VX Heavens, old-school virus-writing website, raided by police

Filed Under: Featured, Law & order, Malware

A website beloved by old-school virus writers has been raided and closed down by the Ukrainian police.

A message on the front page of the VX Heavens website, which used the motto "Viruses don't harm, ignorance does!", says it all:

VX Heavens website. Click for larger version

Part of the message reads:

For many years we were tried hard to establish a reliable work of the site, which supplied you with a professional quality information on systems security and computer virology. We do always believed that a true research in any field (computer virology included) is only possible in the atmosphere of trust, openness and mutual assistance.

Unfortunately...

Friday, 23 March, the server has being seized by the police forces due to the criminal investigation (article 361-1 Criminal Code of Ukraine - the creation of the malicious programs with an intent to sell or spread them) based on someone's tip-off on "placement into the free access malicious software designed for the unauthorized breaking into computers, automated systems, computer networks".

The absurdity of such statement we need to prove in the court...

We are sorry, but until the case is still open we are unable to offer our services in any form.

Virus image. Courtesy of ShutterstockThe website, which described itself as "dedicated to providing information about computer viruses (virii) and web space for virus authors and groups", has been running for many years.

The site prided itself on sharing virus-writing tutorials, malicious code samples and articles for those interested in creating computer malware.

"VX", for anyone who wasn't aware, is dude-speak for "Virus eXchange".

The folks using the VX Heavens website were probably not in the same league as the financially-motivated organised criminals computer users are often troubled by today, and mirror rather more the hobbyist malware authors of yesteryear.

Nevertheless, it's clear that the Ukrainian authorities didn't like what they saw and have confiscated the website's servers in their hunt for evidence of criminality.

Let no-one be under any illusions. Malware creation and distribution of viral code has become a big concern for the-powers-that-be. It's not a game anymore - if you play in this area, don't be surprised if the authorities take a dim view.

Image of virus from Shutterstock.

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11 Responses to VX Heavens, old-school virus-writing website, raided by police

  1. Black A.M. · 940 days ago

    What a load of crock.
    VX's main code base where old skool com infectors, white papers and zoo viruses. A collection point not a distribution point. Can't see anyone breaking out 16bit NASM to steal from banks.
    Don't be so hypocritical that it's ok for AVs to send binary samples to colleagues and acquaintances in other companies for research and collection but it's a crime for an average Joe to have access to the same files.

    • Sebastian · 939 days ago

      Old com, cutting-edge, whatever it's still a nonsense; They should seizure all the servers of criminal organizations and child pronographers, but ... wait a minute, right, I forgot, these are their own servers ...

  2. Mark · 939 days ago

    Most of the viruses posted there were from the DOS era. What a nonsense.

  3. Sebastian · 939 days ago

    So stupid !. Now it's ok for "secirity" training organizations such as SANS or whatever to offer courses in writing computer viruses (and not old ones but cutting edge stuff). I think you are a little wrong here, virus writing is still a game, but only if authorities can take their cut of the profits. Whatever, everything is a nonsense, let me ask a question isnt a computer virus still software? shouldnt it have intellectual property as "regular"/"commercial" software does? if so, I dont know who is being more of out-of-law these guys or the ones seizing intellectual property.

    This kind of actions will only raise the amount of malware being written, lets prepare for war.

    F*** them all !

    • VceoX · 928 days ago

      Even a SANS user was raided by federal agents. They don't have the old platform anymore and replaced with a newer one with no SANS capability. It needs proper identification using it.

  4. VFAC · 939 days ago

    This is why we need to educate our legal systems. Simply giving them laws or getting them to sign on to a convention on cybercrime doesn't ensure that they are able to regulate the internet justly or in the best interest of their citizens.

    This stuff is ridiculous to those of use who grew up in this culture but to a judge who hasn't updated his phone's OS because they cant see any reason to, a web site with viruses is a simple matter.

    Capacity is more than a legal instrument and some forensic software, it involves understanding.

    ( We are making an effort to improve this, drop us a line if you can help http://www.cybercrimeforum.org)

    • Sebastian · 939 days ago

      Lets be honest, its unstoppable. Maybe information is hidden at the very core of ever more abstract technologies, but it is still there, and someone is going to find it and someone is going to share it, of course, that doesnt mean that everyone is going to understand it.Vxheavens maybe made the mistake to include worm generators and stuff that can be used by some unwise people to do only harm and does not require any kind of knowledge, maybe they should stick only with not-so-ready to compile source code.
      Anyway, its better to have a site, a known site, a free-access site rather than to have all that information among p2p networws or invite-only sites. isnt it?. So authorities and the av industry can also keep track of what's going to happen next. If the next major idea of a super-worm or whatever if posted in such a site, wouldnt it be better than to have it in some "secret circle"?. I think it is.

  5. The Anonymous · 895 days ago

    What can i only say is..

    They are bunch of stupid fools..

    Do cyber criminals post their own work on a website to get themselves caught?

    Indeed, Ukrainian cops are bunch of crooks...

  6. WireGhoul · 894 days ago

    may the DOS be with you

  7. MetaPhaze · 820 days ago

    Most of the people writing the viruses are the people hired by, related to, or straight up writing the anti-virus software... it's called job security... VX heavens helped me become more aware of the threats on the internet, before them i was getting destroyed surfing the web.

    The people that locked up VX Heavens should be the ones sitting behind bars.

  8. bufferoverdose · 471 days ago

    Hur hur hur!

    It's back.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Send Graham an email, subscribe to his updates on Facebook, follow him on Twitter and App.net, and circle him on Google Plus for regular updates.