Preview of Meinel's
latest book, Überhacker! continued...
Who Am I?
Winn Schwartau, author of Information Warfare, once wrote
to me "Why are you so hated? Why are they coming down on
me? I used to think hackers were a friendly curiosity...but now,
they're a pain in the ass. Old crew. New crew. Assholes by the
gross." More recently he wrote to me "The topic I think
you would be ideally suited to address is 'Why I am the Most
Hated Person in the Hacking Community.'"
Maybe that's an exaggeration. However, I'm proud to report that
computer criminals have defaced more web sites than I can count
with protests against me. For example,
Facing the worst hacker attack in its history, the New York Times
found itself caught in the cross fire between computer hackers
and people who write about them...The attack, which left the
New York Times site strewn with pornographic images and a rant
replete with profanity and racial epithets... targeted Carolyn
Meinel, the author of a book and other works on computer hacking...."Every
ISP I have used over the past two years has been assaulted by
these guys," Meinel said. She noted that the hackers thus
far had failed to break into her home computer or deface her
Web site, but that her server logs showed evidence of numerous
-- "N.Y. Times hack tip of iceberg ," by Paul Festa,
CNET News.com, September 14, 1998 http://news.com.com/2100-1023-215504.html?legacy=cnet
I don't dare use ordinary Internet Service Providers or Online
Services because the bad guys launch massive waves of computer
attacks against any company that allows me access. Instead, Vincent
Larsen's company (http://www.sage-inc.com)
keeps my servers secure and online, with outstanding success.
Since March 1998 I've also been the organizer of the world's
longest running hacker challenge. The Happy Hacker web site,
http://happyhacker.org, has been inviting people to break in
since March 1998. We've offered web, email (POP3 and SMTP), file
transfer protocol (FTP) and administrative servers. Yet no one
has been able to exploit them. We even allow anonymous logins
to the ftp server. I've given out a user name and password for
the POP3 server. Yet as of this writing (June 2003) no one has
figured out how to exploit any of them.
Oh, yes, I almost forgot the resume stuff.
I have a master's degree in Industrial Engineering. That is the
discipline of how to create and manage complex human/machine
systems. It's heavy on programming and the mathematical underpinnings
of how computers work. In the 70s I designed and built special
purpose analog and digital computers. In the 80s I was a scientific
programmer for DARPA. In the 90s to the present I've been writing
and consulting on computer security for customers such as Defense
Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
My computer security experience includes:
· Contractor with the 1998-2000 DARPA Intrusion Detection
· Participant in the Aug. 2002 DARPA CyberAdversary Workshop.
· Participant in the KDE kiosk-framework documentation
· Beta tester of BRICKServer Linux (http://www.sage-inc.com)
and author of its user manual.
· Sample publications:
· Author, "How Hackers Break in and How they Are
Caught," Oct. 1998 Scientific American.
· Author, "Code Red for the Web," Oct. 2001
Scientific American. The Code Red article is reprinted
in Best American Science Writing 2002 (ECCO, an imprint
of HarperCollins) and Computers In Society, Tenth Edition,
Kathryn Schellenberg, ed. (McGraw-Hill/Dushkin, August 2002)
· Author of one chapter and a subject of several others
in The Hacking of America: Who's Doing it, Why and How,
Bernadette Schell et. al. (Quorum, Nov. 2002)
· Author, The Happy
Hacker: a Guide to Mostly Harmless Computer Hacking,
now in 4th edition and a Japanese edition (American Eagle, 1998,
· Meinel's Guides to Mostly Harmless Hacking, which are
mirrored on many web sites, make fun of computer criminals while
teaching the basics of old-fashioned, legal hacking.
· Subject of news stories about the hatred that many computer
criminals have for her.
· Owner of the hh-unix email list at Yahoo Groups, with
some 1500 members.
· Owner of the happyhacker email list at Yahoo Groups,
with some 19,000 members.
· Highly rated computer security expert at Allexperts.com.
Maybe you are wondering whether I am an überhacker. I'm
working toward that goal. Some of my friends who helped write
this book have absolutely, without question, proven they are
überhackers. Vincent Larsen conceived the Linux-based BRICKServer
that runs Happyhacker.org, and he leads the programming team
that continues to expand its capabilities. See http://www.sage-inc.com to learn more about
his company and servers.
If you follow in their footsteps, you, too, can become an
# # #