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Guide to the Underground

Posted Tuesday, June 8, 2004

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INTRODUCTION

WindowsReinstall.com hopes to show you, why to avoid the underground of the Internet. You may have heard of serialz (serials or serial numbers), crackz (cracks or software crackz), warez (wares or war-ez (illegal software)), hackz (hacks), viruses and other key words used by these places. People involved in such trades call themselves pirates or hackers.

The temptation of getting something for free can be great, but remember it is theft, and most of the time you are leaving yourself open to attack by those who participate in the trade.

Bittorrent or Torrents

A form of file sharing used mainly to distribute large files, like movies, TV shows, full albums, and software.

BitTorrent client is an application used for downloading torrents -- specific files or directories shared by Internet users. This client alone cannot be used for sharing your own files. It's intended for opening and downloading so called .torrent files.

This form of file sharing is used widely, yet still remains underground, unlike the likes of kazza and bearshare.

Beware of using this as it will steal your bandwidth, as you download people will upload from you at the same time. You may also find that the files are infected with viruses or hacks to allow ruthless individuals access to your computer.

So to round up, remember you are stealing if you download commercial programs, movies, music or software. You may also find yourself getting stole from if you install a backdoor virus, or with serious infections on your computer. So avoid, and a big thumbs down from us....

CD Key’s and Serial Numbers (SERIALZ)

Its illegal to give away or let other people use your CD Key. In a lot of cases this is your proof of ownership and by sharing it you are promoting theft.

You could also find that using keys that are found on crackz or serialz sites could end you in trouble. A lot of software will send information to the owner, including your IP address which leads straight to your door step. Be warned, if you loose the Product Key you may have to buy a new one, so keep it safe and keep it away from prying eyes.

Copied and Pirated Software (WAREZ)

Pirated Software (or warez) is full price software which you can download and buy without paying the owner/s any money. You are using their product, which they spent many weeks/years creating without handing the money over. So by using it you are stealing.

This is also one of the most common ways to get a computer virus and also contributes to higher prices, lower quality and can put your favourite software house at risk. You will get no support for the software, find it difficult using games online, downloading patches and getting updates.

Do not purchase software from a non reputable dealer in auction sites or warez sites, as you may find it is copied. You may also find that your credit card number may fall into the wrong hands.

Some of these people you may deal with are ruthless and would use such opportunities to hack into your system by installing a backdoor virus along with the warez that you illegally got, or you may find that they simply install a nasty virus which will give you no end of problems.

So our advice is to avoid at all costs..........

Crackz

Crackz are the illegal way of bypassing software protections, evaluation codes, time limitations, and or shareware barriers.

A crack is basically a small program which installs or replaces files that are installed and lets you use software illegally.

As these programs tend to be small, you can just as easily download a virus and install it. Stay away from these sites as you will find that in a short period of time your computer will be riddled with porn dialers and other unsavory software.

You will also find that using software that you didn't pay for will put programmers or companies at risk, these people don't create for fun, but to make a living. So our advice, stay away, support programmers and buy your software.

MP3's

Are MP3s Legal? MP3s are both legal and illegal. It is legal when the song's copyright holder has granted permission to download and play the song. However it is illegal to distribute or trade MP3s without permission from the song's copyright holder. So downloading a song from the internet without the permission of the copyright owner, is completely illegal. The record industry at present is coming down hard on file sharers and traders by taking individuals to court, blaming a downturn on record sales on file sharing on the web.

On a personal thought though, I believe the downturn is more due to the amount of crap music now being created. Unfortunately though this does not make downloading any less illegal. No matter if the songs are crap or not, downloading and uploading copyrighted songs or music is completely illegal and could end up with a spell in court, and a hefty fine

On a brighter note though sites like www.mp3.com and http://www.vitaminic.com allow the sharing of MP3's from less heard of artists, who want you to download their MP3's. There are some great original acts here, so check them out....


VIRUSES (VIRII)

What is a computer virus ? "A parasitic program written intentionally to enter a computer without the users permission or knowledge. The word parasite is used because a virus attaches to files or boot sectors and replicates itself, thus continuing to spread. Though some virus's do little but replicate others can cause serious damage or effect program and system performance. A virus should never be assumed harmless and left on a system." -Symantec

Viruses are written by rogue programmers for reasons only known to themselves, they cause millions, if not billions of dollars in damage to computers and businesses every year, don't underestimate them, and never allow a virus to reside on your computer, as your own security privacy and performance can and will be effected.

This is one of the darker sides of the internet, which can and more than likely will effect all of us at some stage is our computer using lifetime. Protection is important and using firewalls and anti-virus programs go along way to defeating them. (If kept up to date)

Virus Hoaxes are another serious threat, never listen to someone who says you have a virus, and tells you to delete certain files. More than likely these files are important to your computer and are not infected at all. Many emails rotate with these Hoaxes, if you get one even from a friend, do a virus check, with an up to date virus scanner ( or online here Online Check and Removal )

The following is an example of a hoax (actually I think this one was a joke, but you'll get the idea)

The Irish Virus is a hoax and it should be ignored.

Greetings, You have just received the "IRISH VIRUS". As we don't have any programming experience, this Virus works on the honour system. Please delete all the files on your hard drive manually and forward this Virus to everyone on your mailing list. Thank you for your cooperation.


Viruses Suck and so say all of us.......

Article already listed at www.windowsreinstall.com