The Latest in Hot W4r3z

5% Fake News, 95% True News written by Onering Howe on Tuesday, March 25, 2003

from the the-p-in-posix-stands-for-piracy dept.

ROOT, HUMORIXIA -- The ASB (Authoritarian Software Bullies) attempted to raid Root FTP servers today in search of a rumored new source of "warez" becoming very popular in the community: the mysterious /dev/null.

"The amount of evil software piracy measured by our TerrorWatch(TM) webcrawling script has risen 1000% in the last two weeks," asserted an ASB spokesweasel we just made up. "We believe this so-called 'null device', available only on communistic hippie Linux systems, is responsible for the majority of this increase."

This statement was rapidly followed by Taco Boy in a fake Slashdot post entitled "HOLY SHIT!#! It's the End of the World!!! (v2.0)". He wrote, "How could the ASB have gained all this tehnical [sic] knowledge??!!? THEY now know what webcrawling AND devices are! RMS is wrong; Free Software must have Secret Documentation that can never be read by our mortal enemies...."

ASB cracking scripts, based on ASB-AutoPatrioticHack(TM), were unable to break into any Humorixia-domain GNU/Linux boxes, as the buffer-overflow attack they used is not effective against Apache, only IIS. The evil syndicate was able to obtain copies of the latest Debian GNU/Linux release, but it is unclear how exactly the ASB will use these as evidence of the /dev/null device.

It all started when a Humorixia netizen (who asked to remain anonymous), considering possibilities for his second required Humorixia Community Contribution of the year, used the GNU 'dd' tool to write data from the alleged piracy source device to a file named '' in his public FTP directory. He created a web page explaining the purpose of this file, and proceeded to give out its link.

Using links posted on the netizen's geek friends' blogs, the file was quickly indexed by Google and other search bots as a result of the file's high availability (thanks to Humorixia's TeraBand(TM) access). Surprised by the ASB's seemingly slow action to take the file down, lamerz propagated the file on their own web spaces (well, OK, wherever they could find web spaces).

"All Linux users are evil pirates, and all Linux systems come with the tools of the trade," said the spokesweasel. "We've already uncovered 'POSIX', which is apparently a complete guide to pirate tools used by these evildoers. By the way, we would also like to say that Linux is not suitable for use by anybody, including non-pirates."

One irate GNU/Linux user present (which for some reason we haven't made up yet) shouted at the spokesweasel, "HAVE YOU EVEN LOOKED AT THE FILE!? IT'S NOTHING! IT'S JUST NULL OUTPUT!"

"Oh, so you admit the existence of this 'null device'! Guards, take him away!" At which point ActivePolice® burst into the press room and dragged the poor advocate away.

"Going on, this POSIX 'standard', which we believe is some kind of foreign-language reference to Communist Soviet Union, says that the hacker command 'dd' can write to any file the pirate chooses. That means Linux pirates can use this 'null device' to get any pirate file they want: Windows, Office, Photoshop, you name it. 'POSIX' doesn't say there are any licensing limits whatsoever." He cringed.

While the ASB is certainly worried about all the 'null device' derived warez out there already, sources say they are even more worried about the future. Our Humorix Vast Spy Network(TM) operative inside the ASB (as a janitor, wink wink) told us, "They're so worried about this, they're sending out email viruses, dubbed 666.pr0fitk33p, that scan computers for 'null device' warez and phone home about it. Don't ask them how, I wrote the code. By dictating one character at a time to a Microserf, of course, not actually touching the computer."

Our worst fears were confirmed when the ASB issued a press release stating, "That Windows-using pirates are giving our software to other criminals is bad enough. But the Linux pirates can get any of our software at any time. We must head them off by illegalizing Linux now, and sending ASB CompSquads to take out any criminal holdouts, before they destroy the software industry. Remember, if Microsoft goes down, so does the economy -- and the whole of modern civilization."

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