AOH :: P34-03.TXT

Phrack Prophile of The Disk Jockey [The Disk Jockey & Dispater]


                                ==Phrack Inc.==

                Volume Three, Issue Thirty-Four, File 3 of 11

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

                        -=>[ Presented by Dispater ]<=-

                                The Disk Jockey
                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              Handle: The Disk Jockey (over 10 years now...)
            Call him: Doug
           Reach him: douglas@netcom.com
        Past handles: None
       Handle origin: Selected it way back in the Apple days, when
                      it was hip to have a hardware-related name.
       Date of Birth: 12/29/67
 Age at current date: 23
Approximate Location: Silicon Valley
              Height: 6'1"
              Weight: 220 lbs.
           Eye color: Green
          Hair Color: Blond/brown
           Education: Cornell, Univ of Michigan, Stanford, and a
                      slew of others schools that I had the
                      opportunity to attend.  What started out as
                      a strong belief in law became so jaded that
                      I fell back on Comp Sci.  Still wake up in
                      the middle of the night yelling "NO!, NO!"
                      Also have a wallpaper degree in Psychology.
           Computers: First: Apple //.  Presently: several.  Mac
                      IIfx, 386/33, and several others that I can't
                      seem to get rid of...

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Story of my Hacking Career
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     I was lucky enough to be able to get my hands on computers early, back in
the days of the PET and the TRS-80.  Although we poke fun at a Trash-80 now, at
the time I was completely fascinated by it.  Remember Newdos/80, LDOS, and
utilities like SuperZap?

     Things started really rolling after a friend introduced me to the Apple.
Although I never fell into the stereotype of being a computer "nerd" (don't we
all like to think that?), compared to the redundancy of normal schoolwork,
learning about the Apple was a new and unexplored world.  Unlike most of the
other computer "types", I didn't read science fiction, didn't have any social
problems, and thought looking at girls was more enjoyable than talking about
hardware.  Well, depending on the hardware. (ha-ha!)

     "Cracking" Apple software was of course the next logical step.  The 6502
was a wonderful chip, and easy to learn.  Copy-cards and other "hacked"
hardware was becoming findable and it was getting to the point that the
only goal was to get your hands on pre-release software.  Before I had entered
the "modem" world, friends had a network of other people across the country and
traded things by mail.

     Of course the whole world changed when I picked up a 300 baud modem.
Suddenly there was the communication and knowledge that I had been hungry for.
People wrote text files on just about everything imaginable.  What is the
president's phone number?  How can I call the pope?  How can I make lowercase
on my Apple II?  What are the routing numbers for boxing to the Eastern Bloc
countries?

     Codes were never much of an interest.  The systems that ran them, however,
were quite interesting.  As technology advanced, SCCs started  using
sophisticated AI techniques to detect any kind of abnormal usage instantly.
Codes used to last several months, now they only lasted a few hours.  Boxing,
however, was a little more elegant and was the flashy way to call your friends.

     Even before I had ever heard of boxing or phreaking, I enjoyed the
benefits of what we now know as a "red box".  While in boarding school, I
noticed that a somewhat broken phone emitted obscenely loud "beeps" when you
dropped in a quarter.  I took a little micro-recorder and recorded myself
dropping about $5.00 into the phone.  When I played this back into the
telephone, the telco thought I was actually dropping change in the machine!  I
was able to call my girlfriend or whomever and speak for hours.  Now most
payphones mute those tones so they are barely audible, if at all.

     Local user groups were a good place to pick up software, legal and
otherwise.  Remember those damn "CLOAD" magazine tapes for the TRS-80? 80-Micro
magazine?  The early 80's was the time of the hardware hacker - anything
bizarre you wanted you had to make yourself, since it wasn't available
otherwise.  Now you can call any of a slew of 800 numbers, give them your
credit card number (!) and have it on your doorstep the next day.

     I think part of the problem of the "new generation" of hackers, phreakers,
warez kids, etc, is that they never had the experience with low-level stuff and
actually having to into the hardware to get what they wanted.  Their only
programming experience is coming from school, which gives a shallow and usually
totally impractical background for the "real world".

     My eventual disgust with the pirate world came when products such as
"Pirate's Friend" came out, allowing people to sector edit out my name and
insert theirs.  I had spent quite a lot of time trying to find new software,
and enjoyed the ego stroke of having my name passed around. I had a lot of
respect for book authors that were plagiarized after that...

About the industry
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     The computer industry in general is interesting.  Working in it, I hope
I'm justified to speak about it.  Getting  a job is quite easy, since the
technology is changing so much, unless it is in something that will be around
for some time, you can usually pick up a job by just knowing the latest
developments, the buzzwords, and having good "chemistry".  In the valley many
firms realize that colleges don't really teach you much in the way of practical
knowledge.  At best, they give you the opportunity to try different types of
machines.  It amazes me that HR departments in companies across the country
won't even look at a resume unless the applicant has a college degree.
Advanced degrees are a different matter and are usually quite applicable
towards research, but your usual BA/BS variety?  Nah.  If you want to make a
lot of money in this industry, all you need to do is get the reputation as a
person who "gets things done" and have superior communication skills.  You can
write your ticket after that.

About legal issues
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     Anyone who has ever read some of my later text files (1986, 1987) knows
that I had no qualms about the legalities of beating an establishment.
Although my line of morals was probably beyond where others placed theirs, I
could always justify to myself damage or loss to an establishment, "beating the
system", rather than hurting the individual.  Although I am pretty right-winged
in beliefs, I have a great distrust for the policing agencies.

Various memories
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     Getting a call from my father while at school and being told that Control
C had called him and relayed the message "Tell Doug the FBI are after The Disk
Jockey.  Get rid of everything and hide."  To say I "cleaned house" would have
been a gross understatement.  I knew this was true, I, like many others, had
just ridden on the false pretense that they would have better things to do then
come after me.  I later saw intelligence reports showing that I had been kept
track of for some time.  I was described as:

"Involved in some type of student-loan scam through creating fictitious college
applicants at his school.  Very violent temper, ruthless attitude.  Breaks
people's legs for money (TX).  Owns a motorcycle and a european sedan.  Nasty
hacker."

     Only a handful of people would know that I had a motorcycle, so it was
somewhat upsetting that they had this kind of information on me.  I later saw
some of this same information in Michigan Bell Security's records.  They also
had the correct phone number for my place at Cornell, my parents number, and
even the number of some of my personal non-computer related friends.

     SummerCon in 1987 was a fun experience.  I had the opportunity to meet
many of the people that I communicated with regularly, as well as wonder why
people thought St. Louis was such a wonderful place.  While there were a few
socially "on-the-fringe" types, I was amazed that most of the other "hackers"
didn't fit the usual stereotypes.  They were just regular guys that had a some
above average cleverness that allowed them to see the things that others
couldn't.

     By the time I was 20 years old, I had about $40,000 worth of credit on
plastic, as well as a $10,000 line of credit for "signature loans" at a local
bank.  The credit system was something that seemed fun to exploit, and it
doesn't take long to figure out how the "system" works.  With that kind of cash
Aavailable, however, it's tempting to go and buy something outrageous and do
things that you wouldn't normally do if you had the cash.  This country is
really starting to revolve around credit, and it will be very hard to survive
if you don't have some form of it.  If more people were aware of how the credit
systems worked, they might be able to present themselves in a better light to
future creditors.  I don't think that credit is a difficult thing to
understand, I just had an unusual interest in understanding and defeating it.
Perhaps this is something that my future text files should be about.

Getting busted
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

     On June 27, 1988 at 1:47am, I had just parked my car outside my apartment
and was walking up to the door when I heard someone say "Doug?"  I knew that no
friend of mine would be visiting at that hour, so I knew my fate before I
turned around.  An FBI agent, State police detective and a local detective were
walking up to me.  "We have a warrant for your arrest." Interestingly, they had
actually several warrants, since they weren't sure what my name was.  I was
being arrested for 6 counts of "conspiracy to commit fraud".  After being
searched to make sure I wasn't carrying a gun, they asked if they could "go
into my apartment and talk about things".  Although I had completely "cleaned
house" and had nothing to hide in there, I wasn't about to help out an
investigation on me.  "Ah, I think I had better contact an attorney first."
"Is there one you can call right now?"  "Are you kidding?  It's 2:00am!"

     I was handcuffed and had my legs strapped together with a belt and was
thrown in the back of a car.  This was one of those usual government cars that
you see in the movies with the blackwalls and usual hubcaps.  Interestingly
enough, the armrest of the car hid quite an array of radio equipment.  Although
pretty freaked out, I figured the best thing to do at that point was try to get
some sleep and call the best attorney money could by in the morning.

     Little did I know where I was being brought.  I was driven all the way to
a small Indiana town (population 5,000) where a 16 year-old Wheatfield Indiana
boy had made the statement that he and I "agreed to devise a scam".  Although
nothing was ever done, merely planning it created the conspiracy charge.

     I figured that after my arraignment I could post bail and find an
attorney.  I had almost $10k in the bank and could probably find more if I
needed it.  I was sadly mistaken.  The next day at my arraignment the charges
were read and bail was set -- $150,000.00, cash only!

     In a strange turn of events, the FBI decided to totally drop the case
against me.  The federal prosecutor figured it wasn't worth wasting his time
and they jumped out.  However, the Indiana state police were involved in my
arrest and were angry that the FBI was dropping the case after they had
invested so much time and money in the case, so they decided to pursue the case
themselves.  There is so much friction between the FBI and state police, that
the FBI didn't even answer their letters when they tried to request information
and data files on me.

     Funny.  I spent 6 months in a tiny county jail, missing the start and
first semester of school.  I was interrogated constantly.  I never told on a
sole and never made a statement about myself.  I sat in jail daily, reading
books and waiting for my court dates.  Although I never expected it, nobody
ever thanks you when you keep your mouth shut.  I can't imagine that many
people would sit in jail for a long time in order to save their friends.
Perhaps it's a personal thing, but I always thought that although I doubt
someone else would do it for me, I would never, ever tell anything on anyone
else.  I would never be responsible for someone else's demise.  It took a lot
of money, and a lot of friday nights of frustration, but I walked away from
that incident without ever making a statement.  It was at a time when my
"roots" were deepest and I probably could have really turned in a lot of other
people for my benefit, but it was at a time in my life where I could afford to
miss some school and the integrity was more important to me.  There were a lot
of decisions that had to be made, and spending time in jail is nothing to be
proud of, but I never backed down or gave in.  It did provide the time for me
to really re-evaluate who and what I was, and where I was going.

People I've known
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Compaq            Personal friend for some time now.
Control C         Mostly likely the craziest guy I've ever met.
                  Really nice guy.
Knight Lightning  Would call me up in the middle of the night and
                  want to discuss philosophical and social issues.
                  Kind of guy I would probably get along with outside
                  of computers as well.
Loki              Friend since high school.  Made a big splash in the
                  h/p world, then disappeared from it.  He and I (and
                  Control C) drove to SummerCon together.
Shooting Shark    Great guy who used to be into calling bridges
                  and would yell "Hey, I'm paying for this!"  Truly
                  one of the only people that I ever knew that didn't
                  do anything blatantly illegal.  Most of our email
                  was over the optimization of crypt.  The Mad Alchemist
                  Sysop of Lunatic Labs, one of the only boards that
                  I feel is worth the telephone call anymore.
                  He has given me a lot of slack and runs
                  a BBS that picks up some of the most obscure
                  information.  A sysop that others should be judged
                  by.
Tom Brokaw        Personal friend since childhood that stood by me
                  through thick and thin, bailing me out of trouble
                  time and time again.  I can never thank him enough
                  for being a true friend.

BBSs
~~~~
More than I could mention here.  A few more recent notables --

Atlantis          Although run on an Apple, the Lineman had this
                  system so slick and customized that it became the
                  standard that a lot of the PC based boards were
                  created with.  It was the first real
                  "clearinghouse" for text files.
Free World II     Run by Major Havoc and myself, this was an
                  incredibly robust system, and was one of the first
                  to be run on a US Robotics HST. Although it was
                  primarily a discussion board, the file areas
                  offered some of the best files -- virtually no
                  games, but about every real utility and the like.

Metal AE          201-879-6668 - this was a true blue AE line that
                  was around for like 5 or 6 years and was ALWAYS busy.
                  Had all of the original cDc and other bizarre text
                  files, occasionally some new Apple warez.

Lunatic Labs      Still up and still great.

Metal Shop Private    Perhaps one of the best boards of all time.
                      Run by Taran King and had a healthy, yet
                      secure userlog.  It was a closed system, the
                      only way to get on was to know somebody.
                      Everyone on the system knew each other in
                      some sense.

World of Cryton   One of the first boards to have a "philter" and to
                  really push the messages as far as codes, accounts,
                  card numbers, etc.  This was also the demise, along
                  with many of the 414 hackers.

Misc
~~~~

2600 Magazine     How could I not like a magazine that published
                  articles I wrote?  This really is a great magazine
                  and anyone who is interested in computers, privacy,
                  or cyber-issues in general should subscribe.

Fame...?          Was in the movie "Hoosiers"  (thanks for bringing
                  that up, Shark!), even though I'm not a basketball
                  fan.  Met Dennis Hopper, etc. Went to school with
                  a lot of famous people's kids.  Most have some
                  pretty serious problems.  Be glad you are who you
                  are.

Marriage...?      I'm single and will do everything I can to stay
                  that way.  When people ask me about getting married
                  I tell them that the idea of car payments scare me.
                  I enjoy having girlfriends, but I've become too
                  independent.  I still run around at bars until
                  sometimes 3:00am or so, but still manage to spend
                  about 50 or 60 hours a week at work.  Even if I cut
                  out the bar scene, I wouldn't have much time to
                  spend with someone else on a daily basis.

Advice            If you ever get into doing illegal things, make
                  sure you do them by yourself.  Your chances of
                  getting caught when you do things solo and resist
                  the temptation to "brag" about them is minimal.
                  When someone else knows about what you have done,
                  it doesn't matter how good of a friend they are.
                  If they get into trouble, you are going to the
                  sacrificial lamb when it comes to negotiating their
                  freedom.  Even the strongest willed individuals
                  seem to crumble when questioned by police.
                  Groups are bad news.  There are very little
                  advantages to being in a group and all it does is
                  increase your personal risk by multitudes.
                  Cracking groups aren't nearly as dangerous, but
                  they DO bring boards down.  Look to the fate of
                  groups such as LOD for examples of group fate.  Lex
                  Luthor, perhaps one of the most elusive and private
                  rest of the group.  This was tough for me, as many
                  of the members were people I talked with and could
                  really feel for.

                  Don't get discouraged in life if you feel that you
                  are behind the rest because you don't come from a
                  rich family or have the best equipment.  I left
                  home when I was 17 years old, keeping only minimal
                  contact with my parents since then and lived life
                  pretty well, using my abilities to "smooth talk"
                  and pure enthusiasm to walk into about any job.
                  Don't put people down -- everyone has something to
                  teach you, even the bum on the street might be able
                  to tell you how to make some free phone calls!
                  There is a wealth of information to be found via
                  Usenet, text files, or even your school or public
                  library.  Stay informed and well read.

Email             I always enjoy hearing from people.  Reach me via
                  the Internet at douglas@netcom.com, or on Lunatic
                  Labs BBS.

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