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..[ Phrack Magazine ]..
.:: Conference News Part III ::.

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Current issue : #44 | Release date : 1993-11-17 | Editor : Erik Bloodaxe
IntroductionErik Bloodaxe
Phrack Loopback / EditorialPhrack Staff
Line Noise Part IPhrack Staff
Line Noise Part IIPhrack Staff
Computer Cop ProphileThe Grimmace
Conference News Part Ivarious
Conference News Part IIvarious
Conference News Part IIIvarious
Intro to Packet RadioLarry Kollar
The Moeller PapersErhart Moller
Sara Gordon v. Kohntark Part IKohntark
Sara Gordon v. Kohntark Part IIKohntark
Northern Telecom's FMT-150B/C/DFyberLyte
A Guide to Data General's AOS/VS Part IHerd Beast
A Guide to Data General's AOS/VS Part IIHerd Beast
An Interview With Agent StealAgent 005
Visionary - The Story About HimVisionary
Searching The Dialog Information ServiceAl Capone
Northern Telecom's SL-1Iceman
Safe and Easy CardingVaxBuster
An Introduction to the Decserver 200Opticon
LOD Communications BBS Archive Informationunknown
MOD Family Portraitunknown
Gail Takes A Breakunknown
International Scenesvarious
Phrack World NewsDatastream Cowboy
Title : Conference News Part III
Author : various
                              ==Phrack Magazine==

                 Volume Four, Issue Forty-Four, File 8 of 27

                                Conference News

                                   Part III


A Hacker At The End Of The Universe

by Erik Bloodaxe

Eight hours on a plane isn't that bad.  It isn't that fucking great
either, but it isn't the end of the world.  This is especially true
under certain circumstances like if you were being inducted into the
mile-high club by means of an obscure tantric ceremony, or you've just
successfully hijacked a 747, or you are nestled in your seat on your way
to Amsterdam.

Unfortunately, I haven't hijacked much lately, and as far as the mile
high club goes I'm pretty sure you need a partner to join; but as I was on
my way to Hacktic's Hacking at the End of the Universe conference, I was

When I finally arrived in Amsterdam and breezed through customs, I was
greeted with the pleasant sight of a LOD Internet World Tour T-Shirt
being held up above the throngs congregating at the customs exit.  Its
owner, Carl, was probably the only American that I knew that was going
to be in this country so we had arranged previously to meet.  The shirt
was my beacon.

EB's Handy Travelling Tip #1:  Never have more bags than you have hands.

I was to find out that we were in for a good deal of walking.  Me being
such a fucking plan ahead kind of guy, had packed enough clothes for 8 days
and brought a camcorder as well as my laptop and assorted other crap.  This
was all find and dandy except for the fact that I had three bags and only two
hands.  I hoisted one bag up on a shoulder strap (which would begin its
week-long gradual slicing into my collarbone) and drug the other two bags
behind me.

Carl had rented a room in Naarden at a Best Western or something.  The con
was in Lelystad somewhere.  Neither of us had any idea of exactly where
these two places were in relation to one another.  We would soon find
that they were no where close.

EB's Handy Travelling Trip #2:  Buy a Eurail Pass or the national equivalent

Luckily, Carl had the foresight to suggest that we should buy a train
pass for the week.  It was only like 50 bucks and got us free rides
on the trains, trams, buses, and train-taxis everywhere in the Netherlands.
It MORE than paid for itself.

We hopped a train and rode to the Amere stop, then took a taxi to
the hotel, dropped off our crap then rode a bus back to the station
and went into Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is a really neat place.  I think everyone should go there
at least once.  Carl and I wandered around for hours and hours
just checking things out.  During our travels I discovered some really
neat places.

EB's Handy Travelling Tip #3:  Pornography Is Good.
                               Foreign Pornography is GREAT!

I have to respect a country that has smut proudly displayed everywhere.
In every magazine rack, in every train station, convenience store and
in large (clean, well-lit, heh) stores everywhere, smut.  Not your average
run of the mill nastiness either.  We're talking monumental titles
like "Teenage Sperm," "Seventeen," "Teeners From Holland," "Sex Bizarre,"
and "Color Climax."

I went in every smut shop we saw.  I think Carl wanted to die of embarrassment.
I was like a kid in a candy store.  It was really pathetic.  You would not
believe the shit they sell over there.  Well, maybe you would.  I pray
that I can buy a vcr that transfers PAL to NTSC someday.

One of the most hilarious items I saw was a HUGE dildo in the shape of an
arm with a fist.  And I mean life size.  Like Arnold Schwartzenegger's
arm life size.  I wonder if that's a big seller?

We finally got totally zonked out and headed back to the hotel to
relieve our jetlag tomorrow was the con!

EB's Handy Travelling Tip #4:  Always take the Train Taxi

In Holland, once you get off the train, for an extra 10 guilders, you can
get a pass for a special taxi to take you anywhere you need to go.  Carl
and I didn't find this out until a few 20 dollar cab rides to the campground.

HEU was held out in the Dutch countryside.  A more appropriate title might
have been "Hacking in the Middle of Fucking Nowhere."  The taxi driver
had been shuttling people out there all day.  As we approached the campground
signs for the conference began to show up.  Signs of geekdom on the horizon.

We got out at the gate, and walked over to the tent that said registration.
In the tent were a couple of guys who took your picture and printed out
a badge with your picture digitized on it.

The area was layed out very well.  There was a very big barn like structure
where several dozen computers were all networked together.  I sat down
at one and saw that there was even a slip trying to work.  With that many
people trying to be on the net, it was almost 20 baud!  Wow, technology
at its finest.  :)   I also noticed that at least 2 people were running
ethernet sniffers, so I decided that it would not be prudent to
mess with the net there, even if the bandwidth dramatically increased.

Also in the barn were a tv/vcr area, several couches, a merchandise
area and a snack bar.  The snack bar sold rolls for a buck, and had free
sandwich makings (like pb & j, cheese & meat, etc..) chips, jolt, and
beer.  This was very important to me since I was wondering if I'd
get to eat.

There was to be some kind of food provided (a meal) for five bucks, but
it was so foul that it could not be believed.  And to top it all off
it was vegetarian.  Not just regular vegetarian, but totally off beat
stuff that smelled like old socks.  Nasty gruel unfit for even

Behind the barn was the camping area.  There was a HUGE tent
that was the main meeting area, and several mid-size tents.
Additionally there was a large lookout tower, and a shitload of
tents set up for sleeping.  Running all over the campground were cables
for the conference's LAN.

It was impressive so say the least.

One of the first people I ran into at the con was KCrow.  He helped me
try to find a safe place to stow some of my crap.  (Again, me and my
fucking bags.  I'm such an asshole.)  We tried to place them in
the network control room, but Bill SF told me to "get the hell out
of there," so I did.  And this of course, has left me with a wonderful
opinion about Bill SF.  (Bill, I love ya!)  Several people tried to
make excuses in his behalf such as "he hadn't slept in days," or
"Bill isn't ever so rude," and "He's got a lot on his mind."
Yeah, right.

(And I didn't even say ANYTHING about how shitty it would be to try to
make millions counterfeiting something, then let one of your friends take
the fall for you, while you left the country.  Nope.  I would never be so
rude.  There is a difference between a true hacker and an opportunistic
technologically literate criminal.  But I didn't say that.)

I finally just stuck my stuff behind the merchandising area and prayed
that there was still honor among thieves.

I then ran into Damiano.  He told me who was around.  Several CCC people
had arrived in a convoy of odd urban assault vehicles.  The Germans
(other than Damiano) kind of made me uneasy.  They seemed to hang
together and didn't talk to many non-germans.  I suppose maybe some
of them didn't speak English, or maybe I was just thinking odd
Nazi fantasies.  I dunno.  Of all the people that were supposedly
there, I kept missing Pengo.  It was like some kind of weird trick.
"Did you see him?  He was just here."  I never saw him.

That afternoon I only made it to one "workshop."  I was to find out
later that all of the really technical workshops had a common thread.
"Here's this cool technology, now go buy it from Hack-Tic for several
hundred dollars."

The first example I had of this was in the "It came out of the sky"
workshop where Bill SF talked about a device they had made that
received pager information.  They presented a few scenarios in which
police or other nasties might watch pagers, or always page certain numbers
right before raids, etc...

The concept was neat, but certainly nothing new.  For a few bucks more
than they were asking for the Hack-Tic model, you can buy a multimode
decoder from Universal Radio (model M-400).  It not only does POCSAG but
also GOLAY (for pagers), ACARS, ASCII, Baudot, SITOR A & B, FEC-A, SWED-ARQ,
FAX, CTSS, DCS & DTMF!  Now that's a decoder.

Additionally, a company called SWS security makes a similar device for
law enforcement people at about $4,000 that does nothing but decode
pager information.

If it came right down to it, all you would have to do is open up your beeper,
dump the rom, and tell it to display info for ALL cap-codes rather than
just yours.  Your cap-code is written on the back of your beeper, and is
stored in non-volatile memory somewhere.  Look for the call to it, and have
it always branch to the display routine rather than do a comparison.

I asked Bill about re-crystaling the device, since it there's would only be
able to pick up one pager channel as is, and about whether or not anyone had
played with any of the 8-bit paging types such as is used in America on
services such as EMBARC.  Bill looked at me as if I was on crack, and
asked, "Are there any other questions?"  Sigh.

After that workshop, I took off with Andy of the Chaos Computer Club
back to the German enclave.  These guys were nuts.  They had several
winnebagoes totally decked out with all kinds of archaic electronic
gear.  They had all kinds of odd radio equipment; weird shit
with Russian lettering was strewn about.  The guys hanging about
were jamming out really loud hard techno.  I leeched a few programs
from Andy and then took off back to the main area.

Sometime later, a guy who said he knew me from way back named
Mr. Miracle came up to say hello.  I had no idea, but since I rarely
remember my own name, I took him for his word.  Mr. Miracle was at the
con with his friends Wim and a Tasmanian Amiga Dude named XTC.
We hung out the rest of the afternoon bullshitting and talking about
all kinds of stupid things.

As it grew dark, everyone moved into the Barn.  Me, Carl, Mr. Miracle, XTC,
Wim, and another Dutch Hacker named The Dude sat down to drink.  We were
joined for a bit by another Dutchman named The Key.  He was totally
into lock picking, and had a plethora of picks.  (Car masters, traditional
rakes, tube lock picks, and a weird looking pick for all new model fords.)
The Key was a large, sinister looking guy who never took off his extremely
dark sunglasses.  I don't know if it was only for effect, but it certainly

I decided it was high time to introduce the Dutch to that quaint American
custom, Quarters.  We must have gone through some 200 glasses of beer, and
were extremely loud, drunk and obnoxious.  One woman (I think it was a woman)
wandered over to us and said, shouldn't you all be on the computers or
something.  We cursed until she left.

Mr. Miracle invited Carl and I to stay at his place for the rest of the con
so we wouldn't have to go all the way back to our hotel.  This was a godsend.
We all piled into The Dude's car for a ride to the apartment that made
Busch Garden's "Kumba" look like a merry-go-round.  We were quite happy
to make it home alive.

Xtc was also staying at Mr. Miracle's.  We all spilled onto the floor
upstairs in his townhouse.  While we were all getting ready to pass out,
Xtc yakked all over a bathroom.  Needless to say Mr. Miracle and
his girlfriend were pissed.  We all thought there was going to be a death,
but somehow Xtc lucked out.

The next morning we all took off over to check out of the Hotel
Carl and I had rented.  Carl had put some money in their safe.
Of course, the safe broke, and it took them nearly an hour to destroy
the safe completely so Carl could retrieve his 300 in traveller's checks.
Mr. Miracle remarked, "Where's The Key when you need him."

When we finally ended up back at the con, there was a large meeting
going on about Phone Phreaking.  Emmanuel Goldstein, Bill SF, Rop,
KCrow (KCROW??) and others were babbling on the panel.  Phiber Optik was
on a speaker phone adding commentary.  I toyed with the idea of getting
on the phone and wishing him well and telling him how cool it was in Holland,
but I decided that would be too mean.

I sat outside the panel listening to everyone complain about the evils
of the phone company.  Many got up and argued that what they were doing
was morally right, because the phone company charges too much.  They also
argued that since the lines were already there they should be able to use
them for free.  I got disgusted and began yelling about how there were
chairs in the tent not being used and I wanted my hundred guilders back.

Several people gathered around and I kept ranting.  Mr. Miracle joined
in on the spree and began challenging just how much Hack-Tic was
making off of the conference.  He estimated at minimum 500 people
at 100 guilders a piece.  50000 guilders.  That's a lot of money.
The crowd gathering around us began questioning the whole situation too.
It got ugly, but none of us had the balls to say anything about it.

Later that day I sat down to hear Fidelio and RGB give a talk about
Unix Security.  I had asked them beforehand if they were going to talk
about anything that I wouldn't know.  (God, afterwards, I realized
just how snotty that sounded.  I'm a prick.)  It went pretty good
since most of the people in the crowd weren't gurus and this gave
them a good overview.

Afterwards, Bill SF was holding a workshop about Wireless LANs.  I was
thinking this would be a tutorial about wireless lan theory and
how their security was handled, etc.  WRONG!  Hack-Tic is supposedly
building a frequency hopping wireless ethernet adaptor.  (Soon to
be available at a store near you.)

I asked Bill why they went with frequency hopping rather than
direct sequence.  There are basically two schools of thought about
spread spectrum, and both have their plusses.  Bill said
their device would be hard to jam.  I replied that if I pumped
as little as 1 watt over a particular range, maybe like a 15 Mhz
range, their device would be just as hosed as anyone else's.

As an afterthought, I hope they build it in the 2.4GHz range, because
that's the only frequency block that is legal everywhere for
this type of application.

Sometime later Bill SF was to give a phone phreaking tutorial.  He trudged
off in the woods to hold a secret workshop.  Unfortunately, I wasn't
among the privileged audience members, but I hear rumors that the
Demon Dialer is available for sale.  Sigh.

I have no idea what I did for the next few hours.  I think I was
abducted by aliens.  The final panel of the evening was a
social engineering panel being led by The Dude.  Let's just say that
a European idea of what to use your bullshitting skills for is
a little bit different than that of your American hacker.

The Dude offered advice like "Say you are with the news or a tv star and
maybe they will give you a guest account," or "Once I called up and said I
was doing a story, and they told me information about their computers."

WOW!  Pretty radical stuff.  I remember a certain boy holding up a 7-11 by
phone.  I remember someone turning my phone into a payphone by bullshitting
an idiot at the switch.  I remember people getting root passwords from
system admins by social engineering.  Where were Chasin, RNOC & Supernigger
when you needed them?  These are the true greats.  I don't know what these
people at HEU were all excited about, but they all loved it.  Ahhh,
ignorance IS bliss.

After dark for some reason we were all drawn once again to the quarters
table.  It was brutal.  They ran out of glasses.  We made pyramids with
the empties.  We played chandeliers.  We belched, we hollered, we were
manly men doing manly things, and we mocked those playing computer
games just a few yards away.  We laughed at them with manly laughs.
And I don't think anyone threw up that night.

We got a ride home that night from The Key.  He never took off his glasses.
There are no lights along the highways in Holland.  Luckily I was
drunk, or I would have been scared shitless.

The final day of the conference we arrived in time to see the "hacking and
the law" panel.  Emmanuel Goldstein, RGB, Rop, Ray Kaplan, Wietse Venema,
Andy from the CCC, a Dutch CERT guy and a few others were on the panel.
It started very well but went sour quickly.  It was supposedly being moderated
by this asshole of a journalist who apparently didn't understand what it
meant to moderate.  He would answer EVERY question addressed to the
panel, whether or not he even knew what the question was about.

This shithead gave journalists a bad name.  Finally this guy got so
annoying that I finally got up and left.

We decided not to hang out for the party at the end of time.  We figured
that the party would be much more fun in Amsterdam, so we cut out.  It
was time to get into the city and cause problems.

EB's Handy Travelling Tip #5:  Don't buy drugs in other countries.

Drugs are illegal in Holland, despite what everyone says.  Despite this
fact, they are plentiful and every swinging dick on the street has
a few pills or joints to sell you.  Now the way I looked at it,
why in the world would you go a zillion miles away to see another
country and spend your time wasted?

It reminded me of walking in the Height after dark, or going down
the Drag in Austin a few years back.  Every three steps we took in
Amsterdam, some joker would run up and say, "You want good smoke?
Ecstasy?  Cocaine?  You want good coke?  How about some good hashish?"
I should have asked for DMT, but I just blew everyone off.

On top of all this, there are like 5 or so bars in Amsterdam that
actually sell hash in the bar.  They are very easy to spot.  They are
the ones with the pot plants in the window and the tell tale dope smell
permeating every pore of your body when you walk past.  The big ones
are the Bulldog and High Times.  Save your money for better things,
like t-shirts or smut.

At the con, several people were selling "Space Cakes" which were essentially
hash brownies.  If you've never eaten dope, you might not like it.  It
comes on slower, lasts longer, and generally puts you to sleep.  This was
not what I'd want at a Hacker Con.  We needed stimulants, damnit!  I
drank lots of jolt instead.

EB's Handy Travelling Tip #6:  Go to the Red Light District in Amsterdam.

Even if you are too cheap (or too moral) to shell out the 25 bucks, you
should go check out the Red Light District.  Be forewarned, all those
people who tell you that the women are all "so fine" are either fucked up
or have bad taste.

In the Red Light area the women hang out behind windows in their underwear
and try to coerce you into sleeping with them by taunting you, flashing you,
or making other sexual innuendoes.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of these "women" look like out-takes from
"The Crying Game."  We are talking adam's apples and big hands here.  Large
boned Asian creatures that scared the shit out of me.  These things were

Mr. Miracle, Wim and I must have walked around for an hour looking for
decent women.  Finally we came across two.  TWO.  Out of hundreds, there
were two.  One was a tall blonde in her twenties.  One was a short, tan
brunette who looked, uh, young.

17:10.  I'll spare you the details.  Let your imaginations run free.

EB's Handy Travelling Tip #7:  There's no place like home.

I was very happy to hop on that plane back to the USA.  As much as I hate
to admit it, I really wouldn't know what to do with myself if I didn't
live in America.

Maybe an England or Australia trip would have been totally different.  It
really sucked not being able to speak the language.  I also got real
tired of trying to find food I could eat.  [I gave up red meat almost a
year ago, and Europeans LOVE THEIR MEAT.  Trying to find chicken was
a nightmare.  The Dutch word for chicken is KIP.  Remember that.]

The TV sucked, there weren't really any good places for live music,
the women weren't interested in a scummed-out, long-haired American
tourist and I missed my cat.  I met some really cool people and
had a blast for the week I was there, but I was real happy to land
in the USA.


EB's Handy Travelling Tip #8:  If you think customs is going to search you
                               they won't.

Me, being stupid, left all my good smut in the Netherlands because I was
afraid I'd get arrested for it.  I envisioned the conversation.  "What are
you doing with all these nasty things, boy?  You are one sick fucker!
Lookie here Bob, this here hippy has pictures of gals a pissin' on one
'nuther."  So what happens?  They smile and wave me through.  Fuck.


Hacking at the End of the Universe
by Nimrod Kerrett, zzzen@math.tau.ac.il

"A Techno-Anarchist Convention" -- August 3-6, Larserbos, HOLLAND.
The announcement in Computer Underground Digest committed its viral act,
erasing all the neatly ordered schedule entries for the first week of
August from my old, grey memory cells, to be replaced by a neon light
flashing "You deserve a vacation in Holland." Away we went...

Most of us European/Third-World dwellers don't get to see much of the
physical manifestations of Gibson's self-executing prophecies. OK. The
Matrix is there, but to witness street-culture one must live in San
Francisco or somesuch. HEU -- Hacking at the End of the Universe -- looked
like the only chance to surface on the physical side of a phone plug and
experience cyber-culture in form of faces, fashion and body-lang. How naive
I was to presume this. Compared to most of the kids there, I looked
dangerous (a timid, Swiss-bank sysadmin)... But don't get me wrong, I DID
have fun -- failing to do so in Holland requires quite a unique
body-chemistry -- but I had a nagging feeling that European hackers still
live in the Seventies.

First, A Few Positive Notes

The most important lecture addressed electronic money. I won't go into
sci.crypt-style details, but this was the most exciting thing I've ever
heard since public-keys were first explained to me. The president of a
Dutch firm called DigiCash described a crypto scheme where a bank can issue
electronic credit-certificates which can't be forged, and yet are immune to
traffic analysis. Their digital cash is just like physpace cash: it has no
smell. You get a "virtual $100 bill" from the bank that you can't forge or
spend more than once, and which the bank can't trace -- e.g. to the
specific person who requested it.

Ever since society devolved from cash to credit cards, people have become
used to the idea that our shopping-histories are readily subject to
electronic surveillance. At HEU I learned this was all hype: we CAN evolve
economic systems to enjoy advantages of digital communication without
sacrificing our privacy.

Another interesting issue was a lecture by an ex-CIA executive who went
private [ed. note: positively identified as a net.personality on the WELL]
and now tries to preach for open-source approaches: instead of creating
your own locks and picking the ones of your neighbor, the idea is to use
information-gathering/analysis techniques -- one of those things in which
"intelligence" bodies specialize -- to derive content from the info-swamp
we seem to be sucked into... and then sell it. This guy made arguments
similar to what Barlow said before the hush-hush community a few months
ago, but seems to refocus everything on enterprise. Mighty exciting. BTW,
I've noticed how the concept of profit makes bleeding-heart European
anarchist types wince...

The network built onsite also impressed me. In a campground setting,
subject to occasional rainstorms, they erected three LANS connecting nearly
100 computers of all sizes and shapes, plus terminal servers for the
Etherless. Computers were placed in our private tents, and the field
bloomed with PC/XTs-turned-repeaters covered in wet plastic sheets. This
monstrosity connected to the Internet over three shaky SLIP dial-up lines
and it actually WORKED -- it cost some sleepless 36 hours, but still, WOW.

Switch To Poison Ink

Hacker (n) -- (1) One who derives pleasure from making systems do things
they're not supposed to do. (2) A nerd who does word-processing in
hexadecimal, is allergic to color or windows and hates being called a
"user" in ANY context.

Most of the hackers I met at HEU fell under the second definition. I was
even scolded for using "Wintendo" and wasting the precious power of my 486
notebook. Let's start with the local network -- having all the tents
connected was a wonderful idea, and symbolized constructive techno-anarchy.
Unfortunately it lacked cultural content. To begin with, you had to login
as a guest -- if you'd figured out the IP number of a server working at the
moment. You had no identity handle, so there was no use in talking about
site-specific newsgroup for follow-ups on topics. Even local email was
impossible; to whom would you email? Since everyone got a badge on
entrance, why didn't we also receive user-ids, perhaps written on the
badges? Even administrative announcements (e.g. schedule changes) were only
available on a PHYSICAL bulletin-board in the bar... ever tried to scan
manually over 200 paper scraps?

Another side effect was that to justify dragging your portable all the way
to Holland, you just HAD to hog the SLIP lines and telnet outside, which
made life hard for all of us, but much harder for the networking crew. In
my humble opinion, excessive telneting is like saying "Nothing to do here,
let's try somewhere else." I LIVE somewhere else; I took a plane in order
to check out THIS place. Telneting was also a problem since the
IP-resolving system didn't work and we had to apply hacking techniques to
find the IP numbers back home.

The most frustrating thing was the social/political discussions. In a
discussion titled "Networking For The Masses" someone dared suggest
user-friendliness as a key to resolving computer illiteracy. "No shit,
Sherlock" -- I hear you mumble. Well, here's how another panel-member
replied: "A revolution is not a user-friendly thing. Activists shouldn't
count on the computer community to make stuff easier for them". Watch out,
masses... prepare for computer military-training once the Revolution is

Let's take another trendy political subject -- cryptography. One would
assume that any techno-anarchist convention in '93 would feature a nice
level of heated, political, crypto-discussion. Well, nada. The only
crypto-related subject was the "electronic cash" mentioned above. Although
it's quite exciting for the crypto-enlightened, 90% of the HEU audience
lost contact after the first three cube-roots, returning to their tents to
telnet elsewhere. I was left in a small group of highly-technical
Cypherpunks who didn't give a fork whether New Delhi housewives would ever
understand the switches of PGP; they seem to ENJOY their wizardly "elite"

Even in discussions about hacker-paranoia, the audience disliked the idea
of demystifiyng the almighty-hacker image to make your average,
trigger-happy policeman relax a bit. Does Europe need an equivalent of
USA's "Operation Sun-Devil" to knock sense into its collective skulls? FTP
to ftp.eff.org:/pub/cud/papers/crime.puzzle  to learn from the bitter
experience of others (I don't know the IP number!).


Before the convention, I naively believed that at least the HACKERS could
Read the Writing on the Wall... Since I'm sober now, I'll spell it out for

When the world finally adopts strong public-key cryptography (I hope it
does, since I've seen too many wars and acts of human-rights
infringement in my life), two things will become virtually impossible: 1)
seeing what you're not supposed to see; and 2) changing what you're not
supposed to change, unless you want to cause brute-force damage.

These two anachronistic activities represent the basis for most
hacker-culture I encountered at HEU -- so my advice is: switch to the first
dictionary-definition of "Hacker". Try being less techno and more
anarchist. There's a revolution going on... in case you've missed out on
some Usenet recently.

Reprinted from Fringe Ware Review #2, ISSN 1069-5656.
Published by FringeWare Inc., fringeware@illuminati.io.com
Copyright (C)1993, Nimrod Kerrett. All rights reserved.


Hackers Play The Field                                            July 26, 1993
(Newsweek) (Page 58)

[A Newsweek reporter packs for, and dreams about, HEU in the Netherlands.
 As you can tell, it was written before the actual con]

There's no guarantee of a large turn-out, but if thousands show up, it may
help demonstrate how far hacking has moved out of the bedrooms of smelly
adolescents.  If so, there's likely to be less geeking and more dancing in
the Dutch summer night.  Programmers may one day be able to lean back from
their terminals, pat their pocket protectors and say, "I was there."


A Woodstock For Hackers and Phreaks                             August 16, 1993
by Barbara Kantrowitz and Joshua Ramo

It was billed as "Woodstock for the Nintendo Generation"  The techno-freaks
who gathered at the Hackers at the End of the Universe in the Netherlands
last week had at lease one thing in common with their '60s counterparts:
they believed rules were made to be broken.

Some were there only electronically, communicating through networks around the
world.  The rest--the vast majority of them males in their late teens and
early 20s--gathered in hundreds of multicolored tents clustered around
power outlets and portable toilets in an area the size of six football fields.
Many had computer terminals in their tents, with the monitors nestled
between sleeping bags and guitars.

No one was surprised by the white van bristling with antennas that trolled
up and down the road leading to the campground.  Everyone seemed to agree
that it belonged to the Dutch Secret Service; everyone also assumed the
meeting was being monitored by the CIA and Britain's MI6.  But no one
knew for sure; paranoia is popular among hackers.


                             Pump Con 94

                       "The Legacy Continues"

                          by Erik Bloodaxe

Travelling sucks most of the time.  People like to glamorize it as if
it's some kind of status unobtainable to the "Average Joe" but
nine times out of ten its just a pain in the ass.

My trip to Philadelphia for the second PumpCon fell well within the
aforementioned nine of ten.  I was sick as a dog, coughing up
large blood-soaked clots of phlegm at a steady pace.  This was
either due to some undetected immune system failure or due to my
previous weekend's fiasco which dealt with chemical overindulgence,
alcohol abuse and some kind of strange creatures that tried to pass
as female...but that's another story.

(We will assume that my ill-health stemmed from the latter.)

I showed up at the Comfort Inn to find a lobby full of what had to be
conferees.  (They had been saying to many people they were "Campus
Crusaders for Christ.")

After checking in I stumbled over to the group to see who was who.
I introduced myself and asked if Dr. Who or Mark Tabas had showed up.
They had not.  (And as it turns out, they would never show up.  Dr. Who
I can forgive since he had no way in from Boston, but Tabas...obviously
he had better things to do than drive a few miles across town to say
hello.  Remind me to reciprocate at HoHo Con.)

I was immediately pulled away by GrayAreas and Ophie, who both bestowed
upon me warnings of impending doom.  Ophie relayed that The Wing had
told her the previous night that he was going to come to the con and
"get me."

GrayAreas informed me that an unscrupulous character had been
asking for me earlier.  After she described him, it was obvious that
Rogue Agent had made it to the con.  (Unscrupulous...haha)

Up in my room, I dove into my bag of medical goods and felt pity upon
myself.  Congested, contagious, feverish and now being stalked by
some unknown person.  Great.  I never much paid any heed to the threats
given by unknown typists over the net, as people's bravado multiplies
exponentially in direct proportion to the distance they are separated
behind a phone or computer screen.  During the week prior to the con
I had been threatened by at least 2 different people under a variety of
nicks and addresses.  One promised to crack me over the head with a bat.

I figured with my luck, being sick, this would be the ONE time someone
would make good on such a promise, as my timing and coordination would
obviously be impaired.  Swell.

I went on back downstairs to jump in the conversations in the lobby.  The
group had grown a bit in my absence.  I sat down and began talking to
Shortwave & C-Curve about ham radio and archaic computer equipment.
Shortwave offered to send me a Commodore PET to add to the Erik Bloodaxe
Memorial Computer Archive.  (The EBMCA is a non-profit organization
devoted to maintaining the history of personal computing.  Our museum
will open soon.  Hold your breath!)

I then noticed that it appeared that damn near every IRC denizen from the
Washington DC area was at this damn con.  (sans KL & Strat, but they
were to appear the following day.)  A bunch of us took off wandering around
later on to see what the hell was up at some of the other hotels.
The area was laid out in such a manner that there were like five hotels
immediately next door to one another with two cheesy restaurants between

We took off to the Knights Inn and ended up hanging out in the parking
lot staring at the moon, bullshitting about really lame stuff.  While
hanging out like retards in the near freezing winds, Dark Tangent came
over and told us that Zar had been thrown off a bus for the 2nd time
and was stuck in DC and needed someone to pick him up.  No one wanted to
road trip it to DC since we were all having SOOO much fun freezing our
asses off, so Zar had to wait it out for the next bus.

In one room in the Knights Inn a bunch of people were busily smoking
their brains out.  Their little gathering was dubbed "Hemp-Con."

Finally, sanity rested upon me and I decided that the cold would not
help nurse me back to health, so I took off back to my room.  Ophie was
in the room next door to mine with a bunch of people drinking.  Well,
I think Ophie was doing most of the drinking actually.  :)

I wandered in and gave her a hard time about being drunk.  She responded
by telling everyone in the room intimate details about her marriage
and her sexual involvement with the entire DC hacker scene.  Then she
took off all her clothes and ran around throwing Miniature chocolate
bars at everyone.  I'm making this up, but she probably wouldn't remember.
it anyway.  Hehe.

As I went to open my door I noticed that someone had written "DIE NARC"
on it with a cigarette.  On the floor was the cigarette, a Camel filterless.
Well, it appeared that The Wing had arrived.  [Oh frabjuous day.  Calloo,
Callay.  I chortled in my joy.]

Just as I was about to go to bed, people were banging on my door.  When I
opened it, it looked as if everyone from Ophie's room had staggered over
for a visit.  One guy in the back, kinda tall, kinda thin, wearing a purple
shirt, was smoking a Camel stub.  I smiled a him and said, "How's it going?"
He seemed a bit put off but said, "Do you know who I am?"  I replied, "Of
course I do Alan, how's it going?"

This seemed to piss him off for some reason.

"You might be all happy tonight, but just wait until tomorrow," he said.

"Oh?" I replied, "you got something in store for me?  Cool.  Could you
play those Ken Shulman tapes for the con?"

(For those of you who don't know, once upon a time, I had a little company
called Comsec.  One of my partners was Ken Shulman, a rather complex
new money piece of @#!*.  Well, things didn't work out with us and Ken
for a number of reasons, so we fired him.  Ken got mad at us.  He tried to
fuck over each of us in devious little ways.  To get even, I gave his
private number out to MOD via the MOD information conduit Renegade Hacker.
One day, "little shulow" was called up by Wing and Corrupt.  According to
several people, this call was recorded by MOD.  On this now legendary
tape, allegedly a disgruntled Shulman proceeded to tell MOD the story
of how we at Comsec were involved in crimes, drugs and were turning in
everyone to the feds.  This is the same Ken Shulman who lost his BMW to the
Houston Police when it was found with 400 hits of X in the trunk, and went
into seclusion.  But I digress.  I've been trying to get a copy of this
tape for about two years to see if he said anything actionable about
Comsec, and to it give to the FBI if he may have been interfering with
an ongoing federal investigation.  Yes, I do hate him.)

This seemed to make Wing mad too.  I guess I might have spoiled the surprise
or something.  "I'm not gonna play any tapes so you can sue Shulman."

"Oh, that's too bad." I said.

"Well, I just want you to know, that tomorrow when it happens, you'll know,"
he said.

"Well, I guess we'll just wait till tomorrow then."

"Yeah, we will."

"Yup. I guess we will."

"You think you're so cool, but YOU'RE A DICK!" he screamed.

Oh great, this is where I get punched.  "Well, it's nice you have
your opinions."


Maybe I was supposed to be the one getting mad and doing the punching
but I wasn't getting anything but tired and was ready to take a shitload
of aspirin and slam a bottle of night-time cold syrup and antibiotics.
"Well, I'll see you tomorrow."

By now, I guess everyone had figured out that there would be no
bloodsport, so someone grabbed Wing and they left.  Ophie yelled
after him, "Some people are such assholes."

"Well, wasn't that fun," I said to those still hanging around.  "But,
alas, time for me to get some sleep."  I went down to bum some
aspirin from Noelle and told her the sordid tale, then went back to my room
and crashed out.


That night, VaxBuster and others tried to get in the electrical box, but
were thwarted by a concerned citizen.  "I'M GOING DOWN TO THE FRONT DESK

Meanwhile, Sabre sat in the cold all night drinking himself into oblivion
while keeping a sharp, albeit bloodshot, eye out for potential feds.

The next day everyone congregated in a room at the Red Roof Inn that had
been rented as the Conference Room.  (How crafty, we'll have it in a
hotel room, and SAY its a conference room.)

Everyone piled into this room anxious for everything to begin.  We waited.
And waited.  And waited.  Several newcomers had arrived such as Strat and
his woman, Dr. Freeze (who used to be the Wizard 703 of rolodex fame.
Keep on Phreakin!), and Zar who had arranged to get kicked off of his
3rd bus right near the hotel by slamming a 40 and lighting up
cigarettes right next to the bus driver.

Finally, after about 7 hours, I figured that maybe I should just go
say something.  I hopped up and gave a quick and dirty overview of
commercial packet radio technology.  I talked briefly about RadioMail
and CDPD, and also talked about EMBARC and demonstrated sucking messages
out of a Newstream pager.  Then I sent a message from my notebook from ARDIS
to a Sprintnet gateway, thru an outdial to a dialup to a terminal server
on the Internet, and from one account mailed myself at RadioMail
which then sent it back to me on my HP95 over RAM.  I dunno...I thought
it was cool.

After speaking, I was presented with an award:  an empty porno video box.
The buttheads didn't even have the decency to give me the tape!
I put the bible in it instead and placed it back in a drawer.

GreyAreas got up next and talked a bit about her magazine and then
in a heartfelt plea, asked whoever was bothering her to stop.
Many in the audience seemed indifferent to her cause, which upset
her greatly.  She had to leave immediately afterwards.  I hope I
wasn't the only person who felt kind of sorry for her.

Now, I'm not one to rain on anyone's parade, but kids, fun and games
on the net are one thing, but the minute you start fucking with people's
businesses they will go to the FBI.  Remember this.  [Personally,
I think there are about 4 or 5 specific people on the net who need to
fucking grow up before they find themselves sharing a cell with Phiber,
although that seems to be what they want.]

To be fair, people who decide that they want to get on the net need to
doesn't placate you, go to AOL.

Next up was someone I didn't know, and unfortunately didn't meet.
But his girlfriend was HOT!  [If he's reading this, tell her I said "hi."]

He gave everyone a rundown of the troubles from last year's Pumpcon.
I noticed during his recap that the trouble last year didn't really start
until they all read The Visionary's file.  I suggested that we hold
a midnight seance and read it aloud so we could all get busted too.

Ixom finally made it to his own con and said a few syllables about
the folks still waiting to be sentenced from last year.

Up last was VaxBuster who talked about the wonderful world of Blue
Boxing.  Yes, Virginia, there is a way to box.  People are so silly.
Obviously I'm not the only one who has looked at CCITT manuals and
knows signalling frequencies in other countries, or who knows about
the "International Direct" numbers.  Wow.

After the conference several of us had pizza and got the worst service
I have ever had in my entire life of dining out.  Grand.  We made up for
it by amusing ourselves spotting "victims" with laser pointers, laughing
like idiots as we placed the dots on their foreheads.

Once we got back from chowing, everyone had already begun drinking.
People were going off to congregate at the conference room for a central
party location.  As I was leaving to go over there, The Wing walked up
to me, and said he needed to talk to me.  We went into my room and
he said he had heard what GrayAreas said earlier in the day, and he wanted
to say that it wasn't him.  I told him, he needed to tell her that, and
not me.

I went on to tell him that if he wasn't involved in all the crap going on
all over the net, then I had no problems with him.  I said he had some
really poor choices in friends in the past, but hopefully he would
exercise better judgement in the future.

We all went back over to the conference room.  Wing pulled GrayAreas outside
to talk to her.  While they were talking, I caught some talk about

[no names from here on]

It seems this guy had a lot of phones and several people too off to go
buy a few.  They ended up at the lamest party in Pennsylvania.  Four
people and a keg.  The phones allegedly were sold for 75 bucks and
were still in the box.  Brand new.

Back at the con, one of the hapless phone buyers decided to take his phone
up to the conference room to show it off.  Once there, everyone giggled
and gawked over it, and then he took it back down to put it in a car.  On the
way there, a cop grabbed him and arrested him.  The cop then searched
the car he was about to put it in and found some pot and arrested the
car's owner too and had the car impounded.

[anonymous portion ends]

Now the cops converged on the conference room and began hounding people
in there.  One wonderful cop discovered my Porno-Bible creation and
screamed at the crowd, "You heathens!  How could you do something like this?
You people are sick!"

Ixom, ready for a fight, began yelling at the chief of police over the phone.
The police chief told him that maybe he would like for the nice officers
to bring him downtown to go over his complaints.  Ixom decided that
would not be necessary.

After the police interaction, people scattered from the conference room
back to their individual rooms.  No sooner than they got there, the police
decided to investigate a "few noise complaints" at the Comfort Inn.
Ophie's room, the Dope Room on the 1st floor and a few others got searched.

While all of this mayhem was ensuing in the outside world, I was up in my
little room being interviewed by GrayAreas for her magazine.  This was
probably the longest interview I've ever done.  I hope I don't turn out
looking like a bigger fuckhead in it than I already am.

After the interview, I got the story of all the police interaction from
the throngs of people who gathered outside my room.  A few people
remarked, "how come YOUR room didn't get searched?"  I didn't have an
answer for that, except maybe because it was paid on a corporate AmEx
and might not have looked like a "hacker" was in there.  (No, it was
because I work for the government...just ask Agent Steal.  Geez.)

After this mess I went to bed.  Yup.

The following morning while waiting to get a table at Denny's, we noticed
that the old dudes with the beer were going into the "conference room"
and taking stuff out.  A bunch of the crew ran over there to check it
out and guess what?  The old guys weren't just any bunch of drunken
old dudes, they were the Pennsylvania State Police's Computer Crime
Division.  They had been staking out the conference from the room next
door and had listened in to everything.  Rad.  Two years and running.
Maybe next year the CIA and NSA will want to stake it out too.  I can't

Then I went home.


                - Top 10 things learned at PumpCon -
                           - The Wink -

10) Hotel's don't like over 40 people in their lobby

9)  Its not Ma'am, its Doris

8)  "GrayArea has quite a few gray areas"

7)  Greyhound hates Zar

6)  Who needs speakers who show up?

5)  SnatchBuster !

4)  "You heathens, how can you put the Holy Bible in a pornographic
    movie case !"

3)  Geezer Narc !

2)  Don't put condor and erikb in the same space

1)  Don't carry open payphones around the con


                        P U M P  C O N  ][

                     Informal Attendance List

<Disclaimer> I cranked this thing out over the weekend, and some people I
know were there, but I didn't get their names.  Some people might be listed
twice.  It's up to you to figure it out.

As we were waiting for people to arrive we came up with a lameness scale.  If
you got a "+l" that mean you got a lame point for saying someone's real name
or info.  Basically spouting off real stuff to people who shouldn't hear it.
Sure it's easy when you all know each other, but if I was really trying I would
have generated so much real data on people it would be scary.  On the other
hand if you were real slick and tricky, you got a "+e", or elite point.  As
more and more people showed up I stopped doing this 'cuz we all broke up and
only the people I was around would have to suffer the wrath of the +l.  Think
of it as a security rating.  The more +l the easier it was to get info out of

The List is in the order of when I ran into people.  Basically the first half
is in chronological order, but after that I lost track and got names when I

 Noe11e (Yes, she exists)
 Okinawa (+e)
 Reive (assigned to Fed-Man)
 Ophie (+l+l+l+l+l+l.. you get the idea)
 Lgas (+l)
 Loki (+l, but he was trying hard..)
 Jello Man
 SubEthan (+l)
 Bernie S. (+l, Elite handset dude)
 iXom (5 hours late)
 Nick-O (+e, worked that stewardess)
 MadCap (With the elite hat)
 Jay Farnam
 ErikB (+e, good speech)
 C-Curve (+e)
 Cuttle Fish
 Vax Buster (+e+e for protecting personal data, Good speech)
 LudiChrist (+l,+e for evading officers)
 Optic Nerve
 Scourge (+l)
 Great One (+l, +e for staying cool at police station)
 Dave (+l+l, Don't use your real name)
 Phil (+l+l, what's this, Real Name con?)
 Juanka (+l This guy was acting strange..)
 NtStriker (+e for being shot by the police)
 Randy S. Hacker (+e for cool car and free beer)
 Count Zero
 Typhoid Mary (She locked onto TaquilaHeadPaint)
 The Wing
 Stranger (+l for believing NtStriker was shot)
 Zar (+l for getting kicked off three busses)
 Dr. Freeze
 Anonymous Caller
 KL (+e for staying at the Knights Inn)
 Mad Dog
 Odd Ball
 Decimator (+l, real name)
 Time Lord (+e, good speech)
 Male Havoc
 MrG (+l+l for getting arrested, +e for not narking)
 The Dark Tangent (+l, for making this list)
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