This post was originally published here
Found in #django on freenode, Jul 12, 2012. All names are edited.
11:16 < abrt> since it's quiet in here I'll tell you a story. 11:16 < abrt> back in 1992, I had just graduated university and was interning at a government facility in newport news 11:16 < abrt> along with some friends from college. We made $7.25/hr and were living large. 11:16 < qns> hahahaha 11:17 < qns> You sound like Kevin Mitinick. 11:17 < abrt> we used to play practical jokes on each other all the time. 11:17 < abrt> mitnick was a pussy compared to us 11:17 < qns> :O 11:17 < abrt> anyway, I managed to break into my friend's university UNIX account. guessed his password. easy. 11:17 < abrt> how well do you know UNIX? 11:18 < qns> not well yet 11:18 < abrt> well, back in the day, they didn't have postfix or qmail any of these fancy mailservers 11:18 < abrt> they ran sendmail 11:18 < abrt> and they allowed individual .forward files 11:19 < abrt> the purpose of the .forward file was to forward your email that came to your account to the address in the .forward file. 11:19 < abrt> anyway, after I broke into my friend Matt's account, I set up his .forward file to be "everyone@***.edu" which I knew was an alias for the entire college. 11:19 < abrt> I had just learned how to forge sendmail headers and was going to send him a very embarrassing email "from his girlfriend" 11:20 < abrt> fortunately for me, I decided to do a test run at 1730 on a Friday. Assuming the test run went well, the embarrassing forged email would go out the following Monday. 11:20 < abrt> so I sent a "this is a test" to Matt. 11:21 < abrt> and went home, drank some beers with Matt and Steve, and had a great weekend 11:21 < abrt> Monday morning I get into the lab and everyone's quiet, sort of whispering, and looking at me 11:21 < abrt> fuck me, right? 11:21 < abrt> I log into the gov UNIX system - and I have 13000 emails 11:22 < abrt> what I had forgotten was that "everyone@***.edu" included Matt. 11:22 < abrt> so the email would get sent to everyone, including him, then he would add 10 lines of header, forward it to everyone, including him, .... 11:22 < abrt> mail loop from hell. 11:22 < qns> Did you get in trouble? 11:22 < abrt> well, here's the thing 11:22 < abrt> this was summer '92 11:22 < abrt> nobody at school, right? 11:23 < abrt> everyone had their email forwarded elsewhere 11:23 < abrt> and the professors got jobs at places like Camp Peary, and FBI, and other research organizations, .... 11:23 < qns> So you help them? 11:23 < abrt> and those systems couldn't handle the volume of mail, and they never thought to put the mail spool on its on separate partition 11:23 < abrt> so their systems crashed. 11:24 < qns> haha 11:24 < qns> So you triggered chaos all over. 11:24 < abrt> I managed to bring down 13 CIA offices, all FBI offices east of the Mississippi, and the entire Southeastern university Research Network. 11:24 < etgr> You can claim to have hacked the FBI 11:24 < qns> using e-mail. 11:24 < abrt> along with various other systems, but those were the biggies 11:24 < qns> I'd have shat myself 11:24 < abrt> I pretty much did. 11:25 < abrt> But back then, like possession of a fake ID, nobody really knew what to do to you for this sort of thing 11:25 < abrt> so I got a slap on the wrist, almost fired, and had to write a letter of apology to the head of the computer lab at university 11:25 < abrt> and I lost my university email account. 🙁 11:26 < qns> hahahahaha 11:26 < abrt> today I'd probably be sent to Guantanamo 11:26 < qns> Or you'd mysteriously disappear. 😛 11:26 < abrt> anyway, that's my story for the evening. 11:26 < qns> I need a story like that on my resume. 11:26 < abrt> nah 11:26 < abrt> here's the thing 11:26 < abrt> that story doesn't go on a resume 11:27 < abrt> but - fast forward 10 years later. 11:27 < qns> Ahh 11:27 < abrt> I'm getting my clearance 11:27 < abrt> being interviewed by the suits from OPM 11:27 < abrt> and they leave the room, come back with a folder, and say, "Tell us about SURANet and the CIA in 1992" 11:27 < abrt> THAT's when I shat myself. 11:28 < abrt> BUT - good news - I got my clearance despite my history 🙂 11:28 < qns> Were they impressed? 11:28 < abrt> nah, they were laughing
After reading this story, I started a new bookmark list: Stories from the
Internet. Feel free to follow it, and
also send me new candidates if you know of any 🙂