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The Media Communications Security

Phrack E-zine Comes To An End 268

Flammable writes "Since 1985 Phrack has been releasing ezines to public about Hacking, Cracking, Radio, Social Engineering, etc. All things come to an end, and Phrack is no different: the last issue, #63, is accepting articles from the community now."
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Phrack E-zine Comes To An End

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  • A useful resource (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Alcemenes ( 460409 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @05:45PM (#11443804)
    I could always find something interesting in useful in Phrack.
  • by NotQuiteReal ( 608241 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @05:48PM (#11443825) Journal
    Issue #63 is the last one - if only they had used something larger than a 6-bit counter.

  • by tutwabee ( 758134 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @05:49PM (#11443834)
    2600 magazine seems to keep a little more up-to-date than phrack anyways.
    • as long as i got my 2600, the world is fine.
      and quite honestly, i've always been quite partial to 2600 also.
      just something to the whole team, they make you feel,
      like family kinda.. and the radio shows own. ;)
    • 2600 has dumbed itself down over the years; they now publish useless howto hacks for kiddies and bored teenagers. Emmanuel also seems to concern himself more with activism now, than actually doing anything useful.

      Phrack always had something sophisticated, unusual, or actually creative. The true hacker spirit, that didn't care that mass media confused 'hacker' with 'cracker', and that didn't wear the term 'hacker' like a merit badge or fashion statement, was very evident in their issues. They published
      • Agreed 100%. Most of the stuff in 2600 is crap, especially the political articles. If I want to read left wing propaganda I'd pick up the NY Times (or check

        The articles in Phrack are a step above the few technical articles in 2600 these days.
        • by cicho ( 45472 )
          I haven't read either Phrack or 2600 in a couple of years, so I can only take your word for it when you say it's all political leftist content now. But maybe there's a kind of conceptual continuity there, you know? Computer hacking was significantly fueled by interest in complex systems that had enormous potential but were just out of reach in pre-PC days. Today everyone and his dog have a PC, RFCs are free for all to read and learn from, and there's enough open code to last a lifetime of study for those so
          • To add one other thing, we cannot expect even the whitest of white-hat hacking to remain legal on it's own. **AA, BSA, MS and countless others all work toward using the legal system to slowly break down the digital rights we have.

            The reason why Emmanuel and others (including Micheal who gave a talk at the last HOPE[Hackers On Planet Earth] conference.[MP3 here ] ) have started paying attention to politics and particpating in them is because they started affecting w
        • f I want to read left wing propaganda I'd pick up the NY Times

          Or listen to Off the wall or whatever the radio show is called. Seems they devote half the show now to planning a protest over something or bemoan the horrible practices of the giant corporations.
          • or bemoan the horrible practices of the giant corporations

            I have no particular reason to like lefties. I know next to nothing about most of the issues they raise about big bad corporations. But, I happen to know a little about PCs, and I have experienced on my skin the impact of corporations' common practices on the development of IT, and politicians' ineptitude or servitude towards their interests. You have probably experienced it yourself.

            So i reasonably concluded long ago that what happens in the IT
            • " I know next to nothing about most of the issues they raise about big bad corporations."

              If you ever walk by a theater and a documentary movie called "The Corporation" is showing, go see it. (Would have to be an off-main-street movie house though.) Or find the movie on P2P, or wait for the DVD. Or try the book [] by the same guy (Joel Bakan) and the same title.

              Bakan presents a very sober analysis, but the gist is: imagine a human being who (a) is motivated solely by pursuit of profit, (b) violates the rules
              • I think there's merit to the concept of a corporation as a "groupthink" with a life of its own. However, the fact remains that the employees of that corporation make many individual decisions and if these were always ethically sound, the corporation could NOT do evil. You reap what you sow. So the corporation could be an interesting example of sociopathy on a sociological level (if that makes any sense) but I think it just comes down to a few (or many) bad seeds who think that their wrong decisions mean
                • "if these were always ethically sound, the corporation could NOT do evil."

                  What often happens is hat CEOs are prevented from maing ethically sound decisions by corporate laws. The CEO cannot take actions that would hit the shareholders' bottom line. Hence, all decisions made must be motivated by profit - even if the CEO doesn't like that.

                  In 1916 Henry Ford wanted to lower the price of the cars. Quote from Ford: "I do not believe that we should make such awful profits on our cars. A reasonable profit is rig
              • imagine a human being who (a) is motivated solely by pursuit of profit, (b) violates the rules of law and of ethics to further said pursuit, (c) is incapable of admitting guilt when caught, (d) acts without regard to the social environment

                congratulations, you've just descibed every businessman in Russia.
        • If I want to read left wing propaganda I'd pick up the NY Times

          This never ceases to amaze me. US politics is so far right that the right fringes of it are starting to firmly push into the grounds once reserved for the likes of Hitler. And the American public is so brainwashed and numbed down that a center-right rag (more right then center as the run up to Iraq clearly demnostrated) is claimed to be "left wing"... ah how would Dr. Goebbels be proud, such a trumph of propaganda!

          Dude, I have shocking news for

      • 2600 publishes what people submit. If you have something better than what is currently in the magazines, try submitting an article.

      • 2600 has dumbed itself down over the years;

        Right you are. I'm a life time subscriber, but with some of the content anymore - especially the letters - just pains me to read it. Once in a while there will be a good 'hacker'-worthy article. But most of the time it's "how do I get around right-click suppression using Internet Explorer?" Please.

        Fyodor introduced nmap on Phrack. Aleph 0ne taught us about buffer overflows through Phrack. And route was the funniest damn editor ever. My only complaints about
        • by siskbc ( 598067 ) on Sunday January 23, 2005 @01:57AM (#11446226) Homepage
          While I still believe in 2600, they really need to get back to their roots. Who cares if we alienate some newbies? If they are truely hackers as they claim to be (that title is so easy to come by these days), maybe it'll inspire them to do something other than read a how-to.

          As someone who's read 2600 on and off for going on 15 years, I like that they haven't felt the need so much to prove their l33t-ness by insulting newbies and making the material out of the reach of intermediate and even beginning hackers. What and when were 2600's "roots" to you? I don't recall a time when it was overly "stuffy," and it's always kept truer to the so-called "underground" - which if you don't recall was significantly populated by what we'd call "script kiddies" today.

          Put another way, if everyone has that attitude, then there are no new hackers. Some proportion of script kiddies actually grow up to be good hackers. Now that doesn't mean that the material has to be of the "where can I find a perl script to do X" nature, but making concepts understandable isn't a bad thing.

          Of course, 2600's increasingly political bent technologically irrelevant matters is another issue...

      • Yeah, it's almost as if they're betraying themselves. But I do see every issue as having at least one good article. The most recent one - as of this comment - has a great article about BitTorrent. Hacking stuff is all well and good, but I love the occaisional "road less traveled" style technology editorial from someone not famed in the journalism community. Someone who actually knows what they're talking about.
      • Emmanuel also seems to concern himself more with activism now, than actually doing anything useful.

        So teaching kids how to spoof IP addresses is doing something "useful" whereas activism is not?

      • 2600 still has some good quality information coming from it.

        For example, volume 21, number 2 had a great article on magstrips. The article its self really went into a lot of details relating to how the hardware works, with some really great diagrams relating to serial, and a great bit of code relating to how to read the data passed from the reader through serial.

        I guess it depends on what you expect from the zine, but I think for their customer base (younger kids interested in computers) this is a great p
      • "2600 has dumbed itself down over the years; they now publish useless howto hacks for kiddies and bored teenagers. Emmanuel also seems to concern himself more with activism now, than actually doing anything useful."

        assuming that 2600 has dumbed down over the years for a moment...

        there's good reason that Emmanuel has been concerned with activism more now than before.

        Well to start, let's take his radio show 'off the hook'. A show on high technology and the telephone network right? Well if you mess with t
    • by spdt ( 828671 )
      Phrack is also a free, online magazine, where 2600 only (to my knowledge) prints their articles and charges $5 per copy.
    • I used to hang out under the stairs at the Galleria in Houston TX back in the 90s. All we really did was talk about Free BSD, Win NT, networking, and hacking door cards to hotels and such shit. And when the whole gang was togeather, we would walk outside to the park and smoke weed. Ahh the fond memories.
      • Memories, indeed. This [] almost made me weep for my younger days:

        <ASCII art the /. lameness filter hated>
        24 Hours A Day, 300/1200 Baud

        300 baud! Where's my VIC-20 when I need it...?

    • I had to quit reading 2600 when, shortly after the DeCSS trial, Emmanual started abstracting himself out of all the stories, replacing all the "I"s with "we"s. He also quit signing his name to them.

      Before, he wrote nearly all the stories. After that, it was all, "We here at 2600...". Yeah right. Maybe it's more professional, but to me, it took away all the personality and passion from the writing.
  • its already gone.
  • It says Number of users exceeded.

    Frankly I think it's lame.
  • A babe in a g-string and a top that shows a bit of bottom nipplage, holding a smoking gun. What's the purpose of it, other than male sex appeal?
  • by XFilesFMDS1013 ( 830724 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @06:05PM (#11443919)
    It seems to have been killed now...CONGRATULATIONS, you've slashdotted the body into its grave!
  • Yes and... (Score:3, Funny)

    by ravenspear ( 756059 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @06:05PM (#11443922)
    It seems they have been using the same server since 1985.

    Warning: mysql_connect(): Can't connect to local MySQL server through socket '/var/run/mysqld/mysqld.sock' (11) in /var/www/ hp on line 106

    error: mysql_connect() failed
  • I wrote (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheLeftist ( 852415 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @06:05PM (#11443926)
    I wrote Several articles for that mag when I was a wee youngster.. Mostly anarchy and drugs, and whatnot. Always liked the magazine. It was pretty funny when the Secret Service tried to prosecute the editor of Phrack.. They did a great job of demonstrating their ignorance of both computers and the law! The mag came a long way, then went a long way. To tell you the truth I wasnt aware it was still around..
    • Re:I wrote (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TommydCat ( 791543 )
      Which editor, or all of them? :)

      I had the pleasure of meeting or knowing several of the editors and the wear and tear on their enthusiam was evident as the torch was passed. Today it seems hard to find like-minded individuals willing to take up the cause in the ether-sea of a me-too generation.

  • What's wrong with posting a coral cache'd link to the main story? or even a mirrordot? []
  • I didn't read it a lot, but every time i picked it up, it was always useful
  • by Prophetic_Truth ( 822032 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @06:12PM (#11443971)
    The way Phrack has presented security information with a sense of humor has always made Phrack an entertaining read. Even when the articles weren't funny, and were serious, the tone had already been set with the loopback section. It is sad that Phrack will no longer be something to look forward to.

    However, anyone who has followed Phrack will admit that it peaked long ago, and has slowly been going away. Phrack closing shouldn't be a shock to anyone. I'm glad someone finally decided to say 'it's over' rather than having one issue a year.
  • Hackers should use their powers for good, not evil. They should stop spending energy trying to break, take over, invade, infect, and steal from others.

    I completely understand the thrill that comes with probing a system for vulnerabilities. Hacking is a drug... it's a power trip to take control of another host. But that power comes with karma of the worst kind. Whether a hacker hurts an individual, a company, or corporation... their deeds are not any more acceptable. Even if they're smart enough to cov
    • "Fuck hackers! Fuck the hackers that shut down my companies when worms or virus compromised security. Fuck the hackers with their clusters of zombie machines running PsyBNC. Fuck every single one of them that constantly pound my servers with brute force attacks. Fuck'em all. Their time for comeuppance will arrive." The sad thing is that those people aren't "hackers." There's no hacking involved in writing a virus or attacking other peoples' computers.

      Hacking, by definition, is attempting to figure out how

    • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @10:08PM (#11445150) Journal
      I'm more or less with you on your comments, parent poster - but I also think it's wise to be careful talking about hacking in black and white "good" vs. "evil" terms.

      Like almost everything in life, there are complex shades of grey. It's fine to lecture people on how much better it would be for everyone involved if they broke security protocols on their own time and hardware, and then published "white papers" on what they found. But when you're a 15 year old kid, you probably wouldn't find any of that "interesting" at all. You aren't tinkering around with hacking/cracking because you wanted another "homework assignment" to take on. It's purely for the thrill and bragging rights to your like-minded buddies.

      I'm not saying this gives them "carte blanche" to go out and destroy other people's systems... But I guess what I *am* saying is, magazines like Phrack and 2600 started out (and thrived because of) the rebellious spirit of bored teens. Sometimes, the only way you'll really get people to find flaws in a product's security is by putting it in place and seeing who ends up breaking it in order to do something you see as "evil".

      Take those dial-type Master locks for example. Before kids were messing around with them, trying to figure out how they could "feel" the tumblers inside them click to find the combinations on them, most people assumed they were pretty secure locks. (Short of a bolt-cutters, you weren't likely to get by them.) After kids (obviously motivated by the "evil" desire to break into other kids' lockers in schools) leaked out the secrets to picking these things, and it got passed around the Internet, Master Lock, Inc. made improvements to the lock and started selling revised versions.

      I think we'd *still* be using an older revision Master lock today if we waited around for someone to put on a "white hat" and hack their own Master lock purely to "do good" by writing up a white paper on it when they finished.
    • The fight, the onslaught, the wonderful 5 seconds till worm-ridden place we still call the internet. Firewall that boxen, IDS that network, check those logs, ban those IPs, and automate, automate, automate.

      You lost? Game over man, rm -rf / and play again.
    • Your logic: Hackers are people that hack. Some hackers break laws. Therefore, "Fuck hackers".

      I enjoy playing the piano. Some pianists break laws. Therefore, fuck pianists?

      See the problem?
  • by SlashCrunchPop ( 699733 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @06:30PM (#11444061)

    As someone who has not only read but also studied every single issue of Phrack I propose that in the very last issue they also publish the All-time Top 10 Articles List as voted by readers and I hereby nominate Aleph One's legendary article Smashing The Stack For Fun And Profit [] (Volume 7, Issue 49, November 08, 1996).

    So let's hear your nominations... Yes, I know has been slashdotted (commiserations to John Kozubik of Johncompanies in San Diego), but that's the point - if you are a true diehard fan of Phrack you already have all the issues mirrored locally because you've studied them thoroughly.

    • I was just about to post that same article, a real classic.

      I'll miss phrack, but the released a new article about once every 18 months. It had been suffering from neglect for a while now.

    • if you are a true diehard fan of Phrack you already have all the issues mirrored locally because you've studied them thoroughly.
      emerge phrack-all
      No, Seriously,if you never read it, do it! Even for just 'that' article on Smashing the stack...
      It's far more meaningful than some 'security' course I had in college...
  • Goodbye Old Friend (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jfonseca ( 203760 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @06:31PM (#11444067)
    In my early days I got papers out of HAL-PC BBS in houston, a chinese friend was the first real hacker I knew. Hacker in the truest sense, he understood every part of technology. Shortly after I found a reference to Phrack on one of the binary files he'd edited with a Hex dumping tool. That caught my attention but I had no access to Phrack. Years later as the web was born I remembered the name and got my issue of Phrack online, don't remember which one but was into the early 90's. Assembly language, phones, cool C "progz", Ascii art and UNIX when UNIX still had not a Linux offspring.

    I will not deny that this news comes as a bit of a shock. All things must end, therefore in a saddened state I say goodbye to you old teacher and friend. You will be missed.
  • A sad day (Score:3, Interesting)

    by l0rd ( 52169 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @06:32PM (#11444074)
    I remember back in the day in 1996, one of the first things I did when I got my internet connection was downloaden phrack.

    I am really sad to see it go. The articles were way better than those in 2600, and it was well written and funny too.

    Seems that alle the good zines are gone or dying a similar death (Confidence remains high, B4B0, HUGI, Veracity and others). This seems to be the state of the hacker scene today as well. It's all become either commercial or totally lame.

    This is a sad, sad day for me as it doens't look like anyone else is starting a zine of comparible quality. Please for the love of god start something not meant for lame ass high school newbies with "safe", cool hacking "tutorials". Telnetting to port 25 is NOT advanced. Phrack, you WILL be misses :-(
  • mirror dot (Score:3, Informative)

    by gr8fulnded ( 254977 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @06:42PM (#11444136)
    Not much, but here's mirrordot anyway... mirrordot front page []
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 22, 2005 @06:51PM (#11444199)
    The current "anonymous" batch editors have outgrown the zine. They were a bad choice to begin with, but regardless, that's happened to phrack before. On a regular basis. Every generation or so passes on phrack to the next. It's tradition.

    What's different about the current batch of editors was their intense arrogance and unusualy patronizing attitude towards the scene. Phrack hasn't been about the computer underground for years. The last ten years have turned Phrack into a prestigious journal for security research.

    The anarchistic underground roots of phrack have been whitewashed away by the latest batch of editors. Go and read the issues from 1980s, early 90s.

    The reason this happened was that when the scene moved to the Internet in the mid 90s the MIT hacker memes battled it out against "war games" hacker meme of the 80s. Hacker still has an 80s meaning for the general public, but the MIT hacker meme clearly won amongst the technically savy. The "cracker" and "script kiddy" memes were part of a process that turned Phrack's underground past into an embarrassment.

    So Phrack gradually turned against it's own roots. It's not for the hacker community by the hacker community anymore. Far from it. The current incarnation of Phrack actually spreads hypocritical anti-hacker memes between it's covers. It's BY $150-an-hour-security-consultants FOR our-reputation-in-the-security-industry.

    Phrack has been hijacked by sellouts.

    Aside from their snobbish elitist attitude, what have the recent editors of Phrack contributed? The articles are written by others. Try reading the "linenoise" section written by the Phrack editors sometime. Degrading newbies never gets old for these guys. Ha ha! you're all so stupid! We're so uber elite!

    So now what's happened is that these guys are so old school, so been-there-done-that, patronizing assholes that they've decided it's time for Phrack to die rather than evolve.

    Here's an alternative to killing off a 20+ year tradition: run a competition amongst would-be editors who can publish the best next issue of phrack. Then allow the PUBLIC to vote amongst alternatives as to whom succeeds the current editors.

    The team that manages to hack together the best edition of phrack 64 wins.

    Phrack is dead. Long live phrack!
    • the difference is, rather than have your story in phrack when it appeared every now and then, everyone just blogs or posts thier article on the web and see it NOW rather than later...

    • I agree about passing the torch. Knight Lightning passed it to Erik B, who I think passed it to the r00t guys, who passed it to Voyager perhaps and then it ended up in who's hands?

    • Phrack used to be 'mirrored' internally by the CSE in Canada (Communications Security establishment) - I remember reading about forth - how one could use it at boot up to gain root on a sparc 5 - well I tried it, it worked, I got my arse kicked after showing my boss...

      I'm glad you're gone Phrack, damn you, damn you to hell! You made me get myself in trouble. Not for getting root, no, that got me promoted, but for wasting DSD's resources to find it on an obscure unlisted server overseas. (Don't worry Mike,
  • EOT (Score:3, Informative)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Saturday January 22, 2005 @07:05PM (#11444287) Homepage Journal
    At least 2600 [] is still up.
  • has the PHRAK back catalog, which is just a smidgeon of info they have:

    PHRAK back issues []

    Plenty of mirrors, and, huh.. there *used* to be a torrent..

    "For a while, I was running a .torrent of all textfiles you could download on the website. It was very popular, so popular, in fact, that it was killing my bandwidth. Also, as time went on, it started to get out of sync with the files on the website itself. I guess I didn't think the whole thing through as much as I would have

    • There'll be a torrent again. I am very focused on finishing the BBS Documentary, and when that is done I'll be doing the appropriate things with for the current era. (Torrent downloads, RSS feed, etc.)

      Stay tuned. Or at least, stick around.
  • wow... what can I say... wow. Someone posts an article here about the final issue of Phrak, and then the slashdot community causes their server to combust... I guess there won't be an issue 63 after all ;-)

  • This is a bit like Cher announcing her Final Farewell Tour three years after her Very Last, I Really Mean It This Time Farewell Tour. Or the CdC announcing they've disbanded. Believe it when I don't see it.

    SoupIsGood Food

In English, every word can be verbed. Would that it were so in our programming languages.