AOH :: P32-02.TXT

Phrack Classic Spotlight featuring Knight Lightning



                              ==Phrack Classic==

                     Volume Three, Issue 32, File #2 of 12


                         ==Phrack Classic Spotlight==

                               Knight Lightning
                               ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Personal
~~~~~~~~
             Handle:  Knight Lightning
           Call him:  Craig Neidorf
       Past handles:  None
      Handle origin:  Cross between character "Lightning Lad" from DC Comics'
                      Legion of Superheros and Michael Knight from the NBC
                      television series "Knight Rider".
      Date of Birth:  I doubt you're sending me a birthday card so skip it.
Age at current date:  21 years old
             Height:  5'10" or so (give or take an inch)
             Weight:  135-140 lbs.
          Eye color:  Brown
         Hair Color:  Dark Brown
          Computers:  Apple IIc (Do you believe this?)
        Co-Sysop of:  Metal Shop Private, The Brewery, Quick Shop/Metal Shop
                      AE, Whackoland, The Dark Tower, Digital ITS (yay!),
                      Stronghold East and probably a few more I've forgotten
                      about.
        Net address:  C483307@UMCVMB.MISSOURI.EDU (Yes, they actually gave
                      C483307@UMCVMB.BITNET        me my account back!)
                      knight@well.sf.ca.us

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      For several years I had been a die hard fan of video games, both arcade
and home versions.  It was really the Atari 2600 video game Adventure that led
me into the world of computers and hacking.  As many people might know there
was a secret locked within this game concerning a "magic" dot.  It was not
mentioned in any instruction manuals for the game, but if you could find it and
bring it to the right place in the game, you could enter a room that didn't
officially exist.  In this room was a message flashing in gold and black.  It
said "Created by Warren Robinet".  From that point on I experimented with every
Atari cartridge I had.  I tried screwing around with the connections, the
components on the system itself, and I attempted bizarre tactics within the
games, just to see what might happen.  During that period of time I found
several more secretly implanted messages and developed new ways of playing the
games.  Atari played on this idea quite a bit when they created a four game
saga called Swordquest, but by then the fun was taken out of it because you
knew already that something was waiting to be found.  Eventually I upgraded to
ColecoVision, but before too long this bored me as well.  It is sort of
interesting to see the new surge of home videogames of Nintendo, NEC, and Sega.
It makes me wonder if this cycle is permanent.
     I was first introduced to the world of computers by a friend who had a
Commodore 64.  He showed me what bulletin boards were and then took me on a
tour of the ARPAnet.  Later that year, my long-time and best friend, known to
most of you as Taran King obtained the use of his father's IBM PC.  Together we
explored various bulletin boards in the St. Louis area, always looking for new
places to visit.
     In August of 1983 I received an Apple IIc as a birthday gift from my
parents.  It was real basic -- no monitor (I had a black and white television
for that), no extra disk drive, no printer, no joystick, and no modem.  Those
items I would have to earn.  So instead of playing with faraway computer
systems, I was introduced to programming and a community of people who
considered themselves to be software pirates.  These people seemed to be able
to get software before the companies even began to sell it.  However, I was
content to play games like Ultima III and Wizardry and hack the game itself by
altering character values.  This enabled me to move my characters through
different places, some of which I never might have realized existed.  Later, I
was able to redesign the game itself to create an endless world of new
possibilities for intellectual stimulation.
     Finally in March of 1984, my parents purchased me a modem.  It was a sad
little piece of plastic made by Volksmodem, 300 baud and battery operated, but
it worked and now Knight Lightning was ready to take to the wires.  By this
time I already knew a lot about the bulletin board community through Taran
King.  Even so, it was relatively odd how fast I became co-sysop of the
ancestor to Metal Shop known as The Dark Tower.  TDT was operated by a "hacker"
with the truly unoriginal name of David Lightman.  Before I knew it, I was in
remote command of his system with full power over user validation and BBS
maintenance.  Although the system went down after about six months, it did
attract a few out of state users and it was here that my notoriety began.  It
was almost funny, but even as early as then Taran King, Forest Ranger, and I
became known as the top hacker/phreakers in the St. Louis area.  To this day I
still don't understand why.
     By July of 1985 most of the hacker bulletin boards in St. Louis had
disappeared, but The Dark Tower program lived again when Taran King created
Metal Shop:  The Dark Tower Phase II.  He took the name from a popular
afternoon rock'n roll program (KSHE FM radio) that centered on heavy metal.
Both of us had visited systems around the country and we were able to
effectively advertise MS.  At one point we had over 500 registered users so we
switched to a general password system for security reasons and eventually in
January of 1986 the board became Metal Shop Private and we cut 4/5ths of the
users.
     During the late Spring and early Summer of 1985 Taran King and I created
the 2600 Club.  It was just a group name to stick behind our handles since
everybody was doing it, but it only took use a few months to realize just
how ignorant hacker groups really are.  However, the 2600 Club had one
great legacy -- it gave birth to Phrack.  If you go back and look, you'll
notice that the first issue of Phrack was ao become integrated, I realized what hacking really was -- just
asking a lot of questions and being really persistent.	A lot of people don't
like that, whether it's computers or real life, but how else are you going to
learn what's REALLY happening and not just what others WANT you to know?

Origins in Phreak/Hack BBSes
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I don't really have a BBS reputation to speak of.  They tend to disappear
rather quickly and that tends to dampen my enthusiasm towards them quite a bit,
but I do want to see more and more of them come up and begin to reach out and
be creative.  They also have to challenge the system some more.  2600 has a
very strong opinion on BBS privacy, namely that the same rights afforded to any
publication should be extended to a bulletin board, but every BBS owner should
know the importance of this and should be willing to fight for it.  If you
didn't believe in preserving the First Amendment, you probably wouldn't go out
and buy a newspaper, would you?  A BBS is the same thing and anyone who runs a
system should see this connection.  Hackers tend to bring this issue to the
forefront a bit more, but this is something that applies to all bulletin
boards.

Encounters With Phreakers and Hackers
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Meeting Captain Crunch in Amsterdam this past summer was a real trip.  Finding
out who Cable Pair really was certainly resulted in some highlights.  I've met
a lot of "famous" phreaks and hackers and now I know a lot of foreign ones, but
I'm always amazed at the number of people I meet (mostly in New York) who say
they've been hacking since the sixties.  There's an awful lot of people out
there who are into this kind of stuff, which is something I never knew before I
started being open about these particular interests.

Experience Gained In The Following Ways
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Social engineering, of course.	I like hacking computers when I'm not feeling
social because you don't have to adjust your at

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