Hackers reaches its 20th anniversary! This film payed tribute to the hacker culture in the mid 90’s (95 to be exact). When I graduated high school and got my first “real” windows 95 computer, this movie just came out. I knew the cheesy 3D effects of them “Hacking the Gibson” and browsing file systems were ridiculous, but at that time i didn’t know what is would actually look like, so… Those images stuck in my head.
When the movie was released, I was a n00b and didn’t know much about computers except to be dangerous. I played with the autoexec.bat files in Windows 3.11 and screwed things up so many times that I had to have one of my friend’s older brother fix it constantly. He must have hated me.
In the film, there is some folklore as well as a lot of the tilting of the hat to real hackers of the day. The film didn’t make much money, but i think (at least for me) it became and instant cult classic. The people over at Hak 5 did a tribute show and gave some interesting factoids, so go check it out here. I think it’s due time i break this out of my DVD arsenal and watch it again.
One of my favorite parts of the movie is when the FBI agents read the “Hacker’s Manifesto.” I remeber trying to find this of the internet and finally found a copy. It’s from the old Phrack Magazine Volume One. Check it out here:
Volume One, Issue 7, Phile 3 of 10
The following was written shortly after my arrest...
\/\The Conscience of a Hacker/\/
Written on January 8, 1986
Another one got caught today, it's all over the papers. "Teenager
Arrested in Computer Crime Scandal", "Hacker Arrested after Bank Tampering"...
Damn kids. They're all alike.
But did you, in your three-piece psychology and 1950's technobrain,
ever take a look behind the eyes of the hacker? Did you ever wonder what
made him tick, what forces shaped him, what may have molded him?
I am a hacker, enter my world...
Mine is a world that begins with school... I'm smarter than most of
the other kids, this crap they teach us bores me...
Damn underachiever. They're all alike.
I'm in junior high or high school. I've listened to teachers explain
for the fifteenth time how to reduce a fraction. I understand it. "No, Ms.
Smith, I didn't show my work. I did it in my head..."
Damn kid. Probably copied it. They're all alike.
I made a discovery today. I found a computer. Wait a second, this is
cool. It does what I want it to. If it makes a mistake, it's because I
screwed it up. Not because it doesn't like me...
Or feels threatened by me...
Or thinks I'm a smart ass...
Or doesn't like teaching and shouldn't be here...
Damn kid. All he does is play games. They're all alike.
And then it happened... a door opened to a world... rushing through
the phone line like heroin through an addict's veins, an electronic pulse is
sent out, a refuge from the day-to-day incompetencies is sought... a board is
"This is it... this is where I belong..."
I know everyone here... even if I've never met them, never talked to
them, may never hear from them again... I know you all...
Damn kid. Tying up the phone line again. They're all alike...
You bet your ass we're all alike... we've been spoon-fed baby food at
school when we hungered for steak... the bits of meat that you did let slip
through were pre-chewed and tasteless. We've been dominated by sadists, or
ignored by the apathetic. The few that had something to teach found us will-
ing pupils, but those few are like drops of water in the desert.
This is our world now... the world of the electron and the switch, the
beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying
for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn't run by profiteering gluttons, and
you call us criminals. We explore... and you call us criminals. We seek
after knowledge... and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color,
without nationality, without religious bias... and you call us criminals.
You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us
and try to make us believe it's for our own good, yet we're the criminals.
Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is
that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like.
My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me
I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual,
but you can't stop us all... after all, we're all alike.