Computer Down-Under-Ground Digest. Volume 1, Number 2. Mon, 2 Mar 1992
Usenet: firstname.lastname@example.org (International and in NZ)
FidoNet: Aaron Schiff 3:772/110.0 (In NZ only)
Demi-Monde: Aaron Schiff 199:310/1.0 (In NZ only)
SUPPORT BBS: The Miser's Vault. Phone: 820-2164, 24hrs.
DISCLAIMER: The views presented herein do not necessarily represent the
views of the editor. Individual authors accept all responsibility for ensuring articles submitted do not violate copyright restrictions. This publication has no affiliation with the Computer Underground Digest published in the USA.
Computer Down-Under-Ground Digest is an open publication dedicated to the sharing of information and views concerning computer enthusiasts in New Zealand. CDUGD articles may be reprinted providing the source and original author are cited.
Readers are welcome to submit articles to this publication. Please send all contributions to the above address.
Issues of CDUGD are posted to the Demi-Monde.hack, Fido.nz.communications and alt.hackers (usenet) newsgroups. Back issues may be obtained by contacting the editor, or by downloading them from the support BBS.
CDUGD holds a growing archive of text files that may be of interest to users. Complete lists and additions to the archive are published regularly. All text files may be downloaded from the support BBS.
1. Editor's Report.
2. CDUGD NEEDS YOU!
3. CDUGD Has a Support BBS.
4. Virus Report for March.
5. Telepermitted Modems.
6. Hacking in NZ.
1. Editor's Report - By Aaron Schiff ========================================
Welcome to the first 'real' issue of CDUGD. For CDUGD to succeed YOU must contribute. Please write articles and help to keep it going!
Previously I have said that CDUGD will be coming out monthly. This is no- longer true. Following the lead of other publications, CDUGD will come out when there are enough articles to support a new issue. This could mean each week, fortnight or month, depending on how many articles are sent to me. This system will ensure that CDUGD has up to date information and articles in each issue.
You may have noticed the address for sending mail to CDUGD has changed. This is because the name Digest Daemon was no-longer allowed on FidoNet. All mail already sent to the old digest address but not yet received will be re-routed to the new address.
FILES ARCHIVE: I need people with collections of useful Text files to
contact me so that I can build up a large store of them for readers to access. I am in the process of obtaining all previous issues of PHRACK and CuD and will make them available as soon as possible. All files in the CDUGD archive will be available for downloading off the support BBS.
NEW SERVICE: As a service to the community, Sysops may advertise NEW BBS's
in CDUGD. This is a FREE service but is only for new bbs's and may only be used once. Ads must not be longer than 10 lines and should be 75 characters wide. Ads in improper format will not be accepted. Please upload your ad to the support bbs or mail it to the digest at one of the above addresses.
MAILING LIST: If you are unable to pick up CDUGD from any of the above
sources you may apply to be put on the CDUGD mailing list. To do so, send mail to the digest (and don't forget to include your e-mail address!). Each issue of CDUGD will be mailed to you when it comes out.
2. CDUGD NEEDS YOU! - By Aaron Schiff =========================================
Without your support CDUGD cannot succeed. I want people to write articles (on a regular basis or otherwise) on any (or any other) of the following topics:
Hacking & Phreaking: What you've done; Who's done what & the consequences
Viruses: Need I say more?
Profiles of Hackers: Similar to that in PHRACK. I wish to do profiles on
New Zealand hackers. All it will consist of is a simple phone interview. If you don't volunteer, I'll pick you :-)
Telecommunications: Everything to do with modems, Telecom etc...
Concerns of the Computing Community: Anything that concerns you. Please
speak up. Any articles accepted please. This is YOUR way to contribute.
All Other Topics: ABSOLUTELY ANY SUBJECT will be considered. You write it,
I'll publish it.
CDUGD is running short of funds. It cannot survive for long without financial support. I cannot afford to personally pay for all of the Digests expenses (mainly usenet e-mail charges).
If you contribute any money to CDUGD, you can rest assured that it will be put to good use and... All donators will get their name at the top of every issue of the Digest. Fame at last!
So please, support the digest, either by donating some money or writing articles (or both!).
3. CDUGD Has a Support BBS! - By Aaron Schiff =================================================
Dale McIsaac has kindly offered the services of his BBS (Misers Vault) to CDUGD.
Speeds: 300-2400 (9600 coming soon!)
Available on-line is a message forum for discussing articles in CDUGD and
making suggestions about improvements etc, but please DO NOT post articles
to be published to the message area. Instead, upload your article to the
'CDUGD Uploads' file area. There are 3 file areas available for the
I can be contacted on the Misers Vault through Demi-monde. The address is: Aaron Schiff 199:350/1. If you have an article or file for the archive I would appreciate it if you could upload it to Misers Vault.
Please support this generous donation of services. It is a far better support BBS than I personally would be able to set up so USE IT!!
[Editors Note: This is going to be a regular column, appearing in most issues. Scrooge has kindly volunteered to write this virus report, but don't let it put you off writing articles on viruses - any articles on viruses will be welcomed with open arms! - Aaron]
In this issue I will look at a virus called 'Stoned' which most of you will probably know about already, but is very common on IBM machines. The Stoned virus, also called the New Zealand virus, can only infect diskettes, but the New Zealand virus variant can also infect hard disks, where it replaces the partition boot record, instead of the boot sector.
The virus often activates when booting up or appears when in the middle of
using a program. When the virus is activated it displays this message :
Your Computer Is Now Stoned.
This virus seems to have been designed to be harmless, but due to a mistake, it did not quite work out that way. On an infected diskette, the original boot sector is stored on track 0, head 1, sector 3. This is the last sector of the root directory on a 360k diskette, so this will work unless the root directory contains more than 96 files. Overwriting this sector on a 1.2M diskette is, however, much more likely to cause damage. Numerous variants exist of this virus with no significant differences. The Stoned virus can be easily detected with SCAN or some similar virus detection program.
There has been quite a lot of discussion recently about Telepermits and modems. I guess some people are wondering what the all the fuss is about.
This is my attempt at explaining the situation as I see it.
I guess there are only two real factors here, Telecom and their customers. First of all, Telecom set down certain standards for devices that are going to be connected to their network.
Any device that you have connected to the telephone line should be either telepermitted, or if it was made before April 1985, it should be type approved by the New Zealand Post Office. Also, any equipment supplied by Telecom, or pre 1985 by the New Zealand Post Office is acceptable for connection. A device is ANYTHING connected to your phone line. This of course means jackpoints, wire, phones, modems, faxes, answerphones, in short ANYTHING that is connected to the phone line should be telepermitted or type approved.
Of course these are what Telecom requests you do, and as a rule they don't enforce all these rules. I've never heard of anyone getting into trouble for not using telepermitted jackpoints, although IMHO the telepermitted ones do look nicer!
So that brings us onto modems. Yes, modems must be telepermitted if they
are connected to the telephone network, which in most people's cases I
guess they are! So what's the difference between a non telepermitted modem
and a telepermitted one? The most obvious one is the sticker one the
bottom!! Of course the more important difference is the stuff inside.
I've owned a telepermitted modem and often used non-telepermitted modems.
The differences I've noticed are as follows.
Lets look at some of these in more detail. Telecom says that any automatic answering device connected to their network, must not answer the phone until at least 3 half rings have passed. That's why telepermitted modems won't let you set their S0 registers any lower than 3. (You can set them to 0 of course!) My telepermitted modem would accept ATS0=1 but an ATS0? would reveal that the value of 3 was still being used.
What's the reason for not being allowed to answer the phone quickly? Well, Telecom says that when the ringing tone disappears, that is the indication that you are being charged for the call. If the modem answers very quickly then you won't be able to tell when you are being charged for the call. This point IMHO is rather pathetic, because as soon as you hear the modem you know you have been connected!
Non-telepermitted modems occasionally cause problems on phone lines, but in my experience this is fairly rare. If any problems do occur it will most likely be with only the phones on the same line as the modem.
Most of the disadvantages about non-telepermitted modems are pretty trivial, the biggest disadvantage is that Telecom hates them, and the biggest advantage is that they are usually a lot cheaper than their telepermitted counterparts. Most of the telepermitted modems are New Zealand made, and the costs are much higher because of a smaller market.
So now you may be wonder if there is any reason to get worried. Well, if you have a phone line, you agree to abide by the Telecom Standard Terms for Residential Telecom Telephone Services. Here are some parts of interest quoted from that document. (Without permission!)
You must not connect any equipment to the Telecom Network, unless it has a Telepermit or Telecom or Post Office type approval label. You must follow the instructions provided with the equipment when connecting it to the Telecom network.
INDEMNITY BY YOU
You will have to pay our charges for repairing damage to the Telecom network caused by equipment not having a Telepermit or Telecom or Post Office type approval label which has been installed in your home or on your property or by sockets or permanent wiring not meeting or installed to our specifications.
You will NOT have to pay any charges for repairing the damage to the Telecom network caused by your equipment, sockets, or permanent wiring if you use only Telepermit or Type Approved equipment and have all your sockets and permanent wiring supplied and installed by us, or to our specifications.
Nasty huh? :-)... The contract goes onto say that Telepermits only mean that the device was compatible at the time it was tested and that the Telecom Network may not remain compatible with it. It also says that that Telecom reserves the right to suspend your Telecom services if you fail to meet your responsibilities under the contract.
I guess what I am saying here is that if you do use a non-telepermitted modem is that 9 times out of ten it will work fine, and Telecom usually wont care, but there is the possibility that you may have to stop using it, and also that your telephone services may be suspended if you don't stop.
Its over to you now I guess!
Hacking is basically to break or force your way into a system illegally. Basically connecting to another modem without permission. But if this is so, then isn't connecting to a BBS system without permission illegal??
This is one point which was heard in the recent trial of a 19 year old hacker in the USA, (refer to your PC World). However, really what it should mean is to force,h ack into a system without an account or permission.
Yes it's true there are a few hundred of businesses which have modem lines, fax, etc. But more importantly there are ways of free calling (phreaking) out of New Zealand.
Who's to blame..???
Telecom. First off there are many ways in which this can be done; from the simple but smart way of ripping phone cables apart to actually using a Telecom orientated service right infront of their noses undetected. This way only requires a 6 letter name and a 4 digit number. Thus you are in. But why haven't our friends at Telescum clicked on?? Well they have, they say. An article I have in a text file from some BBS states that Borland Pacific have had their phone bills rise from $3,000 a month to something like $30,000. Yet still it seems they have done nothing about this.
Perhaps its a nasty trap to catch all who dare to challenge them?
On another matter of free calling, the grey little dome outside your house which turns into a convenient seat when its hot and you've locked yourself out of your house, that's another way too. Simply lift off the lid and change a few wires and hay-presto, your neighbours have landed the bill. I don't think Telecom really pay much attention to these subjects, surely.
As we the modem people get more and more bored with BBS'S we will turn to some other method of enjoyment. I bet those BBS'S in the US would be fun to logon to and have a look around and get the latest stuff.
Latest Stuff, you say.. "hmm where have I heard that before..???"
Perhaps on a BBS add?? Yes, you probably have.
Its true that BBS's in Auckland have actually rang up the states for free and simply downloaded the 'latest stuff'. Why not, who's to stop them??
So next time a sysop says 'If you Subscribe you'll receive the latest stuff >from the US', just remember what you pay for might not be for the Phone Bill.
The Author Deliberately left out details which he thought could have enabled any illegal action.
Hereby YOU CANNOT SUE ME!
End of CDUGD Volume 1, Number 2