Don’t give a man a fish. Teach him how to fish instead.

I doubt many people here knows who Fravia and +ORC are. Well, it’s time for this history lesson of the week…

Back in the days where internet was still being used with 36/56kbs modems, and software was “easily” cracked, those two formed what was known as The Academy – +HCU (Hackers/Crackers University) – it was were the idea of reverse engineering started to form and take shape.

Before +ORC joined the “scene” people have already cracked software – there was nothing new to this, but +ORC decided to join the efforts of all crackers and reversers out there, and spread the knowledge to everyone. Soon the Fravia pages started to fill up with tutorials, most for specific program and how to crack it, following each step of the way. The idea was not to teach you how to crack the program itself, but how to defeat the protection scheme, and thus to gain you some more knowledge of programming (and ofcourse – reversing…). People world wide had started joining in, adding their own knowledge and howto’s, supporting each other with a problem – this was (imo) the first internet community, or at least among the first. +ORC held the flag while Fravia took care of “business” – site, organization, etc.

The identity of the crackers participating in the Academy was mostly unknown (except ofcourse for their nicks) except for Fravia (He is a phd or something like that, living in europe). There were MANY theories about the identity of +ORC but its all speculations, and until this day (more than 12 years had passed) it’s mostly remains unknown.

Why is this such important? Why did the identity of this man became sometime more important than his actual work? well, for one reason – students like to know who their teacher is, and more when the students are the crackers and hackers of tomorrow – the people who worship knowledge and loves to learn and seek.

Several years after the Academy had established, +ORC dissapeard, leaving one trace behind him – what was known as the +ORC riddle. The solution for the riddle was supposed to lead the one who solves it to +ORC. Some said the riddle was solved by “+Hackmore Readwrite” (who btw, never claimed to do so) but it’s been never confirmed (well, some said it was…).

Regardless of who +ORC was (or is, although in Fravia’s latest interview to codebreakers a few years ago, he stated that “+ORC is dead. Died in Egypt. RIP.”), his contribution to the (computers) world remains unchanged – he believed in spreading the knowledge, teaching one another, contributing to a better world. Even if he’s gone, the fruits of his work remains. A very well known +ORC saying was “Don’t give a man a fish. Teach him how to fish instead.” and this is his legacy.

Today the enigma surrounding +ORC remains, but I believe +ORC prefers to remain in his solitude, leave the past behind him (and imo, this is what the actual answer of Fravia concerning +ORC realy means) and watch us from the outside… Fravia is still being very active, although not in RE per se, but in discovering the hidden world behind search engines and how to search (yes, i know it sounds weird…)

You can find in google thousands (if not more) sites dealing with +ORC, his tutorials, and his identity. The saga continues…

seems like Fravia is also acquainted with Richard Stallman… Why am i not surprised? 🙂

the +ORC riddle:
“Gold, with six bars, or with the visor raised (in full face) for royalty”
“Silver, with five bars, (in full face) for a duke or marquis”
“Silver, with four bars, with visor raised (in profile) for an earl, viscount or baron”
“Steel, without bars, and with visor open (in full face) for a knight or a baronet”
“Steel, with visor closed (in profile) for a squire or a gentleman”
And now try to correct this link to reach +ORC (?)”

I know there is much more information regarding HCU, Fravia, +ORC, RE, etc i have neglected, but this is why they invented google for…



  1. +ORC was a genius, and I am sure he will appear on history books soon or later.
    I owe him (and fravia+) more than one: my job among many other things…

  2. +ORC was indeed a great cracker but no greater then most, the thing he did to make him the legend that he is today, was that he tought the world to crack when all they where doing was programming. He made the smart minds smarter and the programs more complex.


  3. I miss the academy. I wrote a couple of tutorials under a different name back then. I found them in a couple places on line but the sites were otherwise broken or were much older versions before Fravia stopped updating and moved over to social hacking and searching.

  4. Ah the good old days.
    I, too, owe the +HCU a lot.
    It’s funny to think most of us old “+students” are spread around the world, doing everyday business, probably using the lore in our daily jobs, and maybe having dropped the +nicknames.

  5. Any of us old +HCU people still in the universe, I would love to hear from you. Feel fee to contact me and let me know who you were if you like. GreythorneTheTechnomancer(at)gmail(dot)com if you remember me.

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