Talk:Back Orifice

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The following is not exactly NPOV, and I'm not sure if it should go in this article or elsewhere (perhaps remote administration)?

Remote Admin and the Antivirus Industry

During the late 1990s some bad blood existed between the designers of free Windows remote administration (RA) tools and the antivirus software industry. Antivirus programs such as Norton Antivirus treated Back Orifice, NetBus, and some other free RA tools as necessarily malware and deleted them. However, they treated commercial RA tools such as pcAnywhere and Windows Terminal Server as necessarily legitimate and did not so much as bring their presence to the user's attention.

The distinction between a remote admin tool and a backdoor program lies in whether the user has the right to install it on the computer in question -- not in the brand of program or the amount paid for it. The AV vendors' lapse was not in treating Back Orifice and NetBus as malware (since most installs of these programs are illegitimate) but in treating every detected installation of Back Orifice as a case of malware and at the same time treating every installation of a commercial RA program as legitimate. Computer criminals have installed commercial RA programs as backdoors for just this reason.

For a similar case of conflicted behavior by the AV industry, see Magic Lantern (software).

--Fubar Obfusco


There are lots of images the article could use


  • The logo [1] ( A clear logo image can be found at [2] )
  • client screen shot


  • The original logo as seen in [3]
  • The splash screen [4]
  • The new logo [5]
  • client screen shot
  • server confgiuration screen shot

It's just that I've seen no license information regarding any of these images and I'm certainly not an expert on copyright stuff. --Easyas12c 2 July 2005 20:09 (UTC)

I say go for it, particularly the stuff in the "" file. That's intended for wide distribution. --Myles Long 2 July 2005 23:43 (UTC)
I would add {{copyrightexamination}}, but if you are sure about the copyrights you can take a shortcut and add (some of) the images yourself. Sorry, but I think it is a good policy that the one who knows the copyright/license of the stuff uploads it. (when the amount of stuff is not awfully big) The other way we might end up with a troll telling everyone to add copyright violating things to WIkipedia, which would not be nice. --Easyas12c 3 July 2005 11:31 (UTC)
Yawn. I added the images. By the way, bad form on linking to the goatse image (your first link goes there). Also, I don't appreciate being called (or even insinuated to be) a troll. --Myles Long 5 July 2005 03:24 (UTC)
Great. I did not think you were a troll, still I felt unsure about the copyright/license of the images. It took me a while to see the stripes as fingers. Now that I do, it is hilarious. For Goatse I'd have linked to [6] (not work safe ;-) --Easyas12c 5 July 2005 09:10 (UTC)


The article is starting to look very good. Maybe it will one day reach FA-status. --Easyas12c 16:35, 11 January 2006 (UTC)


Was Back Orifice really shareware? I can't find its shareware license anyware. Was it not freeware? --Easyas12c 16:57, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

You're right, I'm fixing it. --Myles Long/cDc 17:09, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Back Orifice unix client seems to be distributed as a source distribution. Maybe that part of it could be called open source. It definitely is not free software because it doesnt come with a license granting any rights. Being open source doesn't probably require any rights to the source code. Only revealing it. So I guess the bo client for unix-system is open source. I'll write it that way. Correct me, if I'm wrong. --Easyas12c 17:56, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

You're very wrong in that assumption. The terms Open Source and Free Software are almost the same thing, but advocating in different ways. Alas, BO is not Open Source, since there is no mention of copyright in the source distribution (and thus implicit "all rights reserved" etc). I'll remove and replace with source distribution. (talk) 19:00, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Nope, it's not all rights reserved. says

Unless otherwise noted, all content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License.

--Elvey (talk) 19:59, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Is that even the same site at all? How do they define site? Does the administrator of /cms has the right to license anything hosted on that host? And either way, by-nc-sa is not a free software license...
--Olofj (talk) 18:21, 11 November 2010 (UTC) (aka

spyware? Nah.[edit]

Everytime a BO client does a subnet search to locate servers, a series of packets is sent to - True? I've seen this mentioned, e.g. [7], on USENET, but I never saw this.--Elvey (talk) 19:59, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

see also[edit]

We should try to work the links in see also-section into text paragraphs. see also-sections are bad because the links there are missing context. --Easyas12c 18:10, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Actually I think there is nothing really important in the see also-section so I'll just copy them here and remove them from the article. --Easyas12c 18:33, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

two letter acronyms[edit]

I wonder, if we should mention BO as an acronym for Back Orifice. I think it has been widely used, but I'm not sure if two letter acronyms make any sense anyway :-) --Easyas12c 18:13, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

split article[edit]

When, if ever, do BO and BO2k warrant separate articles? They are not the same thing; they have similar functionality, but BO2k is not based on BO's code. Both now have a fair amount of info. --Myles Long/cDc 18:23, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Sounds like a good idea. --Easyas12c 18:36, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Split complete. The other half is now at Back Orifice 2000. Lets link them. --Easyas12c 18:51, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

peer review[edit]

I'm planning to have a peer review on Back Orifice 2000 article too, but only after this one has ended. This one may reveal problems that can be fixed in the other one too, before having people review it. --Easyas12c 19:38, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Misleading & outdated[edit]

Until recently, the versions of Microsoft Windows designed for the public were single-user desktop operating systems, which were never designed to function as secure networking platforms. Despite this, Microsoft marketed Windows as the preferred solution for computer users primarily interested in accessing the Internet.

As all those complaining about Vista being delayed keep reminding us, XP is going to have been out for 5 years in October. So I would suggest the until recently is not particularly accurate. Also, NT (and especially 2k) has always been designed for the public. They just weren't intended for ordinary home users until XP, according to Microsoft. But businesses and IT profesionals are still the public. Nil Einne 11:00, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Objective article?[edit]

As a result of the proliferation of Windows systems across the Internet, the operating system was ideally suited for the demonstration of a hacker tool.

In my mind, this doesn't seem to be objectively written. Regardless of ones opinions of Windows, "proliferate" is a negatively charged word.

MEMark 13:13, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

"Another great reason to have a Mac. It’s nearly impossible to get one of these hacks onto a Mac, and another is that open programs appear on the Dock, another alert that something is going on.

In an attempt to hide ‘Periscope’ from bouncing on the dock and even appearing when active, I messed up my Dock and had to reinstall it. Not a pretty thing. " —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wikiblogg (talkcontribs) 18:24, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

what other reasons?[edit]

Quote: For those and other reasons, the antivirus industry immediately categorized the tool as malware and appended Back Orifice to their quarantine lists. I mean, were they technical or political?