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Have a Great Life! Stories about People Who Use Hacking to Do Good

Date: Mon, 21 Mar 2005 21:43:19 -0600
From: Fatal3rror
Subject: Thank you so much Ms. Meinel

Ms. Meinel,

I would like to personally thank you for inspiring me to pursue my interest in computers and science in general. Because of your inspiration, I worked my tail off and got accepted into MIT! For your diligent work in spreading the true hacker mentality of learning through experimentation, I salute you! :))

Thanks for sparking the flame,

Carolyn replies: MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is the school where computer hacking originated, back in 1959, and is the world's most famous and amazing engineering school. Fatal3rror should have a great time there.

From: Mike Brown
Subject: Thanks for Happy Hacker

Hi Carolyn,
My name is Mike Brown. I just wanted to thank you for this awesome(in the british sense) website. I began to look at the world of hacking while at computer camp learning java. And im glad that Happy Hacker was the first site i stumbled upon, because if it had been some other places *cough*attrition*cough* I might not have become the white hat hacker I am today.

The moment I realised how much your site had helped me was when a friends site was being DOSed. I and another white hat managed to get the attackers ip; I remember your teachings in the GTMHH and whoised and tracerouted, and at the end, there was the abuse address and everything. I got an email back from the abuse admin saying that they had suspected that this person had been attacking people, and with our logs, they had enough evidence to kick him off.

Thank You Carolyn, I salute you and your website. I pledge to use what I have learned for #FFFFFF, and fight against the #000000. And if this subject becomes my chosen career path, it would be an honor to work with you.
Sincerly, Mike Brown
Senior Partner, Websuffix
(WebSuffix is going to be my site, should I find time
to get it off the ground this year.)

Carolyn replies: Hint for you newbies, "#FFFFFF" means white and "#000000" means black in HTML notation. Writing thsi way is far more a sign of a true hacker than Wr1TiN6 l1k3 tH1S!

Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2004 10:21:47 EDT
Subject: The Guide to (mostly) Harmless Hacking, Vol. 1, No. 4

Dear Carolyn,

I have just stumbled across your website after getting interested in hacking again after a few months, and I feel compelled to thank you for providing me with the information regarding fighting spammers in their many forms, be it newsgroups like Usenet, even the ever-annoying e-mail based swathes of spam I receive each day. After trying just about everything to defend myself against spam and stop it reaching my coveted inbox, I decided to try another solution.

I started using computers at age six 6. Nearly 11 years on, (I don't mean to gloat, but...) I feel my skills have improved drastically. I can now set up and configure Windows Boxes, as well as *nix and Linux Boxes (to an extent). I began using Linux at around age 16, when I finally got so sick of Windows' inadequacies that I multibooted the PC I am sat at right now with Slackware and simply learnt as much Linux as I possibly could. The only reasons I still have to use Windows are that my Dad uses this PC to run his business (windows software is used to do various things) and, of course, gaming.

I have been a fan of the open-source initiative for what feels like forever. The ability to "look under the hood" is, for me and many others, a very appealling prospect. I know that Linux offers far more than Windows ever will in terms of configurability and that "ultra-geek" feeling that came with knowing that I am not just a mindless sheep.

The skills that I learnt on Linux, coupled with the incredible multitude of information availible on the internet from places like your (excellent) website have allowed me to fight back against the spammers in ways that simply are not possible in Windows. Therefore, I thank you.


Adam James,
College Student,
United Kingdom

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