#409: Shard

[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.]

Contentness. Satisfaction. With a sly smile, the young man dug in his pockets for his keys. The keyring held various keys for different aspects of his life. A four meg SIMM dangled from it, a sign of his profession. A super mini-maglite next to the RAM. He sorted out the right key and popped the trunk of his ’92 Honda Civic. The trunk lifted up revealing the normal contents he had seen every time before.

A black milk crate filled with car components helped him dozens of times before. Snake light, mini-mag lite, two cans of fix-a-flats, paperwork from his last two car repairs, and other assorted items. Next to that was an old military bag filled with common tools; screw drivers, hammer, wrench, and more. Toward the back of the trunk was a metal pole in case he ran into unfriendly types. He glanced both ways to make sure no one was paying any special attention to him, not that they would have a reason, but he always liked to make sure.

It was a beautiful day out, more so because he rarely left his apartment during the day. He set the red plastic cup on the back bumper and put on a set of cheap gloves. After he emptied the trunk of the normal contents, he set to task. Throughout the trunk were small shards of glass, littering the carpet like stars on night. Starting in the upper right corner, he moved clockwise through the trunk removing the glass. Each piece rolled off his gloves into the cup.

It was only five hours before, his friend had thrown a twenty pound rock through the window of a computer repair shop. He had followed the rock through seconds after and began to gather up items in the store. By the count of ten both men were in the store, thieves of the night. Twenty, and his friend’s bag had several hard drives in it. Thirty and he had removed all cable connections from their primary server, his friend with a full bag already. Forty seconds and his friend was heading out with bag in one hand, a stack of routers balanced on his other. Fifty seconds and he was running out the window he had entered, a full tower server under each arm. Both weighed quite a bit, but felt like empty pizza boxes because of the adrenaline.

Three minutes after the rock sailed through, they were turning onto the frontage road, entering the freeway. No sign of police, nothing else out of the ordinary. It was only fifteen more seconds before they were free to relax. Once on the highway, they were just two guys going home late at night. He remembers pulling into the apartment complex a big smile on both of their faces, content with their new found possessions. Neither could afford it on their individual incomes, but none of the equipment they had liberated were required by any means. Just an easy way to get new toys to play with, to learn about. It was a great way to enhance their skillset in order to progress in the computer industry.

Twenty minutes had passed and half the glass shards were out of the trunk and into the cup. No matter what they did, glass always ended up in the car or their clothes. It would be weeks later and one of them would find a piece of glass in a shirt pocket or cuff of a sleeve. This had almost become a ritual after a night of energy. More minutes and a few neighbors passed as he continued cleaning. It was rare that he gave thought about the right or wrong of what he did. He had no problems doing that kind of thing at night, no moral barriers. The more he thought about it, the more satisfied he was.

People didn’t look at the entire picture most of the time. They saw the short term view, and made a judgement based off that shallow view. The following day someone had to replace the broken window. That provided more work for the glass companies, helped pay the salary of the installation guy, produced more orders for replacement glass. The police would surely be called in to take reports, providing them with their somewhat daily routine. The insurance company of the computer store would receive a call, one or two of their agents would spend part of their day filling out paperwork in order to replace the stolen equipment. The computer store was not full of morons, so because of clever paperwork, the store actually made a few dollars profit on the missing equipment. The companies that made the hardware will receive purchase orders to replace the originals.

Add it all up, and not much was truly lost. More good came out of the ‘crime’ than bad, yet no one saw it that way. Or maybe they did. Maybe that explains why police are so casual about crimes of that nature, and never seem really interested in catching the bad guys unless the criminals happen to fall in their lap. Who knows. The last piece of glass fell into the cup, the trunk closed. He headed across the parking lot toward his front door, and without a second thought tossed the plastic cup into the dumpster. One cup of broken glass is all there was to represent hours and hours of work and legitimate business for all those other people.

Not like it mattered that his actions went unappreciated. He ended up with new equipment to play with. Half a dozen other people ended up with more work in order to pay their bills and move on in their life. If they stopped to think about it, they should probably thank him. But he knew it wouldn’t come to that. He had plenty of thanks already, in the form of a weak security system, poor response time, and bad placement of equipment. He laughed as he thought about sending them a thank you card. As quick as the notion had occurred, it passed on, leaving him with a slight smile. And a small cut on his thumb. Oh the price that is paid.

#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.

#400: Four Zero Zero

[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.]

Seems like this 100th file came much quicker than the last. Time has certainly flown by in the real world. At any given point in time, it seems as though you can measure how much change there is in your life. This figure is based off your perception of the change, coupled with what you remember to have changed. Of course, this isn’t accurate by any means, but accuracy is nothing, perception is everything.

I received a file submission the other day that wasn’t completed according to the author. I personally think it could have been released as is, but she felt differently. One thing that stood out about this article was the intense writing style, coupled with the fact that she has been reading the zine for most of its life. As her file points out, she knows the ‘old’ me, the more bitter and outspoken me. The me that wasn’t afraid to tell people how I felt. That file made me think quite a bit about the zine and where it is today.

That author writes “even fuck has taken on a new face. once a critic of Life itself, is now but a medium of rants and raves. few palpable pieces stay true to the past. the unspoken ideal. the intellectual ramblings of fucked up souls who had more to criticize than religion and relationships. whatever happened to those?”

Have things changed that much? Have we the writers moved on to take on new perspectives? Or have we maybe refined our writing style aiming to be more verbose and try to make every word count? I don’t know. I do know that I will be re-reading some of the early issues in an attempt to find out what was lost. Has the style changed while leaving the message behind? Or have we lost some of the message? It is obvious that some things have changed as new writers join the zine and others move on. Since it has been over two years since I have been in college, more of the writers I find seem to be in the working world rather than school. Has that made a significant difference?

I have been on a steady downward spiral myself. Going from 48 to 29 to 19 to 9 files written out of each 100. Moving from 48% to 9% is a significant change, and a very likely reason behind the perception of change. Sitting on this drive are about fifteen unfinished files, some sitting there from over a year ago. Beyond that are twenty files with material that could easily be used for other files. I have seven unfinished pieces by Voyager, while Demonika sits on sixteen unreleased files. We are all very passionate about certain things, and all like to express our views. So why do they sit there uncompleted? Who knows.

The material is there, the time isn’t. One thing all writers like to see is feedback on their material. That is one thing that has gotten better over the years. More people are taking the time to write and tell how they feel about the files. Regardless of opinion, if you have the time to respond, please do.

Where is the world today. That is one little thing that probably affects us all to some degree or another. Some people say things are still going downhill, that crime is worse, pollution worse, society as a whole worse. Others can counter those claims with statistics to show that crime is actually going down, that the rate of increase for pollution decreased, and that society is getting better overall. Bah, fuck it all. None of them will be a real concern in my lifetime, at least not in the long run.

The internet is the new global means for communication. Every day thousands of people flock to the net to jump on the great hype. As they do, they bring new cultures, new stories, and new experiences with them. Unfortunately they also come with sheer stupidity and annoyance. Like before, certain online services seem to cater to these morons, but they can be found on just about any service. Should the veterans of the net stop to help them? I don’t think so. Experience tells me that it is a waste of time. In less than six months, my mother has gone from being scared of computers, to owning a new Pentium Pro, uses dialup ISDN to connect to one of her two ISPs, and effectively uses the web to access information. No offense to her, but if she can do it, anyone can.

The battle for online privacy continues. Congress still wants to backdoor all forms of strong encryption, make it possible for various federal agencies to quickly tap any phone line with little or no authorization, as well as censor the content of sites to a certain degree. What the fuck? The supreme court ruled against the Communications Decency Act.. it was unconstitutional. The DEA is currently filing suit against the CIA and NSA attempting to make it illegal for either agency to tap any phone, because both agencies were actively listening in on DEA conversation. What does that tell you? That the government is still full of clueless windbags that are interested in serving their own delusional senses of right and wrong. These dumbfucks need to be thrown back into society (or jail), not be allowed to control our lives.

We still pay gobs of money in federal taxes while multi-million dollar corporations get tax breaks, form quasi-monopolies that are overlooked by the Justice Department, and the regular man lives in fear of a tax audit. The regular man walks down the street in fear of being mugged or beaten down for no other reason than the attacker’s enjoyment. Fear seems to be a common emotion these days. Instead of technology advancing in all areas, it seems to be heading more toward convenience still. Why haven’t cars advanced as much as computers? Compare a car ten years ago to a computer ten years ago. That is pathetic.

The bright side of all this you ask? Increased costs for everything, no government funding when you grow old, the chance of dying for your wallet with no cash in it, the chance of dealing with the million types of fraud that can cause your life to be hell. If you’re really lucky, you might get to enjoy a fucking barbecue with your family or friends on a Sunday. Yay.

What does that mean? Enjoy any aspect of your life when you can. If you see a chance to do something you MIGHT enjoy, just fucking do it. Deal with the consequences later. Temporarily forget about ethics or morals, there is no right or wrong. There are inadequate words to describe complex ethical situations set forth by a society that doesn’t have a clue. So try it. Whatever it is. See if you can find some kind of enjoyment in your life. New hobby, slashing someone’s tires, different sexual preference, what ever floats your boat.

That’s it. No cheerful ending to a bleak outlook on life and society. That’s exactly what I see right now, and nothing will change it by the time I am done with this file. As I stated above, I do like feedback, but let me qualify that. If you reply to my files, don’t tell me to “cheer up”, “be happy”, “think happy thoughts”, or any shit like that. That isn’t me. It never has been. I’m tired of pretending I think that way. Doom and gloom is just fine with me. Crime and chaos is a good thing. You don’t agree? Go be part of the cause of it and you will feel differently about it. The world is NOT happy. Crime DOES pay. Anyone who tells you differently has their eyes closed or is trying to sell you something.

Oh, one last thing. Your god still doesn’t exist. No matter what god or goddess it may be. To think otherwise is foolish.


                      F.U.C.K. Member List
            (the revised 'positions' are inside jokes)

    Handle         Position/Title        Status       Written
  - DisordeR     - Writer/Editor       - Active      -  105  -      (1)
  - Demonika     - Evil One            - Active      -   29  -      (2)
  - Rage         - Strange Person      - Active      -   13  -
  - Voyager      - Philosopher         - Active      -   13  -
  - Capone       - Sensai              - Active      -   12  -
  - fastjack     - Grunt               - Active      -   11  -
  - DropComm     - Mobster             - Active      -   11  -
  - Pallbearer   - Artist'             - Active      -   10  -
  - se7en        - Instigator          - Active      -   10  -
  - Legion       - Media Play Security - Active      -   9   -
  - Murc         - Arthritis           - Active      -   7   -
  - Illusionary  - Warez Pup           - Active      -   7   -
  - Simunye      - Ms. Attitude        - Active      -   7   -
  - Major        - Drunk               - Active      -   5   -
  - Malloc       - Evil                - Active      -   5   -
  - Wednesday    - MoM                 - Active      -   5   -
  - L. Humongous - Writer              - Active      -   4   -
  - SkinFlower   - Chix0r              - Active      -   4   -
  - Tersian      - 9to5                - Active      -   4   -
  - Anarchon     - Anarchist           - Active      -   3   -
  - Brooklyn     - Badass              - Active      -   3   -
  - Death        - Writer              - Active      -   3   -
  - Deadkat      - Oracle              - Active      -   3   -
  - Inverse      - Writer              - Active      -   3   -
  - K2           - TNo Bitch           - Active      -   3   -
  - Porno Funk   - Writer              - Active      -   3   -
  - Red Baron    - Writer              - Active      -   3   -
  - SickBoy      - Writer              - Active      -   3   -
  - Spyder       - Cynic               - Active      -   3   -      (3)
  - Anarchy-X    - Writer              - Active      -   2   -
  - Bluerose     - Stalker             - Active      -   2   -
  - GNN          - uXu Defector        - Active      -   2   -
  - Murmur       - DTO Flunkie         - Active      -   2   -
  - Orestes      - Black Sheep         - Active      -   2   -
  - Psycho       - Writer              - Active      -   2   -
  - Styx         - Writer              - Active      -   2   -
  - T. Soul      - Writer              - Active      -   2   -
  - Unbidden     - Idiot               - Active      -   2   -
  - zens         - Biznatch            - Active      -   2   -
  - Ambrose      - Writer              - Active      -   1   -
  - Apokolyps    - Antichrist          - Active      -   1   -
  - C. Stolle    - Writer              - Active      -   1   -
  - Chris        - Writer              - Active      -   1   -
  - Edchrist     - Anger               - Active      -   1   -
  - El_jefe      - Booze Hound         - Active      -   1   -
  - Flood        - Writer              - Active      -   1   -
  - Hackem Siegh - Writer              - Active      -   1   -
  - Mogel        - FUCK Hoe            - Active      -   1   -
  - Pill         - Booze Brother       - Active      -   1   -
  - Pluto        - Writer              - Active      -   1   -
  - Rabies       - Writer              - Active      -   1   -
  - Shaedow      - Taste Tester        - Active      -   1   -
  - Slayer       - Writer              - Active      -   1   -
  - Telecon      - Honorary Fed        - Active      -   1   -
  - yt           - Writer              - Active      -   1   -
  - Overdriver   - Writer              - Inactive    -   6   -
  - Acid Warlock - Writer              - Inactive    -   4   -
  - Max Headroom - Writer              - Inactive    -   3   -
  - Morpheus     - Writer              - Inactive    -   3   -
  - Disk Jockey  - Writer              - Inactive    -   2   -
  - Distortion   - Writer              - Inactive    -   2   -
  - Loki         - Writer              - Inactive    -   2   -
  - PsI          - Writer              - Inactive    -   2   -
  - Doc. Z       - Writer              - Inactive    -   1   -
  - Far Reaches  - Writer              - Inactive    -   1   -
  - Heather Maple- Writer              - Inactive    -   1   -
  - Joeseattle   - Writer              - Inactive    -   1   -
  - Lettus B     - Writer              - Inactive    -   1   -
  - Nancy Dunlap - Writer              - Inactive    -   1   -
  - Night Hawk   - Writer              - Inactive    -   1   -
  - Rice         - Writer              - Inactive    -   1   -
  - Shockwave    - Chocolate           - Inactive    -   1   -
  - Uncle Elvis  - Writer              - Inactive    -   1   -
  - Zach D.      - Writer              - Inactive    -   1   -
  - Zen          - Stud                - Inactive    -   1   -
  - Zippy        - Writer              - Inactive    -   1   -
           ( 7 files have been submitted anonymously )
           ( 9 files are reprints from other sources )
           ( 2 files were contributed by all writers )

(Files written by multiple author are credited to largest contributor.)

(1) – Other handles: Damanstian, Dam
(2) – Other handles: Palpable Obscure
(3) – Other handles: Rio