Houston 2600

Computer security, hacking, coding and mayhem

Medieval hackers

As part of our attempts as a species to understand what hacking is, this review of the book Medieval Hackers provides a clear commonality between hackers and information-hackers of earlier ages: The basic premise of Kathleen E. Kennedy’s intriguing volume Medieval Hackers is that modern computer hackers are essentially the inheritors of the medieval copyist and translators who sought to freely disseminate information from original sources through their “derivative texts,”.. Read More

Apple fails to learn from last big hack in iCloud exploit

In 2010, two hackers discovered a hole in AT&T’s website that allowed them to obtain email addresses and SIM card identifiers for iPads using that network. After much legal wrangling, their case was vacated, but you would think the debacle would weigh heavily on minds at Apple. Fast forward to a few days ago. A crowd of unruly 4channers and redditors extracted photographic images of celebrities in the nude and.. Read More

Hacking and heavy metal

I wrote an article about the cross-influence between hacking and heavy metal. It covers the use of alternative media, like BBS and AE lines, to convey a hidden truth that is shared between metalheads and hackers. The article is entitled “Hacker Metal” and it is published in Perfect Sound Forever webzine. For those who remember the early web, Perfect Sound Forever is an e-zine that started in 1993 and has.. Read More

The death of “hacking”

The net is still buzzing with the statement by the Full Disclosure list manager, but most people have forgotten this essential part: There is no honour amongst hackers any more. There is no real community. There is precious little skill. The entire security game is becoming more and more regulated. This is all a sign of things to come, and a reflection on the sad state of an industry that.. Read More


From the early days of the public internet: The reflector bomb works on the simple principle that mail sent with spoofed addresses will bounce to the victim. Its particular agent is the BCC line, which enables the mailbomber to list any number of fake addresses on diverse servers for greater inefficiency of routing, leading to a wider variety of incoming paths to the target. – “Reflector Bombing; Mail Mayhem,” Textfiles.com.. Read More

Feed your paranoia: Palantir

Ever since Neuromancer, people have wanted real cyberspace — a visual display that correlates all the information out there and shows you the underlying patterns, no longer hidden by visual appearance of disunity. Here’s one stab at it: The day Fikri drives to Orlando, he gets a speeding ticket, which triggers an alert in the CIA’s Palantir system. An analyst types Fikri’s name into a search box and up pops.. Read More

AT&T hackers warned of vulnerability, now proven right

Hackers of the old-school type used to claim that they hacked to learn, and when they did break into computers owned by others, they left behind no traces. Rather, they said, the hack was a warning, like a canary in a coal mine, that the system was insecure. Corporate America has rarely liked this approach. For one thing, it endangers jobs. If the head assistant manager for security finds out.. Read More

Interesting Times #7 released

The seventh edition of Interesting Times magazine has just been released in free pdf and nominally expensive print on demand (sold at cost, non-profit). This graphically-intensive publication covers the intersection of hacking, survivalism, planning for collapse of civilization, and exploring alternate ways of comprehending human society. Articles for this issue: How to be a virtual world badass A new breed of retiree – profiting from decades of knowledge The career.. Read More

How I joined the Dark Side

No one law for the ox and the raven will be fair. In fact, it will be tyranny. Mike and I shared disks at first. It wasn’t much of a bother. But in a moment of clumsiness his brother spilled a Coke on the stack of game disks. Most survived but a game we were currently playing became a sticky mess and would no longer turn. In desperation Mike cut.. Read More

Interesting Times #5 released

Interesting Times is a self-help magazine for extreme people, helping you survive and thrive in the cyberpunk future of today. Headquartered in Sweden, the magazine provides a unique perspective on the current age of possibility, where every new happening holds the potential for both disaster and ground- breaking success. The magazine aims to implement total world domination using a shock & awe toolbox of positive thinking, power armor and pornstar.. Read More