Articles about Warez

Meet the Internet of big, lethal Things

Silicon Valley’s desire to open up the software that controls heavy vehicles has come under criticism from industry experts. This week the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) renewed its call for the legal protection that manufacturers use to safeguard automotive software to be relaxed. For three years, farm machinery maker …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Dec 2016

Jaku botnet runs targeted attack behind sandstorm of routine malfeasance

Security researchers have spotted an on-going global botnet campaign seemingly linked to North Korea. The Jaku botnet has an unusual split personality. On the surface it’s spreading en masse through pirated software (warez) or poisoned BitTorrent trackers to notch up around 17,000 victims at any one time. However, a six month …
John Leyden, 05 May 2016

Horrid checkbox download bundlers drop patch-frozen Chrome

The public service announcement is simple: only install browsers from their vendors' sites, because software attics are planting malware. A download bundler has been caught unloading junk that will kill user's browser updates across the likes of Google Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. The bundler - part of what amounts …
Team Register, 13 Nov 2015

Promise of ‘higher profits’ sees US targeted by Android PIN-locking ransomware

Android PIN-locking ransomware, which – unbeknown to the user – changes a device's login code, is targeting mobile phone users in North America, leaving victims with a locked screen and a demand for $500. However, since the PIN is reset randomly even complying with these extortionate demands won’t do any good, as not even the …
John Leyden, 10 Sep 2015

Choke on it! Brit police squeeze pirate site advertising money trail

The intercepting of advertisements served on dodgy pirate sites has begun to choke their revenue by 70 per cent, according to the City of London police, vindicating the policy of following the “money trail”, rather than an individual infringer, said the police and trade groups. Tactics include harassing the seedy ad networks …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Aug 2015
Photograph by Mr Hicks64, Creative Commons, Commercial Use allowed (

Apple and IBM foist fondleslabs on Japanese elders in Big Data snatch

Apple and IBM have jointly announced a scheme under which they will hand out five million iPads to elderly folks in Japan over the next five years and reap a mighty harvest of bigdata thereby. The two zaibatsu – whose combined names can be rearranged anagrammatically to "Able Pimp" – have teamed up to ensure utter market …

Feds indict four over alleged Android app copyright infringement

The US Department of Justice has taken a break from handing Amazon an ebook monopoly and instead indicted four operators of Android warez sites. The four charged with criminal copyright infringement operated the sites Snappzmarket and Appbucket, whose domains were seized by the FBI in August 2012. Authorities allege that the …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Jan 2014
T-Mobile Vairy Touch II

Dog fight game bitten with pro-PETA virus

Supporters of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) organisation may have embraced new measures in the fight for animal rights, allegedly releasing a malware-infected version of a dog-fighting app PETA wants banned. Virus spotter Symantec says it found an infected pre-release version of Dog Wars on warez sites …
Caleb Cox, 17 Aug 2011
The Register breaking news

US cyberwar firing range to demo by July

DARPA has announced that its planned "National Cyber Range" – an artificial, sealed-off internet inhabited by simulated nodes, computers, sysadmins, users etc in which the USA can test-fire cyber weapons and practice cyber combat – is to reach demonstration status by July this year. Lockheed Martin, working on the Range on …
Lewis Page, 26 Jan 2011
The Register breaking news

Man knows when you're signed in to GMail, Twitter, Digg

A UK-based web developer has figured out a simple way to tell if visitors to his site are logged in to Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Digg and thousands of other websites. One method developed by Mike Cardwell of Nottingham makes use of status codes returned by many sites, which differ depending on whether a user is logged in or not …
Dan Goodin, 26 Jan 2011

Chinese bot will slurp your Droid

A Trojan capable of stealing data from infected Android smartphones, and bundled with botnet-style functionality, has appeared in China. The mobile malware, dubbed Geinimi, which usually poses as gaming applications, has been uploaded onto third-party Chinese Android app markets. If installed, the malware sends personal data …
John Leyden, 31 Dec 2010
The Register breaking news

Windows malware dominates Mac malware detection chart

Malicious files that use the the scripting capability of Microsoft Media Player to infect Windows machines have emerged as the main threat detected on the machines of Apple users who have taken advantage of Sophos' recent offer of a freebie anti-malware scanner application. The Windows-specific threat - identified by Sophos as …
John Leyden, 18 Nov 2010
The Register breaking news

Warez backdoor allows hackers to pwn Twitter accounts

Twitter has lifted the lid on its recent advice to many users to reset their passwords for the micro-blogging site. Originally, it was thought that the guidance had come in response to a common or garden phishing attack. In a post on Tuesday, Twitter explained that the attack was actually far more devious and elaborate. Hackers …
John Leyden, 03 Feb 2010
The Register breaking news

Potty mouth hackers pwn TechCrunch (again)

TechCrunch has been hit by potty-mouth hackers for the second time in 24 hours. The second hack (image below) features a foul-mouth rant aimed against site founder Michael Arrington. It also includes a link to the same online smut and warez-peddling Torrents site "promoted" via the previous attack. Arrington, the crackers …
John Leyden, 27 Jan 2010
The Register breaking news

Smut-peddling hackers pwn TechCrunch

Updated Popular technology site TechCrunch was hit by potty-mouth hackers late on Monday, leaving the site temporarily unavailable. A notice on's front page on Tuesday morning explains that " was compromised by a security exploit". Access to the site's story archive has been suspended leaving a two para …
John Leyden, 26 Jan 2010
The Register breaking news

US Matrix-style cyberwar firing range goes to Phase II

US plans to develop a virtual network world - to be populated by mirror computers and inhabited by myriad software sim-people "replicants", and used as a firing range in which to develop the art of cyber warfare - have moved ahead. The so-called "National Cyber Range" project will now move forward to Phase II, and a brace of …
Lewis Page, 12 Jan 2010
graph up

Torrent crackdown pushing pirates towards file hosting

The crackdown on torrent tracking sites such as BitTorrent has encouraged software pirates to make greater use of file-hosting websites. Sites such as RapidShare, MegaUpload or Hotfile allow anonymous users to upload large files without charge. The services are intended for personal video file and backup storage but also have …
John Leyden, 13 Oct 2009
The Register breaking news

Dawkins' website forum hacked to send spam

A website forum run by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins was compromised on Monday. Cybercrooks hacked into the forum to send members an invite to sign up to a warez site. A message on confirms the hack and adds that site admins are working to restore the forum to normal. By Tuesday morning the forum was …
John Leyden, 18 Aug 2009
The Register breaking news

Google's vanity OS is Microsoft's dream

No one will be happier than Microsoft about Google's vanity venture to market computers with a Google-brand OS. It gives us the illusion of competition without seriously troubling either business, although both will obligingly huff and puff about how serious they are about this new, phoney OS war. Since both of these giants are …
Andrew Orlowski, 08 Jul 2009
The Register breaking news

Apple fans targeted by smut-punting malware

VXers are targeting Mac fans via a pair of new malware-themed attacks, one of which is on offer through what purports to be a portal for adult videos. The Jahlav-C Mac-specific Trojan poses as an ActiveX update needed to watch grumble flicks, as explained by ParetoLogic here. The same booby-trapped website, which runs code to …
John Leyden, 11 Jun 2009
The Register breaking news

Researchers dissect world's first Mac botnet

Fresh research has shed new light on the world's first Mac OS X botnet, which causes infected machines to mount denial of service attacks. Symantec researchers Mario Ballano Barcena and Alfredo Pesoli said the infections are the same ones described in this blog post from January. In it, the blogger - a self-described designer …
Dan Goodin, 16 Apr 2009
The Register breaking news

Nokia closes Porn'n'Warez swap site

Nokia is closing its Web 2.0-tastic user generated content website MOSH. The venture was unveiled with a chorus of kumbayas in June 2007, promising to allow users "to create, upload and share your applications, games, audio, images, and video instantaneously. Or you can just take it easy and enjoy what other people have …
Andrew Orlowski, 20 Mar 2009
The Register breaking news

Mac malware tide on the rise

Less than a week after researchers spotted new malware targeting naive Mac users, two additional titles have been spotted. Security mavens at Mac anti-virus provider Intego say Trojan-horse software dubbed OSX.Trojan.iServices.B hitches a ride on pirated copies of Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Mac that are being distributed in warez …
Dan Goodin, 26 Jan 2009
The Register breaking news

Mac malware piggybacks on pirated iWork

Malware masquerading as part of Apple's iWork 09 productivity suite is targeting unsuspecting Mac users foolish enough to install pirated software downloaded on warez sites. Once installed, iServices.A has unfettered root access, which it promptly uses to connect to a remote server over the internet, according to Intego, which …
Dan Goodin, 22 Jan 2009
The Register breaking news

Microsoft issues emergency IE patch as attacks escalate

Microsoft has issued a rare emergency update for its Internet Explorer browser as miscreants stepped up attacks targeting a vulnerability on hundreds of thousands of webpages. In many cases, the websites distributing the toxic payload are legitimate destinations that have been commandeered, allowing an attacker to snare …
Dan Goodin, 17 Dec 2008
The Register breaking news

Microsoft issues emergency patch warning for IE

Microsoft will push out an emergency security patch for Internet Explorer on Wednesday, addressing a critical security hole currently being exploited in the wild. Redmond issued advanced notice for tomorrow's fix, describing the out-of-cycle patch as protection from "remote code execution." Unscheduled updates are pretty rare …
Austin Modine, 16 Dec 2008

MS issues brown alert over unpatched IE 7 flaw

Hackers have upped the ante by launching more attacks against an unpatched IE 7 flaw. Microsoft warned on Saturday that attacks targeting the vulnerability, which affects versions of its flagship browser on all supported versions of Windows, are becoming more widespread. The security bug first came to prominence a week ago, …
John Leyden, 15 Dec 2008

Grand Theft Auto IV PC debut gets SecuROM sideshow

The upcoming PC version of Grand Theft Auto IV will install SecuROM 7 on customers' systems, although the game maker claims its properly de-fanged the detested DRM technology. Rockstar told the gaming site IGN that GTA IV's flavor of SecuROM won't limit the number of installs of the game, nor will it restrict the number of …
Austin Modine, 01 Dec 2008

Drive-by download attack mows down thousands of websites

Miscreants are exploiting website vulnerabilities to booby-trap thousands of legitimate sites. The mass attack, thought to be the work of hackers based in China, hit between 2,000 and 10,000 Western servers at the end of last week alone, Russian net security firm Kaspersky Labs reports. Most of the hacked sites run Microsoft …
John Leyden, 10 Nov 2008
The Register breaking news

Scammers making '$15m a month' on fake antivirus

Figures suggesting that fake anti-virus packages are allowing cybercrooks to make more than €10m a month are been described as little better than guesswork. Vendors across the industry are warning that scarewore packages - which attempt to trick would-be marks into handing over their hard-earned cash for packages that claim to …
John Leyden, 16 Oct 2008
The Register breaking news

IT, creators unite to slay Googlebeast

There's a new lobby group in town - but unusually, this one unites traditional adversaries from tech, telecoms, and media companies. Backers include the American Songwriters Guild representing creators, Microsoft, Cisco, and AT&T, and media companies including Viacom and NBC. Everyone but Google, it seems. The launch in New …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Sep 2008
The Register breaking news

Pirated movie downloads offered as Zango sweetener

Zango affiliates are offering gateway access to pirated films, including the Hollywood blockbuster The Dark Knight, in a bid to induce users into accepting adware. Freetards who accept the offer are likely to to be disappointed with the shaky videocam footage of the eagerly awaited next installment in the rebooted Batman …
John Leyden, 18 Aug 2008

Beloved websites riddled with crimeware

Sixty of the 100 most popular websites either hosted malicious content or linked to malicious websites at some point during the first six months of 2008, according to a new study by web security firm Websense. Many of these sites include search engine and social networking sites that are becoming a popular target for attackers …
John Leyden, 30 Jul 2008
The Register breaking news

Drive-by download attacks menace

The number of drive-by download attacks has tripled and they are beginning to affect government websites as well as small business operations. Malicious downloads from compromised websites have replaced infected email attachment as the favourite tactic for malware authors. During the first half of 2008, web security firm …
John Leyden, 23 Jul 2008
Warning: biohazard

'Legit' website compromises reach epidemic proportions

Once upon a time surfers could stay unmolested by malware by staying away from warez and smut. Those days are well and truly over as changes in hacking tactics mean that compromised content on legitimate website has become the main conduit for so-called drive-by download attacks. Web security firm ScanSafe reports that two in …
John Leyden, 05 Jun 2008
The Register breaking news

DARPA awards 'Deep Green' battle-computer cash

Arms globocorp BAE Systems has won a contract to develop a thinking battle computer able to "help" human commanders directing US forces in the wars of tomorrow. While the "Deep Green" project is billed more as a means of automating tiresome staff officers out of a job, its name suggests otherwise. Deep Blue, as everyone knows …
Lewis Page, 04 Jun 2008
The Register breaking news

BitTorrent tracker Mininova faces legal action

Dutch anti-piracy body BREIN says it will ask a judge to halt all activities of Dutch BitTorrent-tracker Mininova, which draws over 30 million unique visitors and five billion downloads a month. The site started in January 2005 as a successor to, which went offline in 2004 due to legal issues. Mininova was already …
Jan Libbenga, 19 May 2008
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Drive-by download attack compromises 500K websites

More than half a million web pages have been compromised with malware as part of a new attack, Trend Micro warns. Badly configured PHP bulletin board applications are being used to plant malicious JavaScript on web forums. The JavaScript is used to push variants of the Zlob Trojan that come disguised as a video codec installer …
John Leyden, 13 May 2008

US warez sitemaster jailed for 30 months

A US man has been jailed for 30 months for copyright infringement over his involvement in the warez scene. David M. Fish, 26, of Woodbury, Connecticut, was further sentenced to three years on probation this week after he pleaded guilty to criminal copyright infringement and circumvention offences. The computer equipment used …
John Leyden, 01 May 2008
Warning: biohazard

Mass compromise powers massive drive-by download attack

More than 10,000 web pages have been booby trapped with malware in one of the largest attacks of its kind to date. Compromised web pages include travel sites, government websites, and hobbyist sites that have been modified with JavaScript code that silently redirects visitors to a site in China under the control of hackers. …
John Leyden, 13 Mar 2008

DARPA seeks network firing ranges for cyber weaponry

DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Project Agency), the Pentagon battle-boffins who would rather bet on a long shot than eat their dinners, are looking for the computer-net equivalent of a firing range or exercise training area. The proposed "cyber network ranges" would be used to test revolutionary new cyber tactics and combat …
Lewis Page, 04 Dec 2007
Warning: biohazard

Software cracking tools open the door to malware

Some of the most prevalent "hacking tools" are those which users unwittingly install themselves, according to stats from anti-virus firm Trend Micro. Trend Micro warns that, for example, key generator programs designed to unlawfully activate Nero CD burning software from a trial mode into a paid mode are often packaged with a …
John Leyden, 31 Oct 2007
The Register breaking news

Jailed terror student 'hid' files in the wrong Windows folder

Careless use of Windows folders cost a Scottish student a lengthy prison stretch today, as an Edinburgh High Court Judge sentenced Mohammed Atif Siddique to eight years for possession of terrorism-related items. During his trial the jury had been told by Michael Dickson, a forensics analyst for the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit, …
John Lettice, 23 Oct 2007

Manhunt 2 leaked by Sony Europe employee

A Sony Entertainment Europe employee has been fingered for the warez leak of Manhunt 2. The as-yet-unreleased ultra-gorey game is the source of the latest fracas over violence in video games — a media cycle which more often than not transforms otherwise unmemorable titles into best sellers under the sheer weight of public …
Austin Modine, 22 Oct 2007

Unsung software developers behind rise in online fraud

One weekend in June, a little-known Trojan downloader made a major debut on the international malware stage after it managed to burrow its way into more than 10,000 websites in just 72 hours. Infected sites - including one connected to rock musician Bon Jovi and another that raises money for charity work of the late Mother …
Dan Goodin, 17 Sep 2007
Pirates ahoy!

Warez land man 30 months in prison

An Illinois man was sentenced to 30 months in prison for his part in an organized online software distribution conspiracy, the US Department of Justice announced late last week. That's warez, if you don't prefer the grandiose. After serving his time, El will get an additional three years of supervision by District Judge Ellen …
Austin Modine, 05 Sep 2007

Accused web terror trio change pleas to guilty

Three men accused of inciting terrorism via the internet have all now changed their pleas to guilty. Younes Tsouli, 23, originally from Morocco and lately of Shepherd's Bush, native Briton Waseem Mughal, 24, of Chatham in Kent, and Tariq Al-Daour, 21, were on trial at Woolwich Crown Court. The three were said to have used …
Lewis Page, 05 Jul 2007
Pirates ahoy!

DrinkorDie warez leader jailed for 51 months

It took a while, but US Customs today got their man: Hew Raymond Griffiths, a ringleader of the infamous warez group DrinkorDie, was sentenced today to 51 months in a US prison. To recap, Griffiths, a 44 year-old British national, specialised in cracking software and distributing working versions over the internet - for free …
Drew Cullen, 23 Jun 2007
homeless man with sign

Head of DrinkorDie cops to copyright charges

The kingpin for one the world's oldest and best-known piracy groups has pleaded guilty to software piracy charges, bringing a close to an international cat-and-mouse game that took more than five years to play out. Hew Raymond Griffiths - better known in warez circles as Bandido - faces up to 10 years in prison and $500,000 …
Dan Goodin, 25 Apr 2007

University website peddles Adobe warez

Get it while you can, folks: everything you need to install a pirated version of Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional on your Windows-based PC. The package, complete with a serial number, comes - wait for it - courtesy of the home page of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California's Irvine campus …
Dan Goodin, 27 Mar 2007