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Little Wiz Trix

Sneaky, Clever, & Sometimes Downright Arrogant

Here are a few tricks that I have devised over the months. They aren't in the regular manuals.

Undercover Going undercover is a lot like impostoring, though I've never seen a wiz do a specific impersonation to catch a snert. Most commonly, wizards disguise themselves as Guests, as members of gangs, or occasionally as members of the opposite gender, in the interest of catching cyberfrotteurs and breathers in the act.
Usage of that last disguise has been a common technique for myself sometimes as little merely changing to a genderless prop (including the X logo seen above), or more often to a female one. I usually leave my name unchanged, though I've occasionally used joke names like *It's a Trap or *Nadz or *Dr.Xena. I always put a star badge on such names a matter of personal taste and to avoid whining claims of "entrapment" (as if merely donning a female prop implies that I want idiots whispering crude remarks at me).
Amazingly, most of the breathers and so forth that this technique traps don't seem the least bit fazed about these obvious wizard names. My diagnosis: they are idiots.

Allscray and Ao Allscray, and especially the "ao" variant, have turned out to have loads of uses for that reason, they've now been spread to most rooms at many sites (including Communities.com Mansion). Some of them include (provided for your consideration):

  • Removing offensive ^signs:
    ;ao 0 0 MOVE
  • Removing head-sitters without having to `pin them:
    ;ao -44 0 MOVE
  • Handling oversexxed users at the gate or bar:
    ;ao 200 GOTOROOM
  • Handling users who you don't really want to kill:
    ;ao "palace://welcome.palacetools.com" NETGOTO
  • Explaining in detail why you won't give "Zerk Mutha F" the wizard password:
    ;ao "http://www.botzilla.com/house/wizmain.html" NETGOTO
  • Combining the botbot widewhisp command with `mute get everyone in the room to `mute a single unwanted guest. Click on the guest (in this case, Guest 771) and:
    ;w ;ao "`mute Guest 771" SAY
  • Just to make the point to Guest 771:
    ;ao "You've been muted, 771" 771 PRIVATEMSG
  • Checking for Ghosts:
    ;ao "Sound Check" SAY

  • Here are a few other examples

Registration Keys and IP Addresses (More to come)

Tattling Writing a letter to an abusive snert's ISP administrators is a step beyond merely using `kill or `banip to remove that user from the system for a while. This has been a rare action, usually reserved for abusers who were either chronically impersonating wizards (who are, after all, the administrators of the palace site), or who were involved in illegal scams, or in a few cases abusers who decided to take their abuse beyond the confines of the palace and continue personal attacks and threats against others (usually wizards) via email, the web, and the telephone.
Guests often think they are completely anonymous, and that's not so. ISPs (and other sites, including schools) keep billing records and other ways to identify each user at each port at any hour. The user can receive a personal e-mail reprimand (or an in-person one, at .edu or .com work sites), a copy of your complaint, or they may lose their account. The ISP admins may even tell you the user's name, if a wizard uses that infomation and passes it on to the ISP. The email address (or even phone number) of the ISP's administators is always part of their DNS entry, so the procedure goes roughly like this:

  1. Keep a log. Do `list calls on the abuser, preferably across multiple sessions. Keep related records, such as emails and httpd logs. Reference them by time.
  2. Look up the ISP via whois or nslookup. That will give you the names and addresses of the administrators. If the ISP is not in the DNS (because, say, it is in Singapore or Oman), try sending mail to root@255.127.0.0 or whatever the IP address was. Alternatively, some Real Hackers may be able to give you help doing such a traceback by bombarding other parts of the namespace with DNS requests, etc.
  3. Send your letter. Explain what's been going on. Use specific references, and tell the admins what ports, and when, the abuser was using their system to spread venom. Be nice, and treat the admin in a professional manner. More than 99% of the time, the admins are on your side. Snerty behavior is usually a violation of the ISP's own Terms of Service Agreement. Explain to the admin(s) that if this user continues their pattern of abuse, that you may be forced to do a site ban on their ISP to keep this abuser from continuing his troublemaking an action that will lock out all of the ISP's customers. Even huge ISPs like compuserve or GTE can be (and have been) locked out at one time or another. It's bad business for them; they can lose customers if they can't provide full net access. Sign your note with your real name and send a CC to yourself.
  4. If you get no response after a day or two, or a negative response, start going up the food chain find out who the ISP's ISP is, using traceroute. You know that tiny.smallpenis.org is no MCI. Some small ISPs are well-known as "rogue" sites their names pop up in great number of newsgroups like news.admin.net-abuse.misc. Sometimes they're no more than a regular modem customer, for whom the next-level ISP is mapping a virtual DNS domain name. So tell their ISP what's up...