David Sheets, an excellent tech reporter at the Post Dispatch, writes a brief tribute
to Phrack magazine, whose run has come to end. It's sad for me, but brings back memories I cherish to this day. I remember one summer, working a boring office job early in high school, printing out dozens of Phrack issues, storing them in a binder and pouring over them for weeks at a time. Making notes in the margins, looking for more details... This was 10-15 years ago and there weren't security books, articles or sites other than Phrack and 2600 floating around. I would pull them off of BBSs and organize them on the bookshelf by publication date. And I still remember reading the piece below from Mentor for the first time and getting goosebumps. Things were more pure then. There weren't billion dollar security companies, distributed denial of service attacks and massive identity thefts. Most people just explored
and asked questions. How things have changed...
Volume One, Issue 7, Phile 3 of 10
Written on January 8, 1986
Another one got caught today, it's all over the papers. "Teenager
Arrested in Computer Crime Scandal", "Hacker Arrested after Bank Tampering"...
Damn kids. They're all alike.
But did you, in your three-piece psychology and 1950's technobrain,
ever take a look behind the eyes of the hacker? Did you ever wonder what
made him tick, what forces shaped him, what may have molded him?
I am a hacker, enter my world...
Mine is a world that begins with school... I'm smarter than most of
the other kids, this crap they teach us bores me...
Damn underachiever. They're all alike.
I'm in junior high or high school. I've listened to teachers explain
for the fifteenth time how to reduce a fraction. I understand it. "No, Ms.
Smith, I didn't show my work. I did it in my head..."
Damn kid. Probably copied it. They're all alike.
I made a discovery today. I found a computer. Wait a second, this is
cool. It does what I want it to. If it makes a mistake, it's because I
screwed it up. Not because it doesn't like me...
Or feels threatened by me...
Or thinks I'm a smart ass...
Or doesn't like teaching and shouldn't be here...
Damn kid. All he does is play games. They're all alike.
And then it happened... a door opened to a world... rushing through
the phone line like heroin through an addict's veins, an electronic pulse is
sent out, a refuge from the day-to-day incompetencies is sought... a board is
"This is it... this is where I belong..."
I know everyone here... even if I've never met them, never talked to
them, may never hear from them again... I know you all...
Damn kid. Tying up the phone line again. They're all alike...
You bet your ass we're all alike... we've been spoon-fed baby food at
school when we hungered for steak... the bits of meat that you did let slip
through were pre-chewed and tasteless. We've been dominated by sadists, or
ignored by the apathetic. The few that had something to teach found us will-
ing pupils, but those few are like drops of water in the desert.
This is our world now... the world of the electron and the switch, the
beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying
for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn't run by profiteering gluttons, and
you call us criminals. We explore... and you call us criminals. We seek
after knowledge... and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color,
without nationality, without religious bias... and you call us criminals.
You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us
and try to make us believe it's for our own good, yet we're the criminals.
Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is
that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like.
My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me
I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual,
but you can't stop us all... after all, we're all alike.
Anonymity, spoofing and identity
I wrote an article on IP spoofing
a couple of years ago that remains very popular. I still regularly receive emails with questions regarding IP spoofing and anonymity on the Internet. With that in mind, I'm working on a follow-up article that will touch on similar topics. A rehash of IP spoofing, but other subjects including wireless use, onion routing, proxy chaining and various types of ID spoofing. I hope it serves as a practical introduction for those new to the subject and looking for some clarifications and background info. If you have any topics you would like to see addressed, let me know