Skyhigh 11 ch04 Hacking in the 1990's

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  hacking in the 1990's by steve/laser

  hacking in the 1990's by steve/laser

ever since the advent of the computer
modem there have been various people who
simply wanted to delve in deeper into
the myriad of possibilities their modem
offered them.  the film 'wargames' shown
in the early 1980's however did much to
popularise the activity!  suddenly it
was realised that it was possible to do
more than just call bulletin boards and
pay monstrous phone bills!

the first hackers were not surprisingly
americans and alongside the american
pirate groups of the 1980's there were
also a large amount of hacker groups.
the most famous american hacker groups
ever were the legion of doom, dpac and
masters of destruction.

unlike the american pirate groups the
hacker groups were interested only in
hacking and very few made the crossover
into the pirate world.  membership of
the legion of doom was fairly variable
and consisted of few more than maybe 12
members in the usa+canada with only 2
members overseas in england and germany.

most hacking in the usa was and still is
fairly small stuff.  the legion of doom
bbs black ice for example was always on
a different number in the usa which was
achieved by hacking into the at&t phone
network computer and re-routing an
unsuspecting american citizen's phone
number to the bbs!  membership to the
board to this day (black ice still runs
in a very limited capacity now on an
amiga 4000) is still very hard to get.
last time i called black ice however
there were rumours of it being taken
down once and for all due to pressures
from at&t and other us phone companies
concerned with the number of calls
being made to it using stolen codes.

the most infamous hack of all time which
happened in germany is known simply as
'the illuminati conspiracy' which ended
in a smalltime hacker called karl koch
being murdered.  karl was last seen
alive on the 23 may 1989.  he was
supposedly murdered by the stasi (east
german secret police) or the kgb.  karl
was approached at a hacker meet by a
hacker called peter kahl from hannover
who was trying to recruit hackers who
would hack information from military
computers belonging to the usa for the
kgb in russia.  karl's handle was
hagbard and to help him with hacking he
military systems he visited the 1985
congress of a hacker group in germany
called chaos.  at the congress hagbard
met pengo, handel and bach.  handel and
bach were experts in hacking systems
using the digital vax operating system.

after a brief career of hacking and
selling information to kgb however the
team were arrested by the west german
secret service (the verfassungsschutz).
bach and handel were granted immunity
from prosecution for full co-operation.
whereas the others were arrested and
sentenced in july 1987.  nearly 2 years
later karl koch was silenced.

the penalties for being caught hacking
vary depending on which country you
live in.  until 1988 hacking was not
illegal here in the united kingdom until
a small time uk hacker called 'triludan
the warrior' (triludan is an english
drug) was arrested and went to court
resulting in a 2 million pounds (4.5
million deutschmarks or 3.5 million us
dollars) cost to the english people.  as
a result of this case the english
government passed a new law covering
hacking.  triludan's crime?  well all he
did was hack into a viewdata system
called prestel (similar to teltron in
holland or btx in germany) and leave
e-mail to the queen's husband in his pri
vate mail-box!

the penalty for hacking in the usa is
very severe and is dealt with by the fbi
and the nsa (national security agency).
simply running a board with a codeline
or code sub can result in a jail term of
up to 10 years.  in england things are a
bit different and if caught running a
codeline you would be unlikely to get a
jail term.  hacking in england however
is a different matter.

in england british telecom is allowed
without applying for permission to trace
any call at any time except toll-free
0800 calls (at&t usa direct or mci for
example) so the chances of being caught
hacking in england are much higher and
would result in a jail term from six
months to 5 years long!

most hacking is a lot harder than it
seems so the person wishing to start out
hacking should be aware of this.  for
example it is virtually impossible to
hack into a bank's computer and transfer
money to your own account!  most hackers
start out by hacking into a college or
university computer which provides them
with a starting point.  the new hacker
will then usually move onto something
like hacking the phone service's
computer or the computer of a credit
reference agency.  some hackers hack
for money and have hacked into the files
of the driving licence records in
england offering people new licences for

hacking in the usa has almost died since
1988 when a 64 sysop called the dictator
was busted by the arizona police for
phreaking.  the police didn't know what
to do with the guy's board so they let
him put it back up and let the national
security agency run the board to gather
information on pirates and hackers.  at
one time i called this board and for six
months after the bust i received calls
from at&t threatening to take me to
court.  it never happened however but
one bust that did arise out of this was
that several of the 64 guys in nevada
who still blue-boxed were busted and
phreaking in the usa became almost
impossible.  the us officials went out
for a all out bust on hackers in 1990
after hackers brought down the at&t
network for over nine hours at 14:25 on
the 15th of january 1990.  some of the
hackers were knight lightning who faced
ten counts of felony (upto sixtyfive
years in prison), acid phreak, phiber
optik and the scorpion.  in total the
us police issued over 30 search warrants
and arrests in chicago, detroit, miami,
newark, san diego, pittsburgh, new york,
phoenix, plano, san jose, and tucson.
some hackers were lucky and knew what
was coming.  for example when the fbi
raided the house of erik bloodaxe all
they could find was a handheld pac-man
game and a telephone and no evidence.

as you can see the penalties for hacking
can be very severe but can be rewarding
and challenging.  for those of you
interested in hacking and finding out
more you can call my bbs 'straylight' on
+XXXXXXXXXXXX anytime for a chat.

             steve of laser


i've enclosed this chapter, because i do
believe that a lot of you sceners out
there find hacking very exciting.
it's a bit hush-hush. and that wake up
the curious part in most of us.. i hope
you have enjoyed it as much as i did!!

i would like to thank steve for sharing
his knowledge with us..
be sure to find an interview with him in
issue #12 of this magazine.

                                BIZ KID
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