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Wed, Apr 4, 2000, 10:52pm Tricks Break-in: The Return [Editor's Note: wtv-explorer:/news was in no way related to the break-in... they were about 3 hours too late.]

A long awaited second WebTV Tricks break-in finally occurred on Saturday, March 25, 2000, 4:05am EST. Can anyone say " jetski20"? But to the dismay of anyone and everyone who entered, Tricks was a huge flop offering those who entered a major disappointment and many questions to be answered.

Initially, the password for Tricks was handed down by a corp approximately between the middle of January and the middle of February to a normal WebTV® subscriber. Between that time right up until the actual break-in occurrence, the password had been shared among only three other people. A few weeks prior to the break-in, one of the few select, SkiZLeR, more commonly known as Scottly, apparently released the password to the alt.discuss.webtv.hacking.newbies and alt.discuss.webtv.hacking newsgroups. Here is a statement made by SkiZLeR on the matter:

"I just figured everyone had it.. so I posted in a.d.w.h and a.d.w.h.n and actually posted the password! But im sure everone thought I was just a "Lamer" Or a "Newbie" and noone responded to it! I said, does anyone know ANYTHING about "jetski20"? and no one responded but pyr0, and I dont think he knew, but its good for people to pay attention to each and every post in there." Unfortunately shortly after the post the infamous "WebTV Melissa Virus" struck flooding the post off the boards of both newsgroups. Perhaps if given a little bit more time to grow, someone else may have realized the potential of "jetski20".

On March 25, 2000, the actual public realization happened. A lesser known WebTV hacker newbie, flashfile, posted the password to several newsgroups. Below is the actual post:

From: flashfile@webtv.net 
Group: alt.discuss.webtv.hacking, 
Date: Sat, Mar 25, 2000, 4:05am 

HURRY UP! pass is jetski20
hurry up b4 they change it. i was just in there but i dont have a VCR so i couldnt record vidcaPS

The approximate time of release until killing was about a 4-6 hour period, opposed to the two day period of the first break-in on August 16, 1998. There is no actual confirmable amount of people who got the cut, however, representatives at wtv-explorer:/news estimate the number of users who did enter Tricks anywhere from 10 to 50.

For those users who did make the window of opportunity and did enter, were hit with a firery wall of disappointment. Not only were the more important, legendary features such Big Willie's protected behind something called a <hosea href="url"> tag making them unclickable, but were also "Access denied" through conventional URL access methods such as INFO. Even features such as Blast NVRAM which is built into the box through the client:command and Download-O-Rama which is normally accessible, were blocked. This left many users baffled. Vend-A-Telly, Blast Backlist, Stain' Alive, Info, and ShowServices were the only features left, cutting the original down by almost one-third. The questions still remain as to why this would be. One user, GrimIo, noted that if they were blocked off, why be there at all? Perhaps there are multiple passwords for the Tricks section of the WebTV® Networks, and with each password brought the user to higher, more advanced options available to them. Perhaps there is something in the client that activates it, maybe it has something to do with our Accipiter Ad Profiles, no one may ever really know for sure. Then again, there could just always be the possibilty that they were in fact shut down. One knowledgable, disgruntled user showed his feelings with wtv-explorer:/news on the matter:

"It was really frustrating...first time in and half the shit was killed...all the good stuff anyways. The only thing that was worth checking out was Vendatelly. It had a bunch of servers and phone numbers and shit...I have a bunch of vidcaps of all of it. I connected to about 10 dfferent numbers via different servers (artemis, cnc, uun-something, aloha, and more). The only thing it seemed to do though was give me a different IP# once connected...a non-webtv looking IP#. Shit,I thought I would be privy to some good shit after being connected,but fucking NOTHING!"

After the first break-in, an added warning to the Tricks entry page was put in place. It stated, "Unauthorized access may result in immediate termination." This however was definitely not the case, not nearly. If it was, the password would have been changed within hours of the first access back in Jan.-Feb and this article would have never been written. From a survey done by wtv-explorer:/news, there were only two people who claimed to have been suspended, CJLCOOTER, who posted pics of Tricks in alt.discuss.webtv.hacking, and flashfile, who initially posted the password. About after flashfile's suspension however, he was rumored to have been perminately terminated. A suspension is not a termination. In a suspension, upon connection, the unit will be brought to a screen stating that the account is temporarily inaccessable. This will only occur for a 48 hour period of time, after that the account is restored to its normal status. So for all those little newbies out there paranoid about being caught for trying to crack Tricks, crack away. CJLCOOTER describes his experience:

"well i called them up and they told me they put that on there so i could not access my account for 48 hours no BS i am serius as a heart attack here"

Well, all and all, to say the least, Tricks was a disappointment. For those who have never been there before, it may have been a rush for a few minutes until they realized there was nothing left there to see. Evil WNI sucked it dry. Just when exactly will the next break-in be, who knows. Hopefully it doesn't crap out on us and be as disappointing like this one was.