« Part 3 of a 7-part series on Advanced Searching for Copyrighted Content »
Part 3. Validating a ‘Release’ with NFO / dupecheck Websites
This tip is more inclined for deeming whether or not something has been officially released by a known piracy Release Group, or if it’s possibly just a fake, decoy or scam. But it doesn’t end there - anything listed as official will also be fairly easy to track down, as well. These sites that list official pirated releases are also known as NFO websites, or dupecheck sites.
As mentioned in different articles around FileShareFreak, there are a few good NFO/dupecheck websites that report only ‘official’ pirated releases. This can be taken a step further by implementing search capabilities with the provided data from them. We should note that these criteria are useless when applied through a Google search - it will take a slightly more sophisticated approach to generate fruitful results - in order to get to the ‘warez’.
Here’s a sampling of some of the dupecheck websites that list proper ’scene’ releases with ‘real-time’ results:
www.NFOrce.nl - a great site with all the latest listings in all categories.
http://doopes.com - also a good site - we recommend using the DATE feature to view past releases. Great for Pre’s.
www.vcdquality.com - lists only movies & video files, but does it well.
www.rlslog.net - Good site for current scene listings.
http://dupe.sabeln.org - Has listings for games, movies & TV - all in plaintext.
http://www.scenereleases.info - To quote them, has “Hot New Scene Releases”.
http://orlydb.com - So-called “Pre” database for all scene releases - plaintext.
It should be assumed that 99% of the listings at these sites would be classified as ‘working’ releases, without further guesswork. The data is not derived from BitTorrent sites or other file sharing networks that are susceptible to corruption and public inputs; rather, it is an organized list from the top of the piracy pyramid including FXP servers, Topsites and elite IRC channels directly or indirectly associated with the release groups themselves.
While most of these sites do not offer links to illegal content (with one exception being www.NFOrce.nl - they have a feature that links the listings to .torrent files through a search on zoozle.org), most merely list the *.NFO files associated with the releases, and other details. Downloadable links - and where to find the actual files - are not usually included in the deal, for legal reasons. That is left up to the perusers.
- ONE NOTABLE exception to this is www.scenereleases.info. Not only do they list the most recent “scene releases”, they also offer links to the *.torrent and/or DDL link (rapidshare.com, etc.) for the listings.
NOTE: We’ve dedicated this tip to BitTorrent and IRC, but it’s implementations are the same for all P2P file sharing protocols, including Usenet, DDL ‘Warez’ sites, and even P2P programs such as eMule etc.
There are three criteria within the results shown at these NFO sites that are pertinent to searching: The name (or title) of the release, the release group itself, and any tags that are listed within the release (optional - sometimes there’s none). To keep things consistent in our examples, we’ll use NFOrce.nl as our model.
Searching with BitTorrent
TITLES — This is fairly straight-forward — just cut/paste the title of the release above (i.e. “Alvin And The Chipmunks”) into your favorite BitTorrent website and conduct a search. Note that: Often things will be listed here on NFOrce before they’re listed on most Bit sites, due to the hierarchy of the piracy pyramid (BitTorrent being a little farther down the line). So if you don’t see it on any Bit sites - keep checking back, it should appear within a matter of hours in most cases. See our tip below for incorporating the release group name into your searches.
RELEASE GROUP NAME — You can browse all releases by any particular release group at NFOrce, and then conduct a .torrent search of just the RG name. This is handy for filtering out much of the bad torrents, and for browsing “like” search results.
TIPS — To filter out the fakes/dupes and bad torrents, you’ll need to be able to interpret the NFOrce listings. As in the above example, if you search for just “Alvin And The Chipmunks” on mininova.org, you’ll be sure to get all sorts of junk in the results mixed with some ‘proper’ releases. So it’s imperative to use the release group name when identifying the results of a search. In the “Alvin” case above at NFOrce, the proper release group for it is PUKKA. Below is the listing at NFOrce, and the corresponding proper torrent as found on mininova, with the release group name (PUKKA) included:
TAGS — To take it a step further, you should also incorporate the proper ‘tags‘ that are displayed at NFOrce and look for them in the proper release at mininova, as well. For the “Alvin” release by PUKKA, it is also an “R5″ (Region Code 5), and thus the proper listing for “Alvin” by PUKKA at mininova should also contain the “R5″ tag (which you can see it does in the above example - a perfect match). Matching the tags with the release group and title of each release will almost guarantee a fault-free .torrent. Also note that NFO websites (NFOrce.nl) do not normally list the BitTorrent tracker - this is usually found in brackets at the end of the torrent, after the release group name - i.e. - [usabit.com]. Trackers are only reported by BitTorrent websites and should typically be disregarded in the ‘matching’ of the two sites, and it is not pertinent to the properness of the release.
Discrepancies between NFO websites and TORRENT sites:
In the event where you aren’t sure if a release is proper or not; the NFO site is always correct. Torrent websites are, because of public and/or user submissions, susceptible to bad torrents, fakes, dupes etc - but releases found on vcdquality.com and nforce.nl should always be considered valid.
This tip is not exclusive to just movies - it pertains to any proper ’scene’ release. Stick to this method and you’ll cut down almost ALL of the junk from your downloads! Familiarize yourself with the available filtering options on NFOrce, and use them to your advantage when searching for torrents.
Searching ‘User’ folders with Mininova.org
Mininova has a really cool feature that not too many people know about. Users can access (browse) the .torrents that were uploaded by release groups (and users) through their accounts with mininova. This cuts out most of the junk torrents, and is especially helpful for filtering out those lame ‘dupers’ that post fake torrents under the names of popular groups.
For example, common knowledge tells us that not all torrents that have the word “aXXo” in them are actually from aXXo. The MPAA and its anti-P2P cronies have long ago figured out that if you upload a fake torrent, it works better if a popular release group name is attached to it - and by this they’ll be sure to snag many more people into downloading their “fake”. But if you browse the actual aXXo directory - you’ll be sure to be viewing only what was uploaded by aXXo, and no others.
How it works: The ‘aXXo’ Example.
Visit www.mininova.org and type /user/axxo in the URL window. Or, just click the link below:
Mininova will only display the torrents that were uploaded by aXXo: (Check out those beautiful seed/leecher ratios!)
This tip is not just exclusive to aXXo. While most proper ‘release groups’ don’t upload to BitTorrent websites (some do!), other users (who upload lots of .torrents) have accounts that consist of /user/ folders with, in most cases, viable working torrents. A good starting point is the mininova forums.
Searching with IRC
This IRC method is almost the same as BitTorrent, except you’ll be entering the inputs into an IRC web search site, instead. We’ll use IRCDig.com for the example below, but it’s recommended to utilize different ones (since the output data from all varies greatly - vastly improving one’s chances for generating good “hits”). While this provided example is exclusive to IRCDig, it can be applied to most other IRC Web search sites, and downloading to your IRC client (mIRC) will basically be the same procedure.
The IRCDig Example:
We’ll stick with the “Alvin/PUKKA” example for this. Again, you’ll be able to either search for a title, or a release group name (or even a combination of both).
Visit www.IRCDig.com, and register if you’ve not already done so. This only takes a minute. Now, if you just plain-old search for “Alvin And The Chipmunks” you’re going to get hits from all sorts of sources, including older files such as the CAM releases and other unwanted entries. The key is to filter your search in order to narrow it down to the desired “PUKKA” release. In other words, regardless of what you are searching for, you want the “hit” to match to what is found on NFOrce. This can be done a number of ways, so experiment with it, but a search for “Alvin Pukka” works nicely for this example.
Notice that the IRCDig search matches exactly with the proper release listed on NFOrce.nl:
IRC Download Instructions:
From the results, you’ll be able to ‘copy’ the parameters from the IRCDig website and automatically import them into your mIRC program. Remember that XDCC Bots go offline and change files that they host, so if you run into the message in mIRC that the “Packet Doesn’t Exist” or similar, go back to IRCDig and launch a different network or channel.
To do this, click on the “PACK #” (it is “40” as seen below) - you’ll see a popup like this:
Now, click the “number” (i.e. ‘40′) and then click the CONNECT: link - it should be blue: It will now launch your IRC client (mIRC) assuming you already have it installed.
If you’ve never done this before (and you use Firefox) you’ll be prompted to launch your mIRC program:
Once mIRC is open, connect to the network/channel by clicking the ‘Connect To Server’ button, and in the command line prompt, either hit CTRL+V or right-click in it and select PASTE. This will paste the necessary command line into the mIRC channel. Click “Enter” on the keyboard.
Related Articles: * • IRC Web Search Sites »
- • Advanced BitTorrent Searching »
- • Advanced IRC Searching »
- • Crack / Serial Websites »
- • Finding Open Private Trackers »
You’ve now requested the file from the XDCC Bot. (As with most popular items, you’ll likely be placed in a queue sequence and have to wait your turn to download it). Stay in the channel! Read our article on how to [configure the mIRC client](/2007/11/02/irc-searching-on-the-web/#config_irc “Configuring mIRC to download files”) to receive downloads.
And if you don’t feel like waiting for your turn to come around in the IRC queue (or you don’t want to put up with the bullshit from IRC channel operators - who can blame you?), there’s always the option of our next tip - using Direct Download Links.
I hope you guys read comments for old posts like this one…
You emphasize in various posts at filesharefreak.com that downloading from some place higher up in the “pyramid” gives more reliable files. Ok, but why doesn’t nforce.nl or some site like that just post secure file hashes for all files in every release? That way each and every p2p user regardless of network could have a means to verify if a release has been tampered with or not. And even files on p2p networks at the very bottom could be checked for integrity. Hashes wouldn’t take much space either. So why is that not happening already?
There’s a few different answers to this:
First, technically, linking to HASHES is akin to linking to the file itself (which would be illegal, especially in the U.S.). NFOrce actually sort of does, in that they employ a 3rd party service for searching bitTorrent files through zoozle.com. Others don’t stick out their necks. The other thing that you have to remember is that proper release groups don’t use hash links to share files, and in fact don’t WANT their stuff to be associated with hash links at all (on a public level). Thus, often when a new release is listed on NFOrce.nl, there is no public hash link yet, sometimes not even a *.torrent. It’s the aftermath “trickle down” effect that ends up generating a ‘link’ to the (public) P2P level, and hence the hash link will always come AFTER as soon as the release is “leaked” from ‘the scene’. Even then, the first “P2P Network” to get access to these files is IRC, and they don’t use HASH either. It’s not until it’s exited IRC to the lower-level (bittorrent, DC++, even http) that a hash link is developed for it. This is particularly true of “Pre” dupecheck sites such as http://dupe.sabeln.org/ who strictly deal in REALLY new stuff, none of it will have a hash link - it’s not that they don’t want to publish one, it’s just that it doesn’t exist.
There are sites that do post hash links to files - they are “eD2k hash links” websites (see our article) although it is our belief that eD2k links are inferior to MAGNET links.
Other sites that do this include BITZI.com - they verify if a hash link is “registered” or not through it’s user submissions. And it works well…just search for a specific file, i.e. visit NFOrce.nl and browse the releases, head over to bitzi and enter in the exact title. It’ll give you all sorts of URNs…magnet links, eD2k links etc.
Good luck, and I hope this helped.
Hi Sharky. Thank’s a bunch for that answer! Now things make more sense. I had though nforce somehow had access to the complete release at the time they put it on their list. But they actually only have the titles and perhaps nfo files, right?
But can file hashes themselves really be illegal to host? I’ve never heard about that. Doesn’t all .torrent files contain some sort of file hash? BTW, could those hashes somehow be used to check a file?
Just to clarify, the last sentence above meant to ask: if I download some application from direct connect, can I later check those files against the hashes in a .torrent file? As a sort of doublecheck I mean. Both p2p sources could be tampered with of course but it could add some more security at least.
I checked out the bitzi.com site. It’s all user submitted hashes right? So people tampering with files could also upload false hashes if they wanted. And there does not seem to be any hashes to the original, packed files. See for example http://bitzi.com/search/?keywords=eth0 . I’ve learned the hard way that it is a bad idea to use re-packed application releases.
JON: Exactly. NForce has a good direct link to the heart of the piracy scene, and provides proper “scene releases” and the corresponding NFO files (as proof). Hashes being “illegal” is a grey area, depending on jurisdiction/country etc. Yes, all *.torrents really ARE hashes, in another form, and yeah, sites that host them get shut down and/or sued (look no further than thepiratebay.org, isohunt.com and demonoid, lokitorrent, suprnova - just to name a few). eD2k files are also hashes, and those sites have also been shut down, as well.
In regards to BitTorrent - this is complicated. All torrents have a hash link (usually SHA1) included within the torrent. The Bit client itself does the hash checking. You’ll not be able to enter that SHA1 hash at Bitzi and get any relevant information. However, you can enter that hash string into Google and search there, it should likely come back with a bunch of results that match the exact torrent name. BUT…just because Google finds it, doesn’t make it a “good” torrent, necessarily. A program called “Torrent Loader” is good for examining the hashes of torrent files.
Yeah, Bitzi is user-submitted, but it’s not hard to discern the good from the bad when examining a query. You’ll be best served by searching for the filename (i.e. title of a movie), instead of the hash (as to be able to compare good/bad in the results, and decide from there).
All this is coming up in a future post…our next post is about Magnet Links” and then I’ll move on to Hash Checking, Hash sums etc.
Конечно Хорошую информацию трудно добыть. (А сделать с ней что-нибудь – ещё труднее)