It may surprise some of you, but here it is: Coderz.Net Zine #3. After all the waiting, some people were thinking it was canceled, and yes, at times I even considered to do so. Why? Well, like I mentioned in the New Year's update on the site, the scene's rather quiet these days, people have a lack of inspiration, as do I, and it feels like everything has already been done. For an e-zine that's not created by a group, this makes things difficult, as it totally relies on contributions from people.

When the new zine had just been announced, I did receive some contributions, but, like usually, when people send in many things in a short period, many of these were.. rather unuseful. I received poorly written batch and VBS code from people no one had ever heard of, talked to or met on IRC. Code which at times didn't even run, or didn't do what it was supposed to.do. How's this possible? Are there people who are scared of their own code, so don't dare to execute it to see if it works? Are AV people doing *too* well trying to overhype viruses and scare people, causing even (wannabe) virus writers to be scared of them?

Another problem is that many of the virus writers I know, are now too busy with other things because they went to college, started working, started a family, etc. Others have just lost interest. This is normal, it's the way life goes. The problem is, there aren't many people to replace them. Yes, we see newbies every day on IRC. Some who will never learn, but some also very promising. I'm just getting the impression they don't stick around for long. Like virus writing cannot keep one's interest for a longer period anymore. I could think of several explanations for this, and will probably even overlook some. One of these being, like I mentioned earlier, lack of new and interesting things to do. So many things have already been done that it's becoming difficult to still do something new and innovative. Lack of things that will keep one's interest for longer than a few weeks. Another problem may be, newbies being 'scared away' by other VXers (these who haven't yet left the scene), or maybe even by other newbies (the ones 'who will never learn' which I talked about earlier) who feel intimidated by other new people who do know their stuff.

I don't know how this is going to end. Maybe when all 'older' VXers have disappeared, and newbies who really want to learn will have been scared off, or may have found another 'scene' (hacking? cracking?) which catches more of their interest (as in the virus world it may seem as if everything has already been done), the only ones leftover will be the lamers writing batch and VBS code that doesn't even run. For example people who write quotes in the middle of a string (I will not call any names ;) and not knowing it won't work because they don't know what they're actually doing and because they haven't even tried to run their code. AVers will however keep hyping everything, to keep their customers scared.

Again, I cannot predict the future, so I don't know if things will get better or even worse, but the way things go now, I can tell you there probably won't be a 4th issue of this e-zine. I do however hope you enjoy this one. I believe there are a couple of interesting things in it, like some non-standard viruses, infecting Autocad files or Flash presentations, or infecting source code instead of binaries. Further there's an interview with Becky Worley, a TechTV reporter who gets to deal with viruses and security issues in her TV show.
Indeed, no survey in this issue. I surely enjoyed doing the "Music, alcohol and drug use amongst VXers" survey for zine #2, and I'm sure some of you (hi darkman!) would've loved to see a sex related survey this time, but, can't do ;) Some people wouldn't have appreciated it, it would be a bit of a privacy invasion, and I don't think the results would've been very reliable :)

As always, I really have to tell you this zine would not have been possible without people's contributions. Therefore, to everyone who has sent articles, source code, tools and such: THANK YOU! :)

Well.. enough of my talking and bitching, go read something more useful, like the zine or something ;)