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Author Topic: Hackers: Under the Hood
John L
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ZDNet Austrailia has a very good article that ran all week this week, describing five of the more notorious "hackers." It's a very good read for anyone who is interested in this phenomenon.

My thoughts on the article as a whole is that while it is very informative and helps to show how the "hacker" mystique is grossly overblown and misrepresented in Hollywood and the like, it doesn't change how I feel about those who 'break' into private files, whether business or personal. Even these five make excuses for some assumed "right" to go sniffing around on networks and lines they shouldn't have (even Mitnick, whom I respect greatly for his skill, only admits to wrongdoing in a "been there, done that" manner). However, the drive and motivation, as well as the obvious skill of each, is impressive. They have some good outlooks on life in general, even if some of their past behavior is questionable.

My favorites: Raven Alder and Kevin Mitnick.

My least favorites (though still impressive): Adrian Lamo and Jericho (Brian Martin). I don't dislike them, I just wouldn't pick them out of the five as favorites.

Mudge, the one I didn't mention, is very cool (in my opinion). I like the things he's done for himself (including that bike he's got—nice!).

Give it a read. It give a different picture than the typical "cyberppunk" images usually associated with "hackers" in general (though Alder seems to enjoy the goth look). Good stuff.

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Megachirops
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They sound interesting; I'll read it when I have a bit of time. Thanks for sharing it. [Smile]
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Storm Saxon
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That was an interesting article. If I may, can I also recommend 'The Hacker Crackdown' by Bruce Sterling.
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John L
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If the book is so good, why is it out of print? I didn't read the whole page (grey text on black background annoys me), but I'd be curious to know why. Mitnick's book, "The Art of Deception," is a pretty good book. In fact, I recommend it to anyone who takes calls in a business or owns their own business and has employees. The book doesn't describe a bunch of computer code and networking protocols—it describes the most simple target when hacking: people.
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fugu13
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Where does it say its out of print?
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Storm Saxon
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It's not.
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Megachirops
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That was interesting. (Though the text size was not adjustable and now my eyes hurt . . . [Grumble] ). It was a neat character study.

I think you and I have basically the same opinions on the phenomenon. It was interesting the lifestyles that some of them came from, or have now.

Though it's a bit off-topic, I particularly enjoyed this sentiment (for obvious reasons):

quote:
"If you meet someone and become good friends through talking and hanging out, then he moves across the country, do you stop being friends with him? Of course not.

"Is it really any different that instead of a face-to-face chat, it's done via text? Does it invalidate our conversations, what we talk about, how we choose to bond, and how we become friends?"

[Smile]
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John L
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You're right, it's not out of print. I read again, where I just skimmed over it at first. Odd, it must have been the way he was presenting it that made me think it was out of print. My mistake.
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Scott R
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A couple of guys in my office have been to some seminars Mudge has been at/run-- they all commented that he was very intelligent and a completely paranoid loon.
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John L
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Yeah, well, a little of that is evident in his interview. I like his accomplishments, but I can't agree with all of his outlooks on life.
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