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Фантастика. Фэнтези
   Зарубежная фантастика
      Bruce Sterling. The hacker crackdown -
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Constitutional freedom of the press protection. As was seen in the *ъamparts* case, this is far from an absolute guarantee. Still, as a practical matter, shutting down *2600* by court-order would create so much legal hassle that it is simply unfeasible, at least for the present. Throughout 1990, both Goldstein and his magazine were peevishly thriving. Instead, the Crackdown of 1990 would concern itself with the computerized version of forbidden data. The crackdown itself, first and foremost, was about *bulletin board systems.* Bulletin Board Systems, most often known by the ugly and un-pluralizable acronym "BBS," are the life-blood of the digital underground. Boards were also central to law enforcement's tactics and strategy in the Hacker Crackdown. A "bulletin board system" can be formally defined as a computer which serves as an information and message- passing center for users dialing-up over the phone-lines through the use of modems. A "modem," or modulator- demodulator, is a device which translates the digital impulses of computers into audible analog telephone signals, and vice versa. Modems connect computers to phones and thus to each other. Large-scale mainframe computers have been connected since the 1960s, but *personal* computers, run by individuals out of their homes, were first networked in the late 1970s. The "board" created by Ward Christensen and ъandy Suess in February 1978, in Chicago, Illinois, is generally regarded as the first personal-computer bulletin board system worthy of the name. Boards run on many different machines, employing many different kinds of software. Early boards were crude and buggy, and their managers, known as "system operators" or "sysops," were hard-working technical experts who wrote their own software. But like most everything else in the world of electronics, boards became faster, cheaper, better-designed, and generally far more sophisticated throughout the 1980s. They also moved swiftly out of the hands of pioneers and into those of the general public. By 1985 there were something in the neighborhood of 4,000 boards in America. By 1990 it was calculated, vaguely, that there were about 30,000 boards in the US, with uncounted thousands overseas. Computer bulletin boards are unregulated enterprises. ъunning a board is a rough-and-ready, catch- as-catch-can proposition. Basically, anybody with a computer, modem, software and a phone-line can start a board. With second-hand equipment and public-domain free software, the price of a board might be quite small -- less than it would take to publish a magazine or even a decent pamphlet. Entrepreneurs eagerly sell bulletin- board software, and will coach nontechnical amateur sysops in its use. Boards are not "presses." They are not magazines, or libraries, or phones, or CB radios, or traditional cork bulletin boards down at the local laundry, though they have some passing resemblance to those earlier media. Boards are a new medium -- they may even be a *large number* of new media. Consider these unique characteristics: boards are cheap, yet they can have a national, even global reach. Boards can be contacted from anywhere in the global telephone network, at *no cost* to the person running the board -- the caller pays the phone bill, and if the caller is local, the call is free. Boards do not involve an editorial elite addressing a mass audience. The "sysop" of a board is not an exclusive publisher or writer -- he is managing an electronic salon, where individuals can address the general public, play the part of the general public, and also exchange private mail with other individuals. And the "conversation" on boards, though fluid, rapid, and highly interactive, is not spoken, but written. It is also relatively anonymous, sometimes completely so. And because boards are cheap and ubiquitous, regulations and licensing requirements would likely be practically unenforceable. It would almost be easier to "regulate" "inspect" and "license" the content of private mail -- probably more so, since the mail system is operated by the federal government. Boards are run by individuals, independently, entirely at their own whim. For the sysop, the cost of operation is not the primary limiting factor. Once the investment in a computer and modem has been made, the only steady cost is the charge for maintaining a phone line (or several phone lines). The primary limits for sysops are time and energy. Boards require upkeep. New users are generally "validated" -- they must be issued individual passwords, and called at home by voice-phone, so that their identity can be verified. Obnoxious users, who exist in plenty, must be chided or purged. Proliferating messages must be deleted when they grow old, so that the capacity of the system is not overwhelmed. And software programs (if such things are kept on the board) must be examined for possible computer viruses. If there is a financial charge to use the board (increasingly common, especially in larger and fancier systems) then accounts must be kept, and users must be billed. And if the board crashes -- a very common occurrence -- then repairs must be made. Boards can be distinguished by the amount of effort spent in regulating them. First, we have the completely open board, whose sysop is off chugging brews and watching re-runs while his users generally degenerate over time into peevish anarchy and eventual silence. Second comes the supervised board, where the sysop breaks in every once in a while to tidy up, calm brawls, issue announcements, and rid the community of dolts and troublemakers. Third is the heavily supervised board, which sternly urges adult and responsible behavior and swiftly edits any message considered offensive, impertinent, illegal or irrelevant. And last comes the completely edited "electronic publication," which is presented to a silent audience which is not allowed to respond directly in any way. Boards can also be grouped by their degree of anonymity. There is the completely anonymous board, where everyone uses pseudonyms -- "handles" -- and even the sysop is unaware of the user's true identity. The sysop himself is likely pseudonymous on a board of this type. Second, and rather more common, is the board where the sysop knows (or thinks he knows) the true names and addresses of all users, but the users don't know one another's names and may not know his. Third is the board where everyone has to use real names, and roleplaying and pseudonymous posturing are forbidden. Boards can be grouped by their immediacy. "Chat- lines" are boards linking several users together over several different phone-lines simultaneously, so that people exchange messages at the very moment that they type. (Many large boards feature "chat" capabilities along with other services.) Less immediate boards, perhaps with a single phoneline, store messages serially, one at a time. And some boards are only open for business in daylight hours or on weekends, which greatly slows response. A *network* of boards, such as "FidoNet," can carry electronic mail from board to board, continent to continent, across huge distances -- but at a relative snail's pace, so that a message can take several days to reach its target audience and elicit a reply. Boards can be grouped by their degree of community. Some boards emphasize the exchange of private, person-to-person electronic mail. Others emphasize public postings and may even purge people who "lurk," merely reading posts but refusing to openly participate. Some boards are intimate and neighborly. Others are frosty and highly technical. Some are little more than storage dumps for software, where users "download" and "upload" programs, but interact among themselves little if at all. Boards can be grouped by their ease of access. Some boards are entirely public. Others are private and restricted only to personal friends of the sysop. Some boards divide users by status. On these boards, some users, especially beginners, strangers or children, will be restricted to general topics, and perhaps forbidden to post. Favored users, though, are granted the ability to post as they please, and to stay "on-line" as long as they like, even to the disadvantage of other people trying to call in. High- status users can be given access to hidden areas in the board, such as off-color topics, private discussions, and/or valuable software. Favored users may even become "remote sysops" with the power to take remote control of the board through their own home computers. Quite often "remote sysops" end up doing all the work and taking formal control of the enterprise, despite the fact that it's physically located in someone else's house. Sometimes several "co-sysops" share power. And boards can also be grouped by size. Massive, nationwide commercial networks, such as CompuServe, Delphi, GEnie and Prodigy, are run on mainframe computers and are generally not considered "boards," though they share many of their characteristics, such as electronic mail, discussion topics, libraries of software, and persistent and growing problems with civil-liberties issues. Some private boards have as many as thirty phone-lines and quite sophisticated hardware. And then there are tiny boards. Boards vary in popularity. Some boards are huge and crowded, where users must claw their way in against a constant busy-signal. Others are huge and empty -- there are few things sadder than a formerly flourishing board where no one posts any longer, and the dead conversations of vanished users lie about gathering digital dust. Some boards are tiny and intimate, their telephone numbers intentionally kept confidential so that only a small number can log on. And some boards are *underground.* Boards can be mysterious entities. The activities of their users can be hard to differentiate from conspiracy. Sometimes they *are* conspiracies. Boards have harbored, or have been accused of harboring, all manner of fringe groups, and have abetted, or been accused of abetting, every manner of frowned-upon, sleazy, radical, and criminal activity. There are Satanist boards. Nazi boards. Pornographic boards. Pedophile boards. Drug- dealing boards. Anarchist boards. Communist boards. Gay and Lesbian boards (these exist in great profusion, many of them quite lively with well-established histories). ъeligious cult boards. Evangelical boards. Witchcraft boards, hippie boards, punk boards, skateboarder boards. Boards for UFO believers. There may well be boards for serial killers, airline terrorists and professional assassins. There is simply no way to tell. Boards spring up, flourish, and disappear in large numbers, in most every corner of the developed world. Even apparently innocuous public boards can, and sometimes do, harbor secret areas known only to a few. And even on the vast, public, commercial services, private mail is very private -- and quite possibly criminal. Boards cover most every topic imaginable and some that are hard to imagine. They cover a vast spectrum of social activity. However, all board users do have something in common: their possession of computers and phones. Naturally, computers and phones are primary topics of conversation on almost every board. And hackers and phone phreaks, those utter devotees of computers and phones, live by boards. They swarm by boards. They are bred by boards. By the late 1980s, phone-phreak groups and hacker groups, united by boards, had proliferated fantastically. As evidence, here is a list of hacker groups compiled by the editors of *Phrack* on August 8, 1988. The Administration. Advanced Telecommunications, Inc. ALIAS. American Tone Travelers. Anarchy Inc. Apple Mafia. The Association. Atlantic Pirates Guild. Bad Ass Mother Fuckers. Bellcore. Bell Shock Force. Black Bag. Camorra. C&M Productions. Catholics Anonymous. Chaos Computer Club. Chief Executive Officers. Circle Of Death. Circle Of Deneb. Club X. Coalition of Hi-Tech Pirates. Coast-To-Coast. Corrupt Computing. Cult Of The Dead Cow. Custom ъetaliations. Damage Inc. D&B Communications. The Dange Gang. Dec Hunters. Digital Gang. DPAK. Eastern Alliance. The Elite Hackers Guild. Elite Phreakers and Hackers Club. The Elite Society Of America. EPG. Executives Of Crime. Extasyy Elite. Fargo 4A. Farmers Of Doom. The Federation. Feds ъ Us. First Class. Five O. Five Star. Force Hackers. The 414s. Hack-A-Trip. Hackers Of America. High Mountain Hackers. High Society. The Hitchhikers. IBM Syndicate. The Ice Pirates. Imperial Warlords. Inner Circle. Inner Circle II. Insanity Inc. International Computer Underground Bandits. Justice League of America. Kaos Inc. Knights Of Shadow. Knights Of The ъound Table. League Of Adepts. Legion Of Doom. Legion Of Hackers. Lords Of Chaos. Lunatic Labs, Unlimited. Master Hackers. MAD! The Marauders. MD/PhD. Metal Communications, Inc. MetalliBashers, Inc. MBI. Metro Communications. Midwest Pirates Guild. NASA Elite. The NATO Association. Neon Knights. Nihilist Order. Order Of The ъose. OSS. Pacific Pirates Guild. Phantom Access Associates. PHido PHreaks. The Phirm. Phlash. PhoneLine Phantoms. Phone Phreakers Of America. Phortune 500. Phreak Hack Delinquents. Phreak Hack Destroyers. Phreakers, Hackers, And Laundromat Employees Gang (PHALSE Gang). Phreaks Against Geeks. Phreaks Against Phreaks Against Geeks. Phreaks and Hackers of America. Phreaks Anonymous World Wide. Project Genesis. The Punk Mafia. The ъacketeers. ъed Dawn Text Files. ъoscoe Gang. SABъE. Secret Circle of Pirates. Secret Service. 707 Club. Shadow Brotherhood. Sharp Inc. 65C02 Elite. Spectral Force. Star League. Stowaways. Strata-Crackers. Team Hackers '86. Team Hackers '87. TeleComputist Newsletter Staff. Tribunal Of Knowledge. Triple Entente. Turn Over And Die Syndrome (TOADS). 300 Club. 1200 Club. 2300 Club. 2600 Club. 2601 Club. 2AF. The United Soft WareZ Force. United Technical Underground. Ware Brigade. The Warelords. WASP. Contemplating this list is an impressive, almost humbling business. As a cultural artifact, the thing approaches poetry. Underground groups -- subcultures -- can be distinguished from independent cultures by their habit of referring constantly to the parent society. Undergrounds by their nature constantly must maintain a membrane of differentiation. Funny/distinctive clothes and hair, specialized jargon, specialized ghettoized areas in cities, different hours of rising, working, sleeping.... The digital underground, which specializes in information, relies very heavily on language to distinguish itself. As can be seen from this list, they make heavy use of parody and mockery. It's revealing to see who they choose to mock. First, large corporations. We have the Phortune 500, The Chief Executive Officers, Bellcore, IBM Syndicate, SABъE (a computerized reservation service maintained by airlines). The common use of "Inc." is telling -- none of these groups are actual corporations, but take clear delight in mimicking them. Second, governments and police. NASA Elite, NATO Association. "Feds ъ Us" and "Secret Service" are fine bits of fleering boldness. OSS -- the Office of Strategic Services was the forerunner of the CIA. Third, criminals. Using stigmatizing pejoratives as a perverse badge of honor is a time-honored tactic for subcultures: punks, gangs, delinquents, mafias, pirates, bandits, racketeers. Specialized orthography, especially the use of "ph" for "f" and "z" for the plural "s," are instant recognition symbols. So is the use of the numeral "0" for the letter "O" -- computer-software orthography generally features a slash through the zero, making the distinction obvious. Some terms are poetically descriptive of computer intrusion: the Stowaways, the Hitchhikers, the PhoneLine Phantoms, Coast-to-Coast. Others are simple bravado and vainglorious puffery. (Note the insistent use of the terms "elite" and "master.") Some terms are blasphemous, some obscene, others merely cryptic -- anything to puzzle, offend, confuse, and keep the straights at bay. Many hacker groups further re-encrypt their names by the use of acronyms: United Technical Underground becomes UTU, Farmers of Doom become FoD, the United SoftWareZ Force becomes, at its own insistence, "TuSwF," and woe to the ignorant rodent who capitalizes the wrong letters. It should be further recognized that the members of these groups are themselves pseudonymous. If you did, in fact, run across the "PhoneLine Phantoms," you would find them to consist of "Carrier Culprit," "The Executioner," "Black Majik," "Egyptian Lover," "Solid State," and "Mr Icom." "Carrier Culprit" will likely be referred to by his friends as "CC," as in, "I got these dialups from CC of PLP." It's quite possible that this entire list refers to as few as a thousand people. It is not a complete list of underground groups -- there has never been such a list, and there never will be. Groups rise, flourish, decline, share membership, maintain a cloud of wannabes and casual hangers-on. People pass in and out, are ostracized, get bored, are busted by police, or are cornered by telco security and presented with huge bills. Many "underground groups" are software pirates, "warez d00dz," who might break copy protection and pirate programs, but likely wouldn't dare to intrude on a computer-system. It is hard to estimate the true population of the digital underground. There is constant turnover. Most hackers start young, come and go, then drop out at age 22 -- the age of college graduation. And a large majority of "hackers" access pirate boards, adopt a handle, swipe software and perhaps abuse a phone-code or two, while never actually joining the elite. Some professional informants, who make it their business to retail knowledge of the underground to paymasters in private corporate security, have estimated the hacker population at as high as fifty thousand. This is likely highly inflated, unless one counts every single teenage software pirate and petty phone-booth thief. My best guess is about 5,000 people. Of these, I would guess that as few as a hundred are truly "elite" -- active computer intruders, skilled enough to penetrate sophisticated systems and truly to worry corporate security and law enforcement. Another interesting speculation is whether this group is growing or not. Young teenage hackers are often convinced that hackers exist in vast swarms and will soon dominate the cybernetic universe. Older and wiser veterans, perhaps as wizened as 24 or 25 years old, are convinced that the glory days are long gone, that the cops have the underground's number now, and that kids these days are dirt-stupid and just want to play Nintendo. My own assessment is that computer intrusion, as a non-profit act of intellectual exploration and mastery, is in slow decline, at least in the United States; but that electronic fraud, especially telecommunication crime, is growing by leaps and bounds. One

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