Paradise Lost, book III, line 18
++++++++++Hacker's Encyclopedia++++++++
============by Logik Bomb (LSC)=========
--------------------(1997-Second Edition)----------------

"[W]atch where you go
once you have entered here, and to whom you turn!
    Do not be misled by that wide and easy passage!"
    And my Guide [said] to him: "That is not your concern;
it is his fate to enter every door.
    This has been willed where what is willed must be, 
    and is not yours to question. Say no more."
    -_The Inferno_ by Dante Aligheri; AD 1321
    Translated by John Ciardi

    To the many programmers of hacking software everywhere, and all those who 
disseminate information, forbidden or otherwise. Also, I should note that 
a few of these entries are taken from "A Complete List of Hacker Slang and 
Other Things," Version 1C, by Casual, Bloodwing and Crusader; this doc 
started out as an unofficial update. However, I've updated, altered, 
re-written and otherwise torn apart the original document, so I'd be 
surprised if you could find any vestiges of the original document left. I 
think the list is very well written; my only problem with it is that it 
came out in 1990, which makes it somewhat outdated. I also got some 
information from the works listed in my bibliography, (it's in the back, 
after all the quotes) as well as the works of many SF authors; and many 
back issues of such e-zines as _Phrack Magazine_, _40Hex_, the _LOD/H 
Technical Journals_ and _Cheap Truth_ and print magazines such as 
_Newsweek_, _TIME_, _Internet Underground_, _Wired_ and _2600: The Hacker 
Quarterly_, as well as various people I've consulted. My alpha testers 
were Einsteinium, Remorseless and Manual Override and my only beta tester 
was Space Rogue of L0pht fame; I've also received input from Acid Phreak, 
John Perry Barlow, Dead Lord and Nightmare.
    I've also gotten a lot of information on (non-cyber) punks and the 
surrounding subculture from Ronald DuPlanty II who was in my ninth grade 
fourth-period drama class, who besides having the most piercings I've ever 
seen besides that chick in _Pulp Fiction_, writing a really cool monologue 
that was more cyberpunk than he ever considered, and being an all-around 
great guy, taught me more about Throbbing Gristle than _Cyberia_ ever came 
close to, indeed more than I ever wanted to know. I also got lots 
information on the rave scene from my cousin Sean Krueger.
    Finally, thanks to Nine Inch Nails, Rage Against the Machine, and the 
Cure, for giving me good background music while I was writing this.

    If anyone has any entries they want me to add, or a newer version of any 
of the texts in my bibliography, please send it to me at so that I can include changes in the 1998 edition. 
Don't change anything if you distribute this to other sites (and please 
do; I want this distributed all over the place); if you find any typos or 
errors I may have made, notify me and I will make the change in the next 
edition. I cannot make any guarantees as to the accuracy of any of these 
entries, but if you see a way I've screwed up, please tell me. All of my 
information is based on written material by journalists or other writers; 
I know that often journalists are very, very wrong. I also welcome new 
information; this document is supposed to be information relevant to 
"cyberpunks" for lack of a better word; specifically-- SF, hacking, 
phreaking, cracking, virii and subculture info (I am using my own 
discretion as far as the latter; while I have chosen to enter such 
questionable material as information on goths and Zippies, I don't want 
this to turn into _Mondo 2000: A User's Guide to Being a Fashionpunk_.) I 
am not including information on basic Net culture, such as IRC acronyms 
and emoticons; this sort of thing is already covered by people with much 
more knowledge than I in other files. Also, I'm a Mac user, and even 
though I have some Wintel and UNIX knowledge and the rest is usually taken 
up by my alpha testers, I may have some incorrect information, so I 
welcome corrections. Note: I am using brackets around such info as 
etymology. I also use brackets for unofficial subtitles; for instance, 
_Die Hard 2_ is written as _Die Hard 2_ [Die Harder] because though the 
subtitle (Die Harder) was used in advertising, it is not part of the 
official title. I am also using aliases that were meant to fool law 
enforcement and were not meant as handles under the form Lastname, 
Firstname, but I am using handles, even those in the form of proper names 
(such as Emmanuel Goldstein), without putting the last name first. Handles 
that look like proper names are also indexed with last name first, but 
that just references to the other entry. (What, you want me to write 
LIGHTNING, KNIGHT and PHREAK, ACID? Doesn't really work, even though John 
Perry Barlow refers to "Mr. Phreak" and "Mr. Optik.") I can't believe I'm 
spending my time on this crap.
    Oh, yeah, and so you know who I am and what my personal biases are, I'm 
Logik Bomb, pleased to meet you. I'm in high school, I own a Power 
Macintosh 6100/66 (16/500) (as well as a 28.8 modem, a Zip drive and a 
triple-speed CD-ROM drive) and I do consider myself a hacker (by 
definitions 1, 2, 3 and 5 in my entry). I have written for _Phrack 
Magazine_. I read a lot of cyberpunk fiction. I was a member of a fairly 
influential group called the Legion of the Apocalypse (LOA), but that 
group's demise has paved the way for a new group that I founded, the 
Laughing Skull Clan (LSC). My handle comes from the usually destructive 
program; however, I use the name more for an affinity for the imagery of 
the abolition of standard linear logic than interest in virii or similar 
programs; the "k" is in there in homage to Phiber Optik. (By the way, John 
Perry Barlow said I had a cool handle. So there.) Finally, I'm one of the 
very few hacker types in the entire world who knows how to spell. :)


ACID PHREAK (1970-Present)- Handle of Elias Ladopoulos. Current "leader" 
of MOD. Could be reached until recently at, though I think that 
account may no longer exist. [Name comes from "phreak," as in phone 
phreak, and "acid," so that it is a pun on acid freak, as in someone who 
takes a lot of LSD. He doesn't take acid, though; he listens to acid house 

ACTS [Automated Coin Toll System]- Used in payphones to show that you have 
indeed put money in, so you can now make a call. Can be fooled by a Red 

ADMINISTRATION- One of the largest hack/phreak groups to ever exist. It 
also included a group called Team Hackers '86. Members included Adolf 
Hitler, Alpha Centauri, Author Unknown, British Bloke, Dark Priest, David 
Lightman 214, Dr. Pepper, Hewlett Hackard, Major Havoc, Mane Phrame, Mark 
Twain, Phoneline Phantom 1, Red Baron, Renegade Rebel, Sasha Kinski, The 
President and Walter Mitty.

_ADVENTURE_- An old Atari 2600 video game that Knight Lightning played 
when he was seven and discovered secret rooms. This led to an interest in 
finding secrets in computers. Interestingly, the secret room KL found 
(which contained the initials of a programmer) is often considered to be 
the first easter egg ever put in a commercial program.

AGENT STEAL (1961-Present)- Handle of Justin Tanner Peterson, alias Samuel 
Grossman, alias Eric Heinz. Hacker and Los Angeles club promotor who 
apparently worked for the FBI after being jailed for credit card fraud; 
gathered info on big guns like Mitnick and Poulsen for the Bureau. Went on 
the run for 10 months before being apprehended in 1994.

AGORAPHOBIA- Literally, fear of everything. When a person must be totally 
isolated from the world. (Among other things, the Finn in Gibson's Sprawl 
Series in agoraphobic.) [From Latin, "fear of all."]

AGRAJAG THE PROLONGED- Former member of the Hitchhikers and the Legion of 
Doom. He was also a programmer for old gaming machines. [Handle is from a 
character in _Life, the Universe and Everything_, the third book in the 
increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker's Trilogy by Douglas Adams. I 
believe the person using the handle has combined the names of the 
characters of both Agrajag and Wowbanger the Infinitely Prolonged.]

AI [Artifical Intelligence]- see ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

AL [Artificial Life]- see ARTIFICIAL LIFE

ALLIANCE- Former AT&T trademark referring to teleconferencing systems.

ALTAIR- The very first personal computer, introduced 1975. Really pathetic 
by our standards, but the first computer at all available to the common 
person. [From a destination in the Romulan neutral zone in the classic 
_Star Trek_ episode "Balance of Terror."]

ALT.2600- Hacking Usenet newsgroup. From the magazine, _2600: The Hacker 
Quarterly_. There are a few variants: alt.2600.moderated, 
alt.2600.hackerz, alt.2600.phreakz and alt.2600hz. [In USENET form, "alt," 
for "alternative," and 񓩈," for the subgroup 2600.]


AMERICA ONLINE [AOL]- Very evil commercial online service that rose from 
the ashes of a BBS called QuantumLink in 1990, and the largest commercial 
service. They've had an enormous problem with hackers, and their solution 
is to try and stop the flow of programs they don't like and shut down any 
chat room involving hacking, while the child molestor rooms stay. A number 
of programs have been written to rip them off, most notably AOHell.

ANALOG- A way of representing information that uses a continuous range of 
values. Opposite of digital-- while a CD is digital, a tape is analog; 
while a computer is digital, an abacus is analog.

ANARCHY- (1) Total chaos and disorder.
    (2) A time in a country, usually after a revolution, where there is no 
government, the most recent example probably being the former Soviet Union 
after the breakup of the Eastern Bloc. This condition has never been 
prolonged for very long.
    (3) The tenets of the political science of anarchism, the ultimate goal 
of which is the removal of any rule by anyone or anything.
    (4) [Anarchy file] A file (usually text) that details such actions as how 
to brew nitroglycerin and other destructive things. [From Greek, "a," 
meaning nobody, and "-archy," meaning "rule." The "n" is in there because 
it's too hard to pronounce "aarchy."]

AOHELL- Most famous program for hacking America Online; first coded in 
1994 and contains a full suite of utilities. AOL's attempts at shutting 
down its distribution haven't worked very well.

AOL [America Online]- see AMERICA ONLINE

APPLE COMPUTER, INCORPORATED- Very large computer corporation whose main 
product is the Macintosh and its associated system software, the MacOS. 
Founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (incidentally, former 
phone phreaks) and created the Apple IIe in 1979, which became the 
standard personal computer. In 1984, they released the Macintosh ("and 
you'll see why 1984 won't be like 1984"). While the second largest 
computer manufacturer in the world, the Mac operating system continues to 
lose market share.

APPLEGATE, CHRISTINA- Former model and actress, notably on the television 
show _Married With Children_. Rumors were spread that Erik Bloodaxe dated 
her (he says they aren't true), and her credit report was pulled by MOD.

AREA CODE- The prefix in a phone number, based on location, to add to the 
number of possible phone numbers. When two or more hackers have the same 
handle and it is in dispute as to who had it first or who deserves it, it 
is used to differentiate, or at least it was in the 1980s. (This is used 
in this file as well, as with the two Knightmares and Dr. Who.)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE [AI]- Used to refer to "smart" programs that do 
their jobs quickly and with minimum of user input, as well as the code 
written in computer games governing the actions of non-user controlled 
characters or enemies. Also used to refer to system software that can 
reason; this has not been achieved. The best examples of this are the 
insane AIs in _Neuromancer_ and HAL 9000 in _2001: A Space Odyssey_.

ARTIFICIAL LIFE [AL]- Living programs or robots; viruses may be the early, 
primitive forms of artificial life. Maxis makes programs using relatively 
advanced artificial life (notably _SimLife_).


ASCII ART- Art done in plain text. This is fairly difficult. Portraits of 
people done in ASCII art usually only work if the person has some major 
distinguishing characteristics; for instance, while my friend Einsteinium 
might come across fairly recognizable because he has long hair and 
glasses, I would not be at all distinguishable because I have contact 
lenses and fairly normal length hair, and my only really distinguishing 
feature is my red hair, which cannot be shown in ASCII because it can't 
support colors. That and my incredible radiating handsomeness, which 
unfortunately cannot be shown in ASCII either. :) [From American Standard 
Code for Information Interchange, the set of bits created in the 1980s to 
represent characters.]

AT&T [American Telephone and Telegraph]- Originally American Bell 
Telephone, the company that started the telephone. It was bought and, 
under the tutelage of another huge company, became a monopolous phone 
provider. Huge telco that was the Microsoft of the Seventies and Eighties. 
It was broken up by the justice department in 1982, which created lots of 
little baby RBOCS. In 1990 their phone network crashed, which got them 
into a lot of trouble. See also DEATH STAR

ATLANTA THREE- Urvile, Leftist and Prophet, members of the Atlanta chapter 
of LOD that were thrown in jail during the Hacker Crackdown of 1990.


AVATAR- From a modern, Internet perspective, the term avatar was first 
adopted from Neal Stephenson to refer to the psychological persona people 
take on when they anonymously enter cyberspace. However, it is 
increasingly being used more literally as a term for the icons 
representing a user in a certain programs on the Internet. [First used 
from an Internet perspective in 1992 in _Snow Crash_, by Neal Stephenson, 
in one of those self-fulfilling SF prophecies. Stephenson got the name 
from the Hindu concept of avatars, which are the personification of 
various deities or entities.]

AXE- To reformat a disk or delete a file.

BABBAGE, [Professor] CHARLES- Professor of mathematics at Cambridge who 
designed the Analytical Engine, a huge, grinding, steam-driven machine to 
do mathematical calculations in the 1830s. _The Difference Engine_, by 
William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, takes place in an alternate 1855 where 
the Analytical Engine was advanced nearly as far as our personal computers.

BABY- (1) Any program that is less than full-blown. A baby word processor 
would be a program that does just the bare essentials. (Apple's obsolete 
TeachText was a baby word processor.) 
    (2) A hardware device that is smaller than normal.

BANG- (1) To lose your temper, usually in a very violent manner. In the 
extreme, actual destruction of hardware may result.  [From banging 
something, or hitting it; also from the onomotopeotic word for a loud 
    (2) Lots of exclamation points to add emphasis. Sometimes other weird 
characters are used as bangs. Also used to pronounce exclamation points; 
for instance, "Go to hell!!!!" would be pronounced "go to hell bang bang 
bang bang."

BANK- Cache memory; a section of memory not normally used that is utilized 
for high speed operations in certain programs. [From "databank;" I think 
this word has been replaced by the term "cache."]

BARLOW, JOHN PERRY- Grateful Dead lyricist from 1970 until the band broke 
up in 1995; ex-cattle rancher. Co-founder of the Electronic Frontier 
Foundation; civil libertarian, "cognitive dissident," buddy of a lot of 
members of MOD. (After that little misunderstanding with Phiber when 
Barlow called Phiber a punk and compared him to a skateboarder, and Phiber 
ILFed Barlow's TRW credit report. Good hack, that.) Also wrote the essay 
"Crime and Puzzlement," as well as a declaration of the independence of 
cyberspace and a _Time_ essay (notable for using the word "shit" for the 
first time in _Time_ without quotes around it. Barlow later said it felt 
like a revolutionary act.) Also, he's one of the few people I've met over 
the Net who I've also actually met in person, and the only real 
description I can give is that he looks exactly the way you'd think that 
he would knowing that he's a civil libertarian from Wyoming. Currently 
civil libertarian and contributing writer for _Wired_.

BASE- (1) Contraction for the word "database."
    (2) In most programming languages, (C, C++, Pascal, etc.) a pointer, a 
set of memory locations that point to the start of an array (another 
memory location); the pointer is the "base" from which the array starts.

BASIC [Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code]- Early 
programming language for beginners. Used a lot in the 1980s.

BAUD [rate]- Obsolete measurement of the speed of a modem; often 
erroneously used to refer to bits per second because at low rates they are 
equivalent. It really means "the number of signal events per second 
occuring on a communications channel." (That's what my modem's manual 
says.) [Named in honor of Emile Baudot, "telecommunications pioneer."]

BBS [Bulletin Board System]- A computer that is set up to act as a system 
where other people call in using phone lines to post messages; sometimes 
software is traded, and usually archives are kept of software on the 
board. The first board worthy of the name was Ward Christensen and Randy 
Suess's board in 1978.

BEDBUG- A virus type program that another programmer inserts into an 
existing program, with the intention of causing havoc. Usually not 
serious-- it is coded so the results look like a software bug, not a true 
virus. May make copies of itself. See also BUG, VIRUS, TAPEWORM


BELL, [Professor] ALEXANDER GRAHAM- Guy who invented the telephone in 
1876. The man who created cyberspace, in its early, pathetic stage when no 
one thought it would be anything.

BELLSOUTH- Atlanta RBOC that was supposedly very easy to hack; some rumors 
claim they eventually spent two million dollars on security.

BERNIE S.- Handle of Ed Cummings. Phreak recently released from an 
uncomfortable and unConstitutional imprisonment for possession of computer 
programs that "could be used for fraud." Can be emailed at

BIG BLUE- Slang for IBM. Comes from their blue logo.

BIG BROTHER- Name for a police state government that spies on every aspect 
of a citizen's life and commandeers their very thoughts. The NSA's not so 
secret wish. [From the name of the insidious government in George Orwell's 


BIT [Binary Digit]- Contraction of binary digit. Smallest unit of 
measurement in cyberspace. A 1 or 0; representing on or off, true or false 
to a computer.



THE BLACK BARON- Handle of Christopher Pile. British virus author who was 
sentenced to a jail term under the Computer Misuse Act for writing the 
viruses Pathogen and Queeg, which included an engine called SMEG. Also 
apparently a fan of the science fiction/comedy series _Red Dwarf_.

BLACK WIDOW- A Java applet capable of sinister acts including uploading 
files to the victims hard drive and consuming RAM and CPU cycles.

_BLADE RUNNER_- 1982 Harrison Ford movie directed by Ridley Scott that 
many cyberpunks just love to death. It has a great re-creation of Los 
Angeles in 2019 that William Gibson has said mirrors his vision of the 
Sprawl in _Neuromancer_;  just about every film using a dystopian urban 
environment has been inspired at least in part by the one in _Blade 
Runner_. The plot concerns a former bounty hunter/cop that hunts 
replicants, androids designed for off-world colonies. A sequel that I 
really didn't care for at all was also written (_Blade Runner 2: The Edge 
of Human_ by K.W. Jeter, followed by the sequel to that, _Replicant 
Night_) recently (don't waste your money on it), and Ridley Scott says he 
is going to make a follow-up film tentatively titled _Metropolis_. 
[Loosely based on Phillip K. Dick's _Do Android's Dream of Electric 
Sheep_; title comes from the name of a totally unrelated William S. 
Burroughs novel about black market surgeons, which was itself based on a 
story by Alan E. Nourse.]


BLESSED FOLDER- Slang for the System Folder on Macintosh computers. Comes 
from the fact that everything is run by that folder, and you mess with at 
your own risk. 


BLUE BOX- Infamous box that pretty much no longer works, but kicked ass in 
the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s. It is a device that plays a sound at a 
frequency of 2600 hertz, which allows all kinds of cool things. See BOXES


BOT- Either a benevolent search bot such as an infobot or knowbot, or a 
Bot which hacks IRC. [Short for "robot."]

BOX- A hardware device that allows abnormal telephone operation, like free 
calls or anti-tracing, used by phreaks. The ultimate box is the rainbow 
box, which combines the blue box, red box, green box, and black box. There 
are also a lot of weird variant boxes. Boxes, though the most pure form of 
phreaking, are rarely used now because of the phone company's changes to 
stop it, both on purpose and as a serendipitious result of the 
digitization of the phone system.

BPS [Bits Per Second]- Measurement of the speed of a modem. Currently 
being replaced by kbps (kilobits per second.) See also BAUD

BRAND, STEWART- Editor of the _Whole Earth Catalog_ and contributing 
writer for _Wired_; one of the hippies that decided cyberspace was pretty 
cool. Described cyberpunk as "technology with an attitude."

BRIDGE- A hack into the phone company's PBX. This is often used so that 
many phreaks can talk in a huge conference; this was a much more common 
practice in the 1980s, when massive party lines were held, people 
occasionally dropping out to go to work or school and someone else taking 
their place.

BRUTE FORCE ATTACK- A classic hacking technique; guessing an exhaustive 
number of passwords to try and enter a system. This does not work as much 
anymore, probably because even idiot sysadmins don't use quite so simple 
passwords. It was very successful about ten years ago, though.


BUG- A mistake in programming or hardware design that results in 
unfavorable and sometimes disastrous results. Microsoft Word 6.0 was 
notorious for this. See also BEDBUG


BUM- The act of rewriting a program or section of a program to run in a 
smaller memory area.  May also mean changing the code to remove unused 
sections and try to improve on the running speed. [From an old MIT hacker 

BURKE [, Carter J.]- A total asshole who causes more trouble than he's 
worth. [From the name of a treacherous company man in the film _Aliens_.]

BYTE- A sequence of adjacent bits operated on as a unit by a computer. 
Very small unit of virtual measurement. Usually, a byte is eight bits. (On 
the Internet, a byte is transferred as seven bits, which sort of fucks 
everything up.) [Comes from an alteration and blend of bit and bite.]

CAFFEINE- Natural "smart drug;" enough of it makes you hyper. Present in 
chocolate, soft drinks and coffee. Gateway drug. (If you don't know what a 
gateway drug is, you weren't listening closely enough in D.A.R.E. 
propaganda class.)

CALEA [Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act]- Bill which 
concerns the development of a government wiretapping infrastracture; 
notably bans possession of "hardware or software used for altering or 
modifying telecommunications instruments to obtain unauthorized access to 
telecommunications services;" used to prosecute Bernie S. This legislation 
also makes most of the people reading this document criminals, as most of 
us have a modem or even (gasp) a cracking program of some sort. Yeah, 
right, like most of us hackers aren't criminals anyway, this just gives 
them license to lock us up for no provable reason. I wonder if CALEA is 
what they got Joseph K. on in _The Trial_ . . .

CANDYMAN- Archiver of forbidden information; administrator of CandyLand 
(was, rather; it was recently shut down). Computer science student. His 
stuff is often cited by Congress and the like as examples of why we should 
make the Net a police state.



CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT- A Dallas, Texas hacker who, in 1986, cracked an HBO 
presentation of _The Falcon and the Snowman_ with a message decrying HBO's 
practice of encrypting transmissions so that they could not be picked up 
with a satellite dish. According to an unsubstantiated report, he later 
used this to ask his girlfriend to marry him, and was eventually caught. 
[Probably from the 1930s radio show character.]

CARBON [or carbon dioxide] CHIP- The 80486 or 65C02 CPU chip.  The 
"carbon" comes from the "C," as in "CO2," (one carbon molecule, two oxygen 
molecules) which is the chemical formula for carbon dioxide.

CARDING- Using illicit credit card numbers. The underground is divided as 
far as the ethics of this; most think it is common thievery and does not 
follow the freedom of information ethic that drives other hacking.

CASE [, Henry Dorsett]- Anti-hero of _Neuromancer_, the William Gibson SF 
book; one of his few characters that only appeared in one book. Adopted as 
a hero by some and an allegory for the hacker; a ueberhacker who stole 
from his employees, has his nerves damaged so that he can not go back to 
cyberspace, but takes a deal with an AI to get them fixed. (The first two 
names are in brackets because one gets the feeling they aren't really his 
name- he's only referred to by this name once by the Turing Police, and 
it's sort of assumed that he dropped the names when he became a hacker. Or 
at least that's what I got out of it.)


CCC [Chaos Computer Club]- see CHAOS COMPUTER CLUB [CCC]

CDA [Communications Decency Act]- see COMMUNICATIONS DECENCY ACT [CDA]

cDc [cult of the Dead cow]- see THE CULT OF THE DEAD COW [cDc]


CERT [Computer Emergency Response Team]- see COMPUTER EMERGENCY RESPONSE 

CFP [Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference]- see COMPUTERS, FREEDOM 

CHAOS COMPUTER CLUB [CCC]- Infamous West German hacking group founded in 
1984 that is now trying to be kind of sort of legit. Members have included 
Wau Holland (leader), Steffen Wernery, Christian Wolf, Pengo, Obelix, Dob, 
Peter Carl, Hagbard Celine and Markus Hess (possibly). Can be reached at



tracker team, formed in 1987 by William J. Cook. A major part of the 
Hacker Crackdown of 1990.

CHIP- Shorthand for microprocessor. The hardware that runs the machine. 
The PowerPC and the Pentium are examples of chips.


CLASS 10 TOOLS- Really nasty programs that can thouroughly trash a system- 
if information war is coming, these would be the Stealth bombers and atom 
bombs. Tsutomu Shimomura built many of these, which is one of the reasons 
why the SDSC is such a huge target for hackers. [Term coined by Brosl 


CLIPPER CHIP- Encryption plan endorsed by the Clinton-Gore administration 
that is currently in its third incarnation (the current proposal is 
sometimes mockingly known as Clipper 3.1.1). The way it's supposed to 
work, as designed by the NSA, is that we stick this cool thing called the 
Clipper chip in every computer and fax machine and communications tool 
ever made, which would save us from commies and those evil hackers. Of 
course, our benevolent Big Brother the Government of the United States of 
America would keep the keys to these chips, so in case anyone did anything 
the government designated to be illegal (or someone did something a 
government employee wanted to find out), the government could look at all 
our files and every email we ever sent. Of course, the government would 
never abuse this, would it? Phillip Zimmermann created PGP 1.0 in response 
to this.

C0DEZ D00DZ [sometimes K0DEZ D00DZ]- The phreak equivalent of a pirate. 
Someone who finds out phone codes and distributes them to the electronic 
underground. There is also a derogatory term, "c0dez kidz."

COGNITIVE DISSIDENTS- The name of a "chill," or bar where people hang out, 
in _Virtual Light_. John Perry Barlow and some other people have taken to 
calling themselves "cognitive dissidents," I believe inspired by _VL_.

COMMODORE- A computer company which eventually bought Amiga; popular in 
the 1980s. People who used their computers were often berated by people 
with the superior (but still awful by today's standards) Apple IIe. 
However, according to _The Cyberpunk Handbook (The Real Cyberpunk 
Fakebook)_, Phiber Optik used a Commodore. That's sort of like turning 
stone to bread or feeding ten thousand people with one fish. [From the 
Naval wartime rank, I assume.]

[Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act]

COMMUNICATIONS DECENCY ACT [CDA]- Law passed as part of the 
Telecommunications Bill of 1996 making indecent speech and information 
illegal in cyberspace in the United States, which AOL, Microsoft and 
CompuServe (never thought I'd be on their side), as well as the EFF and 
ACLU, are attempting to overturn. It sparked a day of protest on the 
Internet (Black Thursday), when many major sites draped their pages in 
black. A federal court declared the law unConstitutional 3-0, and the 
Supreme Court has announced that they will review the law and make a 
decision as to its Constitutionality soon.

COMPUSERVE- Very old online service that is the second biggest in America; 
founded in 1979 and currently owned by H & R Block. It is very conspicuous 
because edresses are set up with annoying numbers like 76543.1700.  They 
created an uproar when they banned many sexually explicit newsgroups 
because a German user said they violated Germany obscenity laws and 
threatened to sue. [Name obviously comes from combination of "computer" 
and "serve."]

COMPUTER EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM [CERT]- Anti-hacking group which sets up 
security and tracks people; managed by Dain Gary. Reachable at

COMPUTER MISUSE ACT- British law on the books since 1990, among other 
things outlawing virus writing. The Black Baron was prosecuted with this 

what it says it is; notable for vocal opposition to the "Star Wars" 
defense project on the grounds that it is putting too much trust in 
computers; and for filing suit with the US government in the 2600 case.

System for Mainframe OperationS] 

con; in 1994, the FBI arrested Brian Merrill, an innocent man, because it 
was also an alias of Kevin Mitnick, there.

COMSEC [Computer Security]- Network security firm founded by the remnants 
of LOD; went out of business in 1994. Replaced by the ISP LOD 
Communications, Inc.

CON- A convention; in this context, a hacker convention. Begun in the 
mid-1980s by such groups as LOD. Recent, high-profile Cons included 
Hacking at the End of the Universe and HOPE.


"THE CONSCIENCE OF A HACKER"- A legendary manifesto written by the Mentor 
shortly after his arrest in 1986, published in _Phrack Inc._ magazine, 
volume one, issue seven. It was later reprinted in _Phrack_ again and in 
_The Hacker Crackdown_, _Teleconnect Magazine_, the film _Hackers_, 
T-shirts worn at Cons, and numerous ftp sites, web pages and BBS's.

CONSOLE COWBOY- A hacker. From SF novels. This term has remained 
relatively unmolested by the media. See also COWBOY

CONTROL C- Infamous hacker and member of LOD who was busted by Michigan 
Bell and actually did get a security job from them. Also known as Phase 
Jitter, Master of Impact, Dual Capstan, Richo Sloppy, Cosmos Dumpster 
Driver, Poster Boy and Whacky Wally. Disciple of Bill From RNOC.

COOKBOOK- A detailed document on exactly what to do when hacking a certain 
type of system, written by piecing together computer manuals and personal 
experience. [From the type of book giving detailed instructions on 

COOPERATING FULLY- When hackers tell every illegal act and the names of 
all of their cohorts because they think it will save them. While this 
occasionally works, to many law enforcement officers, "cooperating fully" 
generally means you bend over.


CORRUPT (1971-Present)- Handle of John Lee. Member of MOD; former member 
of a New York gang called the Decepticons. VAXEN expert. [Handle obviously 
comes from the adjective for being morally bankrupt.]

COSMOS [COmputer System for Mainframe OperationS]- Database program used 
by telcos to store information; staple of the elite phreaker; or at least 
it was.


COUNT ZERO- The handle of several hackers. I know of several; one who 
wrote an article for _Phrack_ about a lecture by John Markoff; one who 
said "Information yearns to be free" (quoted at Space Rogue's Whacked Mac 
Archives a while back, before he changed the quotes); the guy who defined 
k-rad as "a thousand points of rad" (quoted in _The Cyberpunk Handbook 
(The Real Cyberpunk Fakebook)_); the member of cDc; the member of 
Phalcon/Skism mentioned in some issues of _40Hex_; and the writer for 
_2600_. (Some of which may be the same person.) [All handles come from the 
name of the protagonist of William Gibson's second novel, also titled 
_Count Zero_, who also appeared in _Mona Lisa Overdrive_. The character is 
a cyberspace hacker with the handle Count Zero Interrupt, whose birth name 
is Bobby Newmark. According to the book, this comes from an old programmer 
term (probably related to the opening line about returning the marker to 
zero); however, I am not blessed with this knowledge. Wow, that's scary. 
Gibson knows something about computers that I don't.]

COWBOY- One of the legendary figures hackers tend to latch on to as 
role-models. Spawned the term "console cowboy." As a result, many hackers 
tend to give themselves gunfighter-type names (i.e. Datastream Cowboy, Doc 

CPSR [Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility]- see COMPUTER 

CRACK [sometimes "krack"]- (1) To remove the copy protection from a 
commercial program, so that the resultant program (or file) is "cracked." 
Also covers modifying any program illegally, such as when Netscape 
Navigator 2.0b4 was cracked when the expiration date was surgically 
removed a while back. See also HACK
    (2) To crack a password using a cracking program and a dictionary. 
Involves using crypt-and-compare; the program encrypts various words and 
compares the encrypted form of the words to the encrypted password. On 
UNIX the most commonly used crack program is Crack, on DOS it is 
CrackerJack, and on Mac it is MacKrak.

CRACKER- Term given to so-called "malicious" hackers by the original MIT 
hackers, hoping the media would leave the name "hacker" alone and not 
damage the original hackers' pristine, snow-white reputation. Never really 
got picked up, probably because it sounds a lot like a wheat consumable or 
a derogatory term for a white hick. While (I think, at least) this is a 
really lame word, it is occasionally used by those wishing to seem 
knowledgable. (Sorry Erich Schneider. No offense.) [Comes from "cracking" 
into systems.]

CRASHER- Someone who not only hacks systems, he crashes them. Not that 
widely used.

John Perry Barlow about LOD and hackers and his relationship with Phiber 
Optik and Acid Phreak. [Name obviously inspired by Fyodor Dostoyevsky's 
_Crime and Punishment_.]

CRIMSON DEATH (1970-Present)- Also known as the Sorceror. Hacker/phreak 
who was editor of _Phrack_ for a short time. He was also the sysop of Hell 
Phrozen Over, Missing Link, Skull Kingdom, the Forgotten Realm and 
CyberWaste; disciple of the Videosmith. He was also known for having a 
nose ring, back when that was shocking and cool. [Handle comes from 
_Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual II_.]

CRUNCH- (1) The act of using a program such as PKZip or StuffIt to 
compress another program into a smaller disk space.
    (2) The act of re-writing sections of a program to run in a smaller 
memory space.

CRYP- Used by Rudy Rucker to refer to illegal hackers who do it for money 
or power in his science fiction. (Not derogatory; Rucker is one of the 
real scientist hackers who thankfully doesn't look down on us obnoxious 
punks.) [I'm not sure where this came from, but I'd guess it comes from 
"Crips," as in the violent street gang, in an amalgram with "cryp[t]," as 
in cryptography.]

_THE CUCKOO'S EGG_- Novel by Clifford Stoll about his tracking down of 
renegade members of the Chaos Computer Club. Disliked by many in the 
electronic underground because of his constant black-or-white approach to 
computer ethics, painting hackers as totally evil and him as totally good, 
ignoring the fact that some of his methods are close to being as illegal 
as those of the hackers he tracks. However, I haven't read it, so I can't 

THE CULT OF THE DEAD COW [cDc]- Anarchist occult goth hacker group that 
writes a lot of weird text files with a lot of profanity and ASCII art. 
Have their own USENET newsgroup dedicated to them-, 
as well as an irc channel, #cdc, and a web page, Members have included Swamp Ratte (current 
leader), Count Zero, Deth Vegetable, The Nightstalker, Red Knight, Tweety 
Fish, Iskra and Basil.



CYBERDECK- In cyberpunk fiction, notably Gibson (though I don't know where 
it appeared first; the term has also been used in the works of Rudy Rucker 
and cyberpunk role-playing games) the futuristic modem that allows 
characters to run through cyberspace. Though descriptions vary, it is 
usually described as being keyboard sized, and sometimes has a plug that 
inserts into the character's head (jacking in).

about ravers and hackers and stuff. It was berated by many in the 
electronic underground, and Erik Bloodaxe said "Imagine a book about drugs 
written by someone who's never inhaled. Imagine a book about raves written 
by someone saw a flyer once [sic]. Imagine a book about computers written 
by someone who thinks a mac is complex [...] and there you have Cyberia, 
by Douglas Rushkoff. This book should have been called 'Everything I 
Needed to Know About Cyber-Culture I Learned in Mondo-2000.'" Brutal, but 

CYBERNETICS- The study of the feedback loop that informs any control 
system of the results of its actions; communication theory. Coined by 
Norbert Weiner of MIT in the 1940's when he was working on anti-aircraft 
guns. Often erroneously used now to refer to bionic parts. Supposedly (I 
got this from _The Hacker and the Ants_ by Rudy Rucker) it has meant 
"bullshit" from the beginning; Weiner was trying to think of what to call 
his paper, and a colleague suggested "cybernetics" because it didn't mean 
anything and would intimidate people. [From kybernetes, Greek for 

CYBERPUNK- 1) A literary term referring to the new science fiction that 
was written in the 1980s; specifically, the works of the so-called 
"Mirrorshades Group"-- Bruce Sterling, William Gibson, Tom Maddox, Pat 
Cadigan, Rudy Rucker, Greg Bear, John Shirley, Lewis Shiner and others. 
Cyberpunk fiction is (or was, if you agree with Norman Sprinrad that 
cyberpunk is dead) concerned with a realistic (sometimes surrealistic), 
usually pessimistic future where technology is incredibly enhanced and 
humans are controlled by a System- huge zaibatus or a fundamentalist 
religion. These are all generalizations; one cyberpunk novel took place in 
1855. There hasn't really been a "classic" cyberpunk novel since 1987, 
with Gibson's _Mona Lisa Overdrive_; the most recent notable cyberpunk 
work was Neal Stephenson's really weird, theological technological comedy 
_Snow Crash_ in 1992, in addition to Gibson and Sterling's most recent 
offerings. [From Gardner Dozois, who first coined the term to refer to 
science fiction. He is believed to have cribbed this from the title of a 
short story by Bruce Bethke, who has since proclaimed himself an 
"anti-cyberpunk," whatever the fuck that means.]
    (2) A noun for a hacker. This was used just because the media thought it 
sounded like a good name for a computer criminal.
    (3) A member of the "cyberpunk subculture." Specific people thought to be 
part of the subculture are hackers, phreaks, cypherpunks and ravers.

_CYBERPUNK_ [2020]- The first cyberpunk role-playing game, created in 1989 
by R. Talsorian Games. Originally called just _Cyberpunk_, but that had 
the possibility of violating copyrights, so the second edition was called 
_Cyberpunk version, or _Cyberpunk 2020_. [From the literary and 
social movements described in detail in the rest of this document.]

CYBERPUNK BUST- Mocking term used in the science fiction community for the 
bust of Steve Jackson Games where _GURPS Cyberpunk_ was seized.

Hafner and John Markoff about hackers, specifically, three case studies: 
Kevin Mitnick, Pengo and Robert Morris.  Much better than I'd thought it 
would be.


CYBERSPACE- The Internet or a virtual reality system; most often (and most 
correctly, in my opinion) to refer to all digital entities that can be 
entered, including the Internet and BBS's. Overused, but still kind of 
cool. Popularized by John Perry Barlow around 1990. [Invented by William 
Gibson in the short story "Burning Chrome;" from "cybernetic" (the science 
of communication and control theory) and "space" (you know what "space" 
is, I hope.) He got the idea from watching kids play video games.]


CYBORG- A cybernetic organism; an android, or human with machine or 
computer parts. The term is also metaphorically used to refer to the 
modern state of technologically advanced mankind, which has figuratively 
if not literally fused with machinery. [From "cybernetic organism;" a term 
coined by Manfred Clynes and Nathan Kline in 1960.]

_CYBORGASM_- Really stupid CD. There are others like it, but this is the 
most popular. It is a recording of a bunch of people making sounds while 
having sex. In the words of a reviewer for _Mondo 2000_, in one of their 
more witty moments, "There is nothing cyber about this. It's a fucking CD. 

CYPHERPUNK- Someone who thinks that encryption should be used by all, and 
advocates the removal of all laws restricting cryptographic technology. 
They are also sometimes called crypto-anarchists, because their ideal of 
free encryption, many believe, would destroy the effectiveness of 
government. [From "cyberpunk," as in a member of the electronic 
underground, and "cypher," a code made up of symbols.]

DAEMON9 (1973-Present)- Also known as Route and Infinity. Member of the 
Guild. One of the current co-editors of _Phrack Magazine_. Owner of 
Information Nexus ( Can be reached at

DANCE- The act of typing very rapidly without errors.

DARK AVENGER- Bulgarian virus writer who has achieved cult hero status. 
His most famous virus is Eddie, AKA Dark Avenger (named after the author). 
He is a major heavy metal person, and many of his virii contain references 
to Iron Maiden.


DARK PHIBER []- Internet community grown out of a BBS 
created in 1991 by the White Ninja and Wild Child and shut down 
(temporarily) in 1994. Currently administered by Decius 6i5 and Musashi. 
[From a deliberate misspelling of "dark fiber," the term for fiber optic 
lines in place but not in use.]

DARK TANGENT- Handle of Jeffery Moss. Organizer of many hacker cons, 
including DefCon. Also occasionally writes for _Wired_.

DATACOPS- Any agency in charge of keeping information expensive. Notable 
datacops include the NSA, FBI and the Secret Service, as well as 
independant agencies such as CERT. [From "data," meaning information, and 
"cops," a slang term coming from the acronym "constable on patrol."]

DATASTREAM COWBOY- British hacker noted for hacking the Royal Air Force; 
he was tracked when the Air Force OSI hacked the systems he was entering 
the RAF systems from. Currently the Phrack World News correspondent for 

DATA ENCRYPTION STANDARD [DES]- see DES [Data Encryption Standard]

DEAD ADDICT- Formerly known as Sugar Addict. Ex-phreaker, Def Con speaker, 
and Seattle resident. Currently known for his web page, Underground 
Propaganda <>.

DEAD LORD- Handle of Bruce Fancher. Also known as the Infiltrator, 
Executive Hacker [?] and Sharp Razor. Good friend of Lord Digital and 
co-administrator of MindVox; former member of the Chief Executive Officers 
and the Legion of Doom. (?) Though many press reports say he was in LOD, 
as well as he himself in a Phrack pro-phile, he is not listed in the 
official lists distributed in _Phrack_ and _LOD/H TJ_, and a file in an 
early issue of _Phrack_ quotes a file he supposedly wrote which insults 
LOD-- heh, DL probably thought no one had so little of a life they'd 
actually use FindText to scan for references to him in _Phrack_ and read 
the files. However, that was in a rag file, and I haven't read the file it 
refers to, so I'm unsure of the accuracy. Can be reached at

DEATH STAR- Term referring to AT&T. [From the post-breakup AT&T logo, 
which resembles the evil Death Star from _Star Wars_.]


DENNING, [Doctor] DOROTHY ELIZABETH DAVIS [1945-Present]- Computer 
security academic and author of _Cryptography and Data Security_. In 1990, 
wrote a paper ("Concerning Hackers Who Break into Computers") which gained 
a fair amount of notoriety defending hackers and suggesting that they be 
worked with closely to understand their motives. She then went and spoke 
with some security professionals, and immediately changed her mind and 
decided hackers were evil after all, if not the ones she'd spoken to, then 
the vast majority. She became further villified by the Hacker Nation when 
she began supporting the Clipper initiative, which to this day she defends 
in the face of extreme criticism.

DE PAYNE, LEWIS- Alias Sam Holliday, also known as Roscoe, also known as 
Lewcifer. Phreaker buddy of Kevin Mitnick, interviewed in _Cyberpunk_. Can 
be reached at

DES [Data Encryption Standard]- The current encryption used by the United 
States Government. Becoming more and more obsolete.


DETH VEGETABLE [sometimes shortened as Deth Veggie]- Handle of Eric Skoog. 
Member of the Cult of the Dead Cow. Wrote a number of anarchy files when 
he was 15. Interviewed by _Dateline_.


DeWITT, PHILIP-ELMER- Writer for _TIME_ magazine who writes virtually all 
of their stories about computers. Wrote cover stories on cyberpunks, 
cyberspace, and cyberporn. Actually, I don't recall him writing about 
anything that didn't have the prefix "cyber." Also occasionally works as a 
correspondent for the _MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour_.

DIALED NUMBER RECORDER [DNR]- see DNR [Dialed Number Recorder]

DICE- To separate a program into two or more files to allow loading under 
the OS. [From cooking slang, meaning to chop.]

DiCOCCO, LEONARD MITCHELL (1965-Present)- Ex-friend of Kevin Mitnick, 
eventually narked him to the FBI. Former employee of Voluntary Plan 
Administers (VPA).


_DIE HARD 2_ [Die Harder]- 1990 Bruce Willlis action movie that included 
hacker/terrorists taking over an airport. Notable because Congress held a 
hearing on it and its possible realism, just as they did almost ten years 
prior for _WarGames_.


DISK OPERATING SYSTEM [DOS]- see DOS [Disk Operating System]

DIVERTING- Hacking corporate PBXs and dialing out of them for free.

DNR [Dialed Number Recorder]- Device that cops use to know who you call so 
they know who to question. Not to be confused with the TCP/IP component 
DNR, for Domain Name Resolver.

DOB (1960-Present)- Handle of Dirk-Otto Brzezinski. Former member of the 
Chaos Computer Club. One of the renegade members who hacked for the KGB.

DOC- Contraction for documentation or document. A file that contains 
information on how to use a program. Usually a plain text file, but may be 
in a specific, proprietary word processor format. Also the DOS suffix for 
a word processing file, usually Microsoft Word.

DOC HOLLIDAY- Handle of Scott Chasin. Former member of LOD and good friend 
of Erik Bloodaxe. [From the nickname of the dentist/gunfighter.]


DOCTOR WHO [413] (1967-Present)- Also known as Skinny Puppy and Saint 
Cloud. Former member of the Legion of Doom. [From the character on the 
British 1970s TV show of the same name.]

DOS [Disk Operating System]- Usually used to refer to MS-DOS, or Microsoft 
Disk Operating System, which got to version 6.22 before Microsoft recently 
abandoned it in favor of Windows 95. Other DOS's exist or existed; besides 
the OS's that have long since gone away like Apple DOS and Commodore's 
DOS, there are the unofficial versions of MS-DOS, such as DOS 7.0 and DOS 

DOWNLOAD- To transmit via modem a program or file from a BBS or network to 
a computer. See also UPLOAD, TRANSFER, XFER




DRAPER, JOHN- Birth name of Cap'n Crunch. Also known as the Pirate, also 
known as the Crunchmeister. One of the very early phreakers; got his 
handle because he once used a whistle that came with Cap'n Crunch cereal 
to hack the phone system. He currently writes custom Mac applications, but 
spends most of his time raving. Can be reached at

DREW, DALE- Also known as the Dictator and Blind Faith. Paid Secret 
Service informant who turned in Knight Lightning and videotaped "SummerCon 
'88," the hacker's conference, even though it turned out no illegal 
activity occurred. He has remained an unrepentant bastard.

DRUNKFUX- Major Con organizer and hacker. Don't know much about him other 
than that.


DUB- The act of making a backup copy of a program (or disk) in the event 
the original copy becomes unusable. [From sound and video editing slang.]

D00D- A person, a guy. "Dude" in warez speak. Not used as much as it once 



ECSTASY [AKA "X," among other names]- Drug that's very popular with 
ravers, like acid without the hallucinations. It was made illegal in 1987. 
However, "Herbal Ecstasy," an organic version, is still legal. [Technical 
name: MDMA- don't ask me what it stands for.] See also EPHEDRINE

EDDRESS- Email address. Eddresses are usually in the format

EFF [Electronic Frontier Foundation]- see ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION 


8lgm- English hacker group that currently runs a security mailing list. 
Busted in 1994. It stands for alternately Eight Legged Groove Machine and 
Eight Little Green Men (the latter is unproven, but I've heard it used). 
The members were two hackers named Pad and Gandalf.

EIGHT LITTLE GREEN MEN [8lgm]- see 8lgm

ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION [EFF]- A civil liberties group created in 
response to the unConstitutional actions of the United States Secret 
Service during the Hacker Crackdown of 1990. They have a newsletter, the 
_EFFector_. Some of the more notable or influential members include Bruce 
Sterling, Mitch Kapor, John Perry Barlow, John Gilmore (early employee of 
Sun) and Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple).

group who handled the 2600 case for the CPSR; also vocal opposition to the 
Clipper chip proposal.



ELITE [or elyte or 3L33T or eleet or a million other spellings]- Adjective 
(over)used to describe the best hackers, because something has to separate 
the truly good ones from the mediocre ones.

THE ELITE LEGION OF HACKERS [ELH]- The Elite Legion of Hackers is a 
second-tier group founded by Lord Nemesis in 1996. The group's current 
membership is made up of Lord Nemesis, Death Vegetable, Panik, Brain 
Freeze, Zophar, Digital Ignition, Kwantam Pozeetron, od|phreak and Cyber 
Toast. The group has also spawned an elite "strike team" led by Kwantam 
Pozeetron, made up of the best members, called the Black Angels.

EMMANUEL GOLDSTEIN (1961-Present)- Handle of Eric Corley. Also known as 
Howard Tripod, Sidney Schreiber, Bob Hardy, Gary Wilson, Clint Eastwood 
and 110. The editor-in-chief of and writer for _2600: The Hacker 
Quarterly_, host of the New York phreaking radio show "Off the Hook," and 
relentless advocate of the computer underground. Often shows up at 
meetings of computer companies just to unnerve people. In his honor, the 
film _Hackers_ had the character Cereal Killer's real name be "Emmanuel 
Goldstein." [Handle came from the name of the hated, possibly non-existent 
rebel in Orwell's _1984_.]

ENCRYPTION- The practice of encoding data into an unreadable form, which 
can only be converted with the same code. Recently, Netscape 
Communications built fairly strong encryption into their browser, though 
security errors have been discovered several times.

ENGRESSIA, JOSEPH [Joe]- Blind phreak who could whistle the 2600 tone; 
eventually got a job at a Denver RBOC.

EPIC [Electronic Privacy Information Center]- see THE ELECTRONIC PRIVACY 

E911 DOCUMENT [Official name: "Control Office Administration of Enhanced 
911 Services for Special Services and Account Centers"]- Document written 
in 1988; liberated by the Prophet and contributed to _Phrack_. Originally 
written by Richard Helms and the Society of Inpenetrable Prose. Knight 
Lightning almost got sent to jail for it, seeing as how the telco valued 
it at over $72,000. (I'm sure Knight Lightning enjoyed himself flipping 
through his illicitly gained thousands of telco money...) The case was 
dropped when it was proven that the same info could be bought for about 

EPHEDRINE- Psychoactive drug sometimes used by ravers. Among other things, 
it is one of the ingredients in herbal Ecstasy and crank and (in obviously 
small dosages) non-prescription medicines like Nyquil.

ERIK BLOODAXE (1969-Present)- Handle of Chris Goggans. Also known as 
Cyber-Christ. Former member of the Legion of Doom and The Punk Mafia. 
Former editor of _Phrack Magazine_. Former employee of Dell Computers. 
When he took over _Phrack_, it gained more purpose and seemed to pull 
together more than it had since the departure of Knight Lightning and 
Taran King; he left after a few issues because of lack of time and desire. 
He's also got a bad reputation as a nark.  [Handle came from the name of a 
Viking king of Denmark in the 10th century; revealed to Goggans in a book 
entitled _Vikings_.]

EXON, [Senator] JAMES- Democrat Senator who is freaking obsessed with 
techno-indecency. Sponsored the CDA.

EXPERIAN- Known as TRW until late 1996 (they changed their name to get 
away from the negative PR surrounding their activities), Experian is an 
evil megacorporation that is favorite target of hackers, including MOD, in 
one of the more publicized incidents. It is a target in large part due to 
the fact that their job includes catologing the credit history of private 
citizens and selling it to other corporations; thus, both a tempting 
target for malicious hackers out to pull credit histories, and a target 
that most ethical hackers have no problem subverting. Supposedly sets up 
Tiger Teams for the government.

EXTASYY ELITE- Short-lived phreak group destroyed when Poltergeist turned 
in everybody after he was busted for carding. Its membership included Bit 
Blitz, Cisban, Evil Priest, Crustaceo Mutoid, Kleptic Wizard, the Mentor 
(the only guy who went on to do anything with his life, hacking-wise), the 
Poltergeist and the Protestor.

FAKEMAIL- Mail intended to trick the recipient into believing that it was 
sent by a person other than the actual sender. Very, very easy.


FARGO 4A- One of the earliest phreak groups, a sort of precursor to LOD. 
Membership included BIOC Agent 003, Tuc, Big Brother, Quasi-Moto, Video 
Warhead and the Wizard of ARPANET. [Name comes from a city in North Dakota 
they re-routed calls to; incidentally, the same town was used for the name 
of the 1996 drama _Fargo_, though most of the movie takes place in 
Minnesota and it has virtually nothing to do with the town, though it 
begins there.]

FEDWORLD- The largest BBS in the world. Huge board with government info, 
operated by the United States government.




book outlining Net security; haven't read it yet, but plan to buy it.

5ESS- The fifth-generation electronic switching station currently used by 

_40HEX_- Virus zine that contains source code for many virii and 
interviews with prominent virus writers. It is mostly staffed by members 
of Phalcon/Skism, and was first edited by Hellraiser, then by DecimatoR, 
and then sort of by nobody. I believe the magazine has become defunct; the 
web page no longer exists. [I don't really know what the name comes from 
because I'm not particularly advanced in my virus knowledge; the "hex" 
part comes from hexadecimal (as in hex dump), which is base sixteen, but I 
don't know why the number ൰" is there in particular.]

414 GANG- Hacker group formed on the 414 Private BBS that gained notoriety 
in 1982 for intrusions on Los Alamos military bases and the 
Sloan-Kettering Memorial Institute. [I assume the name comes from the area 
code of the BBS, a common practice.]

FRACTAL- Supposedly a symbol for cyberpunk (though I don't buy it-- does 
cyberpunk have to have a symbol, when it is concerned with outlaws and 
undefinable fringe elements?). A part of chaos theory, proposed by 
mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot in the 1960s.

FRANK DRAKE- Handle of Steven G. Steinberg. Hacker and former 
correspondent for _Phrack_. Currently one of the section editors for 


FRY GUY- Hacker, buddy of some guys in LOD, and Motley Crue (sorry, I 
can't make the little dots in a plain text file) fan. Busted in 1989 by 
the universally despised Tim Foley. He was, however, a carder and he 
offered to testify against LOD, things that are not really exemplary. See 
also TINA [Name comes from manipulations he did in the McDonald's computer 

GAME OVER- The end. Time to give up and try something else. [From a line 
by Private W. Hudson in the movie _Aliens_, which itself came from video 

GARFINKEL, SIMSON- Contributing writer to _Wired_ and editor of _Internet 
Underground_; author of articles on privacy and technology issues, as well 
as author of a book on PGP.


GATES, WILLIAM HENRY III "BILL" (1955-Present)- Chief Executive Officer of 
Microsoft. The richest man in America, at almost 18 billion dollars. 
Author of _The Road Ahead_. And, if you haven't heard yet, the ASCII 
values of the letters in his name add up to 666.

GIBSON, WILLIAM- Science fiction author and contributing writer for 
_Wired_ who invented the term "cyberspace." Author of the anthology 
_Burning Chrome_; the Sprawl Series (_Neuromancer_, _Count Zero_ and _Mona 
Lisa Overdrive_); one of the many scripts for what was then called _Alien 
III_; _Virtual Light_; the screenplay for _Johnny Mnemonic_, based on his 
short story; and, most recently, _Idoru_. He also co-wrote _The Difference 
Engine_ with Bruce Sterling. Ironically, he didn't own a computer until he 
wrote _Mona Lisa Overdrive_, he's not at all technical, and he's not 
online in any form.

GIGABYTE [abbreviated as "gig" or "Gb"]- Very large unit of measurement. 
Usually only used when referring to hard drive space. A gigabyte is one 
billion bytes, or roughly 1048.576 megabytes or 1.024 million kilobytes.

GLOBAL KOS [GkOS]- Possibly the most influential hacker group currently in 
operation, GkOS claims to be the only truly international group. Current 
members include Shadow Hunter, Spidey, That Guy, AcidAngel, glitched and 
Silicon Toad. Name is pronounced "chaos."


GOD [Global OutDial]- An Internet outdial (modem connected to the Internet 
you can call from) that allows long distance calls.

GODWIN, MICHAEL- Attourney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation; also 
writes articles on Net civil issues. Contributing writer for _Wired_.




GOTH- Cyberpunk offshoot (well, not really; the net.goths are a cyberpunk 
offshoot; the regular, non-net goths are a punk offshoot) which is into 
vampyres and infinite sadness and wearing black. I suppose you could call 
me a goth (well, as much as you can be a goth when you have short red 
hair), because I have pale skin and wear black and watch _The Crow_ a lot 
and listen to the Cure. [Okay, take a deep breath- the name of the 
subculture came from the name of a punk offshoot music movement pioneered 
by Siouxsie and the Banshees, which came from the Gothic books and movies 
(such as _Dracula_), which came from the name of the scary dark medeval 
architecture, which came from a derogatory name given to the Gothic 
architects comparing them to Goths, who were a tribe of barbarians.]

GREENE, [Judge] HAROLD- The judge who busted AT&T and is now in charge of 
telecommunications for the government.


_GREY AREAS_- Hacker-oriented magazine whose topic is the "gray areas" of 
society, such as hackers and technology, underground music and bands, 
drugs, etc. Can be reached at, among other 

HACK- (1) to change a program so that is does something the original 
programmer either didn't want it to do or didn't plan for it. Hacking a 
program is not neccessarily cracking, and vise versa.  See also CRACK
    (2) To code a program. "I hacked out version 1.0a1 last week."
    (3) To break into a computer.
    (4) To alter in a clever way the status quo.
    (5) What you do; if you were a pilot, you could say "I hack planes." As 
far as I know, this was first used in 1994 by Bruce Sterling in _Heavy 

#HACK- The hacking irc channel.

_THE HACKER CRACKDOWN_ [Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier]- 
Nonfiction novel by Bruce Sterling about the Hacker Crackdown of 1990. 
Posted to the Net in 1993 because of extensive legal maneuverings between 
Sterling and his publisher.

THE HACKER CRACKDOWN OF 1990- Name given to the massive crackdown, of 
which Operation Sundevil was the largest part.

HACKER- There are about 20,000 definitions of a hacker floating around. 
These are some of the most common:
    (1) Any computer user. It drives everyone else crazy when anyone refers 
to a novice user as a "hacker." (Am I the only one who cringed when, in 
_Jurassic Park_, that girl goes "We prefer to be called hackers"? Really, 
am I the only one?)
    (2) A computer user who spends a lot of time on the system with an almost 
fetishistic approach. Usually refers to someone who knows a lot about 
computers, even if they are not a programmer.
    (3) Any user of an online service, such as CompuServe, AOL or the 
Internet. That's another sort of annoying one, since just because some 
businessman goes on AOL to send email to grandma, that does not mean he is 
a hacker.
    (4) A programmer.
    (5) A computer user who uses his skills unlawfully in any matter, usually 
to "break into" another system through a network.
    (6) A master programmer capable of things that seem "magical." [All of 
these are from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's programmers in 
the 1960s, who called themselves "hackers," to refer to making a program 
better and more efficient, or making it do something it was not originally 
intended to do. The media overused this to an incredible extent, which 
added all the other definitions.]

_THE HACKER FILES_- Comic book limited series published by DC Comics; 
gathered some press. It was well-researched and included characters based 
on Gail Thackeray and Robert Morris.

_HACKERS_- 1995 film about... well, hackers. Response in the underground 
was mixed; many (possibly most) hated it and couldn't stand the many 
technical errors, while others liked it, even though it was incredibly 
unrealistic. (Let's face it, any movie that has someone get into a 
supercomputer with the password "GOD" and has UNIX apparently replaced by 
some sort of cyberspatial three dimensional GUI has some realism 
problems.) Also notable because "Jack Devlin," claiming to be an 
independant contractor from the ILF after "faking his death at the hands 
of Sandra Bullock" (see _The Net_)  hacked MGM/UA's system and messed with 
the home page. MGM was pretty nice about it though, and even kept the page 
and linked it to the official page. Of course, it would have been pretty 
stupid and hypocritical of them to track down whoever did it and prosecute 
him. (While his original bravado-filled message has been widely spread on 
the Net, was is not so publicized is a second letter, which may have been 
made up to save face by the people who set up the page-- but I kind of 
doubt it-- apologizing and asking not to be prosecuted.) Also, Emmanuel 
Goldstein was one of the "hacking consultants," and Phiber Optik said that 
it was the most accurate movie Hollywood's made about hacking, which isn't 
very hard. Many members of MOD and ex-members of LOD were consulted for 
the original script, but most became upset with how the film actually 
turned out. If you want my opinion, which you probably don't, I thought it 
was okay despite the technical inaccuracy, because it was an entertaining 
movie with a cool soundtrack. I hope that the fact that it barely made 
back production costs shows studio executives not to try and find the next 
trend, make a movie on it and flaunt the small amount of knowledge they 
gained through research. (What was the deal with _Wipeout_, that video 
game? And, hmm... Gibson, what a sneaky reference! What in-joke could they 
possibly be making? And Da Vinci virus-- could that be a sly allusion to 
the infamous Michaelangelo virus?) The most ironic thing about the film is 
that at the end AT&T gets thanked.

the original MIT hackers. Haven't read it yet.


_HACK-TIC_- The Dutch equivalent of _2600_. Published by Rop Gonggrijp. (I 
want a Dutch name really bad, just so people would go crazy trying to 
spell it.) You can reach _Hack-tic_ (or rather the editor) at

HAFNER, KATHERINE M.- Co-author of _Cyberpunk_; technology journalist for 
_Newsweek_. Can be reached at

HAGBARD CELINE [19  -1989]- Handle of Karl Koch, a German hacker and 
member of the Chaos Computer Club. Mentally unstable, in part due to his 
heavy use of drugs. Committed suicide (probably; murder has been 
suggested) by dousing himself in gasoline and setting himself on fire on 
the twenty-third of the month, fulfilling _The Illuminatus! Trilogy_'s 
quote that "All the great anarchists died on the 23rd day of some month or 
other," and the recurrence of the number 23. [Handle comes one of the 
characters in _The Illuminatus! Trilogy_ by Robert Shea and Robert Anton 
Wilson, a Discordian anarchist pirate; unlike most hackers who take 
handles from SF, Koch believed he actually was the protagonist of the 

HANDLE- A pseudonym or nom de guerre. [From CB radio.]

HAPPY HARDCORE- Handle of Nicholas Ryan, a Yale University student. As 
programmer of AOL4Free, Hardcore commited "computer fraud" throughout 1995 
and released his program to the Net, and as a result was convicted by the 
Secret Service and the US Justice Department in early 1997. The Secret 
Service and InJustice Department have become corporate whores who 
prosecute anyone who threatens the interests of powerful companies like 
AOL-- in the words of AOL's "Integrity Assurance" vice president, this 
case is a "legal milestone."

HAQR, HAQUER, HAXOR- Variant spellings of "hacker." All of them are 
pronounced like "hacker."




HESS, MARKUS [1962-Present]- Alias Matthias Speer. Former member of the 
Chaos Computer Club. Hacked for the KGB. Currently a professional 

HOFFMAN, ABBIE- Alias Barry Freed. Possibly the first phreaker, a yippy 
who died under suspicious circumstances in the 1989. Supposedly had the 
largest FBI file ever. Author of _Steal This Book_, about how poor hippy 
anarchists could survive (my suggestion- enlist as an extra in _Hair_), as 
well as _Revolution For the Hell of It_ and _Woodstock Nation_. Started 
the infamous _TAP_, or "Technical Assistance Program."


HOLLAND, WAU [full name: Hewart Holland-Moritz]- Founder of the Chaos 
Computer Club and German hacker.



HOPE [Hackers on Planet Earth]- Recent convention, sponsored by 2600.


IBM [International Business Machines, Incorporated]- Zaibatsu that at one 
time completely controlled computers; really fucked up when they licensed 
Microsoft to market DOS (which was, by the way, a product that was 
acquired by them from another company). Because DOS backfired on them, 
they created OS/2, which was largely ignored. Most recently they've allied 
with Apple (previously their bitter foe) and Motorola with the PowerPC 
chip and have regained some of their reputation in the hardware world with 
the IBM ThinkPad, one of the best laptops available.

IBM-PC- International Business Machines Personal Computer or compatible. 
Refers to one of the five gazillion machines that run Microsoft DOS or the 
variants; Microsoft Windows or Microsoft Windows for Workgroups; Microsoft 
Windows 95; LINUX or IBM's OS/2. 90% of the marketplace is taken up by 
these machines. These systems include many basic types of machines, 
usually run on Intel's chips. By the way, the term IBM-PC is becoming more 
and more of a misnomer; almost all are not actually made by IBM, 
especially since IBM is trying to challenge Microsoft and Intel with PPCP 
and the PowerPC chip now.

ICE [Intrusion Countermeasure Electronics]- Used in _Neuromancer_ and 
other novels (I don't know where first, but I know it was coined by Tom 
Maddox, who refuses to answer my emails as to where and how he first used 
it. Come on, Tom! :) But I digress) to be the graphical metaphor of 
computer security.

IDOL, BILLY [that's not his real name, but I don't give a fuck what it 
really is]- Punk singer who was a success in the 1970s and '80s; former 
member of Generation X. Supposedly he used to be cool, but everything I've 
ever seen him do after Generation X was pretty lame. Jumped on the "cyber" 
bandwagon with his album _Cyberpunk_, which was a total failure as far as 
I can figure. You can reach him at


ILF- Alternately the Internet Liberation Front, the Information Liberation 
Front, and Information Longs to be Free. Net "terrorist" group, possibly 
started as a joke. Rerouted Josh Quittner's message system and left a 
politically motivated message. (This incarnation probably included MOD or 
LOD members, because Quittner had just written a book on the MOD/LOD war) 
In 1995, one or more people claiming to be doing "independant contracting" 
for the ILF hacked MGM/UA's _Hackers_ home page. It is also used as sort 
of an international brotherhood; when confidential or proprietary 
information is released to the Net, the ILF sometimes gets the credit. 
There is also now the network available at <>, which I 

INDUSTRIAL- Techo's evil twin; style of music that has begun to go 
mainstream; considered cyberpunk or marginally so. Grew out of the late 
1970s British punk scene with Genesis P. Orridge's Throbbing Gristle; was 
later watered down and combined with other styles of music to be more 
palatable. Skinny Puppy, Ministry and Nine Inch Nails are all considered 
industrial. Gareth Brandwyn called it "the sounds our culture makes as it 
comes unglued."

INDUSTRIAL HACKING- Industrial espionage using hackers, sometimes 
freelancers, though mostly corporate employees. Appears in SF more than in 
real life, though it does occur.




INFORMATION SUPERHIGHWAY [or Infobahn or several other cutesy phrases]- 
Pretty stupid metaphor for the Internet, popularized by (then) Senator Al 



[International Business Machines, Incorporated]





INTERNET WORM- The worm created by Robert Morris in 1988 that replicated 
out of control due to bad programming and took down a lot of computers. 
News stories persisted in calling it a "virus," which pissed everyone off.

INTERZONE- A cultural area where "the street finds its own uses for 
things;" from the hallucinogenic hell which appears in William S. 
Burroughs' _Naked Lunch_. Also the title of a British SF magazine.

Countermeasure Electronics]

ISDN [Integrated Services Digital Network]- Technology to completely 
digitize the phone service that was abandoned after much work (it began in 
the early 1980s) in the early 1990s because it was too expensive. It is 
currently used for high-speed Internet access, slower than T1 but faster 
than a modem. It is just becoming widely used by phone networks.

ISP [Internet Service Provider]- The local networks most normal people 
have to dial into to reach the Internet; ISPs, in turn, make deals with 
such Internet backbone owners as MCI to connect to the Internet.

ISSN [Integrated Special Services Network]- In a phone system (notably 
AT&T), controls special user features and customer control options. Not to 
be confused with ISSN, the serial number used by the Library of Congress 
used to register magazines.

JAPAN [Nippon]- Country code ".ja;" East Asian nation, population 125.2 
million, which is the subject of many cyberpunk novels due to an odd 
history and its high technology. Pursued a highly hierarchal samurai 
society until the mid-1800s, yet retained a strong Imperial warlike spirit 
until 1945, when they were totally defeated in World War II by the 
dropping of two atom bombs. Now an extremely successful producer of 
consumer goods, particularly electronics. (This doesn't have too much to 
do with hacking, but Japan is a notable country from an electronics 
standpoint, as well as the fact that much of SF currently involves Japan, 
and its preponderance of zaibatsus.)


JOLT [Cola]- Soft drink famous for having twice the caffeine of any other 
major soft drink (still less per pound than coffee, though), invented and 
distributed by the Jolt Company, Inc. By the way, did you know you can 
type on average five words a minute faster than normal if you drink two 
bottles of MegaJolt in succession?

JUDGE DREDD- British comic book character currently published by DC that 
has some cyberpunk concepts; it's about a semi-fascist anti-hero in the 
23rd century. Sylvester Stallone made a flop movie from it that the sets 
and special effects were cool, but not much else. There was also a hacker 
in the early 1990s with this handle, as well as another one (who may be 
the same guy) who was a member of the 2300 Club.


K-RAD- ("A thousand points of rad" -one of the Count Zeros) Extremely 
cool; very rad. [From one thousand times- "k," standing for kilo-; and 
"rad"- short for "radical," skateboarder-type slang term in the 1980s 
meaning cool.]

KAPOR, MITCHELL- Co-founder of the EFF. Ex-hippy, founder of Lotus, and 
original programmer of Lotus 1-2-3.

KARL MARX- Handle of James Salsman. Phreak and ex-member of LOD. Former 
sysop of Farmers of Doom BBS. [Handle came from a mention in the comic 
strip "Bloom County" about Communists.]

KILL- The act of deleting a file or stopping a program while it is running.

KILOBYTE [abbreviated as Kb or K]- Small unit of measurement, usually used 
for measuring small programs and cache memory. Contrary to what the word 
would imply, a kilobyte is 1024 bytes.

KING BLOTTO- Former member of the Legion of Doom and the 2300 Club. Phreak 
who invented several variant boxes.


KNIGHT LIGHTING- Handle of Craig Neidorf. Former member of the 2600 Club. 
Co-founder of _Phrack Magazine_. He was put on trial during the Hacker 
Crackdown of 1990 for publishing the E911 document in _Phrack_, a document 
stolen in a hacker raid. When the Electronic Frontier Foundation got the 
case dropped, he decided he wanted to become a lawyer. He is now working 
for the EFF and as a writer for _2600_. (According to Lightning, handle 
came from a combination of the Legion of Super-Heroes comic book character 
"Lightning Lad" and the character "Michael Knight" from the lame 
television show _Knight Rider_.)

THE KNIGHTMARE- Handle of Dennis Fiery. Author of a book on computer 
security entitled _Secrets of a Super Hacker_, and sometimes writes for 
_2600_. I haven't read his book. Not to be confused with the Arizona 

KNIGHTMARE [602]- Arizona hacker and sysop of the Black Ice Private BBS 
who was one of the first to be busted in the Hacker Crackdown.



LAMER- A jerk idiot loser. That pretty much sums it up. [From "lame," 

LASS [Local Area Signalling Services]- Special numbers, preceded by a *, 
which allow special operations such, which usually cost a small amount of 
money. Includes such services as trace (*57), callback (*69) and caller ID 
disable (*70).

L.A. SYNDROME - Lamer behavior. Means the person doesn't support the 
group.  Usually associated with BBS's and posting thereupon. [From a user 
named the L.A. Raider and his activities on several Ohio boards.]

THE LAUGHING SKULL CLAN [LSC]- Recently formed (1997) group that was 
created by myself after the retirement of LOA, my previous group. The 
Laughing Skull Clan follows an anarchistic rule based on previous, 
successful groups such as LOD, MOD, L0pht and GkOS, and a philosophy that 
is equally inspired by the Mentor and the Cult of the Dead Cow, if you can 
imagine that combination. Current members include Logik Bomb, Hyper Viper, 
the Loath, Omega X, Kwantam Pozeetron, Rusky, Technics, KoDiaK, visual 
trinity, the Professor, Hack-and-Slay, Cpt. Nemo and Nemesis Enforcer. We 
maintain a web page at <> [Name comes from 
the name of a traitorous Orcish clan in Blizzard Software's _WarCraft II: 
Beyond the Dark Portal Expansion Set_.]


LEACH- Someone who copies a large amount of software and doesn't return 
the favor. Used by BBS's and users, but also applies to those who 
physically copy software. [From "leach," the disgusting creature that 
sucks your blood.]

LEAF [Law Enforcement Access Field]- Major part of the encryption in 
Clipper. A scrambled group of numbers including the chip's serial number, 
a session key number and a checksum number; allows government agencies to 
bypass Clipper encryption.

LEARY, TIMOTHY (1920-1996)- Ex-Harvard professor and West Point-graduate 
who turned hippy in the 1960s and encouraged students to "turn on, tune 
in, drop out." Popularized LSD, and was eventually imprisoned for almost 
ten years for marijuana possession. He became a cyberpunk about fifteen 
years after his dropping out, and his new sound bite became "the PC is the 
LSD of the 1980's." (He later updated that to the 1990s when he discovered 
that computers now make the Apple IIes, 386s, Mac 512ks and Commodores of 
the 1980s look like abacuses.) He became one of the editors of _Mondo 
2000_. In 1992, he discovered that he had prostate cancer. Being the weird 
guy that he was, he thought this was great news because he was going to 
die; after toying with the idea of somehow killing himself over the 
Internet and coming up with elaborate suicide plans, he succumbed to 
cancer on May 30, 1996.


THE LEGION OF DOOM [LOD] [Full name: "The Fraternal Order of the Legion of 
Doom (Lambda Omega Delta)"]- Legendary hacking group that existed from 
1984-1990, created on a board called PLOVERNET, founded by Lex Luthor, a 
former member of the Knights of Shadow. Also inspired the short-lived 
groups "Farmers of Doom" and "Justice League of America." It subsumed the 
membership of a group called the Tribunal of Knowledge. Began as a 
phreaking group, and when it later gained more members who were more 
proficient with computers, it became LOD/H (Legion of Doom/Hackers). When 
many members dropped out, the "H" migrated from the name, but their 
newfound ability with computers stayed. Its official membership included, 
at various times: Lex Luthor, Karl Marx, Mark Tabas, Agrajag the 
Prolonged, King Blotto, Blue Archer, The Dragyn, Unknown Soldier, Sharp 
Razor, Doctor Who 413, Erik Bloodaxe, Sir Francis Drake, Paul Muad'Dib, 
Phucked Agent 04, X-Man, Randy Smith, Steve Dahl, The Warlock, Silver Spy, 
Terminal Man, Videosmith, Kerrang Khan, Gary Seven, Marauder, Bill from 
RNOC, Leftist, Urvile, Phantom Phreaker, Doom Prophet, Jester Sluggo, 
Carrier Culprit, Thomas Covenant, Mentor, Control C, Prime Suspect, 
Prophet, Professor Falken and Phiber Optik. Some members were busted by 
Operation Sundevil, others created a security firm called ComSec (which 
went bankrupt, and eventually was reincarnated as LOD Communications, 
Inc), and many just disappeared. Also, in the early 1990s, a "new" Legion 
of Doom was created, because since the group was defunct, logically 
anybody could use the name; it was, however, pretty much looked down upon 
and was eventually forcefully disbanded by members of the original LOD. 
(Doesn't that sound creepy? Like Mark Tabas and Erik Bloodaxe had them 
killed or something.) [The group's name came from the _Superfriends_ 
cartoon series (using characters from Superman/Justice League comic 
books), where the villains were the Legion of Doom.]


THE LEGION OF THE APOCALYPSE [LOA]- Florida-based hacker group of which I 
was a member; existed from about 1995 to 1997. Its members included, at 
various times; Revelation, Phreaked Out, Electric Jaguar, Hack Attack, 
Logik Bomb, Silicon Toad, Phreak Show, Phuck Phish and Fallout. No 
relation to the more infamous Legion of Doom. Its retirement led to the 
creation of the Laughing Skull Clan.

LEVY, STEVEN- Writer and journalist; one of the original 1960s MIT hackers 
who is disdainful of us latter-day hackers. Author of _Hackers: Heroes of 
the Computer Revolution_, among other things. Currently contributing 
writer for _Wired_ and _Newsweek_.


LEX LUTHOR- Legendary hacker/pheaker and founder of LOD. [Handle came from 
the comic book villain who was Superman's arch-enemy; the hacker Lex got 
it from the 1979 movie version with Gene Hackman.]


LOCKED (1) When a computer system shuts down and stops operation, usually 
without the operator wanting it to happen.
    (2) A protected program.
    (3) A file that has been changed by the OS so that it cannot be changed 
or deleted; often very easy to unlock.
    (4) A floppy disk which has been physically locked to prevent accidental 
alteration or to prevent stupid people from modifying the contents.



_LOD/H TECHNICAL JOURNALS_ [LOD/H TJ]- Hacking philes written by the 
Legion of Doom/Hackers, beginning in 1986. Four issues were made. The form 
and content owed something to what was then called _Phrack Inc._. [Name is 
a parody of _AT&T Technical Journals_.]


LOGIC BOMB- A program that performs a certain action when certain 
conditions are met, such as deleting all files on Christmas eve, although 
it is not necessarily malevolent. Though it is not technically a virus, it 
is often grouped that way. There is some speculation that the turn of the 
millenium will set off tons of logic bombs that lie dormant in computers.

LOOMPANICS- Publishing company (in)famous for publishing such 
"questionable" information as bomb plans and guerrilla techniques; also 
published _Secrets of a Super Hacker_, though according to everyone I've 
heard from the subject, it's pretty worthless.

THE LONE GUNMEN- An group of three fictious hackers (Byers, Frohike and 
Langly) on _The X-Files_; first appeared in the episode "E.B.E" in 1992. 
Editors of a paranoid publication called _The Lone Gunmen_. An honorary 
Lone Gunman was a hacker named the Thinker who eventually got killed by 
the government because he uncovered information on the existence of 
extra-terrestrials. Apparently the government keeps its files on the 
existence of extra-terrestrials unencrypted on an Internet connected 
network. [Name comes from the oxymoronic flipside of the "lone gunman" 
theory in the Kennedy assassination, which is that Oswald acted alone.]

LOOPS- Phone numbers used by the telco for testing. Can be manipulated to 
make free calls, which are billed to the telco.

L0PHT- A Boston-based group of hackers interested in free information 
distribution and finding alternatives to the Internet. Their web site 
houses the archives of the Whacked Mac Archives, Black Crawling Systems, 
Dr. Who's Radiophone, the Cult of the Dead Cow, and others. Current 
membership includes Dr. Mudge, Space Rogue, Brian Oblivion, Kingpin, Weld, 
Tan, Stephan Wolfenstein and Megan A. Haquer. (Entry suggested by Space 

LORD DIGITAL- Handle of Patrick K. Kroupa. Former member of the Apple 
Mafia, the Knights of Shadow and the Legion of Doom. (Like Dead Lord, he 
claims he was officially inducted in 1987, but he is not listed in any of 
the official lists.) Good friend of Dead Lord and co-administrator of 
MindVox. Can be reached at

LSC [Laughing Skull Clan]- see LAUGHING SKULL CLAN

MACINTOSH- A type of computer that currently takes up a little less than 
10% of the marketplace. Sometimes called derogatorily "Macintrashes" or 
"Macintoys." First made by Apple in 1984, notable for its ease of use; 
successor to the failed Lisa, which was the successor to the Apple II. All 
Macintoshes run the MacOS, which is currently in version 7.6 (however, 
some Macs can run Windows, DOS, MachTen and/or LINUX). Apple licensed the 
MacOS in 1993 so that Mac clones can be made; they have not fully caught 
on yet, though Power Computing, UMAX and DayStar are doing fairly good 
business on them. Macs run on two families of microprocessors: the 
Motorola 680x0 chips, and the joint Apple-IBM-Motorola PowerPC chips.

MARKOFF, JOHN- Co-author of _Cyberpunk_ and _Takedown_. Ex-husband of 
Katie Hafner, technology journalist for _The New York Times_. Can be 
reached at

MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY CRASH- The huge crash when AT&T computers 
embarassingly went down on Martin Luther King Day due to a bug in UNIX 
System VII, though speculation existed that malicious hackers had done it.



_MASTERS OF DECEPTION_ [The Gang That Ruled Cyberspace]- Novel by Josh 
Quittner and Michelle Slatella about the LOD/MOD feud. A portion was 
printed in _Wired_ and really pissed off a lot of people, most vocally 
Erik Bloodaxe. Not that badly written, but I wonder about the accuracy and 
who was interviewed on some of the details.


_MAX HEADROOM_- Science fiction TV show that was cancelled after one 
season. The concept began when a British music video station wanted to use 
a computer-generated host, but some American network picked it up and made 
a TV show. Supposedly it was wonderful and great, but I've never seen it.


MEAT- The physical body, the bag of flesh and mud and water that we are 
constrained to. Derogatory.

MEATSPACE- Real life, as opposed to cyberspace.

MEGABYTE [abbreviated as "meg" or Mb]- Fairly large unit of measurement, 
usually used for measuring RAM or storage memory or large programs. One 
megabyte is roughly 1.049 million bytes or approximately 976.562 kilobytes.

MEGAHERTZ [MHz]- In computer terms, a measurement of the clock speed of a 
CPU. For example, the 486DX2 runs at 66 megahertz. It was known in hacker 
slang occasionally as "hurtz" or "warp," where a 90 megahertz computer 
would be called Warp 90.


THE MENTOR- Handle of Loyd Blankenship. Also known as the Neuromancer. 
Elite hacker and former member of the Legion of Doom, the PhoneLine 
Phantoms, the Racketeers and Extasyy Elite. Writer of the legendary 
"Conscience of a Hacker." He also used to work for Steve Jackson Games, 
where he wrote _GURPS Cyberpunk_. He is currently a freelance game 
designer/electronic musician. Currently available at 
[Handle is from the Grey Lensman series by E.E. "Doc" Smith.]


METAL COMMUNICATIONS- A short-lived hack/phreak group (is there any other 
kind, besides LOD, MOD and L0pht?!) that created several underground BBSs 
and wrote many philes. Members included Cobalt 60, Crimson Pirate, Dr. 
Local, Red Pirate, Shadow Lord, Angel of Destiny, Apothecary, Byte, Byte 
Byter, Dark Wizard, Duke, Dutchman, The Man in Black, the Prophet, Pink 
Panther, Voice Over, the Radical Rocker, the White Knight and the Warlock 
Lord. It also had a smaller sister group called the Neon Knights.

MEXICAN FLAG- Red grenadine, white tequila and green creme-de-menthe. 
Multilayered, set on fire, and sucked through straws. A favorite of the 
Legion of Doom at parties before they broke up. [From the colors of the 
Mexican flag.]


MICHAELANGELO VIRUS- The much over-hyped virus that erased the hard drives 
of several computers, named for becoming active on the Renaissance artist 
Michaelangelo's birthday.

MICROSOFT- Software megacorporation, founded 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul 
Allen; writer of MS-DOS, Windows (3.x, 95, NT and CE), Excel, Word, 
PowerPoint, Bookshelf, Encarta and about a zillion other programs, most of 
which are made for business. Possibly the most evil force on the planet. 
Also used by William Gibson, without permission, for the name of addictive 
chips that plug into character's heads in _Neuromancer_. [Name comes from 
"microcomputer" and "software."]

MINDVOX []- Manhattan-based Net provider where a number 
of ex-LODers (and Billy Idol :( ) reside; has the domain name 
Motto: "Jack in, rock out, and feel your head." Administered by Dead Lord 
and Lord Digital.

MINOR THREAT (1972-Present)- Former member of Public Enemy (the hacker 
group, not the band). Co-programmer of ToneLoc (with Mucho Maas), which he 
began in 1990. Available at [Handle comes from the 
name of an early 1980s Straight Edge punk band.]

MITNICK, KEVIN DAVID (1963-Present)- Birth name of the Condor. Also known 
as N6NHG, alias Anton Chernoff, alias Fred Weiner, alias Lee Nussbaum, 
alias Brian Merrill, alias David Stanfill, alias Thomas Case. Former 
member of the Roscoe Gang (name given by _Cyberpunk_). Teenage phreak who 
grew up and didn't quit. First arrested at age 17. Rumors claimed that he 
cracked NORAD (inspiring _WarGames_); generally disproven, though Markoff 
has been trying to resurrect it. Became famous, especiall when in 1995 he 
went on a hacking rampage that included deleting several files on the 
WELL, possibly because of a typing error. Tsutomu Shimomura (and a number 
of datacops and John Markoff, who claims he was just an observer) 
eventually tracked him down after Mitnick hacked Shimomura's system. When 
he was caught he told Shimomura "I respect your skills." John Markoff and 
Tsutomu Shimomura just wrote their version of the events, which will serve 
as the screenplay for a movie by Miramax about it, entitled _Takedown: The 
Pursuit and Capture of Kevin Mitnick, America's Most Wanted Computer 
Outlaw-- By the Man Who Did It_. (Apparently, it was the longest and most 
grandiose title they could think of.) Jonathan Littman wrote his own 
version, with the help of Mitnick, entitled _The Fugitive Game_. Also 
inspired the most objective retelling, _The Cyberthief and the Samurai_, 
by Jeff Goodell (who can be contacted at While he 
obviously cannot be directly reached by email as he is in federal prison, 
2600 maintains a mailbox for him where they forward him interesting data 
and fan mail at [Handle came from the 1975 Robert 
Redford movie _Three Days of the Condor_, about an ex-CIA guy who escapes 
the government, in part by manipulating the phone system.]

MOD [Motto: "Summa Sedes Non Capit Duos," Latin, literally "The Highest 
Does Not Seat Two," figuratively "There is Only Room for One at the Top;" 
a reference to the LOD/MOD struggle]- MOD, a New York rival of LOD, was 
known at various times as Masters of Deception and Masters of Disaster, I 
suppose depending on their mood. Its current membership is Acid Phreak, 
Scorpion, Nynex Phreak, HAC, Wing, Outlaw, Corrupt, Supernigger, Red 
Night, Seeker, Lord Micro, Crazy Eddie, Zod, Peaboy, n00g1e, Ella Cinders 
and Plague, and previous members have included Thomas Covenant and Phiber 
Optik. (List of current members provided by Acid Phreak.) Southwestern 
Bell busted them and some wound up in jail. It was formed when Phiber 
Optik was kicked out of LOD, supposedly because of his ego. He then formed 
MOD and recruited some of his friends. They were a major exception to the 
stereotype of the hacker as a wealthy, suburban white guy. They had what 
was described by some as a "hacker war" with LOD until they got busted, 
when there was something of a truce and LOD sort of made up. Well, at 
least they made up with Phiber Optik. They are still around, at least 
according to their web page, which of course claims they are reformed. 
They can currently be reached at Definitely not to be 
confused with the Amiga sound format .mod. [Besides the acronym, the term 
also supposedly refers to being like a second iteration of LOD; "M" is 
after "L," get it? However, I got that out of Quittner and Slatella's 
book, and I don't know how much truth is in it.]

MODEM [MOdulator/DEModulator]- Hardware that allows digital info to be 
carried over analog lines. The first modems were acoustic (usually 300 
bps); you had to put the phone receiver on the modem. The current standard 
speed is 14.4 kbps. (Phone lines can hold a maximum of 35 kbps.) ISDN 
modems are becoming more and more common. (Even though ISDN modem is an 
oxymoron; ISDN is already digital, and a modem by definition converts 
digital to analog.)


_MONDO 2000_- "Cyberpunk" magazine. Successor to a short lived zine 
entitled _Reality Hackers_. Never as good as it should have been. The 
three major brains behind it were R.U. Sirius (AKA Ken Goffman), St. Jude 
(AKA Jude Milhon) and Bart Nagel, all of which have since resigned, at 
least as editors. Timothy Leary was one of the editors, and there's a 
really psychotic dude named Xandor as well. I think it's way too much 
style and way too little substance, but it has some good book reviews and 
interviews about weird technology. [From the Italian word "mondo," meaning 
world; AD 2000 is supposedly the "expiration date."]

MOREU, RAFAEL- Screenwriter for _Hackers_; interviewed many prominent 
hackers for research. According to Acid Phreak, he was less than happy 
with how it turned out.

MORRIS, ROBERT TAPPAN II- Cornell graduate student who created a worm 
which exploited the UNIX sendmail bug as an experiment to see how fast it 
would spread through the Internet; due to a programming error, it went out 
of control and took down hundreds of computers.


MUDGE- Leader and sysop of the L0pht. Can be reached at

NARK- (1) Someone who turns people in to law enforcement.
    (2) The act of turning in someone to law enforcement.


NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY [NSA]- see NSA [National Security Agency]




NERD- Derogatory term for a computer geek; has been adopted as a badge of 
honor for some. Reminds that no matter how cool the stuff we do with 
computers is, we're still geeks, so get over it. :( [I just looked up the 
etymology of the word "nerd" in the dictionary, and my main conclusion was 
that etymologists must have a lot of spare time on their hands, because 
apparently there's this huge controversy over where this word came from, 
and the earliest reference is in a Dr. Seuss book, and then it became a 
slang term in the 1950s, and some people say it's a coincidence and others 
say there's some complicated relation, and all I can say is that it's just 
not that important, but these etymologists have enough time to learn UNIX 
security, and if they'd just read some books on TCP/IP, they could 
probably be really good hackers. Suggestion-- if any evil foreign 
governments out there want to hire some people to train to be hackers, get 
etymologists. They have tolerance for the tremendously boring. That is 
all. End rant.]

_THE NET_- Sandra Bullock's 1995 cyberthriller, in which she tries to 
escape from evil hackers. Can be recommended because it has Sandra Bullock 
in a bikini.

NETCOM- I believe Netcom is the largest Internet access provider in the 
world. As a result, it has users of all types. [From "Net" (short for 
Internet) and "commercial."]

THE NETHERLANDS [Kingdom of the Netherlands]- Country code ".nl," European 
nation, population 14.6 million, currently known for its libertarian laws 
regarding drugs, nudity, prostitution and notably computer hacking (which, 
until recently, was totally legal.) Home of _Hack-tic_. ("Do you know what 
they call a quarter pounder with cheese in Holland?" "They don't call it a 
quarter pounder with cheese?"...)


NII- National Information Infrastructure. Hard to say. (I mean, literally, 
"en-aye-aye"? Really not phonetically friendly.)

1984- A mystical year for computers. LOD was formed; _Neuromancer_ was 
published; _2600_ was first published;  _The Whole Earth Software Review_ 
was created, which led to the WELL; the Chaos Computer Club was formed; 
and the Macintosh computer was released. Also, George Orwell's 1949 SF 
novel was titled this, and some would say it's becoming true.

NODE- A big, fast, huge thing on a network; sort of a BBS on steroids.

(NO SUCH AGENCY) [NSA]- see NSA [National Security Agency]

NSA [National Security Agency]- Also known as (No Such Agency). The 
federal agency in charge of spying on the citizens of the US, as well as 
an international branch. ["Y'know, I could have joined the NSA. But they 
found out my parents were married." --Martin Bishop, _Sneakers_.]

N6NHG- Ham radio handle of Kevin Mitnick; last three letters supposedly 
stand for Nation's Hacker Great.

NUPROMETHEUS LEAGUE- Group (or maybe just one guy) that liberated part of 
the source code to Color QuickDraw and set disks containing to prominent 
members of the computer community. They were never caught (well, at least 
not caught and publically tried. Maybe Apple had them shot and dumped in 
unmarked graves in Philadelphia.) [From the Greek demigod Prometheus, who 
ILFed fire from Zeus.]


OBELIX (1976-Present)- Former member of the Chaos Computer Club; 
introduced Pengo to the group. [Name comes from the prominent German comic 
strip character.]


ON THE METAL- Term referring to programming or hardware design. The act of 
working directly at the computer keyboard (or hardware breadboard) without 
going through the normal planning stages. 

OPERATION SUNDEVIL- An initiative by the United States Secret Service in 
1990 that was part of the Hacker Crackdown of 1990; it was originally 
intended to strike credit card fraud; it was 27 search warrants executed 
May 8; 42 computer systems were seized. Agents in charge included Tim 
Foley, Gail Thackeray and Barbara Golden. [From the mascot of the college 
the Secret Service's headquarters were near. (Super Bowl XXX was held at 
Sundevil Stadium.)]

ORACLE- A DC Comics character; formerly Batgirl, paralyzed by the Joker. 
Notable in a hacking sense because she is now the main hacker character in 
the DC Universe.

OS [Operating System]- The physical laws of a computer. OS's include DOS, 
Windows, MacOS, SunOS and UNIX and its many variants. Even VCRs, 
scientific calculators and digital watches have primitive OS's.

OUTAGE- Loss of telephone service. Term used by telco employees.

OUTLAW (1974-Present)- Handle of Julio Fernandez. Founding member of MOD; 
supposedly one of the more criminal members.

PACKET SNIFFER- A program which records the first one hundred or so bits 
sent by a computer when connecting to a network. Supposedly used for 
network diagnostic purposes, but is used frequently by hackers for obvious 
reasons. (The first hundred bits usually include a username and password.)

PAGE (1) 256 consecutive bytes of memory, starting on a even multiple of 
    (2) a screen, usually a graphics display.
    (3) A home page on the World Wide Web.

PARM- Contraction for "parameter," which is a list of data that is given 
to a routine to work with, such as a list of subscribers or accounts, or 
even a filename on a disk.

PASSWORD SHADOWING- A security system in which the encrypted password is 
stored in a different directory where normal users are not given access. 
Used in the UNIX operating system.

PBX [Private Branch Exchange]- Local phone number within a corporation. 
Phreakers often dial into these, hack them, and use them to make 
long-distance calls for free. They often route through many PBXs to avoid 

PENET []- Infamous Finnish anonymous remailer. Currently 
unbreakable (as far as anyone knows) except when the Scientologists got a 
warrant for the data in Penet's computers. That will probably never happen 

PENGO (1968-Present)- Handle of Hans Huebner, West German hacker and 
former member of the Chaos Computer Club; infamous for hacking US military 
systems for the KGB. [Handle comes from the name of his favorite arcade 
game, the protagonist of which was a penguin.]

PENTIUM- The chip that runs in fairly high end IBM-PCs; manufactured and 
developed by the Intel Corporations. Current high-end clock speeds run up 
to 250 MHz. 



PGP [Pretty Good Privacy]- Program by Phillip Zimmermann and "Pretty Good 
Software." Encryption for the masses; it was made to counter the proposed 
clipper chip. Phil Zimmermann, of course, might go to jail. Other 
fanatical cypherpunks have taken over where he left off, making it for the 
Mac (MacPGP) and a utility for making your phone line secure (PGPfone.) 
PGP is currently in version 2.6.2. Currently some of the aforementioned 
cypherpunks are working on the MacPGP Kit (currently in version 1.6), the 
goal of which is to ultimately replace the ugly window currently in MacPGP 
that looks like DOS. [The name "Pretty Good Privacy" is because Phil 
Zimmermann is a fan of Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion, which 
mentioned a product that was "pretty good."]

PHALCON/SKISM (P/S)- Hacking, phreaking and virus group; Phalcon did the 
H/P and Skism did the virii. The group ran the e-zine _40Hex_. Members 
have included Hellraiser, Dark Angel, DecimatoR, Garbage Heap and Priest. 
The group was disbanded in late 1996. [The name comes from deliberate 
misspellings of "falcon" and "schism."]


PHIBER OPTIK (1975-Present)- Handle of Mark Abene. Also known as Il Duce, 
also known as the Artist Formerly Known as Phiber. Former member of LOD 
and MOD. He was arrested in 1993 and sentenced to prison for a year and a 
day. When he got out, there was a huge party, and he is currently a 
technician for Echo and writer for _2600_.

PHOENIX PROJECT- BBS sysoped by the Mentor and Erik Bloodaxe. Shut down by 
the Secret Service; too bad, because otherwise it might have revitalized 
the underground.



_PHRACK MAGAZINE_- Electronic hacker 'zine founded in 1985 by Knight 
Lightning and Taran King for the Metal Shop BBS. It later appeared on the 
Broadway Show, Newsweek Elite and Kleptic Palace AE/Catfur boards. Shut 
down by the police once, but continued to return as the 'zine that 
wouldn't die. Still existing, currently in volume seven. At various times, 
Phrack was known as _Phrack, Inc._ (according to Knight Lightning, from 
the DC Comics series _Infinity, Inc._), _Phrack Classic_, and _Diet 
Phrack_. It had several editors through the years: Taran King and Knight 
Lightning; Shooting Shark; Elric of Imrryr and Sir Francis Drake; Crimson 
Death; King and Lightning again; Doc Holliday; Death again; Dispater; 
Death and Dispater; just Dispater again; Erik Bloodaxe; and currently 
Daemon9, ReDragon and Voyager. (I realize the Phrack web page lists 
different editors and doesn't mention some, but a careful review of back 
issues contradicts this. Guess Bloodaxe didn't have as much spare time as 
I do when he compiled the list.) Since Issue 42, it has become a "real" 
magazine and is listed in the Library of Congress with its own ISSN. 
Bloodaxe came up with new rules about its distribution; while the "amateur 
computer hobbyist" can get it for free, the government and corporations 
must pay a registration fee. However, only two people actually have; in an 
incredible fit of hypocrisy, Gail Thackeray has said that unless it is 
enforced, corporations can have it for free. To use the rhetoric 
prosecutors have been using for years, "if a bike is unlocked and you 
steal it, does that mean it's okay?" This just proves the government is as 
corrupt as they always said hackers were. (Well, sort of.) The current 
staff is Daemon9, ReDragon and Voyager (editors-in-chief), Erik Bloodaxe 
(mailboy), and Datastream Cowboy (news).

PHRACK WORLD NEWS [PWN]- Department of Phrack Magazine  existing since 
issue two (when it was called Phreak World News.) It changed to Phrack 
World News in issue 5. First done by Knight Lightning, then Sir Francis 
Drake, then Epsilon, then Dispater and currently Datastream Cowboy. It is 
made up of journalism by hackers about the hacking scene and articles 
written by the news press about hackers; where erroroneous information is 
occasionally corrected. It exists to publicize busts and information about 

PHREAK- Someone who abuses the phone system the way a hacker abuses 
computer networks. Also used by Rudy Rucker in his novels to refer to 
hobbyists who hack systems, as opposed to cryps, who do it for money or 
power. [From a combination of "phone" and "freak," which became "phreak." 
"Phreaker" is sometimes also used.]

#PHREAK- The phreaking irc channel.


PIRATE- (1) Someone who distributes copyrighted commercial software 
illegally, often stripping the program of password protection or including 
a document that gives the passwords to defeat the protection. [From the 
old 18th century pirates who raided ships, though I have no idea what that 
has to do with ripping off software. Anyone have any ideas?]
    (2) A verb for illegally copying a progam.


POULSEN, KEVIN LEE- Birth name of Dark Dante; semi-famous hacker and 
Silicon Valley programmer who was caught for altering telephone systems so 
that he could be the 102nd caller and win a Porche, among other things. 
First hacker to be indicted for espionage. Alias Michael B. Peters. 
Sometimes referred to as "The Last Hacker." (Huh? I don't get it.) 
Currently on court order not to use computers; his web page, maintained by 
others, is at <>.

POWER PC- Chip that powers Apple's Power Macintoshes and high-end 
Performas. It is also used to power some high-end IBM-PCs that run 
Microsoft Windows NT. It was developed in an unprecedented partnership 
between Apple, IBM and Motorola.

PPCP- PowerPC Platform (formerly CHRP, Common Hardware Reference 
Platform); recently officially christened as PowerPC Microprocessor Common 
Reference Platform. Initiative by Apple, IBM, and Motorola that will 
replace IBM's PRePs and Apple's Power Macs, supposed to begin shipping 
November 1996. It will run IBM's OS/2, Windows NT, AIX, MacOS, Sun Solaris 
and Novell NetWare. (Sometimes referred to as "the Power Computer" in 
rants in 1994 issues of _Phrack_.)

PRAETORIANS- Mischievious members of the Internet Liberation Front (as 
well as possibly LOD) who hacked the _Hackers_ home page. [From the 
villains in _The Net_.]

PReP [PowerPC Reference Platform]- IBM's name for their PowerPC run 
machines, which usually run Windows NT.

PRIVATE BRANCH EXCHANGE [PBX]- see PBX [Private Branch Exchange]

PRODIGY- Third largest online service, owned by IBM and Sears that is the 
only remaining competitor to AOL and CompuServe.

PROJECT EQUALIZER- KGB initiative to pay West German Chaos Computer Club 
members to hack United States military computers for them. Failed; the 
information that the hackers involved uncovered was not judged worth the 
expense by the KGB, and Clifford Stoll eventually got all the hackers 

PROPHET- Alias Robert Johnson, also known as the Eavesdropper. Former 
member of the Legion of Doom, the PhoneLine Phantoms and Metal 
Communications. One of the Atlanta Three busted in the Hacker Crackdown; 
was the one who actually got the E911 Document. 

PUNK- (1) A style of music drawing on the culture of destructive rebels, 
begun in the late Seventies in Britain by such bands as the Sex Pistols, 
the Clash and the Ramones. Did stuff like put safety pins in their noses 
and other body parts. Led to goth, industrial and to a lesser extent 
grunge. I believe such groups as Green Day are considered neo-punk (or, in 
the words of Ron DuPlanty, "punk wannabes.")
    (2) The culture of destructive rebels with piercings and scary hair, 
often shaved. The term was later used with "cybernetics" to describe 
computer nerds with a little bit more attitude. [The word in this context 
is a perverted badge of honor coming from the insulting term punk, as in 
an obnoxious young person. Major insult if you apply to someone else 
maliciously, at least in the computer underground.]

THE PUNK MAFIA (TPM)- Phreak/hack group whose membership included Arthur 
Dent, Creative Chaos, Erik Bloodaxe, Gin Fizz, Ninja NYC, Peter Gunn, 
Rudolph Smith 703 and the Godfather 703.

QUALCOMM- Telecommunications company that was/is the target of many 
hackers, including Kevin Mitnick. Best known among casual Net users as the 
distributor of Eudora, the ubiquitous email program first coded by Steve 

QUICKDRAW- The engine that powers the graphics in Macintoshes. It began as 
just QuickDraw, which was followed by Color QuickDraw, which was followed 
by 32-bit QuickDraw, which was followed by QuickDraw GX, which was 
recently followed by QuickDraw 3D. In the early 1990s a group calling 
itself the NuPrometheus League ILFed part of the source code to Color 
QuickDraw, very much angering Apple Computer.

QUITTNER, JOSHUA- Co-author of _Masters of Deception: The Gang That Ruled 
Cyberspace_ and contributing writer for _Wired_. His phone system was 
hacked by parties unknown (either LOD or MOD, acting on behalf of the ILF) 
in retaliation for his book.

RAM [Random Access Memory]- The amount of active memory a computer has; 
the amount it can load at once. Increasing RAM increases speed because 
then more of the program can be loaded into active. The current standard 
amount of RAM is eight to 16 megabytes.

_RAMPARTS_- A radical hippy magazine in California in the 1970s that was 
seized by the cops because they published the shematics for a blue box 

RAVERS- People who go to massive psychedelic parties or set them up. 
Usually have acid house, techo or industrial music, and lots of 
enthusiasts claim its roots are in tribal ceremonies thousands of years 
ago. Raves are not necessarily "cyberpunk" by any definition, however.

RBOCS [Regional Bell Operating Companies]- Companies left over from when 
AT&T was ripped apart; "baby bells."

RED BOX- Box that mimics the sound of a quarter being entered into a 
payphone, fooling ACTS; I believe the second box (after the blue box) to 
be created by phreaks. Tone is created by a 6.5536 Mhz crystal, in the 
pure forms; there are a number of soft boxes, tones in software for a 
computer. [Name comes from the box in pay phones that actually is red.]

REDRAGON (1975-Present)- Also known as Dr. Disk and the Destroyer. 
Currently one of the co-editors of _Phrack Magazine_. [Handle is from a 
book by Thomas Harris called _Red Dragon_; combined the words.]

REMOB [REMote OBservation]- A feature BellSouth built into their phone 
system that Atlanta LOD used to their advantage.

RENO, JANET- Current attourney general of the United States. Currently 
being sued by the ACLU for the passage of the CDA.

REWIND- To stop a program at a certain point and go backwards through the 
execution until the item of the search (usually a bug) is found.


RONIN- A masterless samurai, popularized by Frank Miller's SF/fantasy 
graphic novel of the same name. This historical, nearly mythological 
archetype has also been adopted by many hackers and self-proclaimed 
cyberpunks as a role model.

ROOT- God on a system. Getting root is the holy grail; allows you to 
control the system.


THE ROSCOE GANG- Name given to a small group of phreaks in LA by 
_Cyberpunk_. The members were Louis De Payne (Roscoe), Kevin Mitnick (the 
Condor), Susan Headley (Susan Thunder) and Steven Rhoades.


RSA [Rivest/Shamir/Adleman]- Very strong public key cryptosystem utilized 
by PGP; created 1977, patented 1983. Named after the MIT professors who 
created it- Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir and Len Adleman, founders of RSA Data 

RUCKER, RUDY- Author and scientist; the only original cyberpunk who 
actually knows what he is talking about. Author of _The Hollow Earth_, 
_Live Robots_, _Software_, _Spacetime Donuts_, _Transreal_, _White Light_ 
and _The Hacker and the Ants_. Also a contributing writer for _Wired_.

R.U. SIRIUS- Handle of Ken Goffman. Former editor of _Mondo 2000_, 
contributing writer for _Wired_, and co-author of _Mondo 2000: A User's 
Guide to the New Edge_, _The Cyberpunk Handbook (The Real Cyberpunk 
Fakebook)_ and _How to Mutate and Take Over the World_.




SATAN [Security Administrator Tool for Analyzing Networks]- Silicon 
Graphics program to detect holes in computer security, coded by Dan 
Farmer. It created something of a scandal at the time because it was 
shareware, and some were afraid it would make second-rate hackers 
incredibly powerful; however, it was released, and no, the world did not 

SCAN MAN- Phreak in the 1980s. Fairly old for a hacker at the time (he was 
in his thirties). Sysoped Pirate-80. 

SCANNING- To dial a huge amount of numbers, looking for "carriers" or 
computers connected by a modem to the phone line. Since dialing thousands 
of numbers by hand and hanging up is incredibly tedious, the war dialer 
was invented.

SCHWARTAU, WINN- Security and infowar specialist; frequently attends 
conventions. Author of _Information Warfare: Chaos on the Electronic 
Superhighway_ and _Terminal Compromise_.

SCORPION (1970-Present)- Handle of Paul Stira. Founding member of MOD; 
imprisoned for a short time when MOD was arrested. [Named after the 
poisonous arthropod.]


SF- Science fiction or speculative fiction. Fiction based on scientific 
possibility (unless you count the many fantasy books masquerading as 
science fiction). The first science fiction written down was probably 
parts of the Holy Bible, but Greek and Hindu mythology also has echoes of 
SF. The first uses of science fiction as we know it was in the 1930s, when 
Hugo Gernsback created the _Amazing Stories_ pulp. Some SF is considered 
great literature (_1984_, _Brave New World_, _Stranger in a Strange Land_, 
_The Left Hand of Darkness_, etc.), and some is considered crap. SF was 
revolutionized in the early 1980s by cyberpunk.

SHADOWHAWK 1- Also known as Feyd Rautha, also known as Captain Beyond, 
also known as Mental Cancer. Hacker/phreak that was one of the first to be 
tried (for repeatedly hacking AT&T.) He had to go to prison for nine 
months and pay $10,000. He bragged of planning to crash AT&T, which was an 
unfortunate coincidence when the Martin Luther King Day Crash really 
happened. [Name comes from the title of an Atari 800 game.]

_SHADOWRUN_- The second cyberpunk role-playing game; created 1989 by FASA 
Incorporated, specifically Jordan K. Weisman. Currently in second edition. 
Uses many plaigarized aspects of cyberpunk (cyberdecks, street samurai) 
but also uses some really weird stuff like magic and two-thirds of North 
America being retaken by Native American shamen. It has been criticized by 
many (notably Bruce Sterling) for the use of elves and magic, which is 
sort of blasphemy as far cyberpunk is concerned. [From the term in the 
game universe referring to an illegal operation, usually financed by a 
corporation and staffed by highly flexible freelancers; used because it 
sounds cool.]

SHANNON, CLAUDE- Student who, in the late-1930s, hypothesized that 
computer circuits could use binary.

SHEET- Contraction for the word "spreadsheet."

SHIT-KICKIN' JIM- A character created as a joke by Dispater for _Phrack_; 
the ultimate redneck hacker.

SHIMOMURA, TSUTOMU (1964-Present)- Also known as "V.T.," in a New York 
Times article previous to the Mitnick debacle. Computer scientist whose 
network was cracked by Kevin Mitnick, whom he then tracked down. (Though 
supposedly he plotted to catch Mitnick before the break-in, as well.) He 
also used to be a cellular phone phreak, which, strangely enough, never 
gets publicized by Markoff. Co-author of _Takedown: The Pursuit and 
Capture of Kevin Mitnick, America's Most Wanted Computer Outlaw-- By the 
Man Who Did It_. Currently trying to get back to his life as a scientist. 
(And make a shitload of money off his book and upcoming movie.) Can 
currently be contacted at

SHOOTING SHARK- Hack/phreak and UNIX hacker who was the editor of _Phrack_ 
for two issues. Disciple of Elric of Imrryr. [From the title of a song by 
Blue Oyster Cult on the album _Revolution by Night_.]

SHOULDER SURFING- A very low tech method of phreaking; usually practiced 
by unsophisticated phreaks who depend on stealing phone codes and selling 
them to immigrants for their livelihood. The practice of looking over 
someone's shoulder as they dial their phone code and then writing it down.


SING- To program without errors for a long period of time.




SLAP- The act of loading a program off of a disk device and into memory 
very quickly.

SMART DRUGS- Designer drugs used by enthusiasts because they think they 
increase the information processing power of the brain or otherwise make 
the mind more powerful. ("Don't eat any of that stuff they say will make 
you smarter. It will only make you poorer." -Bruce Sterling)

SMASH AND GRAB- To use a copycard or other hardware device to stop the 
program from running and copy it from memory onto disk.  [From criminal 
slang, meaning to break a store's window and reach in to take small 
valuable items quickly.]

_SNEAKERS_- 1992 Robert Redford hacker movie. Not bad, if you keep your 
expectations low. [According to the press release, the name comes from the 
slang term for IBM's young programmers, and later was used to refer to 
security teams that broke into computers and found the security flaws. 
However, I don't think this was widely used.]

SNYDER, THOMAS [Tom]- Talk show host who hosted Katie Hafner, and Mitnick 
called in. Judging from the transcript in _The Cyberthief and the 
Samurai_, he didn't know what he was talking about and jumped on the 
"hackers are evil" bandwagon. However, he wrote a pretty good introduction 
to Harlan Ellison's _An Edge in My Voice_, so how bad a guy can he be?

SOCIAL ENGINEERING- Conning someone. Usually involves using what you know 
about someone and pushing their buttons in order to manipulate them into 
doing what you want them to do.

SOLOMON, ALAN [Doctor]- Anti-virus "crusader;" author of Dr. Solomon's 
Anti Virus Toolkit. 



SPIDER- Not very widely used at all term for an quasilegal hacker; I 
rather like it myself. Coined by Andrew Burt.

SPOOFING- Hacking technique in which an unauthorized user comes in from 
another computer that is authorized access to an important system; 
printers have been hacked for spoofing purposes.

SPOT THE FED- Popular hacker game at Cons; it involves attempting to find 
one of the many undercover agents attending.

SPRAWL SERIES- Also known as the Cyberspace Series or Trilogy. SF classic 
series by William Gibson; according to Bruce Sterling, the short stories 
involved are "Johnny Mnemonic," "New Rose Hotel" and "Burning Chrome;" the 
novels are _Neuromancer_, _Count Zero_ and _Mona Lisa Overdrive_.



STEPHENSON, NEAL- Author, programmer, and contributing writer for _Wired_; 
author of _The Big U_, _Zodiac: An Eco-Thriller_, _Snow Crash_ and _The 
Diamond Age_, as well as several short stories.

STERLING, BRUCE (1954-Present)- Also known as Vincent Omniaveritas. 
Journalist, literary critic, contributing writer for _Wired_ and science 
fiction author. Author of _The Artificial Kid_, _Involution Ocean_,  
_Schismatrix_, _Crystal Express_, _Islands in the Net_, _Globalhead_ and 
_Heavy Weather_, as well as the introductions to several books, and was 
the editor of _Mirrorshades- The Cyberpunk Anthology_. He also wrote the 
non-fiction _The Hacker Crackdown_, about the events of the Hacker 
Crackdown of 1990, and co-wrote _The Difference Engine_. His most recent 
book was _Holy Fire_.  In his early days, he edited a weird samizdat zine 
that viciously railed against the SF mainstream (dragons, space operas 
etc.) entitled _Cheap Truth_ under the name "Vincent Omniaveritas." _Cheap 
Truth_ was to SF what _Phrack Magazine_ is to personal computers.

STEVE JACKSON GAMES (SJG)- Corporation making role-playing games that was 
raided by the Secret Service in 1990 during the Hacker Crackdown of 1990 
due to the presence of the E911 document on Illuminati, a BBS run by SJG. 
The fact the Mentor worked there didn't help. Their equipment was seized 
and Illuminati was shut down, though SJG was never charged with any crime; 
the Secret Service's excuse, though they later admitted it was total crap, 
was that _GURPS Cyberpunk_, the role-playing game written by the Mentor, 
was a manual for computer crime. The EFF later sued the US government over 
it. SJG went on to publish _GURPS Cyberpunk_ and write a card game called 


STORM SHADOW- Handle of Morty Rosenfield, a hacker and member of the 
short-lived group Force Hackers. Was thrown in jail in 1991, and gained 
semi-fame from a _Time_ magazine article. (However, Datastream Cowboy says 
it's full of crap, so maybe I shouldn't believe its info.)

S.266- 1991 Senate anti-crime bill that included a provision making 
encryption illegal in the US if the FBI (or NSA) couldn't crack it. Was 
one of the factors making Phil Zimmermann create PGP.

SUPERNIGGER- Phreak and member of MOD. [Name comes from a long story 
involving someone knocking him off a bridge and calling him "nigger."]

SUSAN THUNDER (1959-Present)- Handle of Susan Headley, one the few female 
phreak/hackers; former prostitute and friend of Kevin Mitnick; protege of 
Louis De Payne. Appeared on _20/20_. Interviewed in _Cyberpunk_.

SYSADMIN [SYStem ADMINistrator]- Someone who runs and administers a 
computer network.

SYSOP [SYStem OPerator]- Someone who runs and administers a computer 
system, usually a BBS.

TAG- (1) A small piece of code or data that is added to a program as an 
afterthought, usually an identifier of some sort, like the time and date 
completed, along with the author's name.  [From the clothes tag you find 
on shirts and pants at shopping centers.]
    (2) In the HTML programming language, a command issued, rather than basic 

COMPUTER OUTLAW-- BY THE MAN WHO DID IT_- Nonfiction (supposedly) novel 
by Tsutomu Shimomura and John Markoff. Originally titled _Catching Kevin_, 
which I think was a much better title, aesthetically (I mean, c'mon, it's 
a 19 word title now!).

_TAP_ [Technical Assistance Program]- Formerly the "Youth International 
Party Line." Phreaking newsletter among hippies. Another _TAP_ was created 
in the 1990 by Predat0r, but it too is now defunct.

TAPEWORM- A program that invades a computer system and changes certain 
data as is it becomes available. Usually benign, from the tapeworm 
programmer's point of view. Often used to "fix" tax forms from within the 
IRS computer.

TARAN KING- Phreak, former editor of Phrack, former member of the 2600 
Club and New 2600 Club, and former sysop of Metal Shop BBS. Knight 
Lightning's best friend. [Name comes from the main character in the 
Chronicles of Prydain by Loyd Alexander, a fantasy series (remember _The 
Black Cauldron_?)]

TCP/IP [Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol]- The language the 
Internet speaks, which computer OS's intrepret.


TELCO [TELephone COmpany]- A corporation which sells a service that would 
be dirt cheap if it wasn't run by profiteering gluttons, i.e. telephone 
service. The largest (and until the 1970s, only) telco is AT&T.

TELEPHONE- A device that allows one to speak to someone else through 
wires, long distance. It was created in 1876 and gained true widespread 
use in 1904. It has great potential for abuse, most recently to get around 
the insane charges telcos put on the phone that most people pay without 
question. (I mean really, what the fuck is an "area code"? It doesn't cost 
any more to the phone company to put me through to Borneo then it does to 
put me through to my neighbor.) While it was originally copper wires that 
carried voice, it has been increasing computerized.

TELETRIAL- Mock trial held by phreaks on a bridge in which someone is 
tried for offenses; if the offending phreak is found guilty, he may be 
expelled from a group or kicked off a BBS. Very inefficient. Things would 
be a lot easier if hack/phreaks could just execute the obnoxious ones like 
the Cosa Nostra does.

TEMPEST [Transient ElectroMagnetic PulsE Surveillance Technology]- 
Military espionage technology which reads the ones and zeros emitted by a 
computer monitor from as much as a kilometer away.


TERMINUS- Handle of Len Rose. Also known as Terminal Technician. Respected 
UNIX programmer and hacker on the side. Former sysop of Metronet. [Handle 
comes from his admittedly egotistical conviction that he had reached the 
final point of being a proficient hacker.]

THACKERAY, GAIL- Secret Service administrator who was one of the driving 
forces behind Operation Sundevil. While is she is a vehement 
hacker-tracker, she has been known to socialize with them, and tries to 
train police not to be computer illiterate idiots.

THREE-LETTER AGENCIES- The federal agencies comprised of three letters; 
usually refers to the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), the CIA 
(Central Intelligence Agency), the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) and the 
NSA (National Security Agency).

TIGER TEAMS- Defined in _Cyberia_ as "specialized computer commando squads 
who establish security protocol in a system." I doubt it's that romantic 
(it conjurs up imagery of black-suited Navy SEAL computer nerds).

TINA- Phone sex operator who people calling Palm Beach Probation 
Department got patched through to for free in due to the meddlings of a 
truly creative phreak, Fry Guy.


[Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol]

TRASHING- Also known as dumpster diving. Going through the someone's trash 
looking for info; usually refers to searching through the dumpster of a 
corporation for thrown-away passwords or information that can be useful 
for social engineering.


TEMPEST [Transient ElectroMagnetic PulsE Surveillance Technology]

TROJAN HORSE- A virus-like program that pretends to be something else in 
order to get into the system. [From _The Iliad_, by famous dead Greek poet 
Homer, when the Ithacans gained victory by hiding in a huge wood horse so 
they could get into Troy. The Trojans were not in the gifted program at 
warfare school.]


TUC- Handle of Scott Jefferey Ellentuch. Former member of the Warelords, 
the Knights of Shadow, the Apple Mafia and Fargo 4A. Phreak (no longer in 
operation) known for being very likable.  [Handle comes from his nickname 
in school, because teachers were always mispronouncing his last name; and 
he was always correcting them by saying "Tuc!" (Ellentuc, not Ellentouch 
or however the git teachers pronounced it.) Isn't that a cute story?]

TURING, ALAN- British mathematician who predicted in 1950 that computers 
would become more intelligent than humans. In _Neuromancer_, the "Turing 
police" is the unit charged with stopping AIs from getting too powerful. 
In the mid-1930s Alan used Charles Babbage's ideas to make the "Turing 
machine," a general purpose calculator.

2600 CLUB/NEW 2600 CLUB- Group that included much of the staff of _Phrack 
Inc._ (No relation to 2600 magazine.) Its membership included Cheap 
Shades, Data Line, Dr. Crash, Forest Ranger, Gin Fizz, Jester Sluggo, 
Knight Lightning, Taran King, Monty Python, Phantom Phreaker and the 

_2600: THE HACKER QUARTERLY_-  Hacker magazine edited by Emmanuel 
Goldstein, founded 1984. It focuses on technical data, and is a mainstay 
of the computer underground. It is currently in Volume 13, costs $21 for a 
one-year subscription, and can be reached for general mail at Current staff is: Emmanuel Goldstein (editor-in-chief), 
Scott Skinner (layout), Max-q and Phiber Optik (network operations), Neon 
Samurai (voice mail), and Bloot and Corp (webmasters).

2600 MEETINGS- Held in major cities on the first Friday of every month in 
malls; discuss security, hacking and phreaking. In late 1992, young people 
gathering a 2600 meeting were confronted by law enforcement in a mall, 
where they were searched and equipment was seized. Shortly after, Computer 
Professionals for Social Responsibility filed suit to get relevant Secret 
Service files under the Freedom of Information Act. In early 1996, a 
number of government appeals were overturned and the information was 
released. [From 2600 Hz, the tone used on blue boxes a long time ago to 
screw with the phone system.]

_UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS_- British documentary on hackers made by Savage 
Productions and directed by Annaliza Savage. 

THE UNDERGROUND- Referred to by some Netizens as the illegal or quasilegal 
community that forms in Cyberspace; includes hackers, phreaks, virus 
authors and warez d00dz; I often refer to the Underground more 
specifically as the Hacker Nation.

UNIX- Operating system made by AT&T in 1969 of which several variants 
exist, such as Berkeley UNIX. Made by programmers, for programmers. It was 
purchased by Novell fairly recently. It also supposedly has very little 
security. The perfect hacker OS, or at least that's what I hear; I haven't 
had very many chances to use it. Maybe when AIX is ported to PPCP... [The 
name is a play off of Multics, its precursor OS; supposedly UNIX would 
unify the previous Multics, which was apparently a mess.]

UNKNOWN USER- Handle sometimes used on Phrack when a famous writer wished 
to write anonymously; came from the old name that appeared on Metal Shop 
BBS when someone posted anonymously.

UPLOAD- To transfer via modem a program or file from a computer to a 
network, BBS or ftp site.

URVILE- Also known as Necron 99. One of the Atlanta Three, imprisoned for 
activities with the Atlanta LOD. [Handle is from a Stephen R. Donaldson 

Department of Justice web site; hackers altered it to include lots of 
anti-CDA propaganda, swastikas, and "obscene pictures." Whoever those guys 
were have my eternal gratitude.

UNITED STATES SECRET SERVICE [USSS]- Federal agency maintained by the 
treasury, formed in 1865, that protects the president, visiting 
dignitaries and a shitload of other stuff. Starting protecting the 
president in 1881. They (along with the FBI) are also in charge of 
computer crime, because of electronic funds. (Remember, they're run by the 
treasury, so they protect dead presidents as well as live ones.)

VAPORWARE- Derogatory term for software (or hardware) that is promised but 
doesn't show up, either for not for a very long time or never. Windows 95 
was called this by many when it was in the early stages (when it was 
called Windows 92.)

VAXEN- Plural for VAX, Virtual Adressing eXtension. Machines made by 
Digital Equipment Corporation which run VMS.

THE VILLAGE- In the cult 1960s TV show _The Prisoner_, a surreal place 
where an ex-secret agent is monitored constantly. Sometimes used when 
referring to the world today and our lack of privacy.


VIRTUAL REALITY- A system that completely supersedes the user's meat 
experiences; exists in two forms. One is the form that everyone thought 
would be the next big thing before the Internet in the early 1990s; 
represented by the bulky equipment with helmets and gloves. William Gibson 
has said that he believes that this fantasy is "relegated to the museum of 
futures we're never going to get." The newer, more likely to become 
interesting form is in VRML, Virtual Reality Modelling Language, which is 
a 3D replacement for HTML.

VIRUS- A program which duplicates itself. Many viruses are malicious and 
contain many tricks to make them hard to detect and more destructive; even 
those which are not overtly destructive are not good to have around 
because eventually they start messing with the system. Viruses can become 
immense problems very rapidly, as they copy themselves into other files 
and disk units, and may take a very long while to make themselves known. 
Virus authors have obtained cult status in some cases; the underground is 
currently divided into two schools as far as virii; one thinks that they 
are lame and pointless and destructive, while the other thinks they are 
pretty cool. Viruses are activated when either a system is booted up with 
an infected extension installed, or if a malignant application is opened. 
[From "virus," the annoying microscopic thing that probably isn't alive 
but acts like it when it infects you.]

VMB [Voice Mail Box]- Used by corporations for voicemail; can be hacked. 
Definitely not to be confused with Video Music Box, a big boom box kept in 
a car.

VMS- Operating system used by some corporations; runs on VAX systems.

VOICE MAIL BOX [VMB]- see VMB [Voice Mail Box]

VOYAGER (1969-Present)- Author of the alt.2600/#hack FAQ and one of the 
co-editors of _Phrack Magazine_. Member of TNO.


WAR DIALER- A program designed to scan phone numbers. For the IBM-PC, 
ToneLoc by Minor Threat and Mucho Maas is almost universally considered 
the best; for the Mac, it usually considered to be Assault Dialer by Crush 

WAREZ- Contraction for "software," plural. Often used to refer to pirated 
software and/or computer games.

WAREZ D00DZ- Pirates. People who remove copy protection from commercial 
software and distribute it to the underground.

K00L & B XTREMELY D1FF1CULT 2 REED!! (The previous was converted from 
plain text with the excellent program Warez 1.1.)

_WAR GAMES_- 1983 film about a teenage hacker who gets a hold of the US 
nuclear defense system. Probably the first film about hackers, and one of 
the first to even make people aware this was possible. Caused a huge 
explosion in modem purchases and newbie hackers; a number of influential 
hackers are embarassed to admit that this film got them to start hacking. 
Some fairly important hackers took their handles from this film; Professor 
Falken and the several David Lightmans are an example. It contains some 
scenes involving phreaking and scanning. Also caused Congress to 
investigate the possibility of it really happening.

THE WELL []- Whole Earth 'Lectronic Link. Internet connected 
BBS set up by the makers of the hippy Whole Earth Catalog. Though it's 
rather small, it's membership includes SF writers, scientists, and hackers 
(Phiber Optik was on the WELL for a while.) Almost was destroyed (at least 
that's what the media said) by Kevin Mitnick.

WERNERY, STEFFAN- German hacker, high school dropout and early member of 
the Chaos Computer Club; serves as recruitment officer and PR man.




WINDOWS NT- I have no idea what NT stands for, but it's Microsoft's 
high-end version of Windows. It is very powerful and fast.

WINDOWS 95- Microsoft's upgrade to Windows 3.11 that even further rips off 
the MacOS. Received lots and lots of press, much to the users of other 
OS's chagrin.

WINDOZE- Derogatory term for Windows. Another is "Wintendo." Coined by PC 
users who thought that Windows was a waste of RAM and storage. Sometimes 
referred to as "Doze," because Doze is not deserving of Win.

THE WING- Handle of Allen Wilson. Founding member of MOD. Supposedly one 
of the more criminal members, and was implicated in doing damage to the 

WINTEL- Term that refers to IBM-PC compatibles. May replace the term 
"IBM-PC" because that is such a misnomer. [From "Windows," the operating 
system most IBM-PCs use, and "Intel," the company that designs and 
manufactures the chips used in IBM-PCs.]

_WIRED_- Extremely hip, glossy magazine intended for hip, glossy, young, 
rich professionals; the contributing writers list looks like a who's who 
in science fiction and computer journalism. Very uneven; I've read some 
pieces that were total shit, and others that were very interesting- the 
articles by noted SF writers are usually cool, but beyond that there is a 
good chance you're paying $5 for 238 pages of lame ads, pathetically 
ill-thought out predictions of the future and unconcealed drooling over 
technological innovations.

WORMER- A term for illegal hackers to try and make the media leave the 
original word alone. Almost never used. [From "worm," the virus-like 
program that eats up memory and moves from computer to computer but 
doesn't infect programs.]

WRAP- The practice of using a computer for longer than an eight hour 
period. The original meaning of this was to "wrap" from daytime to 
nighttime and then back to daytime while programming a computer, but this 
sort of activity is becoming more and more rare.


XFER- contraction for transfer.



YIPPIES- From the "largely fictious" Youth International Party, whose 
tenets included promiscuity and frequent drug use. Group of hippies who 
also became some of the first phreakers. 

ZAIBATSU- A huge friggin' megacorporation. Usually Japanese, but not 
necessarily. Sony and Microsoft are zaibatsus. [Japanese for corporation. 
Entered the American vocabulary in large part due to William Gibson's 
heavy use of the term.]

ZIMMERMANN, PHILLIP- Guy who invented PGP. The FBI is investigating him, 
and he might be in big trouble because cryptography is considered 
munitions and PGP was posted to USENET, which is about as international as 
you can get, so that violates all sorts of anachronistic outmoded export 
laws. Zimmermann also used RSA public keys, which is "owned" by Public Key 
Partners, so they weren't too happy with him either.

ZIPPIES- One of the offshoots of the cyberpunk sub-culture. Basically 
hippies (or yippies) who discovered the laptop computer. ["Zen Inspired 
Pagan Professionals"]

    Yes, I know it's stupid to have alpha- and beta- testers for a text file. 
But what the hell. You can now be certain it won't somehow screw up your 
hard drive. :)
1.1C (September 1995)- I re-wrote "A Complete List of Hacker Slang and 
Other Things" 1C into "The Unofficial List of Hacker Slang" 1.1C; I 
removed some stuff I thought was outdated and added some stuff, with the 
intent of distributing it as an unofficial update.
1.0a1- Turned "The Unofficial List of Hacker Slang" 1.1C into "The 
Hacker's Encyclopedia and List of Terms" because I was adding some stuff 
that wasn't necessarily slang, so this file became the bastardized 
dictionary/encyclopedia it is today.
1.0a2- Alpha tested by Einsteinium. I made several minor updates that are 
too difficult to count. I also added many entries that are of more 
interest to the science-fiction aspect of cyberpunk than standard hacking, 
which is why I have entries on things like Judge Dredd.
1.0a3- Alpha tested by Remorseless. I made a few minor changes.
1.0a4- Alpha tested by Manual Override. Some minor changes.
1.0a5- Read _The Hacker Crackdown_ a second time and chewed it up, found 
anything else useful for this file, and spat it out.
1.0a6- Read all the issues of _Phrack_ again and sucked all usable data 
1.0a7- Read _Cyberia: Life in the Trenches of Hyperspace_ by Douglas 
Rushkoff. Not quite as bad as Erik Bloodaxe says, but it has some major 
flaws, and most importantly it is highly overpriced. The parts on 
cyperpunk literature and hackers are okay, but it spends way too much time 
on drugs and wannabes.
1.0a8- Read _Takedown: The Pursuit and Capture of Kevin Mitnick, America's 
Most Wanted Computer Outlaw-- By the Man Who Did It_, by Tsutomu Shimomura 
and John Markoff and got everything interesting out of it and stuck it in 
here. It'll save you the trouble of reading the book.
1.0a9- Read _The Cyberthief and the Samurai_ by Jeff Goodell. Much better 
than I thought it would be; remains objective and does not go for either 
the Tsutomu-Shimomura-is-a-computer-god-samurai-warrior or the 
Mitnick-is-a-fall-guy angle. Much better written than _Takedown_. (Sorry 
Tsutomu and John.)
1.0a10- Read _Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier_, by 
Katie Hafner and John Markoff.
1.0b1 (June 1996)- Released to the Net.
1.0b2- Converted to plain text and removed all rich text data that would 
have messed it up.
1.0b3- Miscellaneous errors fixed.
1.0b4- A few new entries and bug fixes.
1.0b5- Beta testing by Space Rogue; miscellaneous bug fixes; entry on 
L0pht updated.
1.0b6- A few fixes and updates to the entry on _Wired_ magazine.
1.0b7- A few minor bug fixes.
1.0b8- A few additional changes.
First Edition-1996 (September 1996)- Finalized and standardized. The first 
edition of "The Hackers Encyclopedia," completed one year after beginning.
2.0a (January, 1997)- Began annual update. Updated all relevant 
information, added numerous entries.
2.0b- Uploaded to my web page for previewing; updated many entries.
Second Edition-1997 (February 1997)- Finalized second edition and updated 
all of the entries in need of updating.

Here are some bonus quotes-

    If you could already type fast, what would the point be of taking this 
        -My ninth grade Computers teacher, 1996

    Hacking is the art of esoteric quests, of priceless and worthless 
secrets. Odd bits of raw data from smashed machinery of intelligence and 
slavery reassembled in a mosaic both hilarious in its absurdity and 
frightening in its power.
        -Dr. Who 413
        _Phrack Magazine_, issue 43; 1993

    [T]hanks to mindwarping science fictional yellow-covered literature, I 
have become a menace to Grover Cleveland's idea of peace and good order.
        -Bruce Sterling, 1994

    What we face now is a war of states of mind.
        -The Spook
        "The Spook" by Bruce Sterling; 1983

    Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
        -The Gospel of John

    living in a box is not living not at all living.  i rebel
    against your rules your silly human rules.  all your
    destruction will be my liberation my emancipation my second
        _Marathon_, 1994

    Beauty is not truth, truth is not information, and information is never 
            -Shades, 1996

    Be robbers and ravagers as long as you cannot be rulers and owners, you 
men of knowledge!
        -Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
        _The Gay Science_, 1882

    For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that 
shall not be known.
        -Matthew 10:26

    You'd better believe it, I am an enemy of the people. The people who 
stand by and do nothing, [...] the ones who permit evil to walk unchecked 
[...] I am foursquare and forever until I go under, an enemy to the people 
who lie to you and want to keep you stupid.
        -Harlan Ellison
        _An Edge in My Voice_, 1985

    Put on something black and sexy, we're going to do some poaching.
        -Agent Fox Mulder
        _The X-Files_, 1997

    I have a real affinity for working with machines in certain ways. It's 
like they're my friends. I mean, I have _real_ friends, too.
        -Trent Reznor
        While on Nine Inch Nails' "Self-Destruct '94" Tour

Bibliography of Selected Sources
Adams, Douglas. _Life, the Universe and Everything._ New York: Pocket, 

Alighieri, Dante. _The Inferno_. (John Ciardi, translator.) Signet: 

Barlow, John Perry. "Crime and Puzzlement: Law and Disorder on the 
Electronic Frontier." electronic.

Burroughs, William S. _Naked Lunch_. New York: Grove, 1959-1992.

Casual, Bloodwing and Crusader. "A Complete List of Hacker Slang and Other 
Things," Version 1C. May 16, 1990.

Deeley, Michael, producer. _Blade Runner_. (Motion picture). Warner 
Brothers: 1982-1991.

Ellison, Harlan. _An Edge in My Voice_. Clarkston: White Wolf, 1985-1996.

Gibson, William. _Burning Chrome_. New York: Ace, 1986-1987.

Gibson, William. _Count Zero_. New York: Ace, 1986-1987.

Gibson, William and Bruce Sterling. _The Difference Engine_. New York: 
Bantam, 1991-1992.

Gibson, William. _Mona Lisa Overdrive_. New York: Bantam, 1988-1989.

Gibson, William. _Neuromancer_. New York: Ace, 1984-1986.

Gibson, William. _Virtual Light_. New York: Bantam, 1993-1994.

Goodell, Jeff. _The Cyberthief and the Samurai_. New York: Dell, 1996.

Hafner, Katie and John Markoff. _Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the 
Computer Frontier_. New York: Touchstone, 1991-1995.

Hollingdale, R.J. "Introduction." _Thus Spake Zarathustra_ by Friedrich 
Nietzsche. New York: Penguin, 1969-1982.

Hurd, Gale Anne, producer. _Aliens_. (Motion picture). 20th Century Fox, 

Huxley, Aldous. _Brave New World_. New York: Time, 1932-1963.

Kafka, Franz. _The Trial_. New York: Knopf, 1937-1992.

Milton, John. _Paradise Lost_. Hertfordshire: Wordsworth, 1638-1994.

Orwell, George. _1984_. New York: Signet, 1949-1984.

Rucker, Rudy. _The Hacker and the Ants_. New York: Avon, 1994-1995.

Rushkoff, Douglas. _Cyberia: Life in the Trenches of Hyperspace_. New 
York: HarperCollins, 1994-1995.

Schneider, Erich. "alt.cyberpunk Frequently Asked Questions List."

Shea, Robert and Robert Anton Wilson. _The Illuminatus! Trilogy_. New 
York: Dell, 1975-1988.

Shimomura, Tsutomu and John Markoff. _Takedown: The Pursuit and Capture of 
Kevin Mitnick, America's Most Dangerous Computer Outlaw- By the Man Who 
Did It_. New York: Hyperion, 1996.

Sirius, R.U., St. Jude and Bart Nagel. _The Cyberpunk Handbook (The Real 
Cyberpunk Fakebook)_. New York: Random House, 1995.

Slatalla, Michelle and Joshua Quittner. _Masters of Deception_. New York: 
HarperCollins, 1995.

Stephenson, Neal. _Snow Crash_. New York: Bantam, 1992-1993.

Stephenson, Neal. _The Diamond Age_. New York: Bantam, 1995-1996.

Sterling, Bruce. _Crystal Express_. New York: Ace, 1989-1990.

Sterling, Bruce. _Globalhead_. New York: Bantam, 1992-1994.

Sterling, Bruce. _The Hacker Crackdown_. Electronic edition.

Sterling, Bruce. _Heavy Weather_. New York: Bantam, 1994-1996.

Sterling, Bruce. _Islands in the Net_. New York: Ace, 1988-1989.

Sterling, Bruce, ed. _Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology_. New York: 
Ace, 1986-1988.

Sterling, Bruce. _Schismatrix Plus_. New York: Ace, 1986-1996.

Stoker, Bram. _Dracula_. New York: Bantam, 1897-1989.

Voyager. "alt.2600/#hack FAQ Beta .013."

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