According to posts on several sites, Newzbin has once again had its source code stolen. In addition to this, Newzbin has also had the e-mail addresses of some of its subscribers scraped, according to posts. In a repeat of history, Newzbin has been the victim of people who have taken their source code and who intend to use it to build a rival site.
Because it impacts users directly, the fact that e-mail addresses were stolen from Newzbin will likely be more distressing. According to the posts, made by Mr. White from Newzbin2, the theft was restricted to e-mail addresses alone. No other information is known to have been taken, according to the posts.
The e-mail addresses were taken by ex-editors from Newzbin2 and an editor admin, according to the information provided by Mr. White. Mr. White goes on to say that no passwords were stolen from the database, so users shouldn’t have any difficulties related to that. Users may, however, receive e-mails inviting them to join a rival service that they are not familiar with.
The source code theft was verified by someone going by the name Mr. Code Thief on IRC. The authenticity of the source code provided by Mr. Code Thief was verified by admins at Newzbin, so this appears to be something that has ascended to a level beyond that of a rumor.
Presumably, the source code will be used to create a rival service and, according to information on the Internet, Newzbin hasn’t taken any action to prevent the code thieves from doing so.
The purloined source code has not been released to the public as of yet, though there is no way to verify whether this will be done in the future.
If you do get e-mail from the USENET service that has gleaned your e-mail address from those stolen from Newzbin, you may want to exercise some caution. As Mr. White points out in one of his posts, it may be ill-advised to go with a provider who has gotten their software and their client base by stealing it from another provider. It certainly does raise ethical questions.
Though Mr. White assures that no other information than user e-mail addresses was stolen, the situation does continue to develop and the full extent of what was taken from Newzbin remains to be seen. USENET users will most certainly be keeping an eye on how this story develops.