In the early 80’s, personal computers were a new innovation. Films like WarGames
made it seem as if a kid with a keyboard could hack into anything: a school or corporate mainframe, NORAD, the US nuclear arsenal or your neighborhood bank. Hoping to capitalize on this, in 1983 CBS premiered a show which could have been considered WarGames
’ intellectual successor. It featured a group of resourceful kids who solved crimes by hacking and cracking, led by Matthew Laborteaux, child star of Little House on the Prairie
, and advised by a Gavilan SC
-toting, mustachioed reporter played by Max Gail, formerly of the show Barney Miller
. Whiz Kids
lasted only a single season: 18 episodes, but all of them live on in cyberspace, on YouTube. Complete episode links contained within. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on May 8, 2012 -
Christopher Andrew Phillips
, the University of Texas at Austin student accused of "hacking" the school's computer system, has turned himself in. But reading about his method
makes me wonder if this really is hacking and/or illegal...
posted by Big_B
on Mar 14, 2003 -
Striking back at hackers
"LaBrea" is a free, open-source tool that deters worms and other hack attacks by transforming unused network resources into decoy-computers that appear and act just like normal machines on a network. But when malicious hackers or mindless worms such as Nimda or Code Red attempt to connect with a LaBrea-equipped system, they get sucked into a virtual tarpit that grabs their computer's connection -- and doesn't release it.
Is this an ethical use of network resources, or just vigilante justice? What other methods have you used to strike back at hostile software?
posted by TheChump
on Sep 20, 2001 -
They bagged the kid who was responsible
for all those Denial-of-Service attacks a couple of months ago. He's Canadian.
Here's an interesting legal question: could the US extradite him? The crimes were committed in the US, but he was in Canada at the time he did it, since he worked through the Internet. Whose laws apply?
(By the way, I've seen no indication that the US is considering extradition; I was just curious whether they could
posted by Steven Den Beste
on Apr 19, 2000 -
Cyber Patrol hacker sells out for one dollar
< I made my political point
and just don't want further annoyance... ...Mattel initiated legal action in e-mail subpoenas in mid-March and Skala and Jansson removed cphack from their sites, but not before urging computer activists to copy and distribute it.... ...Nevertheless, some mirror site operators think open source software protections make the issue moot. The court cannot impose an Internet ban because cphack was released under the GNU General Public License
... > perhaps you've seen this--the final decision will be interesting with repect to free speech and the GNU GPL
. something to watch anyhow.
posted by greyscale
on Mar 28, 2000 -
Last night Kevin Mitnick
was on 60 minutes (the gist of the interview is quoted here
), and I have to say he came off as an utterly harmless geek. He was an information junkie that enjoyed the challenge of cracking firewalls. He never profited from his activities and the affected companies made up their monetary losses. It's a shame he was forced to waste away in prison instead of offer his security expertise to the affected companies.
posted by mathowie
on Jan 24, 2000 -
Kevin Mittnick is finally being released from prison today,
but I wouldn't call what he's getting as being "free". Prohibiting Kevin from touching a computer for 3 years? This isn't like giving a toddler to a ex-con child molester, it's a computer. A person can do a lot of things besides hack into company servers. How does anyone expect Kevin to make the $125 restitution he owes each month, if he can't use a computer or get a job that requires a computer? Now that I think about it, what percentage of decent jobs are completely free of computers?
posted by mathowie
on Jan 21, 2000 -