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July 2, 1999

Visit the Happy Hacker site at http://www.happyhacker.org
URL of the day: http://www.cit.ac.nz/smac/cprogram/  Online tutorials on=20
how to program in C!

Table of Contents

* Def Con adventure
* Another hacker mentor mail list
* Computer hardware mail list
* Flame war on Packetstorm!


 *** Def Con Adventure

Are you going to the Def Con hackers' convention July 9-11?  Want to meet me
(Happy Hacker Clown Princess Carolyn Meinel) there?  I plan to enter a Linux
box in the Bastard Operator from Hell competition.  So, am I totally lame? =
will I surprise a few people by winning?  Oh, yes, how come you never see=
mirrors of hacks of the Happy Hacker website?  Maybe we know something about
being secure?

I will be staying in the Hard Rock hotel across the street from Def Con.  I
will be meeting people at my hotel room there Saturday between 6PM and 8PM.=
Or, look for me at the wargame.  To make you happy, my entry will have a=
account with a silly password.  Honest, it will be really silly:):)

Happy hacking!  Def Con info is at http://defcon.org.

 *** Hacker Mentor mail list

From: R a v e N <barakirs@netvision.net.il>

I saw the posting about FooMentor, the new newbies mailing list. I have
a similar list myself, and I was wondering if you could tell people
about it in the next "Inside Happy Hacker" mailing list. It's good for
both newbies and gurus, since we discuss both Windows hacking and Unix
hacking (from how to install different distros of Unix to rewriting the
Kernel ;)... ).

   R a v e N


 *** Computer Hardware Mail List

Sender: "Tony Cheetham" <tony@zen.co.uk>

Dear newbies/adepts alike, I am starting up a mailing list for hardware
problems, now I know what your thinking, "OMyGod not another one", but this=
is different.  I have enlisted the help of a group of people whom I consider=
be hardware experts who all have there all little niches, and hopefully=
be able to answer any problem with installation, configuration and drivers. =
far on the list we have 2 programmers who design drivers for a well known=
card supplier, but are known to me for there ability to write drivers for
obscure hardware.  4 web technicians from ZEN internet (the company I work=
who are respectively Linux, Windows, Dos, and NT users, and the 3 hardware
technicians from Zen, 2 whom deal with our servers (routers, bridges,=
and ISDN), and 1 who deals with client side installations, (NT, windows and

If you are interested in joining please E-Mail SubscribeHW@zen.co.uk
I can be contacted at tony@zen.co.uk
Please visit ZEN's website cuz there sponsoring this list <home.zen.co.uk>

 *** Flame War on Packetstorm!

Special flame war section!  Yes, I know lots of people don't care for flames
(angry personal attacks), so please just delete this if you don't want to=

See http://www.zdnet.com/zdnn/stories/news/0,4586,2287456,00.html for a news
story of a controversy now raging through the hacker world.  It began when
Harvard University shut down a Web site they had briefly hosted for Ken
Williams (AKA Tattooman): Packetstorm. =20

Brief summary: Packetstorm was a web site mostly dedicated to computer=
information. However, it also had a section devoted to what some people see=
personal attacks, threats, and obscene imagery.  Harvard shut Packetstorm=
after receiving an email complaint from John Vranesevich.  You can read
Vranesevich's side of the story at
antionline.com/archives/editorials/packetstorm.html.  Ken Williams' side is=

I saw the portion of Packetstorm that John Vranesevich believed threatened a
family member.  What I recall is a photo and address of a child, along with
what I regard as deranged and obscene incitements against this family.=20
Williams argues that he meant it as satire.

Even if Williams did intend it as intimidation, perhaps the right to=
 advocate a
campaign of intimidation against a child should be protected under the First
Amendment. Otherwise we get into the issue of people's right to advocate
whatever they choose to advocate.=20

However, in my opinion, Williams' freedom of speech should not extend to any
"right" to make Harvard pay for disseminating threats against a child.

Here is the official Harvard statement on this matter:

* S T A T E M E N T *

As a service to the Internet community, Harvard agreed to host a
Packet Storm Security Website for security-related materials only. Without
Harvard's knowledge, unrelated content was put on the Harvard server,=
sexually-related material and personal attacks on an individual not=
with the University.  A Harvard administrative site focused on security=
is not the forum for this type of material. We are returning the content on=
site and hope that Packet Storm will make its security tools available=
its own Website.

        Joe Wrinn
        Office of News and Public Affairs

Joe Wrinn
Director, Harvard News Office
1350 Massachusetts Ave., Rm. 1060
Cambridge, MA   02138
Phone:  617-495-1585

Now, on to the flames, pro and con.  I've removed most email addresses=
I don't want to perpetuate the flame war by having people get flame email or
outright threats from readers of this material.  Also, I do NOT want anyone
harassing supporters of Ken Williams thinking they will win my favor by=
so.  I despise intimidation of any sort, especially by people who think they
are helping me. -- Carolyn Meinel


I have been supporting you and The Happy Hacker for 14 months, and was=
to devote my time and resources to mirroring your web site, editing the=
and maintaining archives of the G2MHH and the HHD. I was even willing to=
to the press and support your cause when you asked for my help. But now I=
I can no longer aid you, offer you my support or be involved in anyway with=
Happy Hacker.

This is because of your connections with AntiOnline, and their actions=
Ken Williams and Packet Storm Security. I am in the process of creating a=
indexing lots of text files and the like, so I am aware of the time and=
it takes. Ken Williams has lost all his work and the great number of hours=
has devoted to his site have been irretrievably lost. Aside from Ken's loss,
the loss of Packet Storm Security will be greatly felt by the whole=
I am really quite shocked, upset and horrified by these events. No matter=
content the offending material had, there is NO excuse for the whole site to=
lost for ever. I doubt you can appreciate the loss Ken Williams has=
because unlike you, he has not profited off of his service to the public.

With this new light I greatly urge you to reconsider your partnership with=
and AntiOnline. I now understand what may have made Keydet89 give up his=
as editor of the HHD.

As you do that remember that while I no longer support you, may actively=
what you say and will certainly rm any local copies of any of your work I=
I will *NOT* support or encourage any actions that prevent you from saying=
you want. No matter what you write about me.

[Packetstorm destroyed forever?  A Harvard spokesman claims they did not
destroy Williams' archives.  In any case, any computer security professional
should remember to always keep a back up OFF SITE.  Heck, I even keep a copy=
my more valuable information on an ftp server in New York City.  -- CM]


Look what your little buddy's done now, Carolyn.  He couldn't handle=
himself, so he got Harvard to drop PacketStorm all together.

If something has been posted that is really libelous, like JP says, he could
just file a suit against Ken, and leave it at that.  But no...he's got to=
Harvard, b/c he knows what the computer and Internet- illiterate folks in=
General Counsel's office will do when they hear words like "law suit".

I'm not even going to speculate that Ken's claims of loosing 7 wks of class
work, a custom IDS, and all his research data are 100% true.  What I am=
is that the PacketStorm site has been far more valuable in any given week=
JP's site has been the entire time it's been up. =20

Why hasn't JP sued Brian Martin and his Attrition site?

[According to what Vranesevich says is his email to Harvard, he did not
threaten to sue them. -- CM]


Its a shame what is happening. Oh how I long for the days of the BBS's and
teleneting. There seemed to be a lot more enjoyment and certainly a lot less
people whose desires are to make decisions for others or simply a save the
world crusade. Life is a funny place cause generally when one really digs=
the lives of these so called crusaders its a scary place to go. To keep this=
simple form with gross generalizations; why is it that the crusader of=
is one who usually has the most troubled life and goes to great length to=
inner deceits they actually parallel the mental profile of a person who is
determined to hack solely to reap severe destruction. Both have serious=
problems. In closing its a shame that you and others like you have gotten
caught up in the problems of others. For what its worth I hope you do not=
the anguish of a certain few wear you down where you say "to hell with it".
There are a lot of people who enjoy your work, they find it light and a form=
entertainment; an escape from the work week. Some relax to TV, movies others
enjoy the idea of a different way to play with their PC. Its all really that
simple and simple it should of been kept. Good luck; stay strong.


This will be all over the place tomorrow. Here is your heads up.=20

You name them, and they are mad at JP. Hackers and professionals alike.

I have tried to warn you in the past about JP, but this is my last time. He
stands against everything you say you are for, and if this doesn't prove it,=
don't know what can. He is the most negative force on the net, and is doing=
more damage then any gang of kode kiddies hacking web pages ever could.


From: Brad Davis <brad@antionline.com>

Packetstorm IS DOWN.. go to
left a nice message trying to get people to feel sorry for him. The guy and=
friends are trying to ruin AntiOnline and JP and this guy tries to make it=
like he has done nothing wrong?? We never called Harvard NOR did we threaten
with a lawsuit. Has JP sent you the copy of the message? OH BTW, you are=
for this too.  heh, I want to apologize for your name being brought into=
Brad Davis <brad@antionline.com>
Staff / Operations Coordinator
AntiOnline (<http://www.antionline.com/>www.AntiOnline.com)
724-773-0940 voice
724-773-0941 fax

[If you wonder why many people are blaming me for Harvard's decision on the
Packetstorm site, it is because they have been demanding that I stop=
Antionline's listserv and POP server for handling Happy Hacker email. =
and conquer.  I'm not going to fall for that. -- CM]

I've read a few things which implicated you with JP.   So far I haven't=
taken a side in this whole mess and I'm not quite sure who to believe.  I=
hoping you'd post something to your site which would express your opinion on
JP's recent involvement with packetstorm. Thanks.

[The following email was addressed both to Vranesevich and me -- CM]

I don't particularly dig writing this letter, but as part of a very=
group of individuals performing some fairly important security work for the
Federal government (among others), I wanted to address an issue in a way=
wasn't a public flame, or a proactive public discredit to either of you.=
is a personal appeal to your senses and in no way represents Network=
Technologies corporate opinions.

When you're insecure, and really fear what others have to say, you make rash
decisions that in the end, can hurt a group of people. It's reactionary and
disgustingly predictable.

Believe in your ideals, spout them if you must be proactive in front of your
following, but acting with such blatant hypocrisy is the act of a 4 year=
You are hurting a community.

I get information from several sources. The source's opinions me nothing to=
their information is valuable (when accurate). You take the bad with the=
That's what adults do. You don't flame in return. You don't misrepresent.=
don't backpedal, leaving a glistening slug trail of obvious inaccuracies. =
you don't hurt the community you're working within.

A portion of the community is very critical of your efforts because of the=
you both choose to react to criticism  With dubious, near slanderous,
allegations that provide little proof of your innocence. You're definitely=
the only people guilty of that. It's frustrating discerning the truth

Congratulations on ruining an Mr. Williams education, making yourselves the
target of a every angst-ridden technophile's digital justice, furthering the
media misconceptions about some very talented people's intentions, and most
importantly....acting like the whining 20 year old kid, and incapable rube=
you're both accused of being by your many adversaries. Instead of protesting
against the allegations, ignore them an drive on. You didn't get to where=
are by being stupid. Use the smarts for a common good, please. You both know
you're not whiny kids, rubes, or remotely incapable.

I understand the harsh reactions at the mere mention of your names, though I
don't approve of most of them. When I see flaming at your names, I know it's
wrong. However,  deep down I get the same joy I got back in grade school=
beating the living shit out of an outspoken bully, who was fond of acting=
expert of things he knew only moderately well. I know... slightly barbaric.
This bothers me, I don't dig feeling that way about people I only know from
exposure to my particular occupational hazard. It was far quieter 10 years=
Hell, five years ago.

Talent is rare. You don't have to like it's sources, but it's criminal to=

To qualify this message, it isn't my intention to start a flame war, and if=
observations over the past couple of years drew a completely inaccurate
conclusion, my sincere apologies to the both of you.

It is also NOT my purpose to add textual information to any web sites. This=
for my protection.

Good luck in the future.


I thought the story was a good example of the technological intimidation you
discussed at the conference.  I never did see a good explanation from any of
this site's defenders of why any of this stuff was there in the first place.=
newspaper, for example, could not publish this stuff without being subject=
libel and defamation laws.

smile anyway,

[The above was sent by a reporter friend -- CM]

Until now, I found your skirmishes with attrition to be mildly amusing. =
with the destruction of the packetstorm site, I feel that you have really
become a liability to the security field.  The thought that someone might
associate us because you run a security-related site leaves me with a=
feeling of shame.


I agree with you 100% that threatening a child on a publicly accessible page=
not a commendable act.  I was unaware that a document of that nature was
residing within the subtree of his site's root directory.  If the document
resided anywhere else (not available to the general public) then I don't=
it should be tossed like a bone to a hungry dog.

On Tuesday, a lady going to church got her head stoved in front of her two
children. I believe they were 2 and 4. She died last night. I want her
attackers to suffer very slowly, for a very long time.

Was there a link anywhere on the PacketStorm main site to these threatening

Just curious.

[Yes, the offending material was linked from a "JP" topic on one of the main
web pages -- the archive page. -- CM]
Ken Williams <jkwilli2@unity.ncsu.edu>

i had HDD and tape backups of the site, updated daily, and even had offsite
backups of everything made weekly.  unfortunately, with 8+ GB of data, i did
not have the bandwidth or resources to make backups myself at home.  Harvard
has the HDD, tape and offsite backups.  there are/were a total of at least 4
different complete sets of backups of the site, that were up to date. even
though Harvard is in possession of any/all remaining backups, a  figured=
the 4 backup redundancy in which backups were kept in 4 different locations=
good enough.

My suggestion to you, CM, is to keep your mouth shut when you don't know
what you're talking about and don't have any information at all to base
your insults on.  additionally, your personal attacks on my character are
without foundation - you don't know anything about me - for you to attempt=
judge me based on your lack of information is absurd.  please let us all=
when/if you ever make it back from "the dark side of the moon".


[I saw Ken's "jp" directory, and stand by my evaluation that any reasonable
person should consider it obscene and threatening to the child it targeted.=
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Clown Princess: Carolyn Meinel <>

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