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Phrack Issue #68 (phrack.org)
159 points by infinity on Apr 14, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 50 comments

The 'Lines In The Sand' piece reads like someone who is enamored with being a 'bad boy' and that breaking the law is just really cool and if you want to be a cool black hat hacker you should basically try to cause as much mayhem as possible, fuck anyone else (but also be in complete solidarity with the black hat brethren who should totally go to jail for you without question). Apparently you can't even hack for a living because that would be selling out. I guess it's just not cool to get paid for doing the thing you'd do for free anyway.

The author is proud, vain, simple-minded, selfish, jaded, misguided, and totally enamored with his/her ideal 'scene' where they get to be the coolest person in the room because they can be an outlaw. You can't just reject all forms of society and pretend to live in your own little world where everything revolves around you and what you want.

We have to accept certain things we don't like because it's the contract we make with our fellow human beings to live together. Yes, i'll pay my taxes. Yes, I will stop at red lights. And no, you cannot steal from me or destroy my property just because you think it's lulzy or because you justify it as part of some cause you have. Something is wrong with this person that they have absolutely no remorse for any collateral damage suffered by his/her actions toward his/her noble cause.

Also, seriously, having a beef with an irc server is like having a beef with a specific bar or restaurant. Just don't go in there if you don't like it.

The 'Happy Hacking' article should just be renamed 'Why Selling Out Isn't As Fun And Cool As Black Hat Hacking'. I'm pretty disappointed in Phrack for publishing crap like these articles.

Maybe you should write a better piece for Phrack 69? To teach these outlaw dweebs some values!

As a student taking a CS degree for fun, I think the 'Happy Hacking' article is fairly insightful. Not of the best quality, perhaps, but insightful none the less.

A good article would have taken the actual source material "The Happiness Hypothesis" and not filtered it through antisec/anticorp propaganda. It's nice that they pointed out the general idea that doing what you love as your job doesn't always work out, but jesus fucking christ, there's so many jobs out there I can guarantee you there's a way to do what you love and make money off it and not grow to hate it. Nothing is set in stone.

Sure, I just get the feeling that you're lucky to find such jobs (jobs where you can do what you love and still love doing it).

New laws drafted by lobbyist create new categories of illegal stuff. Usually with disproportionate punishments. Just ask Dimitri Skylarov. Valid use of circumventions are made illegal (e.g. breaking ebooks DRM so blind people can read). It's getting out of control in USA/EU and many other places, thanks to old money.

If you want to check out a hacking magazine (of sorts) with a more positive, pro self-improvement spin, then try Interesting Times Magazine:


For those, like myself, unsure about the significance of this post, this digital magazine has an infrequent and lengthy release cycle. The last issue is from 2010.

I'm surprised how the younger generation does not seems to know all these things. It's not like if they weren't well-known.

Sometimes I hear "what's 2600?" "why is it called 2600?" from "security professionals". Woot.

I doubt it is related to being the younger generation. I think it is more to do with Hacker News not having many "hackers" ;)

You might be right that there aren't many "hackers" on HN, but a lot of it has to do with how you define the term.

As for not knowing eclectic but important bits of history like "2600" or even who "Lawnchair Larry" was, experience takes time, and knowledge takes effort. A good example is that most people don't know all of the available terminal commands available on a UNIX(-ish including MacOS/iOS/Android) system, let alone know the reasoning or history behind all those "funny" command names.

BTW, I always get a giggle out of your HN user name even though the poor disturbed fellow who tied umteen helium balloons to a lawnchair and shutdown airspace of Los Angeles for a few hours eventually committed suicide after receiving his "Honorable Mention" on the Darwin Awards.

> You might be right that there aren't many "hackers" on HN, but a lot of it has to do with how you define the term.


Here on HN the confusion is worsened because the definition of "hacker" has shifted from ~"security expert" to ~"technical enterpreuner".

Nothing wrong in redefining terms but we shouldn't be surprised if outside here hacker has another meaning.

~"security expert" has never been the canonical definition. http://catb.org/jargon/html/H/hacker.html

Ironically true. I have some friends who are afraid of visiting the site on their work machines because their co-workers are "innocent" enough to think hackernews might be actually about "classic" hacking.

Shouldn't "classic" hacking be the days of yore in Bell Labs? When I think hackers I think Ritchie and Thompson working on C and Unix. The definition of hacking you're thinking of is the media's definition, i.e. the clueless one.

Those who forget history are not likely to learn from it...

In all seriousness, in this day and age of social media, FB, etc. the old school tech mags just aren't well known. I'm really not surprised that even younger security interested people don't know them. 2600, Phrack, and the like just don't end up on people's radars...

I'm not sure why that is.

I think the landscape has changed a lot since then. Back then computer security had more of an underground feel it, where free and open discussion about it was viewed as being discouraged by 'the authorities'. The 'underground' pretty much existed for this reason.

Now the information out there is so widely available. Given enough time and effort, you can become pretty well-versed based on what's available.

Still, even back then most people weren't aware of Phrack, defcong and 2600. Kevin Mitnick was the only thing people knew of, and that came pretty late. Whereas today if you haven't heard of Anonymous you've been living under a rock.

(Phreaking also has become less relevant with the proliferation unlimited cellphone plans, ubiquitous broadband, and proper encryption of cell calls. I never hear the term 'phreaking' anymore, which was a large part of 'the scene'.)

Overall, I think the spirit of encouraging the'free exchange and discussion of information' has ultimately been successful.

I think we shouldn't sleep on our laurels.

Free exchange of information, security wise, is certainly already a thing of the past. That's not good.

Freedom of information (as I prefer to call it), in general, is more than ever at risk. In France, they're outlawing surfing on websites that can be called "terrorist".

That include documenting yourself on "bad" countries' culture (bad as in your govt does not like them), or of course, reading phrack's art of exploitation.

In Germany using tools such as nmap is outlawed if you're not a security professional.

Not need to get started on China or even the USA.

Then, take a look at Full disclosure's current activity. It's not dying because it's "an old ml". It's dying because people do not want to exchange free information. Who would, when you can sell it hundred thousand of dollars? (and the answer to that should be somewhere in your soul, right next to Phrack's World News)

My post said nothing to argue 'resting on our laurels' or any other political arguments to do so. It was about today relative to the past.

And I really don't see how free exchange is a thing of the past when even on HN there are posts and discussions about security. Sure, there are people working against the free exchange of information, but cherry-picking examples to suggest there has been a total reversal or that nothing has been accomplished is neither realistic nor fair.

> Phreaking also has become less relevant with ...

Fortress phones did not help much either. Of course now even those pay phones are getting removed from a lot of locations.

Not that the exception proves the rule, but I'm 26 and have been reading 2600 since about the 8th grade. Passed down from an uncle.

There are a LOT of "security professionals" who know nothing about security

Thankfully, my security professor clued us in. I graduated undergrad last year, and I wrote my first exploit (for that class) based on the phrack article on format string exploits.

I think the most well-known article is Smashing the stack for fun and profit by Aleph1

What I read was scut's article. My exploits were format strings, not overflows. Now that I search for it, it may not have been in phrack after all, though I'm sure I had to read some phrack articles, so it must have referenced them.

This makes me so happy. Reading old copies of Phrack in the early to mid nineties is one of the major things that fueled my passion for technology. I remember at the time feeling like I was arriving too late - that all the cool stuff had already happened. If I only knew...

I'm glad to see a magazine, even sporadic, that has been around on and off since my days BBSing. It is fun to go back and read old articles in Phrack, 2600, and others...

I hope to see more.

Would love to see a new issue of hacktic.nl

Maar ik kan niet lezen Nederlands.


You wanna talk about news for hackers, and not this Bay Area, VC-manipulated, water-downed, same-ol' bullshit? Phrack is real talk. If you want to travel outside of California and actually call yourself a hacker, you're gonna need to read this and as much of the archive as you can. Phrack 0wnz.

Shameless plug: Interesting Times Magazine - http://interestingtimesmagazine.net/download.html

We try to keep the old-school badboy ethos from Phrack and 2600, but we write about hacking in a greater sense. Ie hacking the body, hacking relationships, hacking gardening (aka permaculture), hacking one's own psyche, all kinds of fun stuff :)

We aim to be what you would get if you were to put Tim Ferriss and Tony Robbins in charge of 2600 :)

Good point. Also, why are you on this site? You can't get much more "Bay Area, VC-manipulated, water-downed, same-ol' bullshit" than HN.

I like both!

I live in the Bay now, and I am running a start-up project. I think that startups are good!

I'm just coming from a culture where hacker means something very different. In California, it seems to just mean "developer," and HackerNews should probably just be called DeveloperNews, but really it's too late for that now, and not really even worth talking about. Words can mean different things regionally, and that's okay. That's the only point I was trying to make.

I just found my hard copy of issue 57 that they printed out for hal2001 while sorting out old books. :) that was a great con.

Here's a pic of the cover http://sitethree.com/phrack.jpg sorry for the twitter image link but easiest way with my iPad.

(Updated link)

easiest, but useless, since your account is protected.

Ah damn I'll switch to laptop and fix this sorry.



wait, why can I download the .tar.gz of Issue 67, but not 68? (I get a file with just "nice try ;-)" )

Perhaps they've sold out and your only options are to read it on their web site or purchase an Amazon DRMed eBook version.

Haha, how can you be sold out of an eBook? Besides, it's a free download.

An eBook is an abstract thing you can't be sold out of, but integrity and desire to disseminate information freely are.

Well said.

No. "Sold out" to The Man. The Capitalist Man.

Man, I hate people who are successful doing what comes naturally to them.

works for me

Nice Try ;)

Thank you: The Phrack Staff.

Eventually it is out....woohoooo...was waiting for it for soooo long...:):)

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