Obfuscated Filenames in NZB Files and Usenet Newsgroups

Starting in early 2013 or so, Usenet posters began to obfuscate filenames. So instead of seeing a set of files like this in your NZB files or newsgroups:


…you now might see something like this instead:


While this is not a serious problem, it can be inconvenient if you are using an NZB downloader app that hasn’t been updated. What will happen is that after it downloads the files, it will try to unPAR them, but the operation will fail because it won’t be able to find the right files.

However, the PAR2 file will contain not only the correct filenames, but also MD5 hash codes which it can use to rename the files. SuperNZB v4.2.0 and higher can do that. If you want to continue using your old NZB program, you can handle the PARing and RARing processes yourself by using QuickPAR on Windows and MacPar Deluxe on the Mac. Both apps know how to rename obfuscated files. See this page for more info.

Note: In SuperNZB, if you move the PAR2 file up to the top of the Queue you will be able to watch the files get renamed as they are downloaded. Otherwise, the renaming won’t occur until the PAR2 is downloaded.

6 Responses to “Obfuscated Filenames in NZB Files and Usenet Newsgroups”

  1. Don Huppe says:

    I am trying to restore what I thought I was a backup of files from my PC (Dell) but when I try to retrieve it – it does not know how to open these files. When I researched the .nzb extension – I went to your site. I have subsequently reformated my hard drive and have downloaded the original image (system) that was on the computer when purchased.

    • admin says:

      This page is about a different kind of NZB file which has nothing to do with backups. I hope you can get your system restored okay.


  2. TheTrekhippy says:

    I am not having a problem with using any of the files I get from Newshosting, but I am having a problem with finding the files because of the obfuscated filenames and I am looking for some way to know how to find what I am looking for. Also I am a switchover from the other type of file downloading … you know the one I mean? and I use that page to reference like, uploader name, file size, date the scene put it up, date aired, I find a lot of the files but not all which I am confused by because if the scene put it up wouldn’t one of them upload to the feeds?

  3. Matt says:

    I’m not exactly sure what you mean, but on Usenet not all of the files are meant for the general public. Sometimes it is just two people exchanging a file, and they just don’t care weather or not anybody else can make use of it.

  4. tuxlie says:

    Is there any way of seeing the posts real name without downloading it.
    I see a bunch of obfuscated headers and I want to know what they really are without downloading them, is this possible ?

    • Matt says:

      You can download the par2 file, and look inside. It will have a list of all the files in the set and their real names.

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