Users of What.cd were in for more than a little shock today. Members of one of the OiNK replacement sites started receiving worrying emails from the music file-sharers arch nemesis – the mighty RIAA.
The email reads:
Date: 12 Nov 2007 11:35:46 +0100
Message-ID: <[email protected]>
Subject: Music Piracy
From: [email protected]
Reply-To: [email protected]
X-Originating-IP: [188.8.131.52] X-Originating-Email: [[email protected]] X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service
Dear registered user of the site What.cd,
We have recently been investigating the activities of the users of the site http://www.what.cd/ and we have found that this site exists for the sole purpose of music piracy.
Pirating music is a criminal offence and we believe it should be obvious to you that the results outweigh the benefits – hard working artists won’t be rewarded for their work and will stop producing music, ultimately leading to a severely reduced selection of music both in the shops and for download.
The RIAA had hoped that the disabling by the police of the large illegal music site, Oink.cd, would stop a lot of people from engaging in piracy, as they don’t want to be seen as criminals. However, this appears to not be the case, as two large new sites have sprung up in its place.
This email is the final warning to all of you who were members of Oink.cd and are current members of What.cd. If we find you to be committing any more criminal acts of piracy then we will have to press charges against you, as representatives of the major record companies of
Worrying, especially as the IP address in the email seems to indicate it really is from the RIAA. Visitors to the What.cd site were then greeted with this message:
This week has been terrible. After we did two code audits and fixed our security issues, our wonderful attackers couldn’t get in (yay!), so they turned to brute force. After having been hit by several port scans and a rather fearsome DDoS attack (traffic reaching almost 80 megabits per second (note: that’s 10 megabytes per second)) our server pretty much went to hell. After an extended downtime (ending a couple hours ago) during which we tweaked firewall settings, etc., we decided that it was safe enough to bring the site back up.
Pretty much immediately after the site came back up we had someone trying to brute force our (well passworded) ssh accounts (they’ve now met the hot burny side of the firewall).
What have we learned from all this? That there is a person or a group of people somewhere that wants us to disappear. We originally thought that the attacks were by bored kids, but whoever was behind the DDoS appears to be much more serious than that. We aren’t going to publicly speculate on who is behind the attacks – we’ll leave that to you guys.
Despite these attacks, we are still up and running, and we hope to stay this way for a very long time. We have plans for this site, and we aren’t going to flush them down the drain just because some people don’t like what we’re doing. The first of our plans involves a very cool freeleech plan, but we’re going to wait until we’re sure the tracker’s relatively stable for
that. For the time being, we’re keeping freeleech on until further notice.
But what about the emails? Is the RIAA really sending them out? If not, then who is and how did they get the What.cd user database? What.cd think they have the answer in a post on their site, replicated on this Pastebin page.
Other sites are already publishing the information above and a quick Google search does indeed reveal some interesting details. Apparently, the person held responsible for the hacking and the RIAA email is only 14 year old and not as much as a threat some believed him to be. The alleged hacker’s date of birth, his hometown, hobbies and much more are detailed on Google.
Before today, he probably enjoyed telling the world about himself on social networking sites too.
He’s also mentioned on this Pastebin page full of haxor code – along with what.cd.
The youth of today….what’s the world coming to?
Update: It appears someone claiming to be ‘biscuit’ offered the database for sale and even threatened to send it to the RIAA. After deciding that he should keep it – for later ‘blackmail’ purposes he hopefully considered this link and realized it’s not worth it, deleted the database and forgot all about it.
Update: biscuit wrote that he’s not responsible for the hacking and claims that the bash log is doctored.