#404: scene. lame. 1997.

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

If you have read past issues, you have probably noticed a good amount of hacker references in various files, as well as files dedicated to hacker thinking. The obvious conclusion that can be derived is that some of the writers are hackers of some sort. For a few of us, it started out as a hobby and moved to a career. Even working in the information security field, we keep our ties to the hacker community for various reasons. For friends, trading information, keeping apprised of recent happenings, or just for the feeling of camaraderie. That’s all beside the point.

I wrote about the scene a few years back in file #140, and told my thoughts on what it was like. So here is another file about the same ‘scene’, about two years later. As with all societies, some things change. Overall feelings, attitudes, mindsets, actions, reasons, justifications.. they are all subject to change. One of the major differences you will notice is the transition from BBSs to the Internet. This move to an international network has opened up new worlds for hackers everywhere. Not only do they have new stomping grounds, but new ways to share information. FTP sites with exploits and information on hacking, Web sites with links to more information, mail lists for the exchange of new methods to hack.

Despite this incredible wealth of information, this freedom to a vast region of knowledge, the hackers of today continue to be fucking morons. Of course, there is a small percentage out there that are exempt from this flamerant. On the downside, that number is growing smaller and smaller every day.

You hear less and less about hackers getting busted, and more and more about warez kids and AOL chimps getting popped for lame shit. Carding AOL accounts, running warez sites off government systems, or other foolish things. A few articles deal with people who were hacking for the pure thrill of it, but they seem to be scarce.

Many of the bigger names out there have a single claim to fame right now, and that is a decent web page. There are a handful of decent web pages that make information available, and a few thousand that link to them. Other pages link to the pages that link to the good sites, while more sites link to those that link…. you get the picture. It took over one hour to find a simple script that exploits a flaw in the SunOS RPC program, written over five years ago. I finally found it on an FTP site out there. Not a single web page had this simple script. These ‘hackers’ seem to care more about design and reputation than sharing of information.

As the years past have been, today is riddled with hacker wars, petty bickering, the desire to “one up” others, or to be counter productive in some way. My hopes and wishes for a somewhat unified scene have long since vanished. The desire to be in a group must be strong; small temporary alliances with people you half trust, or in some cases are good friends with. Sometimes steady collaboration between these groups, projects of mutual interest. The amount of good groups out there can probably be counted on two hands.

I keep myself logged into IRC 24/7 these days, simply because I maintain a dedicated connection. My script logs messages so that friends can reach me outside of email. I am not active more than an hour a day typically, and while I am at my computer I flip over frequently to check for certain people on. Despite that, some losers insist that I live on IRC even though I usually have a few pages of “are you there?” messages. Wannabe hackers from around the world message me for help. Some don’t get a response and flood me for not helping them, oblivious to the possibility of me being away from keyboard.

I have pages and pages of completely stupid things people have asked me on IRC. Stuff that goes to new levels of stupidity and further annoy me. I can’t comprehend how these clueless fucks fancy themselves hackers when they can’t use a simple search engine to find the answers to their basic questions. Can’t begin to understand how they want to become hackers without having basic common sense. There has always been a debate as to whether or not more experienced hackers should help the newer folks. I used to think it was worth my time to help people like them, but as time passes I just get more fed up with their inane shit.

Why did I ever feel a responsibility for helping anyone? Because it is better than the clueless newbies trying to help. You have media whores like Carolyn Meinel trying to teach people to hack, writing guides to hacking full of fuckups. Telling these people what to do, but not giving them enough information to adequately protect themselves. People like her want to make money off the hacker scene, not help it. Don’t believe me? I can show you her own email that says exactly that, that time is money and she will only put a minimum amount of effort into it. Lame whore. You get all this media attention, and then screw the pooch and turn it into bad press. Good job.

To the few good hackers remaining out there.. the really good ones. Keep it up. Very few people may know about you and what you do, or maybe you are so secretive no one knows. Doesn’t matter, keep up what you are doing. Use your skills for a good purpose. Keep shutting down spammers, keep showing up supposed security experts who barely have a clue. While you continue this, stay hidden. Don’t come out of your various levels of secrecy, you will only find a world of wannabe hackers that can’t even gather information about a system, let alone hack it.

And for you lamers who will try to call me elitist because of this rant, fuck off. I didn’t place myself anywhere in the file. I don’t give a shit what you think of me. I know I am better than a lot, and not even halfway to the level some are. Fuck spending my time helping the new lamers, I am going to go back to reading and trying to learn from the best. Longer idle times on IRC, longer delays in answering mail. After years of helping, it has produced nothing for me. None of the people I have helped have surpassed me and turned to help me. Sad, because a few of them have surpassed me.

Either way, I will continue to voice my opinion on mail lists and other forums. If you want to help others, just make sure you aren’t passing on wrong information or you will see people like me come out of nowhere to correct you, and I guarantee, I won’t be nice about it. If I bother to give a shit that day.

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