SOLDIERX was founded by Clinton H. Weir (Kefka/Ordune/Shto) in 1997 as a RPG group known as "SOLDIER". RaT was appointed as the president of the group, RPGMaster the Vice President. Other notable members included Blake and BadGer. "SOLDIER" quickly became the largest group as RaT started to get into programming. He got into programming with the help of "MaGuS", the then-infamous creator of the "Fate X" program series. SOLDIER wanted to make the whole AOL RPG'ing scene completely automated. He decided that they would do this with a test game application he created dubbed "RaT Fighter 1.0 Beta". The program was a huge success and "RaT Fighter 1.0" was eventually created. After his creation was finished, he was pleased that the games in the RPG scene now had the option to be automated - so he worked with his fellow programmers to decide what should be done next.
RaT then started studying computer security and System V Unix. One of the main sources he used for information when he started out was Phrack Magazine. He then started to meet new people who were like-minded. It was during this time that RaT was first introduced to free operating systems such as Linux and FreeBSD. As the group evolved, the "§OLDIER" page started to contain questionable content. Due to this, the site was constantly being shut down on whatever free server it was hosted on. If §OLDIER was going to move forward, it needed to be free of the current TOS (Terms of Service) agreements that free hosts made you follow.
In 1998, RaT decided to register SOLDIERX.COM and pay to have it hosted. RaT decided to rename the group "§OLDIERX" The site kept growing and RaT kept learning more and more. Shortly after the Columbine incident, RaT was interrogated and his computer was seized. This was due to the fact that he used to talk to one of the killers, who went by "Reb", and played Doom online with him. The police looked into RaT, and found that SOLDIERX.COM contained anarchy material such as bomb recipes. RaT then decided that it was time to close down SOLDIERX.COM.
RaT turned the "§OLDIERX" group over to BadGer and gave SOLDIERX.COM to Blake (one of the members of SX). Blake turned the site into "§OLDIER X Gaming" in hopes of creating a gaming company using the popularity of the old SX site. BadGer became president of the "§OLDIERX" group and lead the group at http://www.protectionsquad.com. Although RaT claimed to have retired from illegal hacking, he had not. Leaving the group was just a distraction to cover up what he was really doing. RaT had just got the "@home" broadband access which had just come to his city. Little did he know that when you sign the contract allowing them to monitor you - THEY REALLY DO.
RaT had joined BLACKCODE as "ZePhiRaT" and had continued to learn and break into systems. RaT then went on a hacking-spree. After compromising many servers, he was eventually brought down (thanks to his ISP turning him into the FBI) on Friday the 13th of August 1999. Blake closed down SOLDIERX.COM due to fear that he would be connected to the crimes committed by RaT (it is also important to note that §OLDIER X Gaming was not reaching any of the goals that Blake had set, and most of the original people involved had lost interest in the company).
RaT was then kept in solitary confinement awaiting trial. During his first hearing, the judge decided that he was too much of a threat to society to let him stay at home. RaT had to stay in prison not only until his first hearing, but also until his second hearing - which was scheduled a long time after his first hearing. During his second hearing, with his parents and his attorney once again in attendance, the judge decided to give RaT a chance to go home. He said, "RaT (real name ommitted), it is clear to me that your knowledge and skill is in excess to the average computer user, and you can be a major threat to the society. Are you going to continue to do these sorts of things?" to which RaT responded "No." The judge decided to let him go home, and set a court date for September 22, 2000 - with two charges pending: a misdeamenor and a class D Felony. He was now out of jail, at home, but he was not able use a computer in conjunction with the internet. He has been ordered not to associate with anyone on probation, and when he went back to court, he could end up going to jail.
RaT decided that the people online needed to know what was going on, so he contacted some of his associates via phone. They told him that he should have SOLDIERX.COM reopened, but have other people put the information online for him. RaT agreed, and the site was re-opened on January 31, 2000. At that time the purpose of the page was to explain what was going on legally with RaT. SOLDIERX.COM was a source of information about his arrest and court hearings and such. Through some carefully thought out plans, RaT was only sentenced to 18 weeks of out patient care (spending your days in a mental home type environment taking psychological evaluation tests and such). It is important to note that during this time period it was popular to give out sentences like this as hackers were being viewed as computer addicts. The goal of the treatment was to keep RaT from wanting to use a computer or hack anymore. Although this was hell, RaT endured it during his days and studied security during his nights.
Once RaT was finished with court he finally got his computer back. He then re-established his connection to the internet and started to communicate with all of his former crew members and hacker friends. They all wanted to see SOLDIERX restored to its former glory, so RaT started to recruit again. This time he called the group the "SOLDIERX CREW". Many people came and went as RaT couldn't find reliable people or people that could stay out of legal trouble. Many projects were completed and many never reached completion. The big shift from the old SX to the new SX was that the majority of attack tools never reached a public release. The old SX would release tools in their beta stages to get feedback. The new SX was afraid of the response that some of the attack tools would get.
RaT attended Defcon 8 with BadGer and Amp right before he left for college. Defcon gave SX a better idea of what was going on in the public hacking community. After being in college for a few weeks, he realized that SOLDIERX needed a change. That change became known as SOLDIERX.COM v2.0. Shortly after v2.0 was originally released, RaT and the SX crew went through and modified it into the finalized version. As 2001 rolled around, SOLDIERX.COM united with HACK3R and prepared for its 4th year as a group.
It was during this time that hacking started to become more and more mainstream. With simple IIS exploits and the ability to grep source code for 0day, many members of SX got themselves into some serious trouble (many of them also got away with their crimes, but we won't be discussing that ^_^). Faced with personal issues and law enforcement questioning him about his affiliates and about SOLDIERX, RaT decided it would be best if he went more underground. Once the commotion died down, RaT started to work on something which he had left far behind.
This was Project 25SX or SOLDIERX version 2.5 as it has become known as. This project was to take SOLDIERX back to its roots - information insemination. This idea removed much of the secrecy behind SX and the difficulty to get involved. Anybody who wanted to help with the site was able to. This was all thanks to a primitive CMS (Content Management System) written in Python by RaT and William Wallace. The project (and code) was dubbed "Navi" based on Serial Experiments Lain. If a piece of work met criteria, it was posted onto the site by one of the admins. This was kind of like an early version of wikipedia for hackers if you think about it. It was all part of a dream RaT had of a site filled with programs and information which people frequented without incurring a charge. Those people learned from the site, and in turn gave back to it. The site would never be the same. If you look at the current site, all people are welcome to contribute to it. It is increasingly apparent that the wheels of Project 25SX are still in motion.
Conf Line, WoH, and Golden Payphones
To be continued...