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Фантастика. Фэнтези
   Зарубежная фантастика
      Bruce Sterling. The hacker crackdown -
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ode numbers over the telephone until one of them worked. Simple programs to do this were widely available in the underground; a computer running all night was likely to come up with a dozen or so useful hits. This could be repeated week after week until one had a large library of stolen codes. Nowadays, the computerized dialling of hundreds of numbers can be detected within hours and swiftly traced. If a stolen code is repeatedly abused, this too can be detected within a few hours. But for years in the 1980s, the publication of stolen codes was a kind of elementary etiquette for fledgling hackers. The simplest way to establish your bona-fides as a raider was to steal a code through repeated random dialling and offer it to the "community" for use. Codes could be both stolen, and used, simply and easily from the safety of one's own bedroom, with very little fear of detection or punishment. Before computers and their phone-line modems entered American homes in gigantic numbers, phone phreaks had their own special telecommunications hardware gadget, the famous "blue box." This fraud device (now rendered increasingly useless by the digital evolution of the phone system) could trick switching systems into granting free access to long-distance lines. It did this by mimicking the system's own signal, a tone of 2600 hertz. Steven Jobs and Steve Wozniak, the founders of Apple Computer, Inc., once dabbled in selling blue-boxes in college dorms in California. For many, in the early days of phreaking, blue-boxing was scarcely perceived as "theft," but rather as a fun (if sneaky) way to use excess phone capacity harmlessly. After all, the long-distance lines were *just sitting there*.... Whom did it hurt, really? If you're not *damaging* the system, and you're not *using up any tangible resource,* and if nobody *finds out* what you did, then what real harm have you done? What exactly *have* you "stolen," anyway? If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, how much is the noise worth? Even now this remains a rather dicey question. Blue-boxing was no joke to the phone companies, however. Indeed, when *ъamparts* magazine, a radical publication in California, printed the wiring schematics necessary to create a mute box in June 1972, the magazine was seized by police and Pacific Bell phone- company officials. The mute box, a blue-box variant, allowed its user to receive long-distance calls free of charge to the caller. This device was closely described in a *ъamparts* article wryly titled "ъegulating the Phone Company In Your Home." Publication of this article was held to be in violation of Californian State Penal Code section 502.7, which outlaws ownership of wire-fraud devices and the selling of "plans or instructions for any instrument, apparatus, or device intended to avoid telephone toll charges." Issues of *ъamparts* were recalled or seized on the newsstands, and the resultant loss of income helped put the magazine out of business. This was an ominous precedent for free-expression issues, but the telco's crushing of a radical-fringe magazine passed without serious challenge at the time. Even in the freewheeling California 1970s, it was widely felt that there was something sacrosanct about what the phone company knew; that the telco had a legal and moral right to protect itself by shutting off the flow of such illicit information. Most telco information was so "specialized" that it would scarcely be understood by any honest member of the public. If not published, it would not be missed. To print such material did not seem part of the legitimate role of a free press. In 1990 there would be a similar telco-inspired attack on the electronic phreak/hacking "magazine" *Phrack.* The *Phrack* legal case became a central issue in the Hacker Crackdown, and gave rise to great controversy. *Phrack* would also be shut down, for a time, at least, but this time both the telcos and their law-enforcement allies would pay a much larger price for their actions. The *Phrack* case will be examined in detail, later. Phone-phreaking as a social practice is still very much alive at this moment. Today, phone-phreaking is thriving much more vigorously than the better-known and worse-feared practice of "computer hacking." New forms of phreaking are spreading rapidly, following new vulnerabilities in sophisticated phone services. Cellular phones are especially vulnerable; their chips can be re-programmed to present a false caller ID and avoid billing. Doing so also avoids police tapping, making cellular-phone abuse a favorite among drug-dealers. "Call-sell operations" using pirate cellular phones can, and have, been run right out of the backs of cars, which move from "cell" to "cell" in the local phone system, retailing stolen long-distance service, like some kind of demented electronic version of the neighborhood ice-cream truck. Private branch-exchange phone systems in large corporations can be penetrated; phreaks dial-up a local company, enter its internal phone-system, hack it, then use the company's own PBX system to dial back out over the public network, causing the company to be stuck with the resulting long-distance bill. This technique is known as "diverting." "Diverting" can be very costly, especially because phreaks tend to travel in packs and never stop talking. Perhaps the worst by-product of this "PBX fraud" is that victim companies and telcos have sued one another over the financial responsibility for the stolen calls, thus enriching not only shabby phreaks but well-paid lawyers. "Voice-mail systems" can also be abused; phreaks can seize their own sections of these sophisticated electronic answering machines, and use them for trading codes or knowledge of illegal techniques. Voice-mail abuse does not hurt the company directly, but finding supposedly empty slots in your company's answering machine all crammed with phreaks eagerly chattering and hey-duding one another in impenetrable jargon can cause sensations of almost mystical repulsion and dread. Worse yet, phreaks have sometimes been known to react truculently to attempts to "clean up" the voice-mail system. ъather than humbly acquiescing to being thrown out of their playground, they may very well call up the company officials at work (or at home) and loudly demand free voice-mail addresses of their very own. Such bullying is taken very seriously by spooked victims. Acts of phreak revenge against straight people are rare, but voice-mail systems are especially tempting and vulnerable, and an infestation of angry phreaks in one's voice-mail system is no joke. They can erase legitimate messages; or spy on private messages; or harass users with recorded taunts and obscenities. They've even been known to seize control of voice-mail security, and lock out legitimate users, or even shut down the system entirely. Cellular phone-calls, cordless phones, and ship-to- shore telephony can all be monitored by various forms of radio; this kind of "passive monitoring" is spreading explosively today. Technically eavesdropping on other people's cordless and cellular phone-calls is the fastest- growing area in phreaking today. This practice strongly appeals to the lust for power and conveys gratifying sensations of technical superiority over the eavesdropping victim. Monitoring is rife with all manner of tempting evil mischief. Simple prurient snooping is by far the most common activity. But credit-card numbers unwarily spoken over the phone can be recorded, stolen and used. And tapping people's phone-calls (whether through active telephone taps or passive radio monitors) does lend itself conveniently to activities like blackmail, industrial espionage, and political dirty tricks. It should be repeated that telecommunications fraud, the theft of phone service, causes vastly greater monetary losses than the practice of entering into computers by stealth. Hackers are mostly young suburban American white males, and exist in their hundreds -- but "phreaks" come from both sexes and from many nationalities, ages and ethnic backgrounds, and are flourishing in the thousands. # The term "hacker" has had an unfortunate history. This book, *The Hacker Crackdown,* has little to say about "hacking" in its finer, original sense. The term can signify the free-wheeling intellectual exploration of the highest and deepest potential of computer systems. Hacking can describe the determination to make access to computers and information as free and open as possible. Hacking can involve the heartfelt conviction that beauty can be found in computers, that the fine aesthetic in a perfect program can liberate the mind and spirit. This is "hacking" as it was defined in Steven Levy's much-praised history of the pioneer computer milieu, *Hackers,* published in 1984. Hackers of all kinds are absolutely soaked through with heroic anti-bureaucratic sentiment. Hackers long for recognition as a praiseworthy cultural archetype, the postmodern electronic equivalent of the cowboy and mountain man. Whether they deserve such a reputation is something for history to decide. But many hackers -- including those outlaw hackers who are computer intruders, and whose activities are defined as criminal -- actually attempt to *live up to* this techno-cowboy reputation. And given that electronics and telecommunications are still largely unexplored territories, there is simply *no telling* what hackers might uncover. For some people, this freedom is the very breath of oxygen, the inventive spontaneity that makes life worth living and that flings open doors to marvellous possibility and individual empowerment. But for many people -- and increasingly so -- the hacker is an ominous figure, a smart- aleck sociopath ready to burst out of his basement wilderness and savage other people's lives for his own anarchical convenience. Any form of power without responsibility, without direct and formal checks and balances, is frightening to people -- and reasonably so. It should be frankly admitted that hackers *are* frightening, and that the basis of this fear is not irrational. Fear of hackers goes well beyond the fear of merely criminal activity. Subversion and manipulation of the phone system is an act with disturbing political overtones. In America, computers and telephones are potent symbols of organized authority and the technocratic business elite. But there is an element in American culture that has always strongly rebelled against these symbols; rebelled against all large industrial computers and all phone companies. A certain anarchical tinge deep in the American soul delights in causing confusion and pain to all bureaucracies, including technological ones. There is sometimes malice and vandalism in this attitude, but it is a deep and cherished part of the American national character. The outlaw, the rebel, the rugged individual, the pioneer, the sturdy Jeffersonian yeoman, the private citizen resisting interference in his pursuit of happiness -- these are figures that all Americans recognize, and that many will strongly applaud and defend. Many scrupulously law-abiding citizens today do cutting-edge work with electronics -- work that has already had tremendous social influence and will have much more in years to come. In all truth, these talented, hardworking, law-abiding, mature, adult people are far more disturbing to the peace and order of the current status quo than any scofflaw group of romantic teenage punk kids. These law-abiding hackers have the power, ability, and willingness to influence other people's lives quite unpredictably. They have means, motive, and opportunity to meddle drastically with the American social order. When corralled into governments, universities, or large multinational companies, and forced to follow rulebooks and wear suits and ties, they at least have some conventional halters on their freedom of action. But when loosed alone, or in small groups, and fired by imagination and the entrepreneurial spirit, they can move mountains - - causing landslides that will likely crash directly into your office and living room. These people, as a class, instinctively recognize that a public, politicized attack on hackers will eventually spread to them -- that the term "hacker," once demonized, might be used to knock their hands off the levers of power and choke them out of existence. There are hackers today who fiercely and publicly resist any besmirching of the noble title of hacker. Naturally and understandably, they deeply resent the attack on their values implicit in using the word "hacker" as a synonym for computer-criminal. This book, sadly but in my opinion unavoidably, rather adds to the degradation of the term. It concerns itself mostly with "hacking" in its commonest latter-day definition, i.e., intruding into computer systems by stealth and without permission. The term "hacking" is used routinely today by almost all law enforcement officials with any professional interest in computer fraud and abuse. American police describe almost any crime committed with, by, through, or against a computer as hacking. Most importantly, "hacker" is what computer- intruders choose to call *themselves.* Nobody who "hacks" into systems willingly describes himself (rarely, herself) as a "computer intruder," "computer trespasser," "cracker," "wormer," "darkside hacker" or "high tech street gangster." Several other demeaning terms have been invented in the hope that the press and public will leave the original sense of the word alone. But few people actually use these terms. (I exempt the term "cyberpunk," which a few hackers and law enforcement people actually do use. The term "cyberpunk" is drawn from literary criticism and has some odd and unlikely resonances, but, like hacker, cyberpunk too has become a criminal pejorative today.) In any case, breaking into computer systems was hardly alien to the original hacker tradition. The first tottering systems of the 1960s required fairly extensive internal surgery merely to function day-by-day. Their users "invaded" the deepest, most arcane recesses of their operating software almost as a matter of routine. "Computer security" in these early, primitive systems was at best an afterthought. What security there was, was entirely physical, for it was assumed that anyone allowed near this expensive, arcane hardware would be a fully qualified professional expert. In a campus environment, though, this meant that grad students, teaching assistants, undergraduates, and eventually, all manner of dropouts and hangers-on ended up accessing and often running the works. Universities, even modern universities, are not in the business of maintaining security over information. On the contrary, universities, as institutions, pre-date the "information economy" by many centuries and are not- for-profit cultural entities, whose reason for existence (purportedly) is to discover truth, codify it through techniques of scholarship, and then teach it. Universities are meant to *pass the torch of civilization,* not just download data into student skulls, and the values of the academic community are strongly at odds with those of all would-be information empires. Teachers at all levels, from kindergarten up, have proven to be shameless and persistent software and data pirates. Universities do not merely "leak information" but vigorously broadcast free thought. This clash of values has been fraught with controversy. Many hackers of the 1960s remember their professional apprenticeship as a long guerilla war against the uptight mainframe-computer "information priesthood." These computer-hungry youngsters had to struggle hard for access to computing power, and many of them were not above certain, er, shortcuts. But, over the years, this practice freed computing from the sterile reserve of lab-coated technocrats and was largely responsible for the explosive growth of computing in general society -- especially *personal* computing. Access to technical power acted like catnip on certain of these youngsters. Most of the basic techniques of computer intrusion: password cracking, trapdoors, backdoors, trojan horses -- were invented in college environments in the 1960s, in the early days of network computing. Some off-the-cuff experience at computer intrusion was to be in the informal resume of most "hackers" and many future industry giants. Outside of the tiny cult of computer enthusiasts, few people thought much about the implications of "breaking into" computers. This sort of activity had not yet been publicized, much less criminalized. In the 1960s, definitions of "property" and "privacy" had not yet been extended to cyberspace. Computers were not yet indispensable to society. There were no vast databanks of vulnerable, proprietary information stored in computers, which might be accessed, copied without permission, erased, altered, or sabotaged. The stakes were low in the early days -- but they grew every year, exponentially, as computers themselves grew. By the 1990s, commercial and political pressures had become overwhelming, and they broke the social boundaries of the hacking subculture. Hacking had become too important to be left to the hackers. Society was now forced to tackle the intangible nature of cyberspace-as-property, cyberspace as privately-owned unreal-estate. In the new, severe, responsible, high- stakes context of the "Information Society" of the 1990s, "hacking" was called into question. What did it mean to break into a computer without permission and use its computational power, or look around inside its files without hurting anything? What were computer-intruding hackers, anyway -- how should society, and the law, best define their actions? Were they just *browsers,* harmless intellectual explorers? Were they *voyeurs,* snoops, invaders of privacy? Should they be sternly treated as potential *agents of espionage,* or perhaps as *industrial spies?* Or were they best defined as *trespassers,* a very common teenage misdemeanor? Was hacking *theft of service?* (After all, intruders were getting someone else's computer to carry out their orders, without permission and without paying). Was hacking *fraud?* Maybe it was best described as *impersonation.* The commonest mode of computer intrusion was (and is) to swipe or snoop somebody else's password, and then enter the computer in the guise of another person -- who is commonly stuck with the blame and the bills. Perhaps a medical metaphor was better -- hackers should be defined as "sick," as *computer addicts* unable to control their irresponsible, compulsive behavior. But these weighty assessments meant little to the people who were actually being judged. From inside the underground world of hacking itself, all these perceptions seem quaint, wrongheaded, stupid, or meaningless. The most important self-perception of underground hackers -- from the 1960s, right through to the present day -- is that they are an *elite.* The day-to-day struggle in the underground is not over sociological definitions -- who cares? -- but for power, knowledge, and s

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