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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 by 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 
an Uberhacker 
* 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 Lame

     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 <jp@antionline.com> 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 it's growing. 

      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 basic. 

      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, 
                John Vranesevich 
                Founder, AntiOnline

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