Stolen code shop back in business -- on Usenet

An online group claiming to have the source code for two popular computer programs for sale opened its doors for business again on Saturday.

An e-mail message that claims to come from "larry hobbles" and the Source Code Club was sent to the Full-Disclosure security discussion list. The message said that the group has moved operations to Usenet, the network of online bulletin boards that makes up part of the Internet, where interested customers can buy the source code for the Dragon intrusion detection system (IDS) software from Enterasys Networks and peer-to-peer server and client software from Napster, now owned by Roxio.

The club made headlines last week after posting messages to online discussion groups that advertised a Web site selling the source code and design documents for Dragon and Napster. By Thursday, the group's Web page displayed a message saying the club had ceased operations due to "fears our customers faced."

A subsequent "newsletter" from the club dated July 17 and posted to the Usenet group at 10:28 PM Pacific Standard Time called Usenet the "official home" of the Source Code Club and said the informal network was "better suited" to the club and would give potential customers two ways to contact club members: through a club e-mail address and through messages posted in the Usenet group.

The newsletter claims that the Source Code Club soon hopes to go underground and stop offering code for sale in public, but is offering the Dragon and Napster code "to authenticate our skills." The Enterasys code would allow purchasers to understand the "secrets behind Dragon," whereas the Napster code could give "any company interested in breaking into the online music industry" a jump-start, the newsletter said.

The club also expressed regret for the "public fiasco that ensues when you publicly offer source code," an apparent reference to media attention to the group's unveiling.

The club also posted instructions for potential customers to purchase the stolen code.

Customers are encouraged to contact the group using e-mail and PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) encryption to disguise their requests. Source code for the Dragon software was priced at US$16,000 (AU$21,831) and Napster for US$10,000 (AU$13,645), with payments made through one of a number of online payment services. Those wary of sending money to the club have the option of buying the source code in US$500 (AU$682)increments to build confidence.

Enterasys is working with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and reviewing the club's claims. The company claims that its product code was lifted off stolen media, such as a compact disc or computer hard drive, rather than stolen directly from its computer network, according to Kevin Flanagan, an Enterasys spokesman.

A Napster spokeswoman said last week that while Roxio owns the rights to the original Napster code being sold by the club, the current Napster online service does not use any code from the original, free music swapping service and is not affected by the alleged theft.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Roberts

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?