesn't work and
never goes to class (just look at his check book and report card)
    >Captian of The Ship - He just whines about how he never gets any
women, and he also sez "Cool game Raxstallion" a lot.
    >Dirt Sleasel - He gets us some technical background.
    >Myself - I take care of all the uploading/downloading of files.  If
one of my boys need a new program, I get it.  If they get a new file, they
forward it to me so I can upload it.

    Now most days are as simple as just checking all the local boards and
making sure their aren't any new files to move around.  If there are new
files, I download them, then turn around and upload them somewhere
else.  Since most of the boards in my A/C are WWIV, they all have 3:1
upload ratios.  Which means that for every meg of files I upload, I get to
download 3 meg.  It's kinda nice, because as I move files from one BBS
to another, I am making credits.  I haven't been doing this long, but for
the length of time I have, I now have enough credits where I don't have to
worry about too many files.  Normally now-a-days I will upload big
programs like Windows NT, or Windows 95 releases.

    Like I said before, we do a lot of internet stuff.  If The Cringer
gets a new program, he will upload it to my board, then I take it from there.
Some nites I am up late on the internet myself, but normally I do mass
uploads before I hit the sack.  Sometimes, if it's a hot file, I will upload
the program , and get up late to upload to another board.

    Since the file transferring is such a big part of my life, I have a
second phone line.  Maybe this isn't a big deal for someone in a major
city, but in my A/C it is.  Many people don't have 2 phone lines in their
house unless they have a fax machine, but in the age of communications,
it seems as though I sometimes need 3 phone lines.  When someone is
uploading, and I need to get on the modem it's a pain in the ass.

    There are quite a few extra files inside of the zip files that are used
to compress the disks that a program is distributed on.  A pretty popular
file is the FILE_ID.DIZ file.  This file contains the description of the
compressed file.  It is nice to include these files since many people don't
type in a decent description on the description line.

    ----  Example file_id.diz files (names changed to protect the defendants)

Media Shop v1.0
This is a 650$ program.
You can make the best animation
for Windows with this.
Disk 1 of 5

       ----    X X X x   '95    ----
       ----  The Xxxxxx Xxxxx  ----

        ----  End of Example of *.nfo file

    You can see how in this example.  The name of the file is there and
it also let's you know the total number of disks which helps you make sure you
sis get all the downloads needed.  These file_id.diz files can normally be
viewed on a bbs, for example, these are the default "extended descriptions"
for WWIV BBS's.

    The other files normally included are .NFO files.  Normally named
by group, these files advertise for a crack house, or a distribution house.

    ----  Example *.nfo files (names changed to protect the defendants)

               ͵ Xxxxxx Xxxxxxx of Xxxxxxx Presents 

 Date:      Oct 09, 93 
 Software:  Sourcer 5.10 *REGISTERED 100%*         
 Publisher: ????                                   
 Member:    SoNiC (R) -AV                          

  Sorry... but now it's really REGISTERED...                                
  1st. Entpack the original SOURCER-Files                                   
  2rd. Run SR510UTG.COM                                                     
  3nd. Run SR.EXE and enter the following serno: XXXXXXX-XXXX               

  -=* Xxxxxx Xxxxxxx of Xxxxxxx *=-                                         
  Members:   xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx   
  Courier:   xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx   
  xxxxxxxxxxxxx         ...-...-....   Xxx Xxxxxx      6 Nodes   World   HQ 
  xxxxxxxxxxxxx         ...-...-....   Xxx Xxxxxxxx    9 Nodes   Europe  HQ 
  xxxxxxxxxxx           ...-...-....   Xxx Xxxxxxx     2 Nodes   West    HQ 
  xxxxxxxxxxxxxx        ...-...-....   Xxxx Xxxxx      3 Nodes   East    HQ 
  xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ...-...-....   Xxxxx           3 Nodes   Dist Site  
  xxxxxxxxxxxx          ...-...-....   Xxxxxxxx        4 Nodes   Dist Site  
  xxxxxxxxxxxxxx        818-xxx-xxxx   Xxxxxxxxx       1 Node    Dist Site  
        If you want to contact us call one of these fine BBS and leave      
                      a mail to The Xxxxxxxx or Xxxxxxxxxx                  

    ----  End of Example of *.nfo file

    You can see in this example how they not only name their members, but
also the couriers.  These couriers make sure that the crack house's files
get distributed.  The members help crack and get the files ready for the

    For example, let's say there is a group called Slimers, they might
include a .NFO called SLIMERS.NFO.  Sometimes these files give you
a little insight on the group, but most times they say "Hi" to the people
in their groups, and sometimes even a little about the group.  Normally
they include x'ed out phone numbers to the group's BBS.

    How do these files get out there?  Well I have many theories.  One is
that someone buys the stuff and then uploads them to the group.  We
sometimes buy the programs, if they aren't out there, and then copy them
and re-shrinkwrap the file before returning the whole program.
Sometimes, even the makers of the games leak the program before it is
released.  This is what seems to have happened with Doom II.

    Most boards these days are running at 28.8Kbps.  There are still a
few running 14.4Kbps lines to give those that have a slower modem a
place to call in without having to tie up the faster lines.  I'm sure with
the onslaught of CDROM's becoming more popular in the program world, the
amount of warez piracy will diminish for a while.  But some day I'm sure
that there will be a new way to get a hold of the new programs.

    As soon as the price of CDROM-R (worm) drives come down, there
will be more transfer of total CD programs.  I guess that the 600 meg
files will take a little longer to transfer.  I think someone should redesign
their board so that a person may download a large file, or at least part of a
large file, so they can use their time online to download parts of the
CDROM.  We'll see, that talk is just starting to begin.

    The ELiTE Community is very secretive, and very secure.  No one is
let in, and once you're in, you're not expected to leave.  There is a
lot of trust built in The Community.  The only way to get into The ELiTE
Community is to know someone who is willing to vouch for you.
Without someone to speak of your credibility, you will get no where.
Once you are in and have established yourself, you can pretty much speak
for yourself, or get a sysop to refer you.

    The nice thing about being in the ELiTE Community is you never
really get to meet anyone in person.  Heck, you might never even talk to a
person in voice.  Things are so secretive, a lot of times you don't even
know where you are calling.  If you do meet someone, though, normally people
are so generous to their own.  It's like a close family.  It's nice to
have that kind of closeness.  You have students, programmers, computer
hobbyists, newbies, kiddies, those with bedtimes, those that never go to
bed, and still those that sit back and just take it all in.

    I have many friend that have an idea of what I do, but I will rarely
refer a friend, even if I know they're cool.  It's not a good idea for
everyone to know.  Whether I can trust a friend or not, I don't think it's a
good idea to get them involved.  Things are dangerous, and you are
better off looking for what they want, and uploading what they give you.

    Hopefully in my next article I can give you some specifics regarding
getting filez from the internet, or how to get in touch with the ELiTE
Community in your A/C.  Until then, remember, there are more ELiTE
boards than there are not.  For those boards that are not ELiTE, thanks for
the distraction from the ELiTE boards, and sorry for all the heat!

Secretly yours,
        Xxxx Xxxxxxxx
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