Blessed are the Geeks, for they shall internet the earth

Interview With a Dark Hacker
Douglas Chick
 

Last week a text document appeared on my desktop that was named, ďHi DougĒ I recognized it as a ďHackerĒ that contacts me periodically. He caught me one time years ago trying to access his system. He immediately cracked into my computer and stumbled upon a few funny stories that I wrote and was entertained by them. He told me that this was the only reason I still had a computer. I believed him, or her. In the past 5 or 6 years, he never made his gender clear. I only assumed it was a he.  

     With every exchange, and there have been many throughout the years, Hacker, I call him hacker, has managed to communicate in a way that Iíve never been able to detect or trace. Not with packet sniffer or port monitor have I ever been able to find an origination point. It always shows up as either an echo of my own IP or nothing at all. This time I asked Hacker if he would consent to an interview for the website and he agreed. I asked one question at a time on the text document that was created on my desktop. I would type in the question and hit F5 (refresh) to find the answer. (Although sometimes it didnít happen immediately). I should also add that there were questions that he didnít want to answer so he simply deleted them. And there were many questions that Iíve already asked throughout the years and just repeated them for the interview. The interview beginsÖ

 

TheNetworkAdministrator:
How come you donít use a hacker handle, like HackerD, or CaptainJack? 

Hacker:
Names or handles are for people that need recognition. Recognition is vain and vanity is the fastest way to get caught. Itís enough for me to know that I can and have accessed impenetrable systems without having to brag about my exploits. Or to be profiled with a name.

TheNetworkAdministrator:
Do you make your living as a professional hacker?

Hacker:
Yes, I do.

TheNetworkAdministrator:
What does a professional hacker do exactly? 

Hacker:
First of all, the term hacker is an insulting title. (Weíve had this conversation before) Itís a label that is too often misused. But for the sake of this interview, Iíll use it.
     A professional ďhackerĒ is someone that works for the government or corporation. They are usually professionals in gathering data for corporate espionage or just plan old stealing. Even in the movie industry. This is why you see similar movie themes released at the same time. The first movie is almost always the rip-off. Where thereís big money you will always find a ďhackerĒ. There are hackers and counter-hackers too. Sometimes they work for the same organization and are frequently stumbling over each other. Iíve known hackers that were arrested one day and starting a new job the very next morning in Virginia. Iíve also heard of the reverse. Where a government hacker catches a corporate hacker, and then will apply for his job. Thereís lots of money to be made in data collections.

TheNetworkAdministrator:
I thought hackers were anarchist?

Hacker:
I think we all start out that way, but quickly go conservative when we reach that 7-digit income. Not to say that there arenít still anarchist, but like I said; they donít make any money so they have no reason to change.

TheNetworkAdministrator:
Who do you work for, the government or a corporation? 

Hacker:
I serve many masters.

TheNetworkAdministrator:
Have you ever worked for a software company?

(This question was deleted. I know why too. Iíve asked this question several times throughout the years and he had told me that all software companies employ hackers. This has always seemed to be a sensitive area conversation. I never have gotten a straight answer.)

TheNetworkAdministrator:
How do you hack without leaving a trace? 

Hacker:
Well, Duh, Iím glad that you asked. Iíve been waiting so long now to spill my guts and give away my best trade secrets so your readers can compete for my job. I will tell you this though: most hackers are talented programmers. Most of the techniques I use are programs and algorithms that Iíve written. Every hack is nothing more than a triggered response posed by an inquiry. [If, Then, or Else] Basic programming. Once a certain patterns or algorithms have been displaced, the program will load a niece program onto the system. And it doesnít matter the flavor of operating system either. As long as the computer sports a microchip that can retain data, (RAM, ROM, or Flash).

Howís your new book coming along?

TheNetworkAdministrator:
Itís doing okay. Iíd give up the two Iím currently working on for a shot at publishing what you know. I see a million dollar bestseller.

Hacker:
What would you do with that kind of money? 

(I purposely left out this dialogue as it many consist of recreation that would embarrass my family)

TheNetworkAdministrator:
Do you ever take on apprentices?

Hacker:
No, you either come to it by your own means or not at all. Iíve seen people try, but what happens is they create bad hackers or good virus makers. If there is such a term?

TheNetworkAdministrator:
What do you do with all the data you collect?

Hacker:
Thatís kind of a dumb-assed question, Doug. 

TheNetworkAdministrator:
Look, Iím running out of things to ask here.
Are you a dark hacker or white hat hacker?

Hacker:
Thatís an unfair question to ask, as most people are not all bad or all good. Iíve done questionable things; Iíve also done things that helped people. Like exposing a company that was stealing peopleís retirement money.

TheNetworkAdministrator:
Like Enron?

Hacker:
No. Allot of people knew about Enron, but you donít mess with Texas.

TheNetworkAdministrator:
So you consider yourself to be a modern day Robin Hood? 

Hacker:
Not at all, Robin Hood wasnít a real person, and I kept most of everything Iíve taken.

TheNetworkAdministrator:
Ah, so you do keep stolen data?

(This was also a question that was deleted.)

TheNetworkAdministrator:
How exactly do you find employment for such a position? 

(This wasnít deleted, but he gave no answer either.)

TheNetworkAdministrator:
How did you catch me mucking about in your network?

Hacker:
It wasnít my network. I was doing the same thing that you were. In fact, I used your IP address and ARP the next time I went back

 



 


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