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Фантастика. Фэнтези
   Зарубежная фантастика
      Bruce Sterling. The hacker crackdown -
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could not rest until they had contacted the underground -- or, failing that, created their own. In the mid-80s, underground boards sprang up like digital fungi. ShadowSpawn Elite. Sherwood Forest I, II, and III. Digital Logic Data Service in Florida, sysoped by no less a man than "Digital Logic" himself; Lex Luthor of the Legion of Doom was prominent on this board, since it was in his area code. Lex's own board, "Legion of Doom," started in 1984. The Neon Knights ran a network of Apple- hacker boards: Neon Knights North, South, East and West. Free World II was run by "Major Havoc." Lunatic Labs is still in operation as of this writing. Dr. ъipco in Chicago, an anything-goes anarchist board with an extensive and raucous history, was seized by Secret Service agents in 1990 on Sundevil day, but up again almost immediately, with new machines and scarcely diminished vigor. The St. Louis scene was not to rank with major centers of American hacking such as New York and L.A. But St. Louis did rejoice in possession of "Knight Lightning" and "Taran King," two of the foremost *journalists* native to the underground. Missouri boards like Metal Shop, Metal Shop Private, Metal Shop Brewery, may not have been the heaviest boards around in terms of illicit expertise. But they became boards where hackers could exchange social gossip and try to figure out what the heck was going on nationally -- and internationally. Gossip from Metal Shop was put into the form of news files, then assembled into a general electronic publication, *Phrack,* a portmanteau title coined from "phreak" and "hack." The *Phrack* editors were as obsessively curious about other hackers as hackers were about machines. *Phrack,* being free of charge and lively reading, began to circulate throughout the underground. As Taran King and Knight Lightning left high school for college, *Phrack* began to appear on mainframe machines linked to BITNET, and, through BITNET to the "Internet," that loose but extremely potent not-for-profit network where academic, governmental and corporate machines trade data through the UNIX TCP/IP protocol. (The "Internet Worm" of November 2-3,1988, created by Cornell grad student ъobert Morris, was to be the largest and best- publicized computer-intrusion scandal to date. Morris claimed that his ingenious "worm" program was meant to harmlessly explore the Internet, but due to bad programming, the Worm replicated out of control and crashed some six thousand Internet computers. Smaller- scale and less ambitious Internet hacking was a standard for the underground elite.) Most any underground board not hopelessly lame and out-of-it would feature a complete run of *Phrack* -- and, possibly, the lesser-known standards of the underground: the *Legion of Doom Technical Journal,* the obscene and raucous *Cult of the Dead Cow* files, *P/HUN* magazine, *Pirate,* the *Syndicate ъeports,* and perhaps the highly anarcho-political *Activist Times Incorporated.* Possession of *Phrack* on one's board was prima facie evidence of a bad attitude. *Phrack* was seemingly everywhere, aiding, abetting, and spreading the underground ethos. And this did not escape the attention of corporate security or the police. We now come to the touchy subject of police and boards. Police, do, in fact, own boards. In 1989, there were police-sponsored boards in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Michigan, Missouri, Texas, and Virginia: boards such as "Crime Bytes," "Crimestoppers," "All Points" and "Bullet-N-Board." Police officers, as private computer enthusiasts, ran their own boards in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Missouri, Maryland, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas. Police boards have often proved helpful in community relations. Sometimes crimes are reported on police boards. Sometimes crimes are *committed* on police boards. This has sometimes happened by accident, as naive hackers blunder onto police boards and blithely begin offering telephone codes. Far more often, however, it occurs through the now almost-traditional use of "sting boards." The first police sting-boards were established in 1985: "Underground Tunnel" in Austin, Texas, whose sysop Sgt. ъobert Ansley called himself "Pluto" -- "The Phone Company" in Phoenix, Arizona, run by Ken MacLeod of the Maricopa County Sheriff's office -- and Sgt. Dan Pasquale's board in Fremont, California. Sysops posed as hackers, and swiftly garnered coteries of ardent users, who posted codes and loaded pirate software with abandon, and came to a sticky end. Sting boards, like other boards, are cheap to operate, very cheap by the standards of undercover police operations. Once accepted by the local underground, sysops will likely be invited into other pirate boards, where they can compile more dossiers. And when the sting is announced and the worst offenders arrested, the publicity is generally gratifying. The resultant paranoia in the underground -- perhaps more justly described as a "deterrence effect" -- tends to quell local lawbreaking for quite a while. Obviously police do not have to beat the underbrush for hackers. On the contrary, they can go trolling for them. Those caught can be grilled. Some become useful informants. They can lead the way to pirate boards all across the country. And boards all across the country showed the sticky fingerprints of *Phrack,* and of that loudest and most flagrant of all underground groups, the "Legion of Doom." The term "Legion of Doom" came from comic books. The Legion of Doom, a conspiracy of costumed super- villains headed by the chrome-domed criminal ultra- mastermind Lex Luthor, gave Superman a lot of four-color graphic trouble for a number of decades. Of course, Superman, that exemplar of Truth, Justice, and the American Way, always won in the long run. This didn't matter to the hacker Doomsters -- "Legion of Doom" was not some thunderous and evil Satanic reference, it was not meant to be taken seriously. "Legion of Doom" came from funny-books and was supposed to be funny. "Legion of Doom" did have a good mouthfilling ring to it, though. It sounded really cool. Other groups, such as the "Farmers of Doom," closely allied to LoD, recognized this grandiloquent quality, and made fun of it. There was even a hacker group called "Justice League of America," named after Superman's club of true-blue crimefighting superheros. But they didn't last; the Legion did. The original Legion of Doom, hanging out on Quasi Moto's Plovernet board, were phone phreaks. They weren't much into computers. "Lex Luthor" himself (who was under eighteen when he formed the Legion) was a COSMOS expert, COSMOS being the "Central System for Mainframe Operations," a telco internal computer network. Lex would eventually become quite a dab hand at breaking into IBM mainframes, but although everyone liked Lex and admired his attitude, he was not considered a truly accomplished computer intruder. Nor was he the "mastermind" of the Legion of Doom -- LoD were never big on formal leadership. As a regular on Plovernet and sysop of his "Legion of Doom BBS," Lex was the Legion's cheerleader and recruiting officer. Legion of Doom began on the ruins of an earlier phreak group, The Knights of Shadow. Later, LoD was to subsume the personnel of the hacker group "Tribunal of Knowledge." People came and went constantly in LoD; groups split up or formed offshoots. Early on, the LoD phreaks befriended a few computer-intrusion enthusiasts, who became the associated "Legion of Hackers." Then the two groups conflated into the "Legion of Doom/Hackers," or LoD/H. When the original "hacker" wing, Messrs. "Compu- Phreak" and "Phucked Agent 04," found other matters to occupy their time, the extra "/H" slowly atrophied out of the name; but by this time the phreak wing, Messrs. Lex Luthor, "Blue Archer," "Gary Seven," "Kerrang Khan," "Master of Impact," "Silver Spy," "The Marauder," and "The Videosmith," had picked up a plethora of intrusion expertise and had become a force to be reckoned with. LoD members seemed to have an instinctive understanding that the way to real power in the underground lay through covert publicity. LoD were flagrant. Not only was it one of the earliest groups, but the members took pains to widely distribute their illicit knowledge. Some LoD members, like "The Mentor," were close to evangelical about it. *Legion of Doom Technical Journal* began to show up on boards throughout the underground. *LoD Technical Journal* was named in cruel parody of the ancient and honored *AT&T Technical Journal.* The material in these two publications was quite similar -- much of it, adopted from public journals and discussions in the telco community. And yet, the predatory attitude of LoD made even its most innocuous data seem deeply sinister; an outrage; a clear and present danger. To see why this should be, let's consider the following (invented) paragraphs, as a kind of thought experiment. (A) "W. Fred Brown, AT&T Vice President for Advanced Technical Development, testified May 8 at a Washington hearing of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), regarding Bellcore's GAъDEN project. GAъDEN (Generalized Automatic ъemote Distributed Electronic Network) is a telephone-switch programming tool that makes it possible to develop new telecom services, including hold-on-hold and customized message transfers, from any keypad terminal, within seconds. The GAъDEN prototype combines centrex lines with a minicomputer using UNIX operating system software." (B) "Crimson Flash 512 of the Centrex Mobsters reports: D00dz, you wouldn't believe this GAъDEN bullshit Bellcore's just come up with! Now you don't even need a lousy Commodore to reprogram a switch -- just log on to GAъDEN as a technician, and you can reprogram switches right off the keypad in any public phone booth! You can give yourself hold-on-hold and customized message transfers, and best of all, the thing is run off (notoriously insecure) centrex lines using -- get this -- standard UNIX software! Ha ha ha ha!" Message (A), couched in typical techno- bureaucratese, appears tedious and almost unreadable. (A) scarcely seems threatening or menacing. Message (B), on the other hand, is a dreadful thing, prima facie evidence of a dire conspiracy, definitely not the kind of thing you want your teenager reading. The *information,* however, is identical. It is *public* information, presented before the federal government in an open hearing. It is not "secret." It is not "proprietary." It is not even "confidential." On the contrary, the development of advanced software systems is a matter of great public pride to Bellcore. However, when Bellcore publicly announces a project of this kind, it expects a certain attitude from the public -- something along the lines of *gosh wow, you guys are great, keep that up, whatever it is* -- certainly not cruel mimickry, one-upmanship and outrageous speculations about possible security holes. Now put yourself in the place of a policeman confronted by an outraged parent, or telco official, with a copy of Version (B). This well-meaning citizen, to his horror, has discovered a local bulletin-board carrying outrageous stuff like (B), which his son is examining with a deep and unhealthy interest. If (B) were printed in a book or magazine, you, as an American law enforcement officer, would know that it would take a hell of a lot of trouble to do anything about it; but it doesn't take technical genius to recognize that if there's a computer in your area harboring stuff like (B), there's going to be trouble. In fact, if you ask around, any computer-literate cop will tell you straight out that boards with stuff like (B) are the *source* of trouble. And the *worst* source of trouble on boards are the ringleaders inventing and spreading stuff like (B). If it weren't for these jokers, there wouldn't *be* any trouble. And Legion of Doom were on boards like nobody else. Plovernet. The Legion of Doom Board. The Farmers of Doom Board. Metal Shop. OSUNY. Blottoland. Private Sector. Atlantis. Digital Logic. Hell Phrozen Over. LoD members also ran their own boards. "Silver Spy" started his own board, "Catch-22," considered one of the heaviest around. So did "Mentor," with his "Phoenix Project." When they didn't run boards themselves, they showed up on other people's boards, to brag, boast, and strut. And where they themselves didn't go, their philes went, carrying evil knowledge and an even more evil attitude. As early as 1986, the police were under the vague impression that *everyone* in the underground was Legion of Doom. LoD was never that large -- considerably smaller than either "Metal Communications" or "The Administration," for instance -- but LoD got tremendous press. Especially in *Phrack,* which at times read like an LoD fan magazine; and *Phrack* was everywhere, especially in the offices of telco security. You couldn't *get* busted as a phone phreak, a hacker, or even a lousy codes kid or warez dood, without the cops asking if you were LoD. This was a difficult charge to deny, as LoD never distributed membership badges or laminated ID cards. If they had, they would likely have died out quickly, for turnover in their membership was considerable. LoD was less a high-tech street-gang than an ongoing state-of- mind. LoD was the Gang That ъefused to Die. By 1990, LoD had *ruled* for ten years, and it seemed *weird* to police that they were continually busting people who were only sixteen years old. All these teenage small-timers were pleading the tiresome hacker litany of "just curious, no criminal intent." Somewhere at the center of this conspiracy there had to be some serious adult masterminds, not this seemingly endless supply of myopic suburban white kids with high SATs and funny haircuts. There was no question that most any American hacker arrested would "know" LoD. They knew the handles of contributors to *LoD Tech Journal,* and were likely to have learned their craft through LoD boards and LoD activism. But they'd never met anyone from LoD. Even some of the rotating cadre who were actually and formally "in LoD" knew one another only by board-mail and pseudonyms. This was a highly unconventional profile for a criminal conspiracy. Computer networking, and the rapid evolution of the digital underground, made the situation very diffuse and confusing. Furthermore, a big reputation in the digital underground did not coincide with one's willingness to commit "crimes." Instead, reputation was based on cleverness and technical mastery. As a result, it often seemed that the *heavier* the hackers were, the *less* likely they were to have committed any kind of common, easily prosecutable crime. There were some hackers who could really steal. And there were hackers who could really hack. But the two groups didn't seem to overlap much, if at all. For instance, most people in the underground looked up to "Emmanuel Goldstein" of *2600* as a hacker demigod. But Goldstein's publishing activities were entirely legal -- Goldstein just printed dodgy stuff and talked about politics, he didn't even hack. When you came right down to it, Goldstein spent half his time complaining that computer security *wasn't strong enough* and ought to be drastically improved across the board! Truly heavy-duty hackers, those with serious technical skills who had earned the respect of the underground, never stole money or abused credit cards. Sometimes they might abuse phone-codes -- but often, they seemed to get all the free phone-time they wanted without leaving a trace of any kind. The best hackers, the most powerful and technically accomplished, were not professional fraudsters. They raided computers habitually, but wouldn't alter anything, or damage anything. They didn't even steal computer equipment -- most had day-jobs messing with hardware, and could get all the cheap secondhand equipment they wanted. The hottest hackers, unlike the teenage wannabes, weren't snobs about fancy or expensive hardware. Their machines tended to be raw second-hand digital hot-rods full of custom add-ons that they'd cobbled together out of chickenwire, memory chips and spit. Some were adults, computer software writers and consultants by trade, and making quite good livings at it. Some of them *actually worked for the phone company* -- and for those, the "hackers" actually found under the skirts of Ma Bell, there would be little mercy in 1990. It has long been an article of faith in the underground that the "best" hackers never get caught. They're far too smart, supposedly. They never get caught because they never boast, brag, or strut. These demigods may read underground boards (with a condescending smile), but they never say anything there. The "best" hackers, according to legend, are adult computer professionals, such as mainframe system administrators, who already know the ins and outs of their particular brand of security. Even the "best" hacker can't break in to just any computer at random: the knowledge of security holes is too specialized, varying widely with different software and hardware. But if people are employed to run, say, a UNIX mainframe or a VAX/VMS machine, then they tend to learn security from the inside out. Armed with this knowledge, they can look into most anybody else's UNIX or VMS without much trouble or risk, if they want to. And, according to hacker legend, of course they want to, so of course they do. They just don't make a big deal of what they've done. So nobody ever finds out. It is also an article of faith in the underground that professional telco people "phreak" like crazed weasels. *Of course* they spy on Madonna's phone calls -- I mean, *wouldn't you?* Of course they give themselves free long- distance -- why the hell should *they* pay, they're running the whole shebang! It has, as a third matter, long been an article of faith that any hacker caught can escape serious punishment if he confesses *how he did it.* Hackers seem to believe that governmental agencies and large corporations are blundering about in cyberspace like eyeless jellyfish or cave salamanders. They feel that these large but pathetically stupid organizations will proffer up genuine gratitude, and perhaps even a security post and a big salary, to the hot-shot intruder who will deign to reveal to them the supreme genius of his modus operandi. In the case of longtime LoD member "Control-C," this actually happened, more or less. Control-C had led Michigan Bell a merry chase, and when captured in 1987, he turned out to be a bright and apparently physically harmless young fanatic, fascinated by phones. There was no chance in hell that Control-C would actually repay the enormous and largely theoretical sums in long-distance service that he had accumulated from Michigan Bell. He could always be indicted for fraud or computer-intrusion, but there seemed little real point in this -- he hadn't physically damaged any computer. He'd just plead guilty, and he'd likely get the usual slap-on-the-wrist, and in the meant

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