Kronies Always Win...
Reflections on Phrack Magazine/Computer Security Technologies SUMMERCON '95 in Atlanta, GA.
...Overheard at the Convention...
"Mmmm. What's wrong with this elevator?" -- from some normal "non-con" patrons of the hotel after the rude discovery that the UP button didn't work, the DOWN button went up and the no requests could be made to go down. :)
"What's your REAL name?" -- from the young girl, self-dubbed as 'Ellis
D' on the street below in the skimpy summer dress while playing games
with all the drooling guys standing on hotel balconies. She was asked
repeatedly to remove her clothes.
"I'm not saying anything until I speak with my lawyer" -- from a notably brave hacker after being extricated from the building and pushed into an Atlanta Police Department cruiser. He was arrested and jailed for breaking into the hotel office in search of phone system manuals and breaking into the switch room for the hotel phone system.
"I'll have another beer" -- from Emmanuel Goldstein, editor of 2600
Hacker Quarterly magazine. Actually, that was about the only thing I
heard him say all weekend.
"$31,000?!? I didn't make $31,000 worth of phone calls!" -- while checking out ... overheard from a rather startled victim of the phreaks.
"You guys have re-wired my elevator, over-loaded my electrical system
by hooking up all these computers, messed up my phone system, been
arrested, cost me a whole bunch blah blah blah" -- from the hotel
manager, James Reed, while I was arguing with him over having my
extension cord and three outlet-adapter confiscated by the maid during
clean-up. I was told that the electrical system of the hotel could not
capacitate it. Go figure.
"What's wrong with this phone???" -- from the hotel desk clerk in the lobby while attempting to dial out.
"If they have a problem, they can speak with my attorney" -- from
Chris Goggans, aka Erik Bloodaxe, coordinator of the event and editor
of PHRACK magazine after I asked him if they had scolded him for the
The Intrepid Tri-Cities/Nashville Caravan
Anarchic Rule Grips Con-Goers,
Yet Valuable Information is Disseminated...
The convention was, as one person put it, a sequence of dream-like events that seemed to transpire almost simultaneously. In my honest opinion it was a festival of near anarchy with a mixture of punk-rock weirdos, bad attitude teens and professional computerists. The most valuable thing gained was contact information and getting to meet the famous (or infamous) hackers / phreaks / surveillance experts / Internet wizards and cyber-blah blahs from the media. Aside from adolescent vandalism and non-adolescent alcohol-induced euphoria, it was an informative and definitely entertaining venture.
Things started a bit late as few could crawl out of bed (from the night before, which, incidentally, was the 2600 meeting for Atlanta) in time for the 10:00 intro.
Winn Schwartau, author of "Information Warfare: Chaos on the Electronic Superhighway" (Thunder's Mouth Press, NY) gave a seminar on electromagnetic weaponry. Winn is one of the country's leading experts on information security and electronic privacy. As the Executive Director of Interpact, Inc., Winn provides services to industry and government on encryption, enterprise information security, policy, information warfare, van Eck radiation, HERF Guns and EMP/T Bombs (non- lethal magnetic weaponry) hackers, US and International policies and standards, electronic privacy and related issues. He is also a partner and Vice President of Business Development, Secure Systems Group International.
Robert D. Steele, a self-confessed former spy, also spoke on Hackers from the Intelligence Perspective. His war cry is "don't send a spy where a schoolboy can go" and praises public information on the Internet. His phrase "Hackers are a national resource" has been quoted all over the world.
Bob Stratton, Security Products and Services Manager for UUNet, lectured on personal privacy and information security.
Eric Hughes, co-founder of The Cypherpunks, spoke on payment, commerce and negotiation systems on the 'Net.
Annaliza Savage, a film-maker from London, showed her hacker documentary "UA: Unauthorized Access" which explores hackers from the underground, dismissing the usual media mythologies surrounding the 'outlaw hacker.' She is also one of the trolls at Bianca's Smut Shack and the proud companion of a fluffy dog named Bilbo.
Chris Goggans acted as MC and moderator. Chris is a speaker, consultant, narc, editor, author, interviewee, world traveler, hacker, cracker, knick-knack-paddy-whacker (give a dog a bone.) Love him, or hate him, he's the guy with everyone's 10 bucks. He also showed a Special Secret Video Presentation which I'll dub "Having Phun at your Local C.O."
Aside from the heat which was abated after lunch, it was a great conference with a large turn-out. All types were there, from frequency crackers to information couriers to 2600 staff and followers to the infamous Cult of the Dead Cow (cDc). Too much information was gathered and too many events unfolded to be included here. I have literature and contact information for notables at the event which will be delivered upon request. Choice Hotel systems will never book another Summercon again -- ever. Guaranteed. But the $50 damage fee charged to each guest will result in more of a nightmare than hotel management could imagine as the repercussions flood in --
Well amigos, for those that missed it ... we missed you as well. For those that made it ... well I doubt it will be forgotten anytime soon. BTW, the speaker bios were derived from the Summercon Program leaflet.
For a great video compilation (including Summercon 95), check out:
Hacker's '95 - A Phon-E & R.F. Burns Production
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