This goes out to all you NewsGroups (Usenet) lovers, who have been in mourning ever since NewzBin has been shut down. Finally some good news !
The newzbin story has been a drama fit for a “Hallmark movie of the week”, with law suits, court cases, hacker plots, million earned & lost and enough conspiracy theories to make JFK look like a clear cut case, but I’ll try to keep my post simple & concise.
As you all know about a month ago newzbin.com has been terminated, after stuttering for a couple of months, since the hammer of justice reigned down on them with huge fines and a court ruling that made the system virtually impotent and unusable.
Then a rumor started circulating that a group of hackers led by a “Mr. White” called “Team R Dogs” have hacked the site and stolen the source code and the sites databases.
I amongst many others, received an Email from that team, stating they would soon open Newzbin again, and a couple of days ago I decided I would follow up on that promise. When newzbin shutdown they posted a link on their site to a blog which became an information and mourning center for the newzbin community. Because I didn’t remember the blog’s URL I decided to visit newzbin.com to find that blog, and to my shocking surprise I saw the old login page with a new logo entitled “NewzBin2” !
At first I was a bit reprehensive to enter my login details, fearing this was a fraudulent attempt to phish my password which I might be using with other services, but after remembering that my login details were unique and I wasn’t using them with any other service I decided to check it out, and OMG the system is up and running with a just a few minor design tweaks. Not only that but my credit of 275 days was still valid 🙂
So I did a google search and found a few interesting posts on the web.
One of the posts is an interview with the leader “Mr. White” in which he explains how they hacked the site a long time before it was taken down without the newzbin staff being aware and thus managed to keep their copy synced to the very last minute. I will now detail the most important points from his interview, other posts and newzbin site news:
- They are accepting both donations for a legal fund to battle MPAA law suits which will come quickly, and money for system credits, but recommend you don’t buy more than 3 months of credit as stoppages may occur.
- Past credit are valid ! but you can contact them to have that reduced if you feel the need to help them out with new topups (credit payments).
- Backups are constantly made and distributed among their friends on USB drives, as well as hosting backup sites, so in the event they are raided they’ll still have copies of the system.
- They are modeling themselves like PirateBay.org which has been resurrected time after time, even after a court has dished the operators jail-time. So domain name changes may occur and some data might be lost when they transform.
- Porn is still down (previously newzxxx.com), but they have made it a top priority to get it up and running again.
- If they find they cannot maintain this operation financially or for any other reason, they will try to open-source the code and distribute it on the web.
- They have found the system to be more complicated than they thought and are struggling a bit to maintain it and develop it further, but have been getting some help from some previous staff.
I have a few recommendations for you all:
- Important ! If your newzbin login details (password especially) are the same for other sites, I recommend you immediately change them wherever they were used. Remember that these guys have done some very illegal stuff and should be taken with a grain of salt.
- Do not provide them with credit card information at this time. Perhaps after they prove themselves, with time that would be fine.
- They are accepting pay-pal payments, but that too should be done carefully if done at all (verify certificates etc’).
- Because the hardware resources required to run this site are very high, and more than they expected, technical issues will happen much more frequently than in the past, so be patient if the site is down, and try a bit later.
- They have started an IRC service to communicate with the community, but MPAA has to be monitoring that, and although I know you all use the system for legal downloads only, beware of what you say.
- Celebrate with a glass of wine or a shot of whisky !
As always i’m eagerly waiting for and expecting your comments…