Interview With a Dark
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
How come you donít use a hacker handle, like HackerD, or CaptainJack?
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.
Do you make your living as a professional hacker?
Yes, I do.
What does a professional hacker do exactly?
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.
I thought hackers were anarchist?
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
Who do you work for, the government or a corporation?
I serve many masters.
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.)
How do you hack without leaving a trace?
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?
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.
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)
Do you ever take on apprentices?
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?
What do you do with all the data you collect?
Thatís kind of a dumb-assed question, Doug.
Look, Iím running out of things to ask here.
Are you a dark hacker or white hat 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
No. Allot of people knew about Enron, but you donít mess with Texas.
So you consider yourself to be a modern day Robin Hood?
Not at all, Robin Hood wasnít a real person, and I kept most of
everything Iíve taken.
Ah, so you do keep stolen data?
(This was also a question that was deleted.)
How exactly do you find employment for such a position?
(This wasnít deleted, but he gave no answer either.)
How did you catch me mucking about in your network?
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