GUIDE TO (mostly) HARMLESS HACKING
Vol. 7 No. 1
Introduction to Hacker Wargaming (with
Unix type operating systems)
Since we began running the Hacker
Wargame in March 1988, so far (Oct. 1998) we have just two winners
(blips and spagheti -- GALF doesn't count because they committed
a felony to get in) -- and lots of questions about how to become
a winner. "Please explain keystroke by keystroke,"
people ask again and again.
Sorry, I can't do that for you.
The problem is, when we made the Wargame easy to win, certain
script kiddies came in and repeatedly erased key parts of the
operating system of the Wargame computer -- which is a pain to
fix. So we decided to set up the Wargame so it was harder
to use script kiddie programs. The result, sad to say,
was that winners became rare.
It's pretty boring when only two
people are able to not just break into but maintain control of
one of our Wargame computers. (You aren't a winner unless
you can maintain control.) So this Wargaming series is intended
to teach you, the aspiring Uberhacker, how to rise above the
level of the script kiddie. If this series is successful,
you will learn how hackers such as blips and spagheti have become
computer security experts instead of mere script kiddies.
You will have the opportunity to follow in their footsteps by
learning how to discover new computer vulnerabilities, and learning
how to fix them yourself, without being told "keystroke
In this GTMHH you will learn:
* What are script kiddies and why they are lame
* Why setting up your own LAN (local area network) is the best
way to become
* What kind of hardware you will need
* How to get hardware cheap
* How to get operating system software cheap
What Are Script Kiddies, and Why they Are
Want to know exactly what a script
kiddie is? The Web site http://www.antionline.com
carries some of the best news about computer break-ins.
Its owner, John Vranesevich <firstname.lastname@example.org>
is a self-described hacker, and has interviewed and listened
to thousands of hackers. With his permission, here we reprint
his recent editorial "Facing the Age of the Script Kiddies"
In the past, a hacker was an individual who literally had
to spend years to learn the inner workings of computer
technology, programming, and hardware. Only then could
he begin to explore possible vulnerabilities, and develop,
for himself, ways to exploit those vulnerabilities, and
more importantly, ways to patch them. Through out these
years of learning, the hacker would develop a certain respect
for the technology that he was studying, and a certain
level of maturity would inherently develop as well.
Now, in present day society,
with point and click utilities abound, a younger, less
mature, less knowledgeable, and less respectful, generation of
"hackers" have come to life. Individuals who
haven't had to go through the years of learning, and study.
Individuals, who because of the lack of experiencing this
"learning process" have not developed the traits which
once went hand in hand with the persona of "hacker".
Kids who are at that age, where they have very little self
respect, and even less respect for others. Kids who are
insecure, and have a strong desire to feel that sense of
belonging. The sense of being accepted as part of a group, and
respected among their peers. The same emotional state which
once led inner city youth to gangs, is now leading them
to "hacking". Individuals who feel the ultimate
sense of power in "hacking a webpage". Their words
being read by thousands of others. Their ability to control
something. The technology is not a love, but a tool to
accomplish something much more in their eyes. A tool that
can be used to gain them acceptance, a feeling of empowerment,
belonging, and control. A tool to allow them to escape the ridicule
of the kids on the bus, or the
back of their parent's hand.
Oh, and I can hear people screaming
"stereotyping" right now. Well, call it what
you may. I've talked to literally thousands of these so
called "hackers" over the past 5 or 6 years.
You'd be surprised at how clear of a mold many of them come from.
I am really sick of hearing "we hacked that page to get
a message out". Perhaps, in some very, very, rare
cases, that is true. But, I submit to you, the vast majority
of time a hack is done first, and a political agenda is
developed after hand to help rationalize the crime. On top of
that, one hardly has to "hack a webpage" to get
their point of view told.
That's the wonder of the Internet.
Everyone is an equal. Everyone has the opportunity to post
their views, and share their thoughts. Once again, these
so called "hackers" avoid the developmental process.
They don't want to spend the time and energy necessary
to create a successful website of their own. So, they maliciously
exploit the work of others that have. I'm 19 years old
right now. I know what it is like being upset about something,
and feeling that there's no way to share that with others.
That's one of the reasons that I made AntiOnline.
It's my forum. My way of expressing my views on things.
To think of me, a 19 year old college drop out. Yet, my
work is viewed millions of times every month. That, my
little "hacker" friends, is power. That is what
the Internet is about. That's why it works. That's why
Unless you change your ways
soon, you will never be truly experiencing the wonder that technology
is. To truly love technology, love how it is changing our
society, bringing mankind together in a way never before
experienced in the history of the human race. You'll never
truly be experiencing the very thing that you feel you
have ultimate control over. A true irony indeed.
Of course, as with all things,
there is hope. There are people out their hanging on tightly
to the ways of old, and the true hacker identity. There
are groups like L0pht, the distributed.net bovine group,
and the kids down at your local high school learning visual
Those are the true hackers.
A desire to learn, a desire to be the first to discover
something new. A true hacker mentality is something that
shouldn't be thought of as a dark, mischievous thing, but
perhaps, more like that of a scientist. Study, learn, experiment,
and share what you've found with others......
Yours In CyberSpace,
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