What is hacking
What do you think of when you hear the term hacker? Most of you guys will probably think of criminal geeks who are butt hurt about something and then decide to take revenge or “hacking” groups like Anonymous. In that case you are wrong. Those people have nothing in common with real hacking and they are using their knowledge for bad things. The correct term for people like Anonymous would be Cracker(lookup the definition if you don’t know why they are called that). The right definition of hacking is “Hacking is the practice of modifying the features of a system, in order to accomplish a goal outside of the creator’s original purpose.” – www.whatishacking.org.The word hacker originates back from the fifties or the sixties. One of the places that’s commonly known for have started the hacking culture is MIT. Students from Tech Model Railroad Club joined together to create new ways of controlling and building model trains. A great improvement of the train or the system was simply called a hack. It then moved on to phone lines and later on into computers. The reason why it moved on into the phone lines was simply that there wasn’t anything else to hack.
A guy who got very famous for hacking telephones and telephone lines (also called phreaking) is John “Captain Crunch” Draper. The reason why he’s called Captain Crunch was because of a famous hack he did back in the early seventies. From the american breakfast cereal Cap’n Crunch he got a whistle which could make a sound at 2600Hz. Since AT&T’s system was running by tones he could cheat the phone system to dial up pretty much everyone for free. He later on created The Blue Box which made it easier for him to cheat the phone lines. In 1972 he got convicted for cheating the phone company for money and ended up in prison for a short amount of time. According to The Wall Street in 1978 he hand wrote the first word processor for the Apple II computer called EasyWriter. He apparently should have hand written it in prison on paper and then later typed it into a computer. Hacking was also the reason why personal computers was created by guys like Steve Wozniak. Steve Wozniak created a terminal which enabled him to play chess but at the same to lure around on ARPAnet. He then short after joined hacker groups which introduced him to microprocessors. He have later on made great contributions to the development of the microprocessor.
The precursor to Usenet newsgroup and e-mails, the boards with names such as Sherwood Forest and Catch-22 become the venue of choice for phreaks and hacker to talk, trade tips and share stolen credit card information and stolen computer passwords. Hacking groups begin to form and some of the first well known were Legion of Doom from the United States and Chaos Computer Club from Germany.
In 1983 the movie WarGames came out and changed the public view on hacking. Hacking went from being something underground and unnoticed to something big. The movie was about a boy who want’s to crack into a game company’s computer system to play a game but instead end up starting a military catastrophe.
The same year 6 teenagers known as the 414 gang get’s arrested for hacking into 60 computers. It was first in 1986 it was made a crime to break into computer systems.
The morris worm:
In 1988 Robert T. Morris, Jr. created a self-replicating computer worm which he launches on ARPAnet to inspect its effectiveness on UNIX systems. It went out of hand and spread to over 6000 computers. He ended up with probation and a 10.000$ fine.
As early as the age of 12 he social engineered himself to free bus drives. He’s today known as one of the best social engineers through time. Kevin Mitnick is captured by federal agents and charged with stealing 20,000 credit card numbers.
I will encourage you to read his biography. It gives you a true sight into his journey to establish himself as one of the greatest social engineers of all time.
The book can be found here: http://expect-us.net/files/GhostintheWiresByKevinMitnick.pdf
What is hacking today? Hacking has grown far bigger than anyone could have expected. In the beginning is was about optimizing model trains but today it’s a whole lifestyle. We see “hackers” in the news almost everyday and the business is just getting bigger. If you ask a random person on the street what their view of a hacker is they will probably reply with something like “It’s a person who breaks into systems” but that’s wrong. A true hacker is much more than that and can never be dragged down into something as small as that description.