John Buchanan

(maintained by Rob Slade)

John Buchanan (aka aRiStOtLe (I think: I never did figure out his capitalization)) first became visible some time around 1991. After a while he started to promote a network of Fidonet BBSes for the purpose of the exchange of live virus code. AV researchers who contacted him privately were told that he was, in fact doing some kind of research into the community involved in malware. He was never too clear on what it was that he was researching, although he mentioned software piracy, virus exchange, cracking, and the use of networks for computer exchange. In regard to this last, he had a primary research source: he was the first to get a large scale vx net going.

He was, of course, the darling of the vx crowd until that fateful day when he revealed to the world that it was all a sting operation. He was going to hand over his data to law enforcement types, and would shortly be publishing his results. His vx buddies deserted him en masse, with a few choice words as they left.

Oddly, though, I've never seen any of his "results" published. Nor have I heard of any great crackdowns on vx bulletin boards. After some time had passed, and the AV community had failed to fall all over him in gratitude, aRiStOtLe decided he wanted to be a vxer again. Of course, by that time, the vx crew would have nothing to do with him. I haven't seen him around for some years now, and the only remaining sign of him is the occasional use of his name by older vxers as a reference to someone whose information is untrustworthy.