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View Full Version : Apple Mac OS X the preferred platform of hackers


lmalave
Dec 18, 2002, 09:43 AM
Hahaha! Move over Linux, OS X is rapidly becoming the preferred platform for hackers and "Alpha Geeks" of all ages. Check out the picture at CNN of the 15 year old kid hacking from his school's PowerMac (that must be some wealthy school district - PowerMacs and matching Apple displays - no eMacs here -sheesh!):

http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/internet/12/17/student.hack/index.html

And a few weeks ago I saw a feature on TV showing some other 15 year old kid sniffing Wi-Fi packets around Manhattan using his iBook and a Wi-Fi antenna enhanced with a Pringles can. Hilarious!

From what I've read "Alpha Geeks" and hackers are moving to OS X in droves because it's what they've always dreamed of: a Unix computer with a great GUI that runs Office and connects easily to peripherals. Sure, Linux is more open, but really, what percentage of people really need to be recompiling their freakin' OS kernel? Most people, even geeks (I pretty much consider myself a prototypical member of the Geek class), are more interested in running and developing/compiling applications, and also using peripherals, not modifying and compiling the OS itself!!

Thirteenva
Dec 18, 2002, 10:57 AM
I'm not so sure this cnn article at is a good example of a hacker using OS X as his platform of choice.


Actually what he did was "cracking" and all he did was a find a program to do a brute force attack on an obviously weak network password.


Your second example about the wi fi and the ibook is a much better example of how OS X can benefit a "hacker" or "cracker", like you said with its ease of use with peripherals and power of unix behind it.

lmalave
Dec 18, 2002, 11:22 AM
Originally posted by Thirteenva
I'm not so sure this cnn article at is a good example of a hacker using OS X as his platform of choice.


Actually what he did was "cracking" and all he did was a find a program to do a brute force attack on an obviously weak network password.


Your second example about the wi fi and the ibook is a much better example of how OS X can benefit a "hacker" or "cracker", like you said with its ease of use with peripherals and power of unix behind it.

hacker, cracker, schmacker - I'm not concerned over the terminology.

At MIT, where the term "hacker" originated, after all, the term does not really even have a connotation of anything computer related. Rather a "hack" is more of a prank (like putting a telephone booth or mock-up of a police car on top of the MIT dome). Probably the word "hacker" came to be associated with computers because the same geeks that were into "hacking" (which is actually crawling around MIT tunnels and such, often in order to implement the abovementioned pranks) were also the people that hung around the early computer labs writing the earliest computer games and such. By the way, this original group of computer geeks came together first as the MIT Model Railroad Club! (talk about geeky). Basically, they transferred their enthusiasm for tricked-out model railroad setups to writing clever computer programs. That's why to this day the term "hack" implies a clever programming construct - as an homage to the cleverness of these original pranksters/ model railroad geeks / proto-programmers.

Did the 15-year old kid actually write any clever code? OK, maybe not - but hey, he's savvy enough to find and use the tools to amaze and mystify his peers (and teachers!) at school - so I give him props for that. I wasn't doing that kind of stuff when I was 15 - and I went to freakin' MIT! (the 15 year old kid's ambition - I wish him luck).

dethl
Dec 18, 2002, 12:01 PM
I give props to the kid for just FINDING the programs. I've been interested in hacking and such, I just can't find the right programs for the job :P Can someone post sites for such "tools"? It is legal to do so on this forum?

Thirteenva
Dec 18, 2002, 12:49 PM
most of these tools are not illegal. They're all available for system admins and as "free trials" on the internet.

Think of it this way. While a password cracker may seem illegal and will probably yeild little useful results when searched for a, network password tester, which is available to system admins(we have them here) to test the network for users with weak passwords that a hacker might exploit.......

They're actually quite easy to find once you know where to look...and most are only available on windows..


Also alot of very experienced hackers have written there own programs for such purposes and really only share them within there inner circle if at all...

keep in mind however that a good network will disable a password after 3 attempts....

pgwalsh
Dec 18, 2002, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by Thirteenva
I'm not so sure this cnn article at is a good example of a hacker using OS X as his platform of choice.


Actually what he did was "cracking" and all he did was a find a program to do a brute force attack on an obviously weak network password.


Your second example about the wi fi and the ibook is a much better example of how OS X can benefit a "hacker" or "cracker", like you said with its ease of use with peripherals and power of unix behind it.


Actually hacking is breaking into networks and bypassing doors through extranets and intranets over the internet or other type of network.

Cracking is breaking software code.

lmalave
Dec 18, 2002, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by pgwalsh



Actually hacking is breaking into networks and bypassing doors through extranets and intranets over the internet or other type of network.

Cracking is breaking software code.

Ahhh, so it comes full circle! When the early MIT geeks started poking around "cyberspace" in their primitive networks ("cyberspace" being a term coined in the 40's or 50's by legendary scientist and MIT president Norbert Weiner), they probably explicitly made an analogy to their exploits exploring the dark passageways of the MIT campus - and thus the terms "computer hacker" as we know it today was born.

springscansing
Dec 18, 2002, 10:33 PM
Um.. this kid just ran some scripts he got off the internet. My mom could've hacked that network. :-)

springscansing
Dec 18, 2002, 10:35 PM
Originally posted by dethl
I give props to the kid for just FINDING the programs. I've been interested in hacking and such, I just can't find the right programs for the job :P Can someone post sites for such "tools"? It is legal to do so on this forum?

the freak's mac archive is alright... of course hotline is good, esp. team2600's server

springscansing
Dec 18, 2002, 10:36 PM
Originally posted by Thirteenva

keep in mind however that a good network will disable a password after 3 attempts....

Yeah... it was clearly setup by monkies. Monkies I say! .. monkeys... damn