Screw the PLA!

Over the years, numerous people have decided to make it their life’s mission
to bring down the PLA and it’s founders forever. Usually these missions don’t last very long but sometimes they’ll drag on for awhile. Other times, someone will just be a little bored and try to give us a little grief and even more often someone tries to cash in on the PLA’s name and/or their material. Below you’ll find our collection of e-mails, stories and clippings of people trying to screw the PLA.

StLSD2000 Hacks My Phone!

October 9, 1999: This is kind of a long story – on the old PLA web board we had a red boxing forum and StLSD2000 was the star poster there. The guy was really into red boxing. At the time I was having problems with people posting credit cards and calling cards on the forums. Since I didn’t want to become known as Kodez Exchange Central I put a temporary ban on a few key numbers, meaning if you tried to post anything with numbers, it would say, “Too bad, no numbers allowed here.”

Suddenly StLSD2000 was on a mission. He said I was trying to censor everyone’s ideas, blah blah blah. I think he was just pissed that he couldn’t sign his name anymore. So he started calling my house with 3-way calling, putting me on conferences and telling me how stupid I was. This went on for a few weeks. Then he used the amazing power of 3rd party billing to bill a few calls to my house and apparently invited his friends to do the same. Our phone bill increased by about $70 so I called the phone company and had the charges removed. A little investigating on the numbers called and I found out that StLSD used the phone in his dad’s office to place a few of the calls. The numbers he called were friends of his in Illinois and California. A little poking around in their accounts gave me StLSD’s home phone number. But instead of causing problems I called his dad at work, explained the problem, faxed him copies of my phone bill and asked him to take care of it.

Weeks later I get some MCI calling cards in the mail that I didn’t order. So I call up MCI and cancel the cards only to find out that they were never even used. Later that week I get a call from StLSD2000 and his friends on a conference and he tells me how he’s just ordered another MCI calling card for me and how my phone bill will be soooo big that it’ll arrive in a refrigerator box. He also says that he’s calling me using a toll-free number that he ordered on my line and that he’s changed my LD carrier (which didn’t happen). I tell him that I hope my new calling cards are more colorful than the last ones he sent because they were a boring shade of blue and gray. Suddenly he really wants to see these calling cards and asks me to scan them and send them to him. I tell him I’ll do better than that, I’ll scan them and put them on phonelosers.org. He’s seems happy with this and promises to check my page tomorrow to see them.

The next day I create a fake hacked page on phonelosers.org which you can view here. As you can see, it’s supposed to be hacked by StLSD2000 and tells me how dumb I am. The pictures of my calling cards are there but so is all of StLSD’s personal information, his dad’s information and other junk. On the bottom of the page (which I’ve removed) is a button that says “CLICK HERE TO CALL STLSD” and when you click it, a landsend.com operator would automatically call up his house and ask for me. Later that day I called his house and got a voice mailbox saying, “This mailbox is full!” Several hours later his number changed to an unlisted number so I called up Southwestern Bell, got the new number and put that on the page. A few days later, StLSD’s mom changed their number AGAIN and I got the new one the next morning and put it up on the page. After that she apparently gave up.

The funniest part of this is that a few of those hacked web page archives took the hack seriously and published a copy of the hacked page in their archives. This caused more hits to my site and even more phone calls to StLSD’s house which continued even after I took down the fake hacked page. Since then I never got another call from StLSD2000. A month or so later I got my MCI phone bill which didn’t arrive in a refrigerator box and totaled around $11.00 or so. I decided it wasn’t worth my time and just paid for it.


Hard Copies of PLA

January 1998: Somehow I stumbled across one of those sites that sell hard
copies of underground text files. They offered a free catalog so I figured
what the hell and sent them my name and address. A week later, my free
catalog arrived.

I knew it was more or less a rip-off, seeing as how you can find just about
anything they have to offer for free on the internet (or probably archived
on my hard drive for that matter) but I figured it’d be cool to have some
nice, professional-looking underground documents to copy and give to a few
choice people.

I bartered with the owner of the site and we ended up arranging a deal -
$120 worth of his hard copy texts for six months worth of advertising on the
PLA site. In about a week I received all of the files I asked for so I
designed an advertising banner and put it up on my site.

Then I started flipping through the files I got and wasn’t very impressed -
all of them were very unprofessional-looking and a few of them were just
printed out ASCII copies of underground text files I’d already read before.
As in, they hadn’t even been formatted or anything and the ASCII illustrations
were all screwed up because they’d probably used Windows95 to print them.
Anyway, it was no big deal because that’s more or less what I expected. Then
I got to the red boxing file I’d ordered…

Aside from the company’s name on top of the file along with a cute little
drawing of a dude talking on a telephone, the file was copied directly from
my own web page. (PLA’s red boxing file in
issue#2
) It was obvious it was copied from the web page source code
because they’d forgotten to take out most of the HTML formatting tags. And
to top it off, at the end of the file they’d written “(c)copyright 1997.”
(I’d written this file in 1992, I believe.) Then on the last page they’d
added their own illustration – it looked like they’d placed a tone dialer
circuit board on a Xerox machine.

Anyway, to say the least, I was a little upset. Not only were they making
money off of my work, they didn’t give the PLA credit anywhere in the file.
I probably wouldn’t have minded if they’d asked my permission first. At first
I’d decided to keep my deal with them and advertise them for six months, but
after getting a little more pissed, I took down their banner ad and wrote
them an e-mail.

Hey, I got the papers today and I created a banner and got it all working. However, I was looking through the files you sent and noticed that the entire red boxing file is my own work, word for word, copied directly from my web page. (You left a few of the html tags in it.) This puts me in an odd position. You’re selling my work, something I wrote about three years ago and this is copyrighted material. You even wrote on the bottom of the file that you’ve copyrighted it yourself in 1997. I haven’t had the time to go through the rest of the files but I’m wondering if you’ve copied anything else that I wrote.

I’m not a jerk and I hate to break a deal I made, but I think the best thing would be to take down the advertising banner and send you back your papers. I just can’t support a company that steals my work and then sells it to me.
I’ll have them back in the mail sometime this week.

Sorry for your trouble,
Alex

I actually wasn’t as sorry as I sounded, I was just wanting to give him a chance to send me back a thoughtful response. I do have the papers packaged and ready to be sent back, I’m just waiting for him to respond before I do and I’m betting he won’t. It’s been over a week as of this writing and usually he’s responded to my mail within 24 hours. What a coward. If you’d like to visit their site and check out the elite files you can buy from them, go to www dot theinformationcenter dot com. You can actually buy blotto box plans from them, a file that no hacker should be without!


The Boulder News Forum Incident…

August 1997: In early 1997, LogicBox wrote an article in PLA Issue 45 about how a few people decided to cause a little trouble on this message board by impersonating some of the users there, posting crazy & mean things and getting alot of the regular users there mad at each other and causing some major bickering.

Six months later, it was still going on but since it had been published in
our magazine, it had sort of escalated out of control and many of the regular
users there had gone on letter-writing campaigns (e-mail writing, that is),
notifying the ISPs of everyone involved and writing to the administrators of
the people who ran the PLA sites (even some of the state sites) trying to get
their pages taken down.

They eventually went as far as calling up LogicBox’s school and telling his
principal on him (he never heard anything from the school) and called up
various places that RBCP had mentioned in his online biography, trying to get
him arrested. As all this was happening, someone decided to write an e-zine
detailing the troubles and publishing web pages, web board posts and e-mails
sent to administrators. It was called the Boulder News Frenzy and can be read
by clicking here.

This war is more or less over but a few of the people are still obsessed with
either “hacking” this page or having it taken down through legal channels.
A few of the old BNF regulars have attempted to flood our own web board at
various times. You can read these details by clicking
here.


Phil 0wnz us!

December 1997: A crazed PLA fan decided to haunt an innocent girl’s web-cam porn page and IRC channel in the name of the PLA. One of the girl’s best customers, “Phil”, decided that the people who run this page must be fully responsible since their URL was being posted all over our web board. So he spent about 24 hours making it his life’s mission to bring down the PLA forever.

He set up two web pages on geocities and tripod, both of them having the same content which was an editorial detailing how horrible we were and pictures of RBCP (the webmaster here) and his wife Colleen, photoshopped to look like mugshots. Then he listed their home address and phone numbers, along with other information, some true, most made-up.

Then he got a hotmail account and set up a web discussion board on the tripod account, inviting anyone who knew anymore information about us to post it there. Then he contacted Spessa on IRC and told her to tell us to take down all of the webcam posts and he’d lay off of us. This scared us so much that we made a link to both of his pages on our Other PLA Sites page and sent him the following e-mail:

I heard you had a small list of demands for me, like taking down all the sarah-cam posts by noon today. Just thought I’d let you know that I’m not removing anything from my web board, including sarah-cam posts or even your own spam. Neither me, Colleen or anyone involved with phonelosers.org have anything to do with the problems you have on your irc channel and I’m not going to start getting involved now by taking your side and removing posts.

As far as my personal information goes, I don’t mind you posting it. My address is listed on several of the pages on phonelosers.org and my home phone number is listed. People have been posting those all over ever since we moved to Ohio and all it causes is calls from “PLA fans” telling us how much they like the zine. If you’d like to put Colleen’s picture and misinformation back up, that is also fine with me. Bad publicity is still publicity and when the whole BNF thing started, our page counters nearly doubled at times.

I will make no attempts to take any of your pages down and will continue to provide a link to them from my “other pla sites” page. I also will not delete your posts from the web board but if you continue with the same spam over and over and over, I’ll put a temporary ban on your domain which is standard proceedure there. Have fun, phil!

I never received a response, but the next day, both of his web pages were taken down by their respective owners (somebody must have reported his activities) and we didn’t hear from him for another month. He’s put up a new page at http://members.tripod.com/~placrimez/ but there isn’t anything except a meta tag with a bunch of our personal information in it. We expect him to wait until the meta tag has ended up in a bunch of search engines before posting all our personal information on there again.


Pssst! Wanna buy some PLA?!

Probably the oldest form of stealing from us is selling PLA issues but there is just way too many incidents for us to write about. Mostly it’s just a bunch of Junior High/High School kids selling them to other kids that don’t have computers which I’ve never had a problem with. Actually I think it’s sort of funny. As long as I don’t find web pages advertising our stuff, I really don’t care. But you should check out our Letters page for a rather funny incident regarding a kid selling our phone directories. The guy actually tried to sell me one.


Comments

Screw the PLA! — 2 Comments

  1. i checked out that publishing company.

    “COMPUTER DESTROYING DISK This is a simple plan. Detailed instructions on how to make a computer destroying disk! Just simply change their disk with yours. Their computer will melt—and completely destroy the computer. ”

    yeah, we used to call that opening a floppy and sticking matcheads in it…

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