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.)

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

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

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 tracing

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 again

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.]

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."]

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_

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



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)

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 hackers

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.]

The phreaking irc channel


(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 program


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 <>

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

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_.)

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

see PBX [Private Branch Exchange]

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

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 arrested

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

(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.]

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