miche'le

being a hacker

21 posts in this topic

Do you as an individual come out as a hacker? Or do you kept it sort of as a second life?

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Yeah man, I go to Jinx.com and buy anything with the words "hack" "pirate" "social engineer" and "world of warcraft" on it.

In all seriousness, no, I don't. I've always felt that if I'm good enough at what I do, if my level of knowledge/improvisation/learning is high enough, then people will know and I don't have to tell them. If not, then I'm not.

I know, that's a really Emo "I don't do labels, man" thing to say, but there it is.

Edited by Dirk Chestnut
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well well well. This is a damn good question, others have asked me this as well. I'm actually really glad you brought this up. Funny thing, sometimes I'll be hanging out with my girlfriend and one of her friends will lean over to me and ask all secretive "I here you're a hacker?"

It takes everything not to burst out laughing, while at the same time resisting the urge to whip out the laptop and pwn the nearest WAP. I think being a hacker is a sort of lifestyle, which is sort of what you're getting at. A great book you should check out is "The Hacker Ethic" by a guy whose name I can't remember because my Social Psychology professor never returned the book to me, even though it was a high school graduation gift, and he still didn't give it back when I graduated college, but I digress. The book goes into great detail the difference between how hackers and other people percieve challenges and the world.

Remember, hacking isn't only limited to illict activities, in fact, quite the contrary. Most hacking is benign or altruistic. If it weren't for the dedication of thousands of hackers all over the world, GNU Linux wouldn't be anywhere near where it is today, and we'd still be using the same horrid DES encryption the NSA said was "adequate security." Hacking isn't just about reading people's email or defacing websites. It's about exploration and knowledge. In college, I used my hacking skills to obtain obscure sources for my BA in English and Perl programming skills to automate certain tasks and even organization. At one point, when I was taking a digital imaging class, the zip drives all sh*t the bed, so to speak, and students weren't able to save their work. As a way to save the class, I opened up my buddy's ftp server, secure shell ftp'd into it, bypassed the school firewalls, and transferred almost a gig of image files. All the while keeping sure not to compromise the sftp. Needless to say, I got an A in that class.

You get a reputation, use this carefully if at all. It was my job to oversee computer security at the radio station where I went to college. This meant of course that I did an inordinate amount of vulnerability patching and unorthodox administration procedures, not to mention that my office was covered in 2600 magazines and books like "Knoppix Hacks" by O'Reilly press. When another upper management person comes into the building to do their shift, and you're deobfuscating the files on your iPod so you can extract and play them on the air, yeah, people notice. This also means that people as a rule, like to point fingers while I was a college employee, friends of mine didn't have this luxury. When some technological feat happened, it was always jabbed at me in a kidding manner that it was my fault. I, however, was the person the people in charge went to when these things happened. On the other hand, those of my friends who just garnered suspicion and didn't keep a low profile suffered dearly for this. You have to make a clear decision how serious you are about this.

This may be a lot more than you were asking for, but it's something I have a lot more to say about and I'm very glad you brought it up. I hope this answers some of your questions.

:ninja: alienbinary :ninja:

PA1N Magazine

Editor In Chief

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i don't consider myself a hacker if someone wants to label me as one then fine but I want my contributions to speak for themselves

-Enigma

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I'm not a hacker, I'm a Vulnerability Analyst. A coder. A jack of all trades, Master of nothing and everything.

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labeling yourself as a hacker is kinda tricky...

cause people will think you break into computers.

Also, people who loudly claim themselves hacker, are usually script kiddies who do break things.

So, am I a hacker? I'd say I act like one, think like one, and always go towards being one...

I'd say the day I'll be able to write shellcode, make important contributions to open source projects, make packet sniffing backdoors, do some pretty nice cryptanalysis, maybe I could start claiming myself to be a hacker. Maybe.

Edited by Aghaster
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I have never really gone either way. I know that there are some people that I have done work for me who tell their friends that I am the hacker on call and that sort of thing. Some of my wife's friends and family make comments like that.

I don't really mind one way or another, I don't consider myself a hacker, I'd say I'm more of a wanna be. There are plenty of people on this board alone that make me look like a drooling idiot. On the flip side there are people that I know whom I make look like fools.

Guess it just depends on who it is that your with at the time.

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"no self respecting computer hacker would ever destroy anything."

"no hacker would ever purposely hurt the fone system"

If you get inside a system with no motive to destroy it, but to explore it. You can be a hacker. Or tries to break into "unknown" computers to figure out how they work. BUT THEN. lol what happens if you know how to give your self free text messaging forever??????Obv. though some things are illegal. like hacking verizon. (example)

A cracker is the line where you destroy things basically.

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"A cracker is the line where you destroy things basically. "

Okay, i have to disagree with this but, that's a whole different argument.

Anyways, who would "come out to"? What would even be the purpose?

Telling regular people that you're a hacker would just be self-destructive; as most people have a very distorted (see negative) view of hackers/hacker culture.

Not to mention that there is no reason to tell other "hackers" because if they themselves are hackers I'm sure they could easily identify you as one.

Hacking (in my mind) is similar to Christianity in this way. (Stay with me here...)

You don't have to go around telling people that you're a Christian (hacker), they can tell from your actions that your different from others.

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lolz no. when people say something totally wrong and stupid about computers i normally just ignore it ya know what i mean? i dont draw attention to the fact that i know shit about anything.

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Most people I know have no idea about my knowledge. However, if I am asked a specific question, like how to do something, I will answer truthfully. I will never, outright, admit to being a hacker. I am going to a tech school, and if it becomes common knowledge I am a hacker, I will be looked down upon by teacher/administration/staff. Its not a bad thing to be a hacker, I just don't usually want everyone knowing I am. This is because of public/common perception in the mainstream.

Alk3

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I do things depending on emotion that determine my status. When I take out the website of where I used to work deleting everything and making the index an endless file loop, its anger. If I wish to help out some local business by reporting a number of security holes that could compromise the the identities of thousands, then its compassion. White hat, black hat. The role of hacker cracker makes no sense. Its good and evil. People are never truly good or evil, but rather a mix. Not quite 0 and not quite 1. Depends on the situation.

This brings into play Grey hats. We are all Grey hats as no one true side can exist. The mix. Try all you want to say your no cracker, but deep down some part of you is.

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i dont think of hackers as just people good with computers, for example, my office is right next to a clothing store owned by mr 1. mr 1 sells and tailors clothes all day. mr 1 enjoys woodworking. when my wife wants some new kitchen cabinets, my first thought is, i dont need to buy them, i should try to make them myself, so i go looking around to see how other cabinets are made, so i can improve on their designs. Mr 1 finds out and wants to help as he has some ideas on how to make the cabinets better. in that sense mr 1 and i are both hacking, instead of just paying for something and not understanding it, we want to build it ourselves, to improve on it and learn more about it.

as sad as this seems, i go through life like that, i need some doors at the office, you can buy doors alread in a frame, all hinged and pre drilled, but no, i buy blank doors and do all the drilling and chiseling by myself, i didnt know how high up to put a door knob, so i went and measured other doors and found that much deviation from the standard knob placemtn feels really odd, and that most peoples hands are naturally at the normal placement of the knob. so now i have custom doors with transom windows and custom moulding, that are built the way i feel doors should be build. actually so far i only have one put in, because all this cutting and mess takes a long time. =o)

hacking in my mind isnt just about computers, its about exploring and finding things out about the world around you.

so people might look at me and say that guy needs to comb his hair and spends alot of time in a dark room looking at all this computers, he must be a hacker. but i look at people and say, that guy knows everything about something, whenever i have a question about that, he always comes up with a good answer, even if it involves doing things in a different way, he must be a hacker.

one more example, there is another guy who runs a plumbing store, when we build a shower in our old assed house, the stems for the shower knobs were too short for the knobs my wife wants, yet they are the longest stems made. (for this purpose) the guy at the plumming store said tough shit, get some different knobs, i asked if i could just cut them and weld an extension in them. he didnt like the idea but eventually said try it and if it works you will be the first. this guy might know a shitload about plumming, but he cant think beyond what is in his storeroom. so not a hacker.

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Asside from the fact that I have business cards that label my profession as hacker (they were free), no I don't go around yelling, "Zomg i r teh l33t h4x0r! all y0ur b4s3 r b3l0ng t0 m3!"

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i dont think of hackers as just people good with computers, for example, my office is right next to a clothing store owned by mr 1. mr 1 sells and tailors clothes all day. mr 1 enjoys woodworking. when my wife wants some new kitchen cabinets, my first thought is, i dont need to buy them, i should try to make them myself, so i go looking around to see how other cabinets are made, so i can improve on their designs. Mr 1 finds out and wants to help as he has some ideas on how to make the cabinets better. in that sense mr 1 and i are both hacking, instead of just paying for something and not understanding it, we want to build it ourselves, to improve on it and learn more about it.

as sad as this seems, i go through life like that, i need some doors at the office, you can buy doors alread in a frame, all hinged and pre drilled, but no, i buy blank doors and do all the drilling and chiseling by myself, i didnt know how high up to put a door knob, so i went and measured other doors and found that much deviation from the standard knob placemtn feels really odd, and that most peoples hands are naturally at the normal placement of the knob. so now i have custom doors with transom windows and custom moulding, that are built the way i feel doors should be build. actually so far i only have one put in, because all this cutting and mess takes a long time. =o)

hacking in my mind isnt just about computers, its about exploring and finding things out about the world around you.

so people might look at me and say that guy needs to comb his hair and spends alot of time in a dark room looking at all this computers, he must be a hacker. but i look at people and say, that guy knows everything about something, whenever i have a question about that, he always comes up with a good answer, even if it involves doing things in a different way, he must be a hacker.

one more example, there is another guy who runs a plumbing store, when we build a shower in our old assed house, the stems for the shower knobs were too short for the knobs my wife wants, yet they are the longest stems made. (for this purpose) the guy at the plumming store said tough shit, get some different knobs, i asked if i could just cut them and weld an extension in them. he didnt like the idea but eventually said try it and if it works you will be the first. this guy might know a shitload about plumming, but he cant think beyond what is in his storeroom. so not a hacker.

That is exactly how I feel about what a hacker really is. It doesn't always just apply to computers. Hacking is just being able to take a stab at something and succeed with the use of a cumulative knowledge, you already have. It does have many meanings, but thats how I interpret it. With mainstream definition, it means you are breaking in or doing something illegal electronically. Which is very, very, wrong. Hackers do many positive things that without, would make things much harder for the mainstream. Thats my opinion anyway.

Alk3

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Most people I know have no idea about my knowledge. However, if I am asked a specific question, like how to do something, I will answer truthfully. I will never, outright, admit to being a hacker. I am going to a tech school, and if it becomes common knowledge I am a hacker, I will be looked down upon by teacher/administration/staff. Its not a bad thing to be a hacker, I just don't usually want everyone knowing I am. This is because of public/common perception in the mainstream.

Alk3

Word-But I don't go to tech school. More in my words:

I don't want to say I am a hacker, because people will do the mainstream stereotypical hacker. If someone asks me, "are you a hacker?", I will reply, "What is a hacker?". They say blah-blah. Though, if someone has a computer issue, and I can clear it up, I will usually clear that up. Barely anyone knows what I am doing when they see this large black screen with white/green letters on it. About no one knows about what I can really do with a computer-and if they did, I would hate people to ask me questions like, "How do I hax my space?" or something like that.

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reading some of the posts here i see people hide it, consider it a second life, so on and so forth.

im not going to say im the best, im not going to say that i could own every machine in a building. at times i will be cocky and say i probably know more than the people in the room im in, of course depending on the situation and such.

but if asked, i will outright say im a hacker. and im proud of it. i spent many years, sleepless nights, braindead days working on what i do. i spent years learning linux and learning to code and why X works, but Z doesnt.

im not the best, but i sure as hell am proud of what ive become, and using the term hacker in the truest sense of the word to mean a person who finds a clever way to make something work. yes ive broken into a computer to see if i can, no i didnt damage anything and i informed the sys admin of their hole.

im a computer science major at my edu, and 1/2 the time the classes are boring because ive learned it on my own and the 1/2 that just blows my mind and confuses the hell out of everyone else.

like i said, ive spent lots of time on this craft, more time than ive ever spent on anything else in my life (im pretty topsy turvy with hobbies).

im a hacker, i say it loud and proud.

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i dont think of hackers as just people good with computers, for example, my office is right next to a clothing store owned by mr 1. mr 1 sells and tailors clothes all day. mr 1 enjoys woodworking. when my wife wants some new kitchen cabinets, my first thought is, i dont need to buy them, i should try to make them myself, so i go looking around to see how other cabinets are made, so i can improve on their designs. Mr 1 finds out and wants to help as he has some ideas on how to make the cabinets better. in that sense mr 1 and i are both hacking, instead of just paying for something and not understanding it, we want to build it ourselves, to improve on it and learn more about it.

as sad as this seems, i go through life like that, i need some doors at the office, you can buy doors alread in a frame, all hinged and pre drilled, but no, i buy blank doors and do all the drilling and chiseling by myself, i didnt know how high up to put a door knob, so i went and measured other doors and found that much deviation from the standard knob placemtn feels really odd, and that most peoples hands are naturally at the normal placement of the knob. so now i have custom doors with transom windows and custom moulding, that are built the way i feel doors should be build. actually so far i only have one put in, because all this cutting and mess takes a long time. =o)

hacking in my mind isnt just about computers, its about exploring and finding things out about the world around you.

so people might look at me and say that guy needs to comb his hair and spends alot of time in a dark room looking at all this computers, he must be a hacker. but i look at people and say, that guy knows everything about something, whenever i have a question about that, he always comes up with a good answer, even if it involves doing things in a different way, he must be a hacker.

one more example, there is another guy who runs a plumbing store, when we build a shower in our old assed house, the stems for the shower knobs were too short for the knobs my wife wants, yet they are the longest stems made. (for this purpose) the guy at the plumming store said tough shit, get some different knobs, i asked if i could just cut them and weld an extension in them. he didnt like the idea but eventually said try it and if it works you will be the first. this guy might know a shitload about plumming, but he cant think beyond what is in his storeroom. so not a hacker.

well duh droops, your the fuckin man :P

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I'm not a hacker, (in my opinion) because I don't have enough knowlegde or skills.

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