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+ - What is your best hacking and/or DOS story?

Submitted by drfreak
drfreak (303147) writes "I started using the Internet early in the upper 1980's. Back then most people didn't have direct access. We'd dial into a server instead which gave us shell accounts to play with and use text-based content such as UseNet and IRC.

Even with the net being that limited many of us forged our first attacks; often just to mess with our friends but sometimes also to punish an adversary. It was all in good fun back then and no real damage was intended. It also gave my friends at the time and myself a lot of new experience coding because it is always more fun to have a goal when writing a script or program than to just do "Hello World."

Ok, so I'll disclose my personal favorite: Hanging out on EFNet IRC a lot, I was always attracted to the misfits called "Operators" which actually ran (still do) the network and hanged out there. Many people (including myself) have tried and failed to hack that channel and kick all the operators out as a badge of honor. Knowing I didn't have the skill at the time to write a bot to do it, I took a bare-bones approach and read the IRC RFC looking for loopholes.

My Friends and I were so intent on hacking IRC we experimented with creating our own network of servers just to see how they operated. While doing that I had an epiphany that there was no limit on how many people can be listed in a -o message. The only limit was in the client, which was typically four.

So, I convinced a friend who was an IRCop to give me an O: line to test my new server. I then commenced to login via telnet masquerading as said server and de-op nearly everyone on #twilight_zone. The only thing which prevented my success was I was typing the list by hand and someone joined at the same time so didn't get de-opped. I was banned forever from that channel for managing to de-op a few dozen people in one line, but I still felt successful for pulling off something a regular bot could never do by my own hands in a telnet session. The only reason I wasn't banned from that network forever was out of respect for the research and attention it took to pull off the attack. I also had no idea what social engineering was back then but it was key to getting server-level access.

So what are your early benign hacks, folks?"

Comment: Although I telecommute nearly 100% of the time, (Score 1) 445

by drfreak (#42211481) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Need a Phone At Your Desk?

I still need a desk which exists in my home-office. As for the desk phone? VPN access to the corporate VOIP network is all I need and a headset. I'm grateful to work for such a forward-thinking company which realizes many office norms are a thing of the past in the information age.

Comment: Re:Don't give him a game (Score 1) 338

by drfreak (#41653867) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Linux Game For Young Kids?

I've been playing video games since my dad brought a 2600 home at age three-four. In my adult years the gaming had waned but my interest in computers has never relaxed. For someone who never properly completed high school and college, I'd say I'm doing pretty well for myself now. I hate that kids these days hang out on skype, warcraft, and Facebook nowadays and don't do shit otherwise though; on the other hand, maybe a new market will open up for them in the future as it did for me...

Comment: Re:boring (Score 1) 326

by drfreak (#41627969) Attached to: Linus Torvalds Answers Your Questions

Linus may sound douchey at times but I agree he has earned that right. On the flipside if you had a project turn into such an ingrained day-to-day OS I bet you'd be a bit proud too. Pride is not douchey when it is well placed such as in Linus' case.

That said, I've seen some pretty crazy things come from RMS and he gets nowhere near as much flak for it. Remember, this is the guy who helped kick-off the free software movement and was involved in many of the lesser-appreciated userland tools we all know and love and/or hate (sorry emacs, I'm a vi guy). He deserves just as much respect too, but the way he carries that weight is far different.

Between Linus and Richard, they are probably the two iconoclasts who kicked off the whole free software movement. First there was Richard with the free userland tools and then Linus with the kernel which made them truly free from bottom-to-top. Back in the day when Linux wasn't "ready" and BSD was still in litigation Richard stepped up and gave us tools which could compile and run freely and just about any Unix platform. Back when dialing up to a Unix box was the only way to get internet, apps like screen gave me warm fuzzies.

I wouldn't call either a douche, even though they may do douchey things sometimes. They are allowed. We all do it to one degree or another.


+ - Why are we so rude online?->

Submitted by kodiaktau
kodiaktau (2351664) writes "An article reported by the WSJ discusses why online media users are more rude online than they are in person. The story discusses some of the possible reasons being lowered inhibitions because there is formal social interaction. Other theories include feeling like reporting on a phone or other device is simply communicating with a "toy" which dehumanizes the conversation. Submitter's note: A dehumanized conversation has never happened on Slashdot in the last 15 years."
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Comment: Re:Consider MSEE a "fix" for broken windows. (Score 1) 515

by drfreak (#41459127) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Actual Best-in-Show For Free Anti Virus?

The Antitrust suit was all about Microsoft's anti-competitive practices, such as making you pay for Windows when you buy new PC and punishing vendors who sold PCs with anything else. Those days are over. Yes, they caught flak also for bundling IE but most importantly making sure other browsers ran like shit.

Bundling AV is not an anti-trust issue because you can always uninstall it and run whatever you want...


+ - Scientists say that prejudice can cause depression->

Submitted by keyblade5
keyblade5 (1819472) writes "It's commonly known that many people have depression that is caused by persistent, automatic negative thoughts about themselves (e.g., "I'm stupid," "I'm ugly"). Some scientists recently put out an article elaborating on how these cognitions in depression are the same type of neurocognitive structure as the automatic negative stereotypes studied by prejudice researchers. Like these depressive thoughts, most automatic or "implicit" prejudice is caused by persistent, automatic negative stereotypes (e.g., "That Black guy is a criminal,"). "This depression caused by prejudice – which the researchers call deprejudice — can occur at many levels. In the classic case, prejudice causes depression at the societal level (e.g., Nazis’ prejudice causing Jews’ depression), but this causal chain can also occur at the interpersonal level (e.g., an abuser’s prejudice causing an abusee’s depression), or even at the intrapersonal level, within a single person (e.g., a man’s prejudice against himself causing his depression)." By identifying and elaborating the common neurocognitive cause of these very different phenomena, the scientists reveal that the past century of research on depression can be used to improve interventions against prejudice, and depression researchers can harness decades of prejudice research to improve treatments for depression. This work is an amazing reminder of how, sometimes, we as scientists can get caught up in our terminology and not realize that we may use different words to describe exactly the same underlying process."
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It's a poor workman who blames his tools.