Diary of a Hacker
What I am about to write about happened in October of 1988,
right after I had turned 16.
Yes, I had a Computer.
Yes, I was a hacker.
Yes, this is my story.
This story is all true. The events in the story are as real
as the noses on your faces. Any attempt to change this story
would be boring, and unnescessary.
Hello. My Handle is The Cuisinart Blade, (I have since changed it)
most people called me C.B., just as another nickname. I
got into computers because I always had a knack for Games,
Programs, Etc... I loved the feel of the keyboard as I typed,
espically around Midnight, when School was only 7 hours away.
That Dickhead in your 1st hour waiting to pick on you at the
stroke of the clock. What little that he knew.
I Loved the feeling of flying through the 'Net, talking to the
other Hackers like me, always trying to impress one another.
They came in all fashions of Handles: The Ax Murderer, Psycho,
The Hacker Kid, Phobia, Etc...the list is nearly endless. And
each with an utterly unique personality, so far advanced from
the Morons we all remember at high school. I loved talking to
these "Wanderers of the Wunderland" so much, I would call all
over the united states just to do that.
I remember back in 1988, 9600 was almost as uncommon as the
newest modems of today. I loved to suck down that Jolt, turn
on the overhead light in the basement, and hack until morning.
Then goto school to have that enormus football jock try to
scare me into submission. I will admit that, yes, he did
scare me. But what a fool he was, thinking that pure brawn
was power. Knowledge IS power. I never did good in High
School. Knowledge is not there, it was in the 'Net! THAT
was where I was a King. That was where I was a God. ANYONE
who has truely roamed the 'Net or been in that type of world
could tell you that, (Right, King Blotto?) hands down.
I loved running home, or taking the bus, right into my
basement! Homework? Bah! What a waste of time it was,
compared to the thrill of Hacking? Homework was little more
than review. I sat down and got onto my Computer and began to
type. I called a rather large BBS in which, Hackers frequented.
Nowadays they are considered "Wandering" Boards. They appear to
wander because they change phone numbers all the time.
Anyway, I called up my favorite Pirate BBS and went onto Multi-
nodal chat to talk to the others about their exploits. Some of
them had told me of their abilities to smash entire phone
networks, others had told me of their A-Typical grade changes,
(Yawn) But most of all I loved to brag. The unwritten rule
in being a hacker, you're nothing unless you have something to
brag about. At the time, I didn't, so I decided to get a name
in the computer Hacking Club and do just that: Hack.
At first I wondered where I should go, what I should do.
I had no idea where to begin. I had been all over the world
in the 'Net, and nothing to show for it, other than just knowing
of everyone, or everything. I needed more. That is the answer
to everything in the mind of a Hacker, the NEED to know.
I decided to try something small.
That night, my friend, (who I will call Dr.Antristo) and I,
called up another Pirate BBS and Downloaded the number of a
rather prominent business, (at the time) and decided to call.
Our biggest fear was being traced, so we got togther and built
what is nowadays almost routine, (from what I hear) a BOX.
I made the call and found myself looking into a Menu System,
that asked for a NAME, and Security ID. I had no idea about
any security ID, or anyone who worked there, so I decided to
Hang up and try in a day or 2, AFTER I did some "Checking Up"
on their Company.
Wedensday came and went, I checked into the Directory, and
looked for a name, someone in the Company. Personal Passwords
were not being used at this company, (and they STILL arn't)
so figuring that out was not important, but finding out the
MAIN USER SYSTEM PASSWORD was. No prob. After finding out
about a fellow who worked their, (Name Withheld), I called
again. This time the Menu popped up again, and I typed his name
again it asked me for a System Password. I knew the Voice
Number to the Company, so I dialed it on my regular phone line
and got some reception lady, you know the type, not too
bright, and just a tad naieve. I told her I was in the
Data Processing Department and was new, and had forgotten
the System Password. It took her all of about 10 seconds
to tell it to me. She didn't even bother for proof. So
with that in my head I went ahead and typed it: X77-SYS1a.
I was in.
My Buddy watched, as I began to move through the menus, I got
to check out the General Bulletin Listing, several up-and-
coming projects, (heh heh 486?) and even got to see who was
late to work this morning. I wanted to get some specs on the
new things they had instore for the Commercial Market, but
I was unsure where to Download them to. I was fearful of doing
that to my own house, so I figured I would find another place.
After rummaging throught the place for about 15 minutes, I
left. Personally, I was estatic. I had done it. I had
gone into a rather large business and gotten to look through
their system. But I needed proof, or so I thought. I wanted
to show the Hackers of America, I was as good as them. I
wanted what we all wanted. To be noticed and respected by
the people who I would call my peers.
Now I will admit that there were MANY who were far better than
me. There were guys who didn't pay a penny for any phone
calls that they made. Ma Bell was sure pissed! There were
others who were what I and others referred to as Professional
Pirates. These were the guys who not only wrote their own
software, but Cracked anything they came across, knew were
to get anything, and Just seemed to be great at anything they
wanted to be. These were the guys everyone tried to be like,
they were the Football stars, Homecoming Kings, and all-american
heroes of the 'Net.
To us they were as close to god as the pope.
Turns out that they were no older than most, but they were
smarter, or had a head start. These guys were, and many of them
still are, unstoppable.
I got talking to another Pirate later that evening, after I had
gone into the Company Mainframe, and told him of what I had
done. I thought at first he'd laugh at me, but instead, he
practically begged me for that Password. He said everyone in
this system at that moment would give me any Wares, (Warez for
you newer Hackers & Pirates) I wanted. Within 2 minutes of
telling this guy, (Handle: Omega Man) the Multi-Node Chat
was filled with over 20 different Hackers, Pirates, and
onlookers asking for the Password, offering me Wares, and
other Numbers in exchange. One guy, I will call Harlock,
offered me something none of the others could. The ability
to USE At&t all I wanted for free. He said he would teach me
how to use their LOOP Numbers and not get caught, also teach me
to call other places, drop to their dos shells, and make hidden
directories where I could put my "borrowed" Wares. All for a
Without hesitation, he gave me a number to his "Wandering" BBS.
I disconnected with this one, and logged onto his. It was a
long distance call in the 216 area code. I didn't want to stay
too long, otherwise my parents would get REAL mad.
I arrived at the Logon screen to be greeted with an enormus
ANSI of a Kings Crown. Followed by a System Password.
The SysOp of the Board typed it in for me, and took me directly
into Chat. He told me that AT&T has what are called LOOP
numbers, numbers that are out of circulation, but can still
be used. Billing is not used, because the company writes it
off as an expense on their annual tax bracket as for Public
Relations, or Advertising. They don't check up on them,
because with over 500 Million Nodes, and lines in this country
they don't bother with the "Lost" ones. (Currently there are
around 75,000 LOOP Numbers in the 312/708 Area)
He told me that in order to use one, you must find one, by
what he called Garbage Screening. He told me that around
where he lived they just chucked all the paper in the garbage
bin and left it for the trash men on friday. (he thanked god
that Recycling hadn't REALLY started yet) He advised me to do
the same. Once I had the numbers, keep a blacklist of them,
(of which only 1/4th still work to this day.)
Then he explained how to do it. He said I was to dial the
number, wait for 2 "Chimes" then hit the Shift and Ctrl buttons.
With Modem, (I still don't know how, but it worked so I am
telling you) it would give me a Dial Tone, and Wala! I could
then proceed to call anywhere in the world, under AT&T's Tab.
Then he asked me for the Password which I happily gave him, (I
may be a white-collar crook, but I am an Honorable one.)
After writing it down, (I guess) he told me I was welcome to
look around his system. I thanked him for the Info, then
Logged offline. I was Info Hungery!
I had written the Directions for the LOOP numbers down and
wanted to see what I could do. I told Dr.Antristo to power
up the MouseMobile (His Jalopy) 'cause we were gonna go
shopping this evening. 'Round midnight, Dr.Antristo and I
got to Oakbrook, a rather large Communications Hub for the
Greater Chicagoland Area. AT&T had just thrown its garbage
away and there was no one around. I walked over to the bin,
with Doc' in the Getaway Mouse, and looked for any kind of
security measure. It had a padlock, that was no where to be
found. I pushed the door open and took a look. Bags of
paper and more bags. From what Harloack had told me, I
had hit the jackpot. I climbed in, (You must understand, that
this was the cleanest garbage I had ever seen) and began to
look for anything that had to do with numbers. I also grabbed
a pair of hefty bags full of paper with what looked like numbers
then got to the car and we returned home.
I dumped all the stuff onto the floor and began to rummage
through it. I found a lot of office memos to call some
Steve guy, and letters of recommendation, as well as a few
Resumes'. Then Luck. A list of numbers that were said to
be disconnected or transferred to station (52?) for standard
procedure. Another list detailing numbers offline or as it
put it, "Out Of Circulation". At last, O.O.C.'s!
I wanted to know, I had to know. I put one of them into my
Telix Directory and ran it through. After a few seconds of
prayer, I heard a high pitched noise, almost like a Modem,
but it was off a few bars. Then I heard what I can only
describe as a "Chime", then another...I hit the Shift and Ctrl
Keys, and what almost sounded like Line shifting, I got a dial
Dr.Antristo and I ran about the room hollering and yelling our
thanks to the great Jolt god and we sat down at the computer and
typed in the name of a Long Distance BBS, we could never call.
Again, Success. It didn't connect because it was busy, but
it went back to Dial Tone again, and we tried another.
The BBS was called Crystal Palace, and it was somewhere in
Canada. We logged into it, ran through the usual newuser crap
and spent an hour talking to the SysOp, who was watching us at
the time. We decided not to try again, until the phone bill
came for the month.
1 Week later it arrived. I tore it apart to find all long
distance calls done. Only one to my Aunt Kathy in Michigian!
The rest were Local! I was so happy I didn't care if my father
was yelling at me about opening his mail. I called Dr.Antristo
and told him the great news. With this, we could do some real
neat things, like call all those other Hacker Boards we could
We decieded to call the most intresting on your list, one
called ToC: The Obsidian Crackhouse. It was in Germany,
a place where there seemed to be a ton of Elite Pirates.
We dialed into the LOOP Number and then made the overseas call
We tied into the BBS to find that we couldn't access, it was
a Private BBS. So we settled for something in our country,
a place in the 404 Area Code. A BBS called The Nutcracker
Elite. We got in and "Registered" No, we wern't Cops, No,
Not Federal Agents, Etc.. then we looked around to see what
this guy had. Files I had never seen before, stuff from
England, California, Germany, Holland, Ireland, Etc... Lists
so long I couldn't believe what I was looking at. I wanted
to Download everything I saw, but I was still afraid of what
might happen, trying to do that. So I figured I would give
ol' Harlock a Call.
I finally got ahold of him on a Friday night, around 1 in the
morning, and asked him what to do. He told me what he did.
He would use the LOOP Number, then call another Company, drop
into their DOS, create a hidden Dir, then call out again, under
THAT Companies Number. It boggled my mind, so I had him
explain it again. The LOOP Number worked for you in several
ways. If you use a LOOP Number to call out, if you call from
another HUB, it would look like you were calling from that area.
So anyone Tracing would track it to that location, and if they
were good, they would only get as far as the LOOP Number
origin, in which case you use another number. He warned me
that the BOX was the only thing keeping AT&T from running a
trace from their "Hidden" Line to my house. So I continued to
That night I called some bank in the 804 Area Code. Found their
General Logon Password, (from a Hacker in Vermont, thanks HAL!)
and proceeded to drop to DOS. I looked at their inferior setup,
all memory and nothing to show for it. I created a Hidden DIR,
then exited and called out from that location using one of their
company lines to another BBS in the 213 Area Code, a BBS named
Psychotic Interlude. I got online and D/L'ed as much as I
could. (A whopping 3 Files)
After Disconnection, I did another D/L to my house through the
LOOP Number. It worked. The entire evening I was online at
one place or another. I had gotten about 15 Meg worth of Wares
from around the country. This Bank had so much memory it never
would have missed it. (BTW, I never Deleted any of it so if you
want it, you gotta go get it.
I was really beginning to enjoy this. The following evening,
I went online at my usual Hacker hangout and chatted with a
few guys, the topic of the day was someone in Georgia was saying
that he could take down the entire Phone Grid in that state.
And after doing what I did, I belived him.
October 24th, 1988
I went to Dr.Antristos house to pick up the software of what
we hoped to be our new BBS. I wanted to be a SysOp. Too
bad that he didn't have it.
After discussing what we could do with our abilities, we
wanted to see if we could get into a Large Corperation.
Watch out world, we were arriving!
That night, after slurping down a 24 pack of Jolt, we
listened to some Black Sabbath, and Led Zepplin, (my favorite
song by them is Cashmir on Physical Grafitti Album) we
entered the world of the Hacker.
We went to our usual LOOP Number and then dialed into a
Corperation in Chicago. (The name of which is withheld,
but I'll give you a clue, its a Computer Company Named IBM)
Well, we got to their commercial menu, where they tell you
all about their products, (Yawn) and how they're the best.
If they were smart they wouldn't have agreed to giving
royalties to the creator of their Logon Program for all
IBM Compatibles, and Regulars. (Incidently, the guy who
wrote that is now worth 8+ Bil)
Anyways, we managed to snoop into General Information, but
Dr.Antristo and I wanted more. We wanted much more.
So I decided to try that Newbie Crap with the Reception
lady again. I figured that if it worked once, it would work
The lady, who turned out to be a male night security guard,
scolded me for calling so late, and muttered something about
yuppies and their late hour workings. He looked around on the
desk of wherever he was and gave me a Password to enter the
IBM Mainframe, (I still laugh at this chucklehead they had hired)
and in less than 20 Seconds I was looking at Commands for the
Office. Turns out he gave me a Password that is not for General
use. I got an Office PW.
I was looking at a menu that asked me if I wanted to shut off the
lights! I gave out a manical laugh! I was god, I was immortal,
I was....Hacking. I decieded not to turn off the lights, but
I wanted to look at future projects slated for the next year.
After browsing around, I got bored and looked into the security
matrix, and found a universal password and name collection. I
was feeling a bit evil that evening so, I switched, added, removed,
and changed some passwords...heh heh. Cruel to the people who
think they're tough ****!
I left IBM with a big grin, and a lot of experience. Dr.Antristo
told me that we ought to go after other things. I wanted
to know so much about everything, so I had it in my head I
was going to do just that.
Only thing was, how to do it!