Focus and Purpose
Underworld is an non-profit grassroot organization founded in Norway in 1999, with a goal to work on general awareness-raising efforts on cyber-crime and immoral deeds on the Internet.
At the time Underworld was founded, younger people gained much knowledge about the internet, and we had the belief that criminal acts performed in the absence of anything better to exploit this knowledge. By gathering a group of people with much knowledge of the Internet and the technology around, we created an environment who’s desire was to use this knowledge in a positive and creative direction instead of destructive.
Underworld started on the irc-network Undernet in 1998. Anders Hardangen gathered a group of people from different IRC-channels and founded #Underworld, as a new gathering place for computer-interested youth. The goal was to start a social group who would focus on something positive in a time where there focus was more aimed at destruction. As time passed by, and the group of people grew, we wanted to formally found an organization. We got our self web-servers, constructed the first website, mailing-lists and then the organization was formally founded within the Brønnøysundsregister.
The organization which was registered in 1999 was registered by Anders Hardagen (President), Torgeir Hansen (vice-president), Kent Vissebråten (board chairman) and Alte Bjørnerud (boardmember).
As time passed by it was time for newer and bigger projects. Underworld started free hosting of several Internet-services for those within our organization, services for IRC-channels, expanded througout more IRC-networks and while expanding, we also linked in our own IRC-servers. In the start we linked to smaller networks, and have now moved on to some of the biggest IRC-networks there is.
In 2001 Underworld and fiXers joined forces. fiXers had up to that point been a group on EFnet who helped people servicing their IRC-channels, and would help them if they lost operatorstatus of their channels. Upto 2001 this was a technical operation. In 2001 EFnet developed channel services, and TS5, so fiXers purpose was rendered obsolete. At that point, Anders Kringstad who was the leader of fiXers, decided to join Underworld, to help build Underworld into a stronger Organization.
In 2003 it was decided to split Underworld into two seperate entites. Underworld would still be the social part with hosting of IRC-services, with social networks like IRCnick.no, while hosting of other primary services would be named NetCore. Hence NetCore is hosting web, nameservices, and mail for a variety of projects, while Underworld is keeping the IRC-part alive.
Security became a focus in 2006 when a group of IRC Operators on the Underworld servers wanted to clean up infected machines abusing public IRC networks. It has since then grown in to one of the core operations of Underworld
Underworld today consists of a major public IRC services and global security initiatives. It is still run by volunteers and idealists in the field of information technology.