Graziano Sorbaioli

fighting for freedom in the digital age

Graziano Sorbaioli header image 3

Hackers

  1. Definitions
  2. History
  3. Hackers
  4. Places
  5. Computers
  6. Ethics
  7. Texts
  8. Movies
  9. Radios
  10. Meetings
  11. Bibliography

Definitions

hacker: n.


[originally, someone who makes furniture with an axe]

  1. A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary. RFC1392, the Internet Users’ Glossary, usefully amplifies this as: A person who delights in having an intimate understanding of the internal workings of a system, computers and computer networks in particular.

  2. One who programs enthusiastically (even obsessively) or who enjoys programming rather than just theorizing about programming.

  3. A person capable of appreciating hack value.

  4. A person who is good at programming quickly.

  5. An expert at a particular program, or one who frequently does work using it or on it; as in ‘a Unix hacker’. (Definitions 1 through 5 are correlated, and people who fit them congregate.)


  6. An expert or enthusiast of any kind. One might be an astronomy hacker, for example.

  7. One who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming or circumventing limitations.

  8. [deprecated] A malicious meddler who tries to discover sensitive information by poking around. Hence password hacker, network hacker. The correct term for this sense is cracker.

The Jargon File



It is hard to write a simple definition of something as varied as hacking, but I think what these activities have in common is playfulness, cleverness, and exploration. Thus, hacking means exploring the limits of what is possible, in a spirit of playful cleverness. Activities that display playful cleverness have “hack value”.


Richard Stallman



A hacker is a person who went beyond using his computer skills to survive and look forward the two next steps. [...] To hackers, working with computers mean to have fun. Not games, not the wonderful images found on the net.

The computer itself is fun!


Linus Torvalds


History

Many articles have been written about hackers during the past years but always without exaclty knowing what they are about.

My little contribution is an article called

Sugli hackers si e’ scritto veramente tanto, soprattutto negli ultimi anni ma spesso senza cognizione di causa.

Il mio piccolo contributo in questo senso e’ un articolo chiamato
You don’t know us, inspired by all the text I read (that you can find at the end of this page) but, most of all, by all the people I met.
This article is dedicated to you who have taught me all the things that I know.

Thanks.

Hackers

First generation: ‘50, ‘60, Cambridge

Peter Samson

Peter Samson


Bio: original TMRC member since autumn 1958

Hacks: Tx0 hacking, music

Homepage

Bob Saunders

Bob Saunders


Bio: original TMRC member

Hacks:

Alan Kotok

Alan Kotok


Bio: Alan Kotok, W3C Associate Chair, MIT site manager and head of the Team W3C System, passed away at Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. He was 64. Before his precious collaboration at W3C,
Alan worked as chief engenieer at DEC. A MIT Tech Model Railroad Club member, he contributed to the development of the legendary computer game called Spacewar.

Hacks: spacewar, chess

Homepage


John McCarthy

John McCarty


Bio:

Hacks:

Homepage


Marvin Minsky

Marvin Minsky


Bio: Head of the famous AI lab since 1970 to 1972.

Hacks:

Homepage


Steve Russel

Steve Russell


Bio:

Hacks: Spacewar



Richard Greenblatt

Richard Greenblatt


Bio: the “father” of AI lab

Hacks:



Bill Gosper

Bill Gosper


Bio:

Hacks: hacking on Life! He wrote the BASIC for Altair.

Homepage


Stewart Nelson

Stewart Nelson


Bio: cofounder of System Concept

Hacks: Phreaking (connected PDP-1 to the telephone system), lockpicking, computer programming



David Silver

Bio: He was 14 when he joins AI lab staff

Hacks: robotics, lockpicking


Tom Knight

Tom Knight


Bio: He was 17 in 1965 when he joins AI lab

Hacks:


Gerry Sussman

Gerry Sussman


Bio: He was 17 when he joins AI lab

Hacks:


Second generation: ‘70, Southern California

Lee Felsenstein

felsenstein


Bio: a hardware hacker in the Bay Arena, editor for Berkley Barb.

Hacks:

Homepage


Bob Albrecht

Bio:

Hacks:



Steve Wozniak

woz


Bio: coufounder of Apple, he designed the AppleII, the grandfather of Macintosh

Hacks: AppleII

Homepage


Steve Jobs

jobs


Bio: Cofounder of Apple

Hacks:

Homepage


Captain Crunch

crunch


Bio: The first phreaker, 13th employer at Apple Computers, he designed one of the first modems for that machines. The creator of the first word processor for IBM.

Hacks: he was able to make long distance calls using only a whistle found on a cereal box


Homepage



Third generation: ‘80

John Harris

john harris


Bio: The hackers of videogames for Atari800. He was the mind behind the success of Sierra Online.

Hacks:

Games credited
and
interview.


Ken e Roberta Williams

Ken e Roberta Williams


Bio: founders of the Sierra Online, the famous game developing house.

Hacks:

Homepage



Fourth generation: ‘90

Emmanuel Goldstein

goldstein


Bio: Editor of the famous magazine 2600.

Hacks:

2600


Masters Of Deception (MOD)

mod


Bio: A crew founded in the 199x.

Hacks: hacking of the telephone system



* Mark Abene, a.k.a Phiber Optik (founder)

phiber optic


Bio: a telephone system hacker. After he exited prison, with the help of “Bill From RNOC” aka Dave Buchwald (ex LOD member) and Andrew Brown (a friend) founded a security counsulting company called Crossbar Security Inc. (http://www.crossbar.com/) that closed on 2001.

* John Lee, a.k.a. Corrupt

john lee

* Paul Stira, a.k.a. Scorpion

* Hac

* Eli Ladopoulos, a.k.a. Acid Phreak

Legion Of Doom (LOD)

Bio: A crew founded by Lex Luthor (his true name is stilll unknown)

Hacks:

Homepage



* Lex Luthor (founder)

* The Mentor (Loyd Blankenship) (author of the famous Hacker’s Manifesto)

the mentor

* Chris Goggans (Erik Bloodaxe)

bloodaxe

* Patrick Kroupa (Lord Digital)

* Bruce Fancher (Dead Lord)

* David Buchwald (Bill from RNOC)

* Mark Abene (Phiber Optik) founder of the MOD, it seems he was also a LOD member.


Robert Morris (RTM)

morris


Bio: son of a NSA agent

Hacks: He wrote the first internet worm that killed down 25% of the old internet.

Homepage

Linus Torvalds

torvalds


Bio: A Finnish hacker.

Hacks: Linux, the kernel of the famous GNU operating system.

Homepage

Wau Holland

wau holland


Bio: founder of the german CCC (Chaos Computer Club).

Hacks: Many.

Tribute


Thanks for all the things you taught us.

Rest in peace, brother.



Fyodor Yarochin

fyodor


Bio:

Hacks: nmap

Homepage


Venix

venix


Bio: a greek hacker

Hacks: security, penetration tests.



Kevin Poulsen

poulsen


Bio:

Hacks: he had the complete control of the telephone system. He won many radio contests, 2 Porsche and many travels. He was always the “lucky” 102th caller. :)

Homepage


Susan Thunder

susan thunder


Bio: the queen of social engineering

Hacks: social engineering.



Kevin Mitnick

mitnick


Bio:

Hacks: social engineering.

Homepage


Eric Raymond

raymond


Bio: An active hacker. He is the author of many hackers’ texts (the jargon file, how to become a hacker, etc.).

After he gave a speech at a conference, many CEO of Netscape who were attending chose to release the source code of their browser under an open source license: this originated the Mozilla Foundation who develop the Firefox browser and the Thunderbird email client.

Hacks:

Homepage


Richard Stallman

stallman


Bio: He is considered the “last of true hackers”. He is the founder of the Free Software Foundation and the GNU project. He is also the author of various free software such as a compiler (GCC) and a text editor (Emacs). He remained attached to the original hackers’ ethics.

Hacks: GNU operating system, GCC, Emacs

Homepage


# Places

Building 20

building 20

centre of the TMRC (Tech Model Railroad club)


building 20 entrance

Building 20, main entrance

Tool Room

the room next to TMRC.

Kludge Room

# Computers

IBM 704

ibm704

Situated on the first floor of the Building 26, it was the first computer that was being hacked. :)

IBM 709

ibm709

IBM 7090

ibm7090

Tx0

tx0

Situated on Building 26, at the second floor of the RLE (Research Laboratory of Electronics)


PDP 1

pdp1

PDP 6

pdp6

IBM 7094

ibm7094

PDP 8

pdp8

ALTAIR 8800

altair

APPLE II

apple2

Ethics

Ethics formulations are various since ‘60 but nowaday, no one of them has been qualified as “official”.

The most used and famous is that of the first generation of hackers:

  • Access to computers — and anything which might teach you something

    about the way the world works — should be unlimited and total.

    Always yield to the Hands-On imperative.

  • All information should be free.

  • Mistrust Authority. Promote Decentralization.

  • Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as

    degrees, age, race, or position.

  • You can create art and beauty on a computer.

  • Computers can change your life for the better.

  • Don ́t mess in other people ́s data.

  • Use public data, protect private data.

Texts

During the years, only a few hackers wrote texts about “hacking”.

Here you can find the most relevant ones:

Movies

Here is a list of the best documentaries/movies about hackers:

Most Hollywood movies decribe a stereotype of the hacker that is not real.

This is why hackers don’t feel themselves represented by none of them (except Wargames).

Radio

A list of radio programs or internet radio managed by hackers.

Meetings

USA

Europe

Malaysia

Holland

Germany

Spain

Italy

Norway

Others

Bibliography

Joshua Quittner, Michelle Slatalla, Master Of Deception, Harpercollins, Ney York 1996

Pekka Himamen, L’etica hacker e lo spirito dell’età dell’informazione, Feltrinelli, Milano 2003

Steven Levy, Crypto, ShaKe Edizioni, Milano 2002

Steven Levy, Hackers. Heroes of the computer revolution, ShaKe Edizioni, Milano 1994

Jonathan Littman, The Watchman, Little, Brown & Company, 1997 United States

Jonathan Littman, The fugitive game, Little, Brown & Company, 1997 United States

John Markoff, Katie Hafner, Cyberpunk, Simon & Schuster New York 1995

Kevin Mitnick, William Simon, Art of deception, Feltrinelli, Milano 2003

Kevin Mitnick, William Simon, Art of intrusion Feltrinelli, Milano 2006

Hans-Christian Schmid, Michael Gutmann, 23, ShaKe Edizioni, Milano 2001

Richard Stallman, Free software - free society, Stampa Alternativa, Roma 2003

Bruce Sterling, Giro di vite contro gli hacker, ShaKe Edizioni, Milano 1993

Clifford Stoll, The Cuckoo’s egg, Simon & Schuster, United States 2000

Linus Torvalds, David Diamond : Just for fun, Feltrinelli, Milano 2002

Sam Williams, Free as in freedom, Apogeo, Milano 2003

No Comments

0 responses so far ↓

  • There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.

Leave a Comment