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does anyone really hack anymore?

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  • does anyone really hack anymore?

    i've been around "the scene" since the mid-90s. i remember heady times learning all about hacking and phreaking and this new internet thing. i read "the hacker crackdown" and all the text files i could download at 2400 baud. everyone i knew was talking about VR and writing code night and day. everyone knew how to solder...

    now we're all "security professionals" with real jobs and no desire to risk what we've worked so hard for. there are a few "security researchers" out there, but their work belongs to whoever is cutting the checks.

    is hacking relevant anymore?

    we all hate those script kiddies who fuck things up with no apparent need to know or understand, but who writes their scripts? how will they take us into the next 10-20 years when they don't appear to care to look beyond a graphical interface?

    anyone else worried/annoyed/angry/disappointed?
    40
    No.
    5.00%
    2
    Yes.
    37.50%
    15
    No, but that is because we cut down all the trees.
    2.50%
    1
    Yes, for certain definitions of, "wood."
    12.50%
    5
    I like pork.
    30.00%
    12
    I just wanted to vote.
    22.50%
    9
    None of the above fit. I will comment below.
    2.50%
    1

    The poll is expired.


  • #2
    Re: does anyone really hack anymore?

    The scene has changed alot in 10 years, groups of hackers, crackers ect.. were more public back then than ever. The groups that are around now are more commercial than ever (at least many) or advertise themselves as a security company not a "hacking group".

    Exploits back then took time to become publicly known, and then time to patch, its almost same day in many cases now. Security wasn't a priority back then, the internet wasn't as common, PC's were still not affordable by many, dialup was the primary form of internet use, PC's weren't connected to the internet 24/7.

    Now with PC's being in the majority of homes, broadband being the standard, companies know that being connected online 24/7 means problems need to be taken care of quickly. Today the majority of consumers and businesses are aware that they need to stay up to date, the security market is booming, like you said the majority of people have moved into that market.

    I think this alone has pulled people from the scene and into the job place. People still hack for fun, but alot of it is exploring new technologies now, I see more reverse engineering than ever. Look at game consoles, not one comes out that someone doesn't figure out how to mod, and quickly at that.

    I dont think hacking has died, but the focus has definitely changed.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: does anyone really hack anymore?

      questions like that are so tremendously without basis that they actually depress me slightly.
      "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
      - Trent Reznor

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: does anyone really hack anymore?

        My guess is that most 'black hat' hackers these days are into wire and credit card fraud ripping off consumer more than the business, because it is so much easier.
        More sophisticated ones find and sell vulnerabilities to spyware companies (they even take credit cards on their sites, no kidding). As mentioned earlier, you also have the script kiddies, with no ideas of their own, using already available tools to play the 'hacker' and impress their friends.
        Then there are the people we see at Defcon presenting, but there are very few of these guys.
        ..::800xl::..

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: does anyone really hack anymore?

          i'm not an authority by far, but as one that began my journey only a year or two before you mention .. (my stretch for tech limited me to older equip anyways). I think your premise is completely full of shit. yes, technology has changed; we will never get back the 'golden age' of 300baud and acoustic couplers . It was something that a very small percentile of people were doing and the folks that did bonded. great. get on with it. that doesn't mean the game is over. just because noted hats sell out to make their buck (legit or illegal) doesn't exclude their skill; it means people are getting old .. and when in their 30s and 40s need more than kix and black tshirts to sustain a lifestyle (well .. some people). folks younger see the opportunity and gladly take the route that gets them making $50k out of highschool instead of minimum wage for retailer. its the way of things.. because its there. that also doesn't mean those folks dictate 'the scene' as is .. they are just the old remnants of a previous era.

          i played my share of games in the day and after a good time with gorillas did my best to modify the shit out of it .. or design a monopoly board out of line/pset subroutines. i played commander keene and turned to a compiler to try my best hand at understanding the logic behind the play. Nowadays kids are shown 3d rendered graphics and told they can be rockstars/millionaires by designing maps and models for a living. most don't care how things work, just how to make them look good. that is a generational difference .. one that prior generations similarly noted with us and generations prior; 'this generation can't appreciate the knowledge to be gained by a good book' or 'this generation can't appreciate the moral foundation we maintain'. Each generation grows up from parents that were raised up from parents with different cultural and technological understanding. I just hope the generation later following isn't as retarded as the one following me.

          and note that I say 'most'. this has never been about most .. but the extents of an individual, or minority of creative minds. I am 5 years further since my first venture into Defcon territory, and find people 5 years younger than I that rock twice as hard as what I might strive to be within the next 10 years of my life. It is humbling and discouraging in one sense, but a tiny shred of hope for the future.

          all said, it is a little dismaying (as others have expressed in fireside chat) that CTF has changed into a game of professional pen-testers and elite school security squads .. but thats the direction the game/rules took.. where did that lead? actf nips at its heels.
          if it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proud; and I'm gonna go there free.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: does anyone really hack anymore?

            You kids. The 90's? 2400baud? 300 baud? pfft! 110 baud, man, on teletype (paper) terminals. Better yet, punch cards. You haven't lived until you tried to debug a program on punch cards. That's were it started back in the sixties and seventies.

            I started in the early 70's and you know what? I don't miss the "old days" at all. Too much time was spent then just making the tools to make something else, so you could do what you wanted to do in the first place.

            Of course people still hack, and of course it's still relevant. The tools have changed, that's all. The core is still the mindset of "Let's see what happens if you push the limits on this piece of tech." If you think some of this is dying out, don't wring your hands and whine about it! Get off your ass and mentor someone on this stuff. There are plenty of kids out there just dying to learn. I met some of them at shmoocon two weeks ago, and I know some others that will be taking the plunge into their first DefCon this summer.

            Also, I still solder. I was doing some this morning, and tomorrow morning -in a case of practicing what I preach- I'll be teaching my grandkids, ages 5 and 7, how to put together their first electronics kit.* When we're done, they'll have a valuable lesson or two on how tech goes together, as well as a working Simon game. Well, hopefully working. I'd better bring the multimeter just in case.

            * Joe Grand & Make Magazine's electronic game kit.
            Thorn
            "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: does anyone really hack anymore?

              Originally posted by krug View Post
              i've been around "the scene" since the mid-90s.
              http://yourscenesucks.com/
              45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B0
              45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B1
              [ redacted ]

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: does anyone really hack anymore?

                I have to agree with Thorn. There is a lot of "hacking" going on, it just depends on the perspective you take. While in the "old days" it was defacing Web sites or breaking into high profile sites for the bragging rights, today it is going on in a much more quiet way. It's no longer a game of hacking or cracking a site and then bragging openly about it. It is done more for monetary gain; fraud and identity theft not to mention corporate espoinage.

                However, as I read recently on the defcon mailing list the better hackers are a lot more quiet than they use to be because by brining attention to themselves they know there is the threat of getting caught and being prosecuted.

                Then again there are those hacker like LosT. Here is a guy that digs into hardware and see's what make it tick and then looks for ways to make it go tock instead. You have to admire that.

                For me it has always been more about what can this do if I ask it to do something it was not designed to do or the joy of taking it apart, learning how it really worked and then being able to put it back together again.

                So hacking is not dead, it has simply evolved. It it all around you if you only take the time to look.
                DaKahuna
                ___________________
                Will Hack for Bandwidth

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: does anyone really hack anymore?

                  Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                  questions like that are so tremendously without basis that they actually depress me slightly.
                  Exactly.
                  Originally posted by converge View Post
                  I think your premise is completely full of shit.
                  I agree!
                  Originally posted by Thorn View Post
                  Of course people still hack, and of course it's still relevant. The tools have changed, that's all. The core is still the mindset of "Let's see what happens if you push the limits on this piece of tech."
                  Right on!
                  Originally posted by DaKahuna View Post
                  There is a lot of "hacking" going on, it just depends on the perspective you take... So hacking is not dead, it has simply evolved. It it all around you if you only take the time to look.
                  Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. These four fine gentlemen have summed up everything I was thinking.
                  "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: does anyone really hack anymore?

                    Poll added.

                    In order to determine if hacking is dead, perhaps there should be agreement on a definition.

                    Here is a suggestion:

                    Hacker: Someone that knows something1 so well, that they can bend that thing to do something-else2 (of value3 and innovative4) that the original something1 was not originally designed to do.

                    Hack: Evidence as a product of a hacker that demonstrates the definition, "hacker."

                    Hacking: The active demonstration of a hack.

                    something1: Skill, tool, system, etc.
                    something-else2: New Solution, new purpose, new result
                    value3: "Value" to someone. Proof-of-concept is of value. Education is of value. Somethign that can be sold (product or skill or work) is of value.
                    innovative4: not previously demonstrated, known to have been demonstrated, or demonstrated by someone else.

                    By the above definition, hacking has been around for thousands of years.

                    If you don't like this definition, provide your own.

                    Look at immunology: infect someone with a "mild" case of something to improve their defense.

                    Encode a "patch sequence" for DNA modification into a retro-virus, and then use it to alter a person's genes by adding back a sequence to allow specific enzymes to be produced for patients with certain kinds of genetic diseases.

                    Look at surgery: remove parts of a patient's skull to let their brain swell not kill them, but attach parts of their skull to other parts of their body so that when the swelling subsides, you can let them keep a skull made of bone

                    Look at nearly any field, and you will find examples of, "hacking."

                    [Edited: Added: "innovative4" April 9th]
                    Last edited by TheCotMan; April 9, 2007, 16:52.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: does anyone really hack anymore?

                      granted im a lot younger than you all but... i don't think the scene has really changed all that much when it comes to the people in it.

                      i think more of it is just out there now. most "real" hackers are all about the subject matter, so they dont claim the spotlight. meaning that there is plenty to go around for people that just wand the attention, as such it seems like all the people involved are just attention grabbers, when in fact this is not true.

                      its the same with just about any creative medium. music, visual arts, dance, motion pictures, etc...

                      many of what most people consider to be there favorite works will never reach there local paper let alone the la times or CNN <_<

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: does anyone really hack anymore?

                        It just becomes a way of doing things and ends up being subtle. The things I do are normal and in some cases quaint to me, but they were exciting when brand new. It is still a hack though, by definition.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: does anyone really hack anymore?

                          Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                          Hacker: Someone that knows something so well, that they can bend that thing to do something-else (of value) that the original something was not originally designed to do.
                          that is the only definition i've ever considered truly proper for the notion of "hacking". while i don't often like quoting him, Emmanuel Goldstein's conversation with some guys outside of a prison in "Freedom Downtime" was an eye-opener to my folks, since he attempts to explain to these gang members how one of them who "took apart [his] camaro and totally re-modded the engine and stuff" was, in a way, a hacker... no computers involved. it has to do with the love of technology or systems and a willingness and desire to get into the nitty-gritty and -- through deep understanding of the way stuff works -- get "more" out of it than was intended or originally designed.

                          Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                          By the above definition, hacking has been around for thousands of years.
                          exactly... and it always will be. even off into the distant future there will always be folks like Kaylee.

                          (of interesting note is the fact that she represents a theme which pervades a lot of future-fiction and especially dystopian or post-apocalyptic storytelling... the notion that the successful continued existence of humanity, either in small groups or in whole population centers, will depend not just on folks with basic survival skills like hunting and carpentry, but also will depend a great deal on folks who have technical survival skills. in a world that's become dependent on technology to function in many ways, we will need hackers around if shit ever totally hits the fan. without factories in Taiwan churning out new motherboards and chips constantly, existence and communication on many levels could come down to folks who can reprogram telephone switches to function on wickedly substandard conductive wire or individuals who can fabricate pinout adapters in such a way that they make DVI cards output video to old surplus VGA monitors, etc.)
                          "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
                          - Trent Reznor

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: does anyone really hack anymore?

                            Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                            In order to determine if hacking is dead, perhaps there should be agreement on a definition.

                            Here is a suggestion:

                            Hacker: Someone that knows something1 so well, that they can bend that thing to do something-else2 (of value3) that the original something1 was not originally designed to do.

                            Hack: Evidence as a product of a hacker that demonstrates the definition, "hacker."

                            Hacking: The active demonstration of a hack.

                            something1: Skill, tool, system, etc.
                            something-else2: New Solution, new purpose, new result
                            value3: "Value" to someone. Proof-of-concept is of value. Education is of value. Somethign that can be sold (product or skill or work) is of value.
                            An excellent definition!
                            Thorn
                            "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: does anyone really hack anymore?

                              Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
                              exactly... and it always will be. even off into the distant future there will always be folks like Kaylee.
                              ... and people think angelina jolie is hot .. psssh Mr Whedon totally got that one right.
                              if it gets me nowhere, I'll go there proud; and I'm gonna go there free.

                              Comment

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