A short history of a tiny internet clique and it’s Usenet group

I’ve been hanging out on IRC with a clique of people, collectively known (cringingly, hey, it was the nineties) as “Hackerzlair”, for almost twenty years now. To my knowledge, nothing notable has really been done under the banner - the website has been a consistent host to all manner of malware samples and other files until very recently when I took over hosting it. Afraid that one of the files might lead to my server getting ToSed, I blocked access to all the malware with the site owner’s blessing.

We were host to several different groups of bottom-tier success, including a couple that I was involved in (relax, statute of limitations is well passed), a couple of guys ran lectures on subjects like Linux and so on, but mostly it was just a bunch of friends with a common interest spinning bullshit. I noticed several years ago that our newsgroup, possibly created surreptitiously still existed. In fact, it’s still rather widely propagated today.

I had a rough idea who’d done it - a guy named Ledge who I seem to recall ran our first bots for a while… an ircii-powered robot and an infobot. This afternoon, with very little to do I went looking for the genesis of this largely-ignored group (seriously, it’s majority spam).

I managed to find an archive of control messages for all ALT newsgroups, which does actually include two control posts (I think, it’s possible I’m reading it wrong) creating the alt.hackers.hackerzlair group, but I can’t find any mention of any discussion about why creating the group was necessary (we were certainly no 2600, even at the peak). It’s possible Ledge just posted a control message and no one noticed it and cancelled or vetoed it (I know very little about how Usenet is administrated), but I’ll keep looking - it doesn’t appear as though alt.config’s archives on Google Groups go back as far as 1998.

Horsham VIC 3400, Australia



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Horsham VIC 3400, Australia

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