TUCoPS :: General Information :: menace.txt

The Hacker Menace

                             Phile 1.6 of 1.14

                         Typed by: {ode {racker
This was taken out of the Network Security Magazine published by Datapro
Research.  I found this article to be quite funny along with antinque
news.  So I thought I share it with you for a laugh or whatever.
Also this article was written by a EX-HACKER! How does one become a 
EX-HACKER, please tell me!!!!
Early computer hackers tended to be college students.  With the advent
of home computers, and the teaching of computer basics at the grade
school level, the average age of the begininning (youth) hacker has
dropped to only 14!!  The overwhelming majority of BBS owners and users
are teenagers.  Teens tend to form cliques and peer groups, so the 
formation of phone phreak and hacker gangs was inevitable.  The parents
of these bright teens usually do not, themselves, understand the power
of the computer.  This means that the teens are not subject to the same
parental restrictions that would govern their using the family car.
Many parents veiw the home computer as an excellent baby-sitting device.
If their child spends an evening quietly in his/her room with the computer
the parents feel that thier offspring is not getting into any trouble.
In reality, these teens may be engaging in electronic gang activites
that have very serious implications.  Losses to the software industry
alone are staggering!!!
Unfortunately, many of the gang leaders are older, more experienced
teens, perhaps college students.  These people are interested in hacking 
not for its intellectual challenge, for for its financial rewards.  A
few gang leaders are adults who are politically or firal adults who are major figures behind the cracking and
distribution of pirated software for resale to the public.  One
adult gang leader openly solicited credit card numbers from the 
juvenile members in exchange for fraudulently obtained hard disk drives
and other equipment.  Some of the teenage leaders seek notoriety and
acclaim from their peers.  They strive to be the biggest phreaker or 
to have broken into the greatest number of computer systems.
The gangs may be local in nature such as the infamous "Milwaukee 414
gang"; they may be national in nature, like the "Inner Circle"; or
even international.  One such international group is "NYSHII" or 
"CHAOS" both cracking and pirating clubs with headquaters in both 
West Germany and the United States.  All of these groups had a BBS
that was their main base of operations and served supposedly as a
sercure communications center.  The 414s had a private BBS that was 
so sercet it didn't even have a namme.  The Inner Circle had a 
Securityland BBS and Illegitimate accounts on GTE'S Telemail network.
Chaos operates on a variety of BBS's in both the U.S. and West Germany.
NYSHII (New York Safehouse II) to this date has baffled local and
international law enforcement agencys as to it's true whereabouts.  
The Sysop "The Line Breaker" has found a way of changing the BBS's
location on a weekly basis without moving the master computer.
Naturally, an underground BBS could be used by organized crime in
much the same manner as the teen hacker gangs use them.  The author
has good reason to believe thgat organized crime is controlling a
number of BBS systems in the Midwest, the New York City area, and
in Florida.  One informant claims there is a bbs that is located
in an off-track betting parlor.  Teenagers are easily recruited to 
act as information gathers for organized crime.  The young people
work for little or nothing and, in most cases, do not even know
that they are being used.  The author and other adult hackers have
been approached and offered large sums of money tamper with
banking and credit data computer systems.  Organized crime is 
moving into this new area of crime.  There is a real and present
danger if BBSs continue to be alloowed to operate unchecked.
Underground BBSs may be creating a whole new generation of 
criminals.  As the youthful hackers mature, their interest in hacking
as an intellectual challenge and rebellion against authority
may be replaced by profit motive.  College students always seem
to need money and the teens who do not go to college may find it 
difficult to obtain a job.  It is only natural that these individuals
would graviate into hacking for personal gain.  For example, many
bulletin boards cater to those who are involved in credit card fraud.
There is also evidence that drug dealers use BBSs to arrange swaps
of stolen property for drugs.  Hackers who have learned how to access
credit bureau systems, such as TRWs, have discovered that making 
unauthorized credit checks foe
Credit bureau computer penetrations are routine in the hacker under-
ground.  The typical hacker gang obtains credit card numbers from
discarded charge slip carbons.  As an alternative, one or more
hackers who work in retail establishments may supply card numbers.
Other gang members can then check the cards for credit limits and
expiuration dates by using the telephone or illegally accessing 
credit bureau computers.  Others in the gang set up mail drops 
and safe houses for the deliverly of the merchandise ordered by mail
and charged to the credit card numbers.  Since the gangs know no
geographic boundaries, it is difficult to investigate these frauds.
Some commerical time-sharing services, such as Comp-u-serve, allow
merchandise to be ordered via computer and shipped to the user's
address.  ime-sharing accounts are easily obtained with a stolen 
credit card.  This allows the thief to order merchandise with little
fear of being traced.  These new high tech thieves are replacing
more traditional criminals.
The hackers and phone phreaks have knowledge and skill to completly
disrupt major communication and computer networks.  All that is lacking 
is organization, planning and financing.  If enemy power should
infiltrate and organize this underground, the consequences could
be disastrous.

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