I was recently reminiscing with my friend about how funny some of the things we used to do on the Internet were. If we tried any of that stuff today, people would laugh at us for how simple and ridiculous some of the ‘hacking’ methods were. I decided to list all of the hilarious hacking, phreaking, phishing, and other illegal activities everyone who knew anything about the Internet did back in the day (early to mid ’90s). Take a look at the list and if you have any additions please submit them through comments.
1. Anarchist Cookbook – What could be more old-school than this? This was the original tool people used to learn about how to do everything from making black boxes, to explosives. I could not find the original downloadable document, but the Wikipedia definition is given and i’m sure with a little searching you will be able to find it. This book was especially important to me because it taught me how to get free payphone calls for years (by putting a paper clip in the mouthpiece and touching the metal wire attached to the phone). That worked great until one day I electrocuted myself and never tried it again.
2. Phreaking – Just another phone-hacking method. Basically people would try every possible thing to mess with phones and phone companies. There were so many different ways to get free phone calls it was ridiculous and for years the phone companies sat back and could do nothing. Although the phone calls were free, the amount of time/money one would put in to phreaking would counteract any savings made on phone calls.
3. Phishing – Phishing is definitely still around today, however it is much more advanced. In the old days, when most people did not realize that AOL would not ask for your password, thousands of people would fall for phishing. This was so easy to do it was not even funny anymore. You literally just had to type up a semi-professional looking e-mail or IM and send it to someone and they would send you back their username/password. Today though, phishing is much more sneaky. People have learned not to give their user/pass to anyone. Hackers will setup ‘false’ sites like ebay in the hopes you will type your password in. It is very easy to fall for this so be careful where you submit your password to.
4. AOL Channels – This was the original way to download illegal software. During a time when AOL was still dominating the Internet market, all someone had to do to get their favorite software was go into one of the channels in AOL and type some simple commands and the files would start pouring in. The files didn’t always work, and it was somewhat tedious to put all the files together, but in the end it was the best way to download illegal software.
5. IRC – Yes I know this is still around and very much alive today, and no they don’t actually distribute news (I know some of you think that). The reason I decided to add this to the list is because it was just as good back in the day! It was much more difficult to find IRC channels that worked and did not have a huge line, but it was still very easy to use and very reliable. Today, the site packetnews.com