AOH :: P33-02.TXT

Phrack Profile of Shooting Shark


                                ==Phrack Inc.==

                Volume Three, Issue Thirty-Three, File 2 of 13

                -*[  P H R A C K  XXXIII  P R O P H I L E  ]*-

                          -=>[ by Crimson Death ]<=-

        This issue Phrack Profile features a hacker familiar to most of you.
His informative files in Phrack and the Legion of Doom Technical Journals
created a stampede of wanna-be Unix hackers.  Your friend and mine...

                                Shooting Shark
                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Personal
~~~~~~~~
              Handle:  Shooting Shark
            Call him:  'Shark'
        Past handles:  None
       Handle origin:  It's the title of the 3rd song on "Revolution By Night,"
                       which many consider to be Blue Oyster Cult's last good
                       album.
       Date of Birth:  11/25/66
 Age at current date:  24
Approximate Location:  San Francisco Bay Area.
              Height:  5'10"
              Weight:  150 lbs.
           Eye color:  Hazel
          Hair Color:  Dark Brown
           Computers:  First: Apple //e. Presently:  ALR Business V EISA
                                                     386/33.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Story of my Hacking Career
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
     In 1984 I was lucky enough to be a Senior at a high school that had one of
the pilot "Advanced Placement Computer Science" classes.  I didn't know much
about computers at the time, but I had a strong interest, so I signed up.
"Advanced Placement Computer Science" meant programming in Pascal using the
UCSD P-System on the newly-released Apple //e.  I wasn't too crazy about
programming in Pascal -- does ANYBODY really like Pascal? -- but I did enjoy
the software piracy sessions that the class had after school and, much of the
time, during class when the Instructor was lecturing about DO WHILE loops or
something equally fascinating.  Some of our favorite games at the time were
ZORK II and what I still consider to be the best Apple II game ever, RESCUE
RAIDERS.  A few months into the school year, I somehow convinced my mother to
buy me my very own Apple //e, with an entire 64K of RAM, a monochrome monitor,
and a floppy drive.  The first low-cost hard drive for the Apple II, the Sider,
was $700 for 10Mb at the time, so it was out of the question.

     Now at about this time, Coleco was touting their Adam add-on to the
ColecoVision game unit, and they had these great guilt-inducing advertisements
that had copy something like this:

     TEACHER:  "I want to talk to you about Billy.  He's not doing very
                well in school.  He just doesn't seem to understand new
                concepts as well as the other kids.  All he does is sit
                there and pick his nose."

     CONCERNED  "Well, golly, I just don't know what to do.  It's probably
     FATHER:    probably because his mother drank so much when she was
                pregnant."

     TEACHER:   "Have you considered getting Billy a computer?"

     And of course the next scene showed little Billy inserting a tape
cartridge into his new Adam and pecking his way to higher grades.

     Such was not the case with me when I got MY computer.  All I did was go
home after school and play "Wizardry."  I stopped doing homework and
I failed 3 out of 6 classes my last semester of my Senior year of high school.
Luckily enough, I had already been accepted to the local state University, so
it didn't really matter.  Shortly before graduating, I took the AP Computer
Science test and got the minimum passing score.  (I didn't feel so bad when Sir
Francis Drake later told me that he failed it.  Then again, he completed all
the questions in BASIC.)

     Worse yet, "Wargames" came out around this time.  I'll admit it, my
interest in hacking was largely influenced by that film.

     Shortly after I (barely) graduated from high school, I saved up my money
and bought a (get this) Hayes MicroModem //e.  It was only something like $250
and I was in 300 baud heaven.  I started calling the local "use your real name"
BBSs and shortly graduated to the various small-time hacker BBSs.  Note that
90% of the BBSs at this time were running on Apples using Networks, GBBS or
some other variant.  Few were faster than 300 baud.  It was on one of these
Apple Networks BBSs that I noticed some users talking about these mysterious
numbers called "800 extenders."  I innocently inquired as to what these were,
and got a reply from Elric of Imrryr.  He explained that all I needed to do was
dial an 800 number, enter a six-digit code, and then I could call anywhere I
wanted for FREE!  It was the most amazing thing.  So, I picked a handle, and
began calling systems like Sherwood Forest II and Sherwood Forest III, OSUNY,
and PloverNet.  At their height, you could call any of these systems and read
dozens of new messages containing lots of new Sprint and extender codes EVERY
DAY.  It was great!  I kept pestering my mentor, Elric, and despite his
undoubted annoyance with my stupid questions, we remained friends.  By this
time, I realized that my Hayes MicroModem //e was just not where it was at, and
saved up the $400 to buy a Novation Apple Cat 300, the most awesomest modem of
its day. This baby had a sound generation chip which could be used to generate
speech, and more importantly, DTMF and 2600Hz tones.  Stupidly enough, I began
blue boxing.  Ironically, at this time I was living in the very town that Steve
Wozniak and Steve Jobs had gotten busted in for boxing ten years previously.

     And THEN I started college.  I probably would have remained a two-bit
Apple hacker (instead of what I am today, a two-bit IBM hacker) to this day if
a friend hadn't told me that it was easy to hack into the school's new Pyramid
90x, a "super mini" that ran a BSD 4.2 variant.  "The professor for the C class
has created a bunch of accounts, sequentially numbered, all with the same
default password," he told me.  "Just keep trying them until you get an account
that hasn't been used by a student yet!"  I snagged an account which I still
use to this day, seven years later.

     At about this time, I called The Matrix, run by Dr. Strangelove. This was
my first experience with Ken's FORUM-PC BBS software.  Dr. Strangelove was a
great guy, even though he looks somewhat like a wood mouse (and I mean that in
the nicest possible way).  DSL helped me build my first XT clone for a total
cost of about $400.  He even GAVE me a lot of the components I needed, like a
CGA card and a keyboard.

     Shortly after that, The Matrix went down and was quickly replaced by IDI,
run by Aiken Drum.  It is here that I met Sir Francis Drake.  Shortly after
THAT, IDI went down and was quickly replaced by Lunatic Labs Unltd, run by my
old friend The Mad Alchemist.  TMA lived within walking distance of my house,
so I called LunaLabs quite a bit.  LunaLabs later became the home base of
Phrack for a few issues when Knight Lightning and Taran King gave it upon
entering their freshman year of college.

     So during this time I just got really into Unix and started writing files
for Phrack.  I wrote about six articles for Phrack and then one for the 2nd LOD
Technical Journal, which featured a brute-force password hacker.  I know, that
sounds archaic, but this was back in 1984, and I was actually one of the few
people in the hacker community that knew quite a bit about Unix.  I've been
told by several people that it was my LOD TJ article that got *them* into Unix
hacking (shucks).  I also wrote the original Unix Nasties article for Phrack,
and on two occasions, when I was later heavily into massive Internet node
hopping, I would get into a virgin system at some backwoods college like MIT
and find *my file* in somebody's directory.

     During 1987, I got a letter from the local FBI office.  It was addressed
to my real name and asked for any information I might wish to provide on a
break-in in San Diego.  Of course I declined, but they kept sending me more
letters.  Now that I was 18 years old I decided to stop doing illegal things.
I know..."what a weenie."  So Lunatic Labs, now being run by The Mad Alchemist,
became my exclusive haunt because it was a local board.  When Elric and Sir
Francis Drake took over the editorship of Phrack for a few issues, I wrote all
their intro files.

     When my computer broke I let those days just fade away behind me.
Occasionally, old associates would manage to find me and call me voice, much to
my surprise.  Somebody called me once and told me an account had been created
for me on a BBS called "Catch 22," a system that must have been too good to
last.  I think I called it twice before it went down.  Most recently, Crimson
Death called me, asked me to write a Profile, and here we are.

What I'm Doing Now
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
     After two years in the Computer Science program in college, I switched my
major to Theater Arts for three reasons:

     1) Theater Arts people were generally nicer people;
     2) Most CS students were just too geeky for me (note I said "most"); and,
     3) I just couldn't manage to pass Calculus III!

I graduated last year with a BA in Theater Arts, and like all newly graduated
Theater majors, started practicing my lines, such as "Do you want fries with
that?" and "Can I tell you about today's special?"  However, I managed to have
the amazing luck of getting a job in upper management at one of the west
coast's most famous IBM video graphics card manufacturers.  My position lets me
play with a lot of different toys like AutoDesk 3D Studio and 24-bit frame
buffers.  A 24-bit image I created was featured on the cover of the November
1990 issue of Presentation Products magazine.  For a while I was the system
administrator of the company's Unix system, with an IP address and netnews and
the whole works.  Now I'm running the company's two-line BBS -- if you can
figure out what company I work for, give it a call and leave me some mail
sometime.  I'm also into MIDI, and I've set my mother up with a nice little
studio including a Tascam Porta One and a Roland MT-32.  I was an extra in the
films "Patty Hearst" (with The $muggler) and "The Doors" (for which I put in a
22-hour day at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco for a concert scene that
WAS CUT FROM THE #*%& FILM) and I look forward to working on more films in a
capacity that does not require me to wear bell-bottoms.  I've also acted in
local college theater and I'll be directing a full-length production at a local
community theater next year.  I like to consider myself a well-rounded person.

     Oh yeah.  I also got married last October.

People I Have Known
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Elric of Imrryr -- My true mentor.  He got me into the business.  Too bad he
                   moved to Los Angeles.

Shadow 2600 -- Known to some as David Flory, may he rest in peace.  Early
               in my career he mentioned me and listed me as a collaborator for
               a 2600 article.  That was the first time I saw my name in print.

Oryan QUEST -- After I had my first Phrack article published, he started
               calling me (he lived about 20 miles away at the time).  He would
               just call me and give me c0deZ like he was trying to impress me
               or something.  I don't know why he needed me for his own
               personal validation.  I was one of the first people to see
               through him and I realized early on that he was a pathological
               liar.  Later on he lied about me on a BBS and got me kicked off,
               because the Sysop though he was this great guy.  Sheesh.

Sir Francis Drake -- Certainly one of the more unique people I've met.  He
                     printed a really crappy two-part fiction story I wrote in
                     his WORM magazine.  Shortly after that the magazine
                     folded; I think there's a connection.

David Lightman -- Never met him, but he used to share my Unix account at
                  school.

The Disk Jockey -- He pulled a TRW report on the woman that I later ended
                   up marrying.  Incidentally, he can be seen playing
                   basketball in the background in one scene of the film
                   "Hoosiers."

Lex Luthor -- I have to respect somebody who would first publish my article in
              LOD TJ and then call me up for no reason a year later and give me
              his private Tymnet outdial code.

Dr. Strangelove -- He runs a really cool BBS called JUST SAY YES.  Call it at
                   (415) 922-2008.  DSL is probably singularly responsible for
                   getting me into IBM clones, which in turn got me my job (how
                   many Apple // programmers are they hiring nowadays?).

BBSs
~~~
Sherwood Forest II and III, OSUNY -- I just thought they were the greatest
                                     systems ever.

Pirate's Bay -- Run by Mr. KRACK-MAN, who considered himself the greatest Apple
                pirate that ever lived.  It's still up, for all I know.

The 2600 Magazine BBS -- Run on a piece of Apple BBS software called
                         TBBS.  It is there that I met David Flory.

The Police Station -- Remember THAT one?

The Matrix, IDI, Lunatic Labs -- Three great Bay Area Forum-PC boards.

Catch-22 -- 25 Users, No Waiting!

And, of course, net.telecom (the original), comp.risks, rec.arts.startrek...

Memories
~~~~~~~~
     Remember Alliance Teleconferencing?  Nothing like putting the receiver
down to go get something to eat, forgetting about it, coming back in 24 hours,
and finding the conference still going on.

     Playing Wizardry and Rescue Raiders on my Apple //e until I lost the
feeling in my fingers...

     Carding 13 child-sized Garfield sleeping bags to people I didn't
particularly care for in high school...

     Calling Canadian DA Ops and playing a 2600Hz tone for them was always fun.

     Trashing all the local COs with The Mad Alchemist...

     My brush with greatness:  I was riding BART home from school one night a
few years ago when Steve Wozniak got onto my car with two of his kids.  He was
taking them to a Warriors game.  I was the only person in the car that
recognized him.  He signed a copy of BYTE that I happened to have on me and we
talked about his new venture, CL-9, the universal remote controller.  (Do you
know anybody who ever BOUGHT one of those?)

...And now, for the question
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
     "Of the general population of phreaks you have met, would you consider
most phreaks, if any, to be computer geeks?"

     Back in my Apple pirating days, I met quite a few young men who were
definitely members of the Order of the Geek.  However, I can count the number
of true phreaks/hackers I have met personally on one hand.  None of them are
people I'd consider geeks, nerds, spazzes, dorks, etc.  They're all people who
live on the fringe and do things a bit differently -- how many LEGAL people do
you know that have a nose ring? -- but they're all people I've respected.
Well, let me take back what I just said.  Dr. Strangelove looks kinda geeky in
my opinion (my mother thinks he's cute, but then again she said that Sir
Francis Drake is "cute" and when I told him that it bothered him to no end),
but I consider him a good friend and a generally k-kool d00d.  (I'm sure I'll
be getting a voice call from him on that one...)  The only phreak that I've
ever taken a genuine disliking to was Oryan QUEST, but that was only because he
was a pathological liar and a pest.  Who knows, he might be a nice person now,
so no offense intended, especially if he knows my home address.

     So, Anyway...

-> Thanks for your time Shooting Shark.

                                             Crimson Death
_______________________________________________________________________________
                                                                        

AOH Site layout & design copyright © 2006 AOH