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Loizos

What happened to the community?

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Loizos

Hello,

I have been introduced to reverse engineering lately.I am fascinated by it and the history that lies behind it , all the teams,sites and the community in general.I've noticed that the community is not as alive as it used to be.I've hears stories by the people who introduced me(who are not part of the community anymore because they've retired years ago) that, the RE scene was a huge community back in the day,with dozens teams and active IRCs.What happened to all those people?Is the community still alive?Are there any teams out there?According to web archive site the SeeknDestroy's website went down in july 2015 , as a result of the shutdown of astalavista.ms site.

If there are any active communities out there , please refer me to them.Its really getting boring when you don' t have anyone to interact with....

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icarusdc

I guess they've retired. I had many local reversers from my country who have many contributions in RE board. Now they're just like disappeared. It's really hard for newbie like me who starts learning RE since 2014 or 2015.

 

Salam

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kao

This forum and many others got overrun by lazy n00bs who think running de4dot makes them reversers. Consequently, skilled guys moved to semi-private places (or got hired by security-related companies) and stopped sharing their knowledge with general public. Sad but true.

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crystalboy

Times have changed... Few years ago the most reward of a talented reverser was to earn reputation on reverse engineering board, today all search to earn damned money. I hate that! Money were invented to separe people and also in this field seem that it worked. :unsure:

There are lot of talented out there but the most of them don't release knowledge anymore as mentioned by kao. Sometimes some good tutorials come out but not so often and not on advanced topics. I can understand that growing as newbie unfortunately is difficult today but can be done if it is REAL passion.

By the way there are a lot of team and boards to discuss about reverse engineering. SnD is still alive but at the moment don't have a request board.

Other team that deserve mention are (in alphabetically order to be impartial):

- A.S.A
- AT4RE
- Best hack forum
- Black storm forum
- Exetools
- REPT
- RTN
- URET


 

Edited by crystalboy (see edit history)
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Loizos

Its truly sad to see this happening.The person who introduced me to RE told me the same thing, I asked him about astalavista forum, why they shut it down and he replied back, that it was filled with what he called 'script kiddies', so they did what they thought was good and shut it down, I could really distinguish the sad in his face...

EDIT -  Lets hope for the best.

Edited by Loizos
I didn't want to fill thread with posts. (see edit history)

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HAMID

Golden line:):)

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GIV
15 hours ago, crystalboy said:

Times have changed... Few years ago the most reward of a talented reverser was to earn reputation on reverse engineering board, today all search to earn damned money. I hate that! Money were invented to separe people and also in this field seem that it worked. :unsure:

There are lot of talented out there but the most of them don't release knowledge anymore as mentioned by kao. Sometimes some good tutorials come out but not so often and not on advanced topics. I can understand that growing as newbie unfortunately is difficult today but can be done if it is REAL passion.

By the way there are a lot of team and boards to discuss about reverse engineering. SnD is still alive but at the moment don't have a request board.

Other team that deserve mention are (in alphabetically order to be impartial):

- A.S.A
- AT4RE
- Best hack forum
- Black storm forum
- Exetools
- REPT
- RTN
- URET


 

The things these days go this way:

If you don't earn from your work someone else will sell your work, if you put on display for free.

I, even i do not have much to show, preffer to stay low and keep thing for me because in the past my work was merchandised by others and that pissed me off.

 

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Loizos
37 minutes ago, GIV said:

The things these days go this way:

If you don't earn from your work someone else will sell your work, if you put on display for free.

I, even i do not have much to show, preffer to stay low and keep thing for me because in the past my work was merchandised by others and that pissed me off.

 

You are partially correct.Coming from a relevant background , I've seen this happening MANY times(as I've said before I am new to RCE compared to you people). But think of it as an open source project.You are contributing to something that you know that is not going to give you any money , the only reason you are doing it is to gain knowledge and recognition.At the end of the day that's what left and truly matters.Of course there will be people out there who are going to take advantage of your work to earn money(in the wrong way of course) , but those people are the less knowledgeable ones(the stupid , in a nutshell). I guess that's the reason why the community is dying.In my opinion you should stop caring as much for the people who do not care about you, as I said before , at the end of the day you are recognized by the people who are worth recognized by....

And of course the community gets to live.I am looking forward for you reply.

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crystalboy
1 hour ago, GIV said:

The things these days go this way:

If you don't earn from your work someone else will sell your work, if you put on display for free.

I, even i do not have much to show, preffer to stay low and keep thing for me because in the past my work was merchandised by others and that pissed me off.

 

I can understand your opinion and partially share it. But i continue to hope in a better world, where all the people works toghether and cooperate (this is a general thought not only related to RE field). :)

You know that all the things that you share in the past were a good starting point for people that want to learn and i think that most of them have thanked you enough. That should be your best reward and satisfaction.

Lamers and leechers exist from the beginning of all community and having to deal with them is a part of the game.

Maybe the community should filter/stop/block lazy noobs from registering to boards to avoid or limit this problem but that can be hard to do.

Unfortunately reverse engineering is not teached at university and who want to learn something can only hope on people that don't care about sharing his/her findings...

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Loizos
1 hour ago, crystalboy said:

I can understand your opinion and partially share it. But i continue to hope in a better world, where all the people works toghether and cooperate (this is a general thought not only related to RE field). :)

You know that all the things that you share in the past were a good starting point for people that want to learn and i think that most of them have thanked you enough. That should be your best reward and satisfaction.

Lamers and leechers exist from the beginning of all community and having to deal with them is a part of the game.

Maybe the community should filter/stop/block lazy noobs from registering to boards to avoid or limit this problem but that can be hard to do.

Unfortunately reverse engineering is not teached at university and who want to learn something can only hope on people that don't care about sharing his/her findings...

I agree with everything that you said.I just wanted to show emphasis on the part that you mentioned the filtration of lazy noobs. You see many forums(in general) only register people who are referred.As a new reverser I actually find it hard to find communities who are active due to the fact of this private enclosure of the knowledge.  I believe that restricting access to knowledge is not the best thing , but of course blocking and filtering bad behaved people is indeed very important.As I said in one of my previous replies many forums like astalavista for example have come to an end as a result of the previous problems.

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Conquest

Things have become hard as well. Its not the same old run olly and put some break points anymore. You need deep understanding of things these days. Not something meant for hobbyists[It was suppose to happen, you dont see any hobbyist electrical engineer do you?] . Either waste years trying to comprehend the deep knowledge or stay happy with de4dot and OllyScripts. 

PS: this is not the only reason but it is one of the main reasons.

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Xyl2k

RE scene evolve that all.
People retire but there will be always newcomers and someone to release and share.
so don't be stuck on the 2010 scene cultural artifacts and move with the times :)
Reminder that you all participate in what is the scene today, if you miss astalavista, scteam, etc.. it's up to you to make your own services for the scene, like what 0777.ir guys did.

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abbas

I completely agree with ConquestGIV and kao.RE  is a long,long way to pace and at the end , its not profitable compared to coding\developing.the experts think with themselves : "I haven't spent years of my life just to fiddle with files and call it RE" then they'll join a company and stick with their job and making money.instead,those who remain loyal  to scene will only face noobs who just babble around and steal their works.

the least we newcomers can do is to be a newb.

 

regards

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Nemo

I seen the way reversing has changed / evolved over the years since about 1995, In the beginning it was somewhat simple to get results for any task you were trying to achieve, tools used to be written and shared amongst others to help learning as well as crypto keygen challenges. These days reversing has become much more time consuming compared to be being able to unpack / dump a file in 30 seconds. With current technologies becoming more advanced it is becoming much more difficult to build automating tools. Also factoring in that there are so many that just steal others work and profit. I learned a lot watching how scripts work on certain protections and could understand what was actually happening during it. So many questions I see asked are already answered in some kind of form, research study is the way to learn, spoonfeeding isn't. The community is there to help if we see that you are actually trying to learn.

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Jasi2169

community is still there,but i guess time changed everybody ,i still when find decade old info of teams or individuals i like reading it so much better than movie,some are gone ,some new came back,some are united,some are still running in,maybe doing same n same thing guys gets bored or maybe personal life really sucks,family,gfs,jobs,money when you think about life you feel its not easy,nobody got all time to sit n keep doing RCE,many got retired cus they want peace n i am sure one day one from all of these ,one by one will find it like lets leave it now,

i find so nice to see the talent is actually born anywhere in the world n is in every corner keeping us united without being divided by sh*ts,respect to those who gave their best in the past,respect who are still working ,n respect who gonna come n keep it going.

Lets keep it going how it was suppose to being a cool and lets ask the same question in 2020 whats  changed n evolved if i be alive :)

nice finger to those adfly n third party earners n those who use patches n release the crack directly or use DUP to create same patch with their name or see tuts n release same with their name.

Cheers n keep going

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GIV
On 15.03.2016 at 3:52 PM, crystalboy said:

You know that all the things that you share in the past were a good starting point for people that want to learn and i think that most of them have thanked you enough.

Until now almost none of those who used my work thanked me. At least i did not receive in PM or publicly thanks for my work that exceed the digits of the hand fingers count.

One thing is for sure IMHO.

Most of the users want to solve things quick without learning anything and without thanking the person who helped in that case.

And further they want to make profit from the free gain.

Maybe i am living in a parallel world but that is what i have concluded after few years on activating in this community.

Regarding to the scene fewer and fewer info get out and i think the trend will continue.

Old fashion tutorials like PDF's or even video "tutorials" are fewer and fewer.

Most of the members like i see retire in private places and a common mistake that i often see is that large "teams" make members of their team semi qualificated guys and real valuable members are ignored. I see that many times. VIP's or team members or something like that in most of the forums are old members who in most of the cases does not activate anymore or they are totally behind the scene needs and skilled reversers does not have access to those privileges and after some time does not activate anymore and retire in private places. 

From what i know there are solutions to most of the today reversing challenges (including latest protectors) but as you see none emerge in public. If you wonder why i think some of the reasons are written upper in this thread.

Of course there are coming every day skilled new members who do things that are not done in the past but stars rarely emerges in these days like in other times. One reason, i think, is that the Windows platform is obsolete and changing from X86 to X64 does not add more fun to the business.

Just my 2 cents.

Edited by GIV
Correcting one letter (see edit history)
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hotpockets

I just got my feet wet in reverse engineering and it's fascinating. Unfortunately, I am guilty of using de4dot and such tools but by all means I don't feel entitled or call myself anything. I'm still in the process of picking things up, and a lot of you guys have been very patient with me which I am very grateful. I know how stressful it is with the newcomers like me lurking around and asking dumb questions. I spend hours searching for answers before I post anything and a lot of time its a lot of misdirection on Google.

 

Basically what I'm getting at is don't feel plagued by noobs, we all have to start somewhere.

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Nemo

Some wise words, before you go searching for answers, know the right questions first. ;)

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Loizos
9 hours ago, GIV said:

Until now almost none of those who used my work thanked me. At least i did not receive in PM or publicly thanks for my work that exceed the digits of the hand fingers count.

Even if I don't know your and even if I have never read any of your papers , I am sure many people have found your work helpful.The problem with people is that they do not appreciate the amount of time an individual puts in there publish, of course someone,somewhere out there learned something from you , and I am sure they are grateful even if they didn't thank you.Don't let this prevent you from spreading the knowledge , even if someone might make money out of it. At the end of the day you will be remembered for the knowledge you spread...Thank you.

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Amer
On 3/18/2016 at 8:28 AM, GIV said:

Most of the users want to solve things quick without learning anything and without thanking the person who helped in that case.

And further they want to make profit from the free gain.

 

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atom0s

To me there are a few factors that have gone into the community dying out:

1. Money - This is a major contributor. Before there wasn't many aspect to profiting off things on the internet, it was still a new / fresh idea and it was not really ever attempted. Payment models did not exist outside of using major credit card vendors so the ease of setting up methods to charge people for things was not around yet. (Stuff like Paypal etc.) Slowly, it became more and more known that you could easily charge people for your work (or in most cases any more others work). More and more people started either selling their stuff or stopped releasing things because it was being stolen and sold elsewhere. 

2. Attitude / Egos - The community ages ago was a lot more friendly in terms of teaching people, sharing knowledge and overall being a welcoming place for newcomers. Anymore, though, it is now an ego fest showing off who can do what faster/better, bragging about what they can do over someone else, etc. The actual welcoming atmosphere has gone out the window. There are less and less tutorials posted, less and less actual information posted on various targets. Instead you see posts referring to outdated information / outdated versions of things that leave someone new to guess or "figure it out yourself". 

There is a major lack of patience with newcomers now too. Someone can ask a basic question that could easily be answered but instead people would rather just chew that person out or be a total ass to them. This entirely defeats the purpose of even having a site specific to teaching and tutorials. Why advertise as that if that is completely not how it is? 

Even if the question is stupid or basic to someone, many often forget they were once that new to reversing themselves and just instead jump to flaming that new comer (again going back to the ego issues).

3. Rippers - This goes alone with issue 1. Ripping / stealing has become a major problem. Before, things were released with nfo's, it was considered the scene's method of copyright in a way. They were treated like law and everyone abided by them as such. That is no longer the case at all and they are more or less seen as a useless junk file anymore. At most, people enjoy looking at the art in them still, but that's basically it. Most will never even open one anymore unless they feel the need to for a serial key or some other important information.

Rippers also ruin the aspect of releasing tools and such open source. For example, something more or less recent would be ConfuserEx. It is a great example of a protection project for .NET related binaries. It is entirely open source and has been a pretty popular tool. The developers of it as well as Confuser (the original before hand) put tons of time and effort into it, and you have tons of people that clone the source code, rebrand it with a different name, add maybe 1-2 new features to it then sell it as if they did everything. It completely kills a developers motivation to share anything.

 

The same has happened with the game hacking community / scene. It is completely dead now. Sites like CheatHappens started ripping work of a lot of teams that released things for free for everyone to enjoy, and slowly it killed the motivation of those teams to bother anymore. Since then a few web teams have surfaced that do nothing but try and profit on basic cheats anyone could make if they learned how to use Cheat Engine within a week. 

Along with the fact that a lot of those teams stalk sites like Cheat Engine that still offer lots of cheats for free, and those teams will rip options made by others and put them into their paid-for trainers. 

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Alzri2

One day we will retire and the newcomers will take our place inevitably :)

@GIV

Quote

Until now almost none of those who used my work thanked me. At least i did not receive in PM or publicly thanks for my work that exceed the digits of the hand fingers count

I think you don't have to wait for anyone to thank you. To show gratitude is not by a mere "thank you", it's by sharing knowledge (tutorials and other stuff) of what we learnt/developed from others.

You did the same by sharing the stuff you have... and people are studying what you published (like me) and one day will do the same.

Quote

3. Rippers - This goes alone with issue 1. Ripping / stealing has become a major problem. Before, things were released with nfo's, it was considered the scene's method of copyright in a way. They were treated like law and everyone abided by them as such.

I still remember how rippers were banished and treated like sc*m ! Now, they have teams !!

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GIV

Until now i see most of the participants to this topic expose thoughts about how what we must do, judge if we are right or wrong etc.

I wait to see what their contribution will be. Theory if something is good or wrong we can do until next year. I want to see facts. I exposed some of the reasons why i stay low. Is time for others to rise.

:)

 

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Loizos
23 hours ago, GIV said:

Until now i see most of the participants to this topic expose thoughts about how what we must do, judge if we are right or wrong etc.

I wait to see what their contribution will be.

 

Only time will show , so far I am in the learning process , hehehehe. No need to stay low though, others could benefit from your knowledge

:)

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Shub-Nigurrath

good old times of Web-Scene are for several reasons fading out. ARTEam (http://www.accessroot.com/arteam/site/news.php) too is somehow less and less active. It's not a new generations problem. it's rather a shift in world conditions and economies..

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