Jan. 1997 Happy Hacker Digests
Mon Jan 13 20:49:57 1997
Welcome to -- or back to -- the Happy Hacker list.
We have been down for awhile thanks to (pick one or more):
a) Hacker Wars!!@#!?*%#!
b) Your Fearless Leader, Carolyn Meinel, has been too greedy
lately and has preferred making money on her consulting jobs
c) Technical difficulties
d) Fearless Leader met a really dynamite computer scientists
and got married
e) Two blizzards since Christmas
If you want to study, laugh at or flame back issues of Guide to (mostly)
Harmless Hacking, you may find them at either http://www.vcalpha.com/silicon/episteme.html
Our thanks to Silicon Toad, who is providing this Web archive.
There are many resources for advanced hackers at his site, as
We also wish to credit Gerard Cochrane Jr., Patrick Rutledge,
Jericho, Webwarrior, Betty G. OHearn and Winn Schwartau
for tremendous amounts of expert assistance to the Happy Hacker
If you prefer the Web version of the Happy Hacker list, we
are just opening a moderated forum at http://www.infowar.com/cgi-shl/login.exe.
This is computer security guru Winn Schwartau's site. To read,
click on the "hacker" forum. On your first visit, please
click on the help button to register your choice of a user name
and password. To submit posts to this Web forum, just be very
patient and remember to move around the frames until you see
places that give you the right options. Also, this is new software,
so expect lots of "undocumented features"! But it has
the advantage that it gives you hot links to email the people
who post there or to jump straight to the kewl hacker sites people
tell us about.
If you have hacking questions, first please read through this
forum before asking, as your question may have already been answered
If you wish to submit posts to the email version of the Happy
Hacker list, send them to .
Soooo ... Welcome to the biggest game on Earth:
Top ten reasons hacking is the biggest game:
10) It is REAL.
9) If you mess up you can go to jail.
8) If you do it right, you can make lots of money and feel
good about yourself.
7) It's a good way to impress people and get dates.
6) If it weren't for hackers, the Internet would long ago
have collapsed under the weight of spammers.
5) It is absolutely the best way to learn about computer
and communications software and hardware.
4) Even if it isn't the best way to learn, it sure is the
most fun way!
3) Some day we will save planet Earth from alien attack.
2) Hacking will always keep us one jump ahead of Big Brother.
And, for the NUMBER ONE REASON hacking is the BIGGEST GAME
1) Once you learn enough to be dangerous, hacking is
So welcome to the Happy Hacker list! This is a moderated discussion
group dedicated to the proposition that it is possible to hack
to our hearts' content -- without breaking the law! That's why
we're happy hackers: we don't have to worry about the bummer
However, we do recommend parental discretion in the use of
this list. While hacking can be done in a harmless manner, we
don't promise that our hacking tips can be entirely fool-proof.
However, the family that hacks together, stays together.
If you want to boast to the list about the computer crimes
you have committed -- SHUT UP! We are against computer crime.
Yech! Bleah! We hate crime! Also, a bunch of narcs are on the
list, so we all have to be on our best behavior:) If you dont
believe me, just check around the rest of the Infowar.com Web
Note to the humor-impaired: we kid around a lot. If you grind
your teeth and write email full of naughty words when you see
people goofing around and committing pranks, this list will give
you ulcers. We have observed that about one out of every ten
hackers has total fits when people joke about computers. That's
how come we get hacked so often.(On the other hand, if you like
to laugh, you can join our totally frivolous technology humor
list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with message "subscribe.")
Because the Happy Hacker list is moderated, you don't have
to worry about getting flamed for asking "dumb" questions.
If you want, you can request anonymity in your posts to either
the list or Web forum. Just write "please make this anonymous"
in your message and email it to instead
of posting it directly to the infowar.com hacker forum.
If you do see any flaming on the list, it is because both
parties to the flame war have agreed to it. Unfortunately, some
people have good ideas to contribute to the list, but are unable
to express themselves without being insulting. That is why we
compromise by letting them have their obnoxious say if the target
of the insults agrees to having it posted. We will, however,
bleep out the naughtiest words.
Moderator is Carolyn Meinel, a research engineer, writer,
political activist and generalized trouble maker/prankster.
You can read about Meinel at http://cmeinel.com, or in
the book Great Mambo Chicken by Ed Regis, Addison Wesley, 1990.
For example, Regis quotes her as saying, "Engineering students
are always pulling pranks...but back in those days... you could
just go down to Apache Powder Company and ... say 'I want a case
of dynamite, thirty feet of spritzer cord, ten yards of primacord,'
and so on and they'd sell it to you like it was nothing."
Well, today you can just walk into a bookstore and say "I
want Essential System Administration by Aeleen Frisch (O'Reilly
& Associates, 1995), Internet Security Professional Reference
(New Riders, 1996) and Internet Firewalls and Network Security
by Karanjit Siyan (New Riders, 1995)" and they'll sell them
to you like it was nothing.
Yet the consequences of ANYONE being free to understand and
MANIPULATE the over ten million computers and the communications
links of the Internet is vastly more revolutionary than mere
knowledge of how to build bombs.
We are talking about the obsolescence of taxes, national governments,
the end of poverty and eradication of acne. OK, OK, maybe not
quite all that stuff. But we can guarantee that the Internet
and spread of computer literacy will transform the world. Hang
with this anarchistic army of happy hackers, and you, too, can
play a role in how this transformation will unfold.
Think of the "butterfly effect" of chaos theory.
In a chaotic system, a tiny force can such as the flutter of
a butterfly's wings can catalyze a cascade of events that could
ultimately divert the course of a hurricane so that it dissipates
harmlessly at sea.
Today the chaotic system is the collapse of the industrial
age and the rise of the information era. The hurricane is the
threat of weapons of mass destruction. Thanks to the spread of
computer-aided engineering, production of nuclear weapons is
becoming almost trivial.
But in the path of the hurricane lots of butterflies are flitting
around: us hackers.
The Happy Hacker list is designed to be your hands-on introduction
to hacking on the Internet. You can start with reading back issues
our Guide to (mostly) Harmless Hacking, archived at either http://www.vcalpha.com/silicon/episteme.html
http://www.netwalk.com/~silicon/void-neo.html#happy. Each of
these guides gives easy, step-by-step instructions on how to
hack. In fact, we promise that with only half an hour of reading
and practice and knowledge of just *two* commands, you can do
hacks that will amaze your friends.
But we go beyond mere cheap hacking tricks. Each of the hacks
you will learn illustrate profound principles of how the Internet
works -- and how to bend it to your will. Furthermore, the exercises
we present will never ask you to break the law -- or even violate
Netiquette. Well, not very often...
Of course we wrestle with the ethical dilemma: many of the
things you will learn from Happy Hacker can be used to commit
crimes and hurt people. Or they can be used to stymie tyranny,
earn a good living, battle spammers, and have fun. But we haven't
figured out a way to teach you how to play the Internet like
a Stradivarius violin without also teaching you how to use it
like brass knuckles and nerve gas.
So it's your choice. Parental discretion advised. But if you
choose the dark side of hacking, you'll have to contend with
the rest of us. You have been warned!
Thu Jan 16 09:51:05 1997
Subject: Happy Hacker Digest. Dec. 14-15, 1997
Want to either get a few laughs or get really mad at the Happy
Fearless Leader? Check out
So why aren't many people posting to our new Hacker Infowar
Damien Sorder (jericho) was the first to post there.
I've also posted
several people's items there, but the way the software works
all those posts
look like they came from me. We also have a new, turbocharged
version of the
Guide to (mostly) Harmless Hacking on forging email posted there.
It's a great place for you to post because some 80,000 to
visit the Infowar site every week. By contrast, there are only
people on this list.
Of course, that software is a little bit hard to use if you
aren't in the
habit of moving frames around to see all those command options.
Heck, I had
a miserable time learning it myself. I also managed to encounter
a bug the
first day I used it. (That bug is that you can crash a portion
of it by
trying to post an item that is too big. Sounds like a buffer
overflow to me.
But heck, we're all hackers, so finding bugs is what we like
to do! If you
have trouble reading or posting to the Infowar site, email me
answer questions -- with help from Webwarrior, the Infowar sysadmin.
Also, guess what -- log in at the Infowar site and you get
a free mini-home
page! Also, they are looking for more people to moderate discussion
See the official announcement below for details:
From: "Betty G. O'Hearn" <email@example.com>
Subject: Discussion Forums Open
On Monday, January 13, 1997 WWW.InfoWar.Com will begin hosting
a series of
discussion forums, available to anyone on the Internet. Everyone
who logs onto
the forums will also be provided with a mini-home-page (for free!)
participants may get to know with whom they are interacting.
The discussion forums may be accessed from the Infowar.Com
Home Page by
clicking on the "Digest, Discussion & Chat Groups"
The forum moderators will be:
Winn Schwartau Information Warfare and
President, Interpact, Inc.
Electronic Civil Defense
Publisher of Happy Hacker Digest
Systems Engineer, SAIC
Publisher of The Journal of IWAR Intelligence Acquisition
Bill of Rights/Privacy
Executive Director, Electronic Frontiers Florida
President OPEN SOURCE SOLUTIONS, Inc.
We welcome this distinguished group of moderators and encourage
participate in these forums. Sign in and start posting!
Have an idea for a new discussion forum? Want to be
a moderator? Contact
InfoWar.Com will also be introducing several hundred
"chat" lines in the
Keep contributing..... keep up your input. We are introducing
modules that you have requested.
Thanks for all of your invaluable support.
Winn Schwartau and the incomparable staff at
From: Jared <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: messed up/need help
First off, before I say what I need help with, I want to admit
am a stupid newbie! I installed Linux recently (What a pain)
and ever since
I have been messing around with it. I have been trying
stupid things like
DOS commands in Linux (yeah I know it sounds stupid). So
far only dir
works. I was playing with the vi editor and the file /etc/passwd
. I was
playing with Linux following an old computer philosophy "When
fails, read the manual." Well as you can probably guess
all else has failed
and the manual doesn't have a chapter on recovering after you
screwed up. I
managed to make it so I can't log into my system as root.
I changed the
name root to oprttt' or something(yes I even added the ').
I typed in
oprttt' then my password, and it says something about /root/,
and my kernel
version. It does not say incorrect password and I know
I didn't change that
part. I logged in as another user I made earlier, and tried
to edit it
back. The other user has Read only capabilities when in
the passwd file. So
now here is my question. Can this be undone. Do I have
to reformat my
Linux partition? How do I reformat my Linux partition?
ohh yeah can you
recommend a good Linux book to me? ( I have Slackware version,
the numbers) I appreciate any help you can give me.
Thanks in advance,
Jared(email@example.com) P.S. I noticed something about what
I did. When I
to finger the name I put instead of root it
I believe it to be because of the '.
that is the only
thing I can think of that would make
a difference. Can
this ability to not get fingered be
useful (I hope so
then I can say this hole
experience wasn't for nothing)
(Moderator's note: I found the "Linux System's Administrator's
Guide" by Timothy Parker, Sam's Publishing to be really
From: "MICHAEL C. CHUSUEI" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: carolyn meinel <>
in one of your GTMHH, you talked about creating a site
people could legally hack. I think this is kewl idea!!!
what would it
take to get something like that going? I'm pretty much a newbie,
like to help in any way I can. I figure by helping to set
it up I can
learn stuff in the process.
(Moderator's note: I am checking out a Web site in Australia
offering prizes for people who can hack into a certain computer.
I want to
be certain this is not a hoax first, however.)
1.) how does one become an ISP?
(Moderator's note: With just a PC, Linux and an ISDN line
you can launch a
half-way decent ISP. See the book "Building a Linux Internet
George Eckel and Chris Hare, published by New Riders, 1995. It
a CD-ROM with Linux.)
2.) how does one become a sysadmin?
(Moderator's note: learn TCP/IP and Unix or Windows NT inside
3.) if information about a user is contained in the packets
sends out, is there any way to disguise it or alter it? I think
would be difficult, because then if an error occurred during
it would be difficult for the remote computer to request resends
(Moderator's note: that's IP spoofing. Good question on resending
packets. Anyone else have an answer?)
Subject: easy hacking
having trouble with fingering where do you put command?
Moderator's note: Here's what I do--
->telnet remarque.berkeley.edu 79
Trying 188.8.131.52 ...
Connected to remarque.berkeley.edu.
Escape character is '^]'.
Login name: shipley
In real life: Evil Pete
Last login Wed Jan 1 15:39 on ttyp6 from loca1host.dis.or
No unread mail
Project: destory all those that oppose
(Moderator's note: I snipped out the plan, but it makes really
reading. Fingers ahoy!)
Well I have to admit that you have really help me with your
text about the way
of sending and recognizing fake e-mails.. I was looking for such
everywhere and you when I found yours I was amazed of the way
you explained it
(It was so easy that even my young brother can take it down)
Thanx man... And
something to propose . If you want you can check out the server
25" I think it is one of the best so far . And that is because
There is no way
(as far as I've tried ,which is not far enough :)) to understand
that it is
(Moderator's note: here's what I get--
Received: from santa.claus (kitsune.swcp.com [184.108.40.206])
postal.atlanta.net (8.8.4/8.8.0) with SMTP id VAA00594 for
; Wed, 15 Jan 1997 21:46:26 -0500 (EST)
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 1997 21:46:26 -0500 (EST)
That kitsune stuff tells what computer this really came from.
The SMPT id
can be traced by the kitsune sysadmin to identify me as the sender.
The only shortcoming of the server is that if you press the
there is a box where you have pressed it on the e-mail that the
receives . Do you have any ideas of how I can surpass that problem
any better servers where it is difficult (especially for people
who do not know
the way ) to understand the phony ?? Please let me know .
Oh and something else I have two bios crackers and they both
do not work (I
have set a pass and they do
not reveal it )I wanna know just for the fun . Do you have any
crackers?? And is it difficult to become an expert hacker (Some
say it only
takes to know the assembly language...
From: Charles Duffy <email@example.com>
Subject: Win32 console utils
I've found Win32 console-based telnet, whois, finger and host
patterned after their UNIX equivalents... any advantage of the
tho? (that is, do I still need a shell account?)
(Moderator's note: OK, OK, Windows NT and Windows 95 -- the
32 bit operating
systems -- have more and more great TCP/IP utility programs coming
I still think Unix rules!)
From: Magus <LordKidd@concentric.net>
Subject: Fingering and "Shell accounts"
OK. Please bear with me cuz I'm a newbie. All
right, when I log on to
concentric.net, I dial in and then when it's connected I start
Netscape. When you wrote about shell accounts, were you
going through something like Hyperterminal? If this is
the case, will I
need a Unix password or just my own? Thank you for all
your help. You
seem to be one of the nicer "hackers" out on the net.
(Moderator's note: yes, you usually need a separate password
to log into a
shell account. Hyperterminal is one of my favorite VT-100 terminal
emulators. I use it all the time with my shell account.)
From: "John G." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: shell account
hi again-creator2. I've spent a week now trying to find a
called at least 10-15 ISP's and *nothing*. keep referring to
places and telling me that there is no market for them so they
sell 'em. went to search engines and get a 1,000 different accounts.
Thu Jan 16 22:54:23 1997
Subject: Happy Hacker Digest Dec. 16, 1996
Happy Hacker Digest Dec. 16, 1996
Moderators note: Hooray! Almost half of todays
new posts were placed on
our Hackers site at http://www.infowar.com/cgi-shl/login.exe!
there and it is easier for the tens of thousands of visitors
Infowar.com site to read your words of wisdom. But, yes, it is
a hassle to
post there, especially for us lynx browser fans.
Our apologies to those of you who got more than one copy of
yesterday. Right now were using a Win95 Pentium running
Eudora over a PPP
dialup connection for this list. Its clunky, but also hard
to hack. Please
email me if you get more than one copy of this so I can more
Posted-Date: Wed, 15 Jan 1997 23:07:05 -0700 (MST)
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 1997 23:07:04 -0700 (MST)
To: "Carolyn P. Meinel" <>
Subject: my response for the HH list
> Happy Hacker Digest. Dec. 14-15, 1997
> So why aren't many people posting to our new Hacker Infowar
> yet at
Tried going to those pages with lynx? :) Web forums
suck for daily chat.
Weird that Winn wouldn't moderate this.
> part. I logged in as another user I made earlier,
and tried to edit it
> back. The other user has Read only capabilities when
in the passwd file. So
> now here is my question. Can this be undone. Do I
have to reformat my
> Linux partition? How do I reformat my Linux partition?
ohh yeah can you
Yes. Look into booting into "Single User Mode".
Read the manual for
> in one of your GTMHH, you talked about creating a
> people could legally hack. I think this is kewl idea!!!
what would it
> take to get something like that going? I'm pretty much a
newbie, but I'd
A series of boxes with different OSs, public banners on each
saying it is
legal to hack, along with the guidelines, and notarized letters
anyone who asks for them.
> (Moderator's note: I am checking out a Web site in Australia
> offering prizes for people who can hack into a certain computer.
I want to
> be certain this is not a hoax first, however.)
If it isn't their site, then it is a hoax or DOS.
> (Moderator's note: OK, OK, Windows NT and Windows 95
-- the 32 bit operating
> systems -- have more and more great TCP/IP utility programs
coming out. But
> I still think Unix rules!)
Excuse me? You list Win NT and Win95, then say "32 Bit
(plural). I only see one there. Win95 is NOT a 32 bit operating
(Moderators note: jericho sent in details on Windows 95
limitations which I have posted at the Hackers forum at
From: Pheesh <email@example.com>
Subject: please post this
hello out there,
This is my first post so I hope I'm doing
right. If not please let me know where to
send my posts.
First off, let me say that your mailing list
is the best thing since microbreweries.
I have one problem though. When you gave your
example of telneting to the finger port, you
entered the site by typing 'telnet blah.com 79'.
Now if someone using a Unix shell account were to
use the 'w' command they will know exactly where
you are. Take from someone who has had ppl follow
me around net. The best way to avoid this is by
typing 'telnet' at the command prompt. Then type
'open' and then enter the site. This way when someone
types 'w' they will see the word 'telnet' after your
name. The same technique can be used for any application
i.e. ftp, Lynx....Now no one will know that you are trying
to dominate the world by way of yale.edu.
Hope this is helpful
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Hunter Rose)
Subject: Re: Happy Hacker
Ive been using computers for about three years, and
bought one about a
year and a half ago. I'm completely fascinated by them in practically
way, and would like to thank you for providing such a unique
avenue to people like me. most of what I learned is from trial
and error (I
learned DOS from breaking into my school's library-search computers.)
know the importance of learning beyond what they tell you in
which brings me to my very general question...
I know next to nothing about UNIX or shell accounts, something
frustrates me to no end. but another factor is the fact that
I use a
Macintosh computer. personally, I prefer them over other types
computers. the fact that when I say that scores of 'elite hacker
spare no effort in telling how much of a piece of crap Macs are
stupid I am for using one.
I would appreciate an informed answer (and perhaps an opinion,
if I can
receive one without opening the dreaded computer holy war book
it possible to have a good shell account, etc, on a Macintosh?
hacking on the Macintosh?
I thank you for your time, and happy hacking,
HUNTER ROSE - email@example.com
Devil By Deed
http://www.geocities.com/hollywood/8707 - sailor mercury homepage
"..the key to liberation is abstinence form the destructive
intoxication.." - earth crisis
From: Emilio González <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Announcement (for HH)
I'd like to tell all Mac users that feel left out of the fun
agonizing installation process) of Linux, Apple has ported it
for the Mac.
Called MkLinux, information, along with how to obtain a CD or
is available from http://www.mklinux.apple.com/. It's currently
only by 601 NuBus and 603/604 PCI Power Macintoshes and clones.
Information is Power.
Don't believe what they tell you.
I'm capable of coherent thought.
Have you ever been to the Wheeling Hubcap Factory?