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Sean Patrick Hagen
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Back in Grade 11 in high school ( in the ancient year of 2003 ), a friend of mine got suspended for the last few days before the Christmas Break and weren't allowed back into the computer lab because of a program I wrote ( well, two, actually ). The first program was pretty much just to annoy people. The school ran Linux machines ( which was pretty awesome ), and I wrote a bash script that would pop up a terminal that would display an animated ASCII art stick man sticking out his tongue at the user. The idea was to use ssh to log into another persons machine while they were using it and launch the script to freak them out. The problem was that the logged in user has to set a flag before ssh'd in users can launch programs that require an X window. So I wrote a script that would pretend to be ssh, and grab their password when they tried to ssh in somewhere. I then taught the other kids in my class about the talk command, and how you could use it as a MSN replacement -- at least to talk to kids that were in the same class as you. So then we had a couple of our classmates passwords, and we were able to prank a bunch of them with my pop-up smiley face script. But my friend and I bragged to another kid, who then tried to use the pretend ssh program to get teachers passwords and change his grades. He was found out, and pointed the finger at my friend and I. We admitted to it when called to the vice principals office. Thankfully, the system admin was there, and I was sort of friends with him. I think he was kind of impressed that I managed to write the scripts, and he knew that I was just being a silly hacker kid: doing something to find out if I could. That's why we were only suspended for a few days, and not kicked out of school. Anyways. It's nice to know that other people have their own childhood hacking stories -- although I wish I had the geek cred to say I was phreaking in the BBS era.
Toggle Commented Aug 10, 2012 on I Was a Teenage Hacker at Coding Horror
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Aug 9, 2012