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"ELITE" ACCESS - A TUTORIAL BY LORD DIGITAL AND DEAD LORD DOOM OF LEGIONS/H LORDS ANONYMOUS! SEPTEMBER 25, 1986 -- REVISED MAY 02,1988 PRE-PROLGUE =========== This article does not express the opinions of 2600 magazine. It's full of my own personal opinions which happen to bear a startling resemblance to the REAL BBS "underground" that so many of you readers are fascinated with. PROLOGUE ======== For reporters, brain dead media types, or anyone else reading this who has been blessed with a room tempeture IQ and faulty observational abilities; "Elite" as it's applied to the "underground" community, is a phrase that theoretically denotes the top 2-5% of the hacking and Phreaking world and its rather peculiar heirarchy. Realistically it denotes the 2-5% that spend the greatest amount of time polishing up their image on boards instead of doing what they're presumably good at (hacking). This article is designed to allow you (yes YOU the junior G-man; would be Secret Service agent; publicity whore; over-eager journalist, or just bored modem owner and future potential ELITE) access to almost anything you might wish to call; in addition to providing you with the knowledge neccesary to impress other ELITE's with your learned brilliance. CONTENT ======= A tutorial for all the people too dense to figure out the quirks of human nature all by themselves, who also have some inane desire to have access to ELITE boards, containing ELITE information and ELITE users, along with ELITE wares, 42 seconds after they are cracked by ELITE crackers. Not to mention ELITE dial-ups to ELITE companies, which will work for aproximately 15 minutes before some idiot logs in and does something to fuck them up. I'm writing it because I am bored of doing all this by myself, with only a handful of peers to accompany me. Not that I expect to gain "peers" from people that need help from this text file, but I imagine it'll give ELITE Sysops something else to do with their time. I also hope to save you 2-5 years of time. 2-5 years is the average lifespan of an ELITE person, before he gets a life and comes to the understanding that he just wasted 2-5 years. Please don't misunderstand me when I say 2-5 years, there are many people who have been ELITE for almost 10 years and are still going strong. I wouldn't want to step on any ego's, or ruin anyone's life work, now would I... ELITE BOARDS ============ ELITE boards exist because the people who populate them, believe them- selves to be superior to the people populating all the other boards. Most people don't agree with them, but they agree with each other. 100-200 people being sufficient to set up their own personal version of the world, they gather together on these ELITE boards and do ELITE things like post new wares, engage in "rag wars" and type things up out of manuals at each other. SYSOPS ====== Seeing how you're trying to get access to an ELITE board, you should have a basic understand of who the Sysop is, and why he's running the board. This part is easy, in over 95% of all cases, the Sysop is a egotistical fool, who is willing to give up the use of his computer, or computers, in exchange for the privledge of playing god with the hopeless sots who log in. This is especially the case on all manner of ELITE boards that request a "real" telephone number, voice validation, and the donation of your first born male child for even higher access. All under the guise of "security". Requesting a "real" voice number, or even name, is nothing that unusual. Almost all "mainstream" non-Pirate and non-Phreak systems require it. Of course there is nothing stopping you from leaving them Anal Annie's phone sex service as your home number, and picking a random name. That will usually be the end of that. The only time the Sysop will ever check into your information will be if you happen to become a "rodent" and annoy him and/or the users of his BBS, in which case he'll engage you in a 20 letter conversation, each one giving a really sincere and heartening reason why you would feel so much better if you gave him your phone number, and why he just HAS to have it for reasons you wouldn't understand, because ALL Sysops MUST keep track of who uses their systems, don't ya know? This file won't cover "normal" Sysops, because if you aren't capable of bullshitting THEM, then you're hopeless and may as well find a new hobby. Like gardening is pretty exciting I hear, fer instance... "VOICE" NUMBERS =============== The truth is: there is no reason on earth, why a Sysop should EVER need your voice number, or any information on you at all. Naturally he'll WANT it, because being the kind of person who runs a bbs in the first place, he's a nosy and prying kind of guy that want's to know everything about you. For reasons of "board security" of course. Let me tell you about "board security:" it doesn't exist! When a system is "secure" all that means is that the Sysop has lulled himself into a false sense of safety that bears little relation to the actual state of his board. But that's beside the point. The point being that you DON'T want to hear from the Sysop; EVER. One of the reasons they give for "needing" your voice number is: "well if there's ever something wrong with the bbs, I need to be able to let you know, or ask you what commands you used if you were the last user before it crashed". Isn't that nice... How many Sysop's notify their users when their board goes down "for repairs"? NOT ONE. As for problems, well what do I care? The last thing I want is Melvin Sysop calling me up when I'm watching Miami Vice and trying to have a 5 hour conversation with me because he has nothing else to do with his time. Or better still, having my phone number embedded in his software when the Secret Service busts down his door because he carded 50 hard drives to his home address. I know many Sysops, some of them are even my friends. These are the kinds of things Sysops do with their userlists. Of course ALL of them will CLAIM that other Sysops might do that, but THEY never would, god no, not them! FAVORITE SYSOP USES FOR USERS TELEPHONE NUMBERS =============================================== I. When any "new ware" is released (and he happens to be a Pirate kind of guy), Sysops go through every name on the userlist, call them up and ask for the new ware. If you don't have the new ware, or just say you don't in the hopes that he will fuck off, he will then proceed to bug the hell out of you by asking for 50 other wares that he just has to have. II. If he's an ELITE PHREAK kinda guy and some national emergency takes place such as his favorite 800 dying on him; he does the same thing as the Pirate type Sysop and calls everyone on the userlist begging for 800's, "any cool info", and pw's to CIS. III. More so with Phreaks than Pirates, but somewhat true for all of them: The Sysop want's an update on some latest tidbit of hot gossip that he will just die if he doesn't find out. He will then try to have another 5 hour conversation with you about whatever drivel he called you up to discuss. IV. Some people trade baseball cards, some people trade comics, some people trade phone numbers. Sysops LOVE to trade phone numbers, especially those of "influential" users. I don't know why, they usually lack the balls to even call them beyond the customary dial, wait for some person's voice, then slam the phone down and go jerk off because all that excitement gave them a hard-on. This is very much to your benefit as I'll explain a little further down. V. And worst of all, there is the "lonely Sysop", the guy who will call you every "day" at 2 in the morning and try to have an engaging conversation about whatever happened in his "life" that day. There are many other things Sysops do with your number, but as far as I'm concerned, those were the worst. OK, I'm going on and on about why a Sysop has no need for your number, and how he'll annoy you to death if he ever gets it, so YOU know that now, but what do you do about it? GETTING VALIDATED ================= There is no big trick to being validated. In almost every case, the Sysop asking for a voice number, is just his usual hoopla and he'll never bother to check out anything you give him that passes as "information". If you leave a reasonably intelligent copy of feedback, kiss his ass in a sublime kind of way, and in general explain to him why having you on his bbs will make his life much better than it is now; you'll be validated with normal access. Uploading new wares or files, posting messages, and drivel along those lines, will get your access raised. You can also bullshit for higher access, but I'm assuming YOU don't know how, which is why you're reading this file to begin with. BULLSHITTING is an artform and I have neither the time or patience to type up a file on it, so I'm doing this instead. EXAMPLE PIRATE BOARD FEEDBACK ============================= Hello, I'm the Masked Avocado. I just got your bbs #, from an advertisement that was posted on Capital Connection. I liked what the message had to say, so I called to check your board out. I can contribute new software, programming help, and anything that might help to enhance your bbs. I also distribute for Coast to Coast and Digital Gang. My latest wares include: MultiScribe //gs HiggyBBS 6.2 Deluxe Paint Print Plus 2.1 By the way, my first name is Melvin, I'm 13^H^H19, and my system is made up of an enhanced //e, 212 applecat, 3.5 drive and a bunch of peripherals. Thanks for your time, Melvin Let's examine that and highlight a few points. I. ALWAYS use decimel points when describing new wares. Copy ][+ has a revision every 2 weeks that does nothing except update the parm files. NEW WARES! have constant updates and "Pirates" are always on the lookout to increase the decimel point revision of their software. Even if it does NOTHING different EXCEPT change the decimel point. Aside from the fact that feedback is just bullshit to get you validated, you can very easily get a sector editor up and change a few decimel points yourself. II. ALWAYS say you got his BBS # from some established ELITE board, in the case of Pirates, Capital Connection is always a good bet. In reality it's quite a lame board, but other board Sysops seem to feel otherwise, and besides instantly impressing the Sysop of the board you're logging into (by being a member of CapCon), he will also get a kick out of it that some idiot posted his board on the CapCon "BBS Ads" section. [Please note that "Capital Connection" was valid at this file's original incept date over a year ago. The average Pirate board having a lifespan of 6 months at best; Capital Connection no longer exists. The current Elite Pirate board of the next 6 months, is "Trade Center."] III. Among your list of "new wares" you can always list some BBS program, because every week some dork writes a new program, that is lousy, never works right, and if ever faced with "put up or shut up" you can change around any one of 50 different BBS programs, and upload it as the NEW WARE! [Same with software as with boards -- it doesn't stay new very long. I can't help you here because I haven't the slighest idea what's new in Apple software. However, all you need to do is invest 3 bucks in the latest issue of whatever magazine pertains to your particular computer, and list off some of the software you see advertised.] IV.Always say you distribute for some random collection of new wares groups. Nobody can prove that you don't (logging into one cat-fur and uploading the wares you found on it, to another cat-fur, is distributing) and it will make the Sysop think that you'll be uploading 20 sided GS wares to his board every day. [As you may have guessed, new wares groups also come and go. Digital Gang still exists, as do a slew of new groups; if you don't know of any, a safe bet is making up a name and saying that you're based somewhere in Europe. Europe being the fabled birthplace of all the best new Atari and Amiga software in particular.] V. Always list "your" first name and age. Make up an age that is over 16 so they won't discriminate against you. If you're under 16 and admit it in your feedback, you'll be instantly labeled an idiot. VI. Always list some of your hardware. Don't ask me why, it's just another item in the agenda of things that Sysops like to pry into. If you give them this information without them asking for it, it makes them feel better. VII. Always end the message with a "thanks for your time". Remember, he's an egotistical fool, and that one line makes him think you respect him, want to do things for him, and would be genuinely happy to be a member of his AWESOME board. VIII. ALWAYS sign it with "your" first name, this keeps the tone informal, and makes you seem like a less threatening type of guy. GENERAL TIPS ============ Remember that many Pirate boards have a "VOTE ON NEW USERS" feature, so don't say anything that you wouldn't want the entire world to read. If you follow those basic guidelines, you'll ALWAYS get validated if the rest of your information is right. The rest being your phone # if the Sysop actually calls new users. Some of you are saying to yourselves: Yeah, but if you just listed all of this, won't Sysops be on the lookout for this kind of feedback? Yeah, but then who are they going to validate? "Obvious" rodents? No, if they want new users then they'll be more than happy to accept you. EXAMPLE PHREAK BOARD FEEDBACK ============================= Greetings, I'm Tesla Coil of The Crossbar Rapists (TC of TCR). I was told by a user of Metal Shoppe Private (MSP), that your bbs was worth looking into. I've been published in TAP, 2600, and Uncle Mel's Phone Times. My handle was listed in issue 12 of Security Systems of Greater Podunk (SSoGP) as a "Computer genius breaks into Podunk's Private Database!" I've been hacking since 1981, I was a member of Sherwood Forest, Securityland, The AT&T Phone Center, OSUNY, OSUNY when it went back up, WOPR, LOD the BBS, Cryton, COSMOS, Metal Shoppe Private, and OSUNY when it came back for yet another go at it. I had to change my handle for reasons of security when I was taken out by the feds in the 1983 414 busts. I'm an expert with Unix, RSTS, Primos, and HiggyOS. I can program in C, D, E, and F, Fortran 77 and 78, Basic for the Cyber, IBM, MAC, Amiga, ST, and Apple II. I also know assembly for the 6502, 8088, 68020, Z-80a, and TIMEX. I have an Apple //e, IBM AT, Mac+, and Kim-A1. After entering college last year, my time was seriously limited. But after getting some additional free time, I've decided to restart my hobby of hacking and exploring the phone system. My current interest centers around the understanding of the myriad functions associated with CLID. People who can reccommend me include: (Pick 4 or 5 names of people who aren't really ELITE, but not unknown to current ELITE Sysops either. If you can't think of them, pick up any issue of Phrack and take a few out of there. The reason you want "not really ELITE" people, is because they won't command too much attention. You DON'T WANT excess attention, saying that some dork who writes for Phrack recommends you, is less noticible than saying some "real" ELITE recommends you. Why say ANYONE recommends you, if it's so much trouble? Because it somehow flips a switch in the Sysop's mind, which makes him think that you must be an OK dude, if so and so recommends you. 9 out of 10 times he won't check. The 1 time he does check, the person he's bothering will usually say "yeah yeah, go away I'm doing something" and that'll be the end of it). [Please note that by "real elite" I don't mean anyone who is better, rather I mean someone who has spent tremendous amounts of time generating exposure for his handle.] Thanks for you time, Tesla Coil/The Crossbar Rapists Let's examine this one too. I. As you can see we've switched from 40 columns, to 80 columns complete with some form of spacing. We've also gotten a little bit more-let's say-"readable" than in our previous Pirate feedback example. This is because we're calling a different kind of system, with a different program than cat-fur ENHANCED 1.1! II. With Phreak Sysops you don't want to get too informal, because most of them are busy playing SECRET AGENT MAN! and if you do something normal like sign off with "your" first name, he'll think you're not being "professional". How it is in his mind that he equates "professional" with calling his board: I don't know, but trust me on this point. III. In the same vein of "professionalism", you're expected to list off your "accomplishments". Oddly enough, in Phreak/Hacker HIERARCHY, getting arrested numerous times is considered ELITE by many of it's peoples. Why this is, I don't know either. Personally, it says to me that the person who got arrested has the brains of an african bushman, but apparently, that's just my lone opinion. Anyhow, in line with this PROFESSIONAL attitude you are expected to list your life's accomplishments in the space of 50-100 lines, in a form that will make you sound like the best Hacker in the world, who is so good, that logically he wouldn't be caught dead calling the ELITE board you're calling, but once again skipping the logic and getting back to the Sysops expectations... IV. OK continuing with the thought we started...III: list off a bunch of languages, knowing them is optional, because the Sysop doesn't know them either. Reading the dust jacket and index on a book covering any of those subjects will enable you to APPEAR to know what you're doing, which is all that the Sysop is doing, so don't worry about it, because he doesn't know vi from cd, and couldn't INFILTRATE a Unix if he had the root account. If you don't want to spend $5000 stocking up on ELITE TECHNICAL MANUALS, go down to the library and xerox a bunch of index's. Or better yet, just check out the books and never return them (if your library lets you check out reference manuals. Most don't, but you can always rip out that little magnetic sensor in the card on the book and walk out with it anyway, but I digress...). V.After you've done that, list a bunch of micro-specific assembly langauges that you "know," and in general just make up things until you've filled up around 2 paragraphs or so. 95% of ELITE PHREAKING/HACKING is just posing anyway, so don't feel guilty about it or let it worry you too much because that's the same way 9/10th of the board got access. Unless they were ELITE, which is just posing to a higher degree than most bother to go with. VI. Remember to say WHERE YOU GOT THE # FROM! This is because like I said before, most Phreaks are busy playing SECRET AGENT MAN and will get an ulcer and lay awake at night thinking that CABLE PAIR is infiltrating their board. You know it isn't true, but the Sysop will wet his pants anyway, so just put his mind at rest and make up some place where you got the number from. Metal Shoppe is always a safe bet, because it's the Phreak dumping ground of ELITENESS, much like CapCon is the Pirate's equivalent. Be sure to use vague terms like "I was told by a user of..." and things of that nature that can't be readily verified, but still sound plausible. [Ahem, sorry to interrupt again, but as you may have guessed, MSP is down at this time. MSP's new replacement is the Legion of Doom base BBS that goes by the name of "Digital Logic." A large percentage of the users there are under phony handles that gained entry by exactly the type of bullshitting I'm writing about in this article. The remaining phony accounts got access by threatening the Sysop with "Phreak retaliation" and having him cave into demands; which for a LOD board is about par for course.] VII. Next make up your "writing credits" and "media credits". Select a few random issues of random magazines that you either wrote for, or had your alias' mentioned in. Make sure they're of the small circulation type and the issue is at least 2 years old. Nobody will ever check or even have a way of checking if they wanted to. Most people who "wrote" things just rephrased tech manuals and copied the illustrations. If you're ever pressured to come up with something YOU wrote, just do the same thing because that's what all the other ELITES are busy doing. Be sure to run it through a spelling checker so it looks PROFESSIONAL as ELITE PHREAKS are fond of looking and thinking of themselves. VIII. Next list off a bunch of ELITE BOARDS you've been a member of. Listing those that I just listed are a safe bet, because they're famous or as the case may be: infamous, to such a degree that the Sysop will have heard of them. He wouldn't have been on them, so he won't be able to verify that either. The reason he wouldn't have been on them, is because he hasn't been ELITE longer than 2 years, otherwise he wouldn't be running a board If he HAS been ELITE for longer than two years, and IS still running a board, then he's an idiot and you can safely assume that he wouldn't have been on them anyway. Not that being an idiot disqualifies anyone from being a member of anything, but APPEARING to be an idiot will do that. COSMOS is ALWAYS a great bet, because it just sounds so PHONESY! Plus there have been half a dozen COSMOS' in the last year alone, so he won't know which one, even if none of them have ever been FAMOUS! IX. If you're such a swell guy, and have been around so long, he might wonder what you've been doing with yourself for the last 6 months - 1 year. So just make up some half-witted excuse like the one I listed. Then include something about your current "interests." All you need to remember about that is include "CLID" (Calling Line ID), "BLV" (Busy Line Verify), or any other semi-interesting acronym out of a USO coding manual. Obviously you don't need to know anything about it beyond the fact that such an acronym actually exists and you know about its existence. If questioned further, just bring down the "veil of secrecy" and become mysterious and evasive about it. This will instantly go great lengths towards improving your status on a board. X. References have been covered in the parenthesis in the feedback itself, so I hope I don't need to get into it again here. XI. ELITE Phreak/Hacker boards also expect "freebies" from you the potential user, to the Sysop. Both as a "test" of your "skill" and as a kind of ass kissing. Freebies can include COSMOS PW'S! which are easy, because there are like 10 of them which people have been listing for the last 5 years, which haven't worked for 4 1/2 years, but people still list them. Which makes me conclude that people never use them, they just write them down and repost them every 6 months. Or CIS accounts, or some good 800's or anything of "value". You don't really need to include any of this, but if you can it makes you look "better". NEVER, EVER give the Sysop ANYTHING of any value that you might want to use in the future, because if it's of any worth he will immediately do something stupid to make it stop working. That you can COUNT ON! XII. Close it up with the ususal "Thanks for your time", but sign it with your full handle, followed by group. PROFESSIONAL! [Giggle] GENERAL TIPS ============ OK, now that I've got you psyched at how easy it is: the bad news. The bad news is like this: In order to be an ELITE Pirate, you don't have to know ANYTHING, PERIOD, AT ALL, EVER. All you need to be able to do is operate your copy of cat-fur with reasonable dexterity and spend 2-5 hours of each day calling things and uploading NEW WARES. If you can program, so much the better because then it's eaisier to join the ELITEST ELITE of piracy: the Cracker's. Now I know you're thinking it's stupid to have ELITE people who aren't good at anything, but I never claimed the world was a sensible place. With PHREAKING (let me just say that when I say PHREAKING I also mean to include HACKING) you are expected to APPEAR to know how things work. Now that is a little tricky. It's tricky because ELITE boards like to have FILTER'S. A kind of "front door/quiz" combination. The trouble with that is, that the Sysop doesn't really know what he's doing either and will take the questions out of an ELITE FILE. The problem is that the ELITE FILE might not have been accurate, so even if you know the answer, you might not know the answer that the Sysop is expecting, and-as far as the Sysop is concerned-is the "RIGHT" answer. This means that you had better stop laughing at those stupid files and deleating them, because if you want to get access someplace, you might need them for something besides "god, is he stupid!" jokes! "HOME" PHONE NUMBERS - AND HOW TO DEFEAT THEM ============================================= OK, so now you know how to get validated, what to say and how to act. Let me get you past the last and only "real" hurdle to access to everything you desire. Let me say it right now: Voice validation is a load of crap. It doesn't work, it never has worked and it never will work. But is sure makes Sysop's feel good, and being the egotistical fools that they are, they're going to make you go through this bullshit to get access. I would NOT suggest leaving an infinite busy as your home number. This works on legitimate boards, but I don't know any underground board Sysops that are THAT stupid. METHOD 1 ======== Leave a telephone number of a random person from your "computer buddy!" phone list. When the Sysop calls, he'll get a human voice that will say HELLO in a annoyed kind of tone. Confirming the existence of a human being at the other end of the telephone number you just gave him, the Sysop will assume no reason to doubt you, and slam down the phone because he's not good at starting conversations with people he's never talked to before. METHOD 2 ======== Find a kid at school who you're friends with. Explain the general idea of "boards" to him, tell him you need his help in breaking into some secret FBI computer system. All he has to do is say "yes" to the questions you're going to write down for him, and claim to be the person on the piece of paper you're giving him. This is really almost ideal if your friend isn't the stupid type that stutters and can't lie. If he can lie and doesn't care, then you're all set for the rest of your modem existence! METHOD 3 ======== TODO- | INSERT CALL-FORWARDING # TO # PROCEDURE USING SCCS | METHOD 4 ======== TODO- | VOICE MAIL / ANSWERING SERVICES | YOUR NEW PERSONNA -- HOLDING IT TOGETHER AND MAKING IT WORK =========================================================== This is really basic. It's so basic that almost nobody I know ever bothers to sketch in the details and can be tripped up when you ask an off- handed question that in theory has no significance, but in actuality causes him to say "uh, well" and pause for a few seconds while he tries to think of something. Only very good bullshit artists can glibly pull it off when you "catch them off guard" but even then they will frequently forget what they told you in the past if you bring it up again a few days later. What I'm talking about is the "new you" complete with name, address, tn, state, zip code, street number, general weather of the area, brothers, sisters, physical description, SS#, job, marital status, birthday, age, education, "underground" history, etc... In short, you are creating an entire new person who should have a real life entirely seperate from your own. In order to pull this off you need to think of all these things before-hand, and if you're new at this, don't get carried away by pretending to be 20 people all at once. Just make up ONE concrete personality whose existence you can justify, and then type it up, print it out, and tape it to the wall in front of you so it's ALWAYS there, because the time when you least expect it, is the time you're going to need it the most. As you get better you'll find you can juggle an almost infinite number of these alter-ego's in your head, but don't get over-confident too fast or you WILL blow something that you're working hard at right now. IMPERSONATING OTHER PEOPLE ========================== Every year the "underground" community mirrors the legitimate modem world and gets exponentially larger. Instead of everybody knowing everyone else, there is now a huge collection of people who don't know anything about anyone who existed 5 years ago; last year; or even last month. This works greatly to your advantage because it saves you the effort of slapping together your own files. All you need to do is log some handle into the system you wish to access; upload a few files written by the person or persons you are about to impersonate; wait a few days; now login the person whose identity you wish to assume. Quite simple. In the past few months I have actually passed myself off as BIOC Agent 003, Lord Digital, Lex Luthor and assorted past and present members of LOD, Apple Bandit and various other Apple Pirates of yore, and several dozen other people. Two years ago I could never have gotten away with this unless I was calling some board in the middle of nowhere. Nowadays it's possible, even easy, to impersonate almost anyone who has ever made some kind of mark on the history of the underground in the past; simply because the people you're going to be dealing with were NOT around a few years ago and have no idea who any of these people are. When confronted with a "famous" user, they will never in their wildest dreams assume that he's a fake; the only thing they will be thinking is how neat it is to have him on their BBS once you let them know who he is. You can easily make up a new character who never existed outside of your profile of him, but this requires more work on your part when it's much simpler to just pretend being someone else. NONE of those people will EVER turn up on that particular board, and even if they did you should be able to convince the Sysop that YOU are him and he is the fake. Amusing to say the least. In case you're letting some last vestiges of morality creep in, remember that the people you're going to be impersonating are not hallowed icons. They are just guys who spent an inordinate amount of time building up their image to such a degree that countless little kids think they're cool and a few misguided -- and blessedly free of intellect -- security people, think they're dangerous. Not to forget the fact that aside from LODdies, none of them will ever be seen on a board again, so if you fear "Phreak retaliation;" don't worry about it. Nobody can do anything to you if they don't know who you are. The previous paragraph exists solely to galvanize otherwise recaltricent and cowardly pre-teens into taking some kind of action and having fun. SAFETY - GETTING BUSTED! ======================== People who get caught for doing something they shouldn't have been doing, are apprehended for one of two reasons: They are either cretins, which covers the vast majority of those "busted," or they are not good judges of character and spend their time associating with "friends" who do stupid things, and will drag you down with them when they really fuck up. Which WILL happen at some point to most of the people who convince themselves "it's just fun." The "underground" IS fun, but looking at it from the eyes of those whose job it is to keep track of you, it stops being fun and you should realize that many of the things you take for granted -- be they free calls, free software, whatever, -- are against the law. And if you give people the oppurtunity to hurt you -- ESPECIALLY when they are placed in such a position that by busting you they increase their own status in whatever field they are employed in -- then you are going to get hurt! Many of you hate all the "narcs" and "sting boards" and whatever new bullshit the people arrayed against you come up with. You SHOULDN'T! Cable Pair and the rest are nothing more than the underground's personal garbage collection agency. Rather then thinking of them as people who are some kind of hinderence to you, it's far more logical to think of them as glorified trash collectors; which is about all they are. Every so often some new sting is exposed, and the underground is rid of a boardfull of annoying kids that were stupid enough to login someplace with real names, numbers, and addresses. Are you really going to miss this kind of genius? If you ALWAYS use the methods outlined in this article, then your chances of getting caught for anything will dramatically decrease. Who are they going to find when every single piece of information you gave them is a lie. None of your modem friends can take you down with them, if they don't know who you are. It's as simple as that. Naturally this is more difficult than it sounds due to the fact that many of you will want to make friends with people, and that's hard to do when everything the other person knows about you is a lie. At this point you just have to use your best judgement concerning your further actions. Personally I find it best to associate with a small group of friends who really are "friends" not just "computer buddies." Because if you pick your friends well they will never fuck you over. Meanwhile when some kid you know only over the phone, who lives in another state, gets caught... He is going to be more than happy to throw them anyone and anything he can think of just to get off himself; and that will include YOU. The "Hacker ethic" is a nice joke that I personally DO NOT subscribe to, and even those that pay lip service to such a concept, will throw their ideals away pretty fast when it's their neck on the line instead of some hallowed principle thought up by aging hippies. THE END ======= What can I say? I hope you have a good time if this is the way in which you choose to waste your time. And a great big "I love you" to the media dudes who actually called up 2600 magazine asking about "Marbles BBS." Where would we be without you? Youz guys are just so funny! ...so after the 198th level of security I hadda boot up my DES-descrambler and really get serious because the 48th digit in the alphanumeric random code was giving me some trouble and the system was about to nerve gas all of greater Utah -- no great loss but anyway, besides I was still kinda shaken up from the automatic phone-line voltage induction infinite baud device modem-fry they tried to get me with last time, but all ya gotta do at the prompt that changes but is usually "):YA?:" you type "-*8tmx$qptL0DISG0D" and the system turns you into the remote Sysop and lets you destory the credit rating of any person ya want!


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