[Reader-list] LOL: Is your son *obsessed* with "Lunix"? (sic).....
patrice at sarai.net
Mon Dec 10 19:23:20 IST 2001
Enjoy! (and sorry for formatting glitches due to C+P)
Is Your Son a Computer Hacker?
By T Reginald Gibbons
Posted on Sun Dec 2nd, 2001 at 11:00:21 AM PST
As an enlightened, modern parent, I try to be as involved as possible
in the lives of my six children. I encourage them to join team sports. I
attend their teen parties with them to ensure no drinking or alcohol is
on the premises. I keep a fatherly eye on the CDs they listen to and
the shows they watch, the company they keep and the books they read.
You could say I'm a model parent. My children have never failed to make me
proud, and I can say without the slightest embellishment that I have the
finest family in the USA.
Two years ago, my wife Carol and I decided that our children's education
would not be complete without some grounding in modern computers. To this
end, we bought our children a brand new Compaq to learn with. The kids had
a lot of fun using the handful of application programs we'd bought, such as
Adobe's Photoshop and Microsoft's Word, and my wife and I were pleased
that our gift was received so well. Our son Peter was most entranced by the
device, and became quite a pro at surfing the net. When Peter began to
spend whole days on the machine, I became concerned, but Carol advised
me to calm down, and that it was only a passing phase. I was content to
bow to her experience as a mother, until our youngest daughter, Cindy,
charged into the living room one night to blurt out: "Peter is a computer
As you can imagine, I was amazed. A computer hacker in my own house! I
began to monitor my son's habits, to make certain that Cindy wasn't just
telling stories, as she is prone to doing at times.
After a few days of investigation, and some research into computer hacking,
I confronted Peter with the evidence. I'm afraid to say, this was the only
time I have ever been truly disappointed in one of my children. We raised
them to be honest and to have integrity, and Peter betrayed the principles
we tried to encourage in him, when he refused point blank to admit to his
activities. His denials continued for hours, and in the end, I was left
choice but to ban him from using the computer until he is old enough to be
responsible for his actions.
After going through this ordeal with my own family, I was left pondering
could best help others in similar situations. I'd gained a lot of knowledge
over those few days regarding hackers. It's only right that I provide that
information to other parents, in the hope that they will be able to tell if
children are being drawn into the world of hacking. Perhaps other parents
will be able to steer their sons back onto the straight and narrow before
extreme measures need to be employed.
To this end, I have decided to publish the top ten signs that your son is a
hacker. I advise any parents to read this list carefully and if their son
matches the profile, they should take action. A smart parent will first try
reason with their son, before resorting to groundings, or even spanking. I
pride myself that I have never had to spank a child, and I hope this guide
help other parents to put a halt to their son's misbehaviour before a
spanking becomes necessary.
1. Has your son asked you to change ISPs?
Most American families use trusted and responsible Internet Service
Providers, such as AOL. These providers have a strict "No Hacking" policy,
and take careful measures to ensure that your internet experience is
enjoyable, educational and above all legal. If your child is becoming a
hacker, one of his first steps will be to request a change to a more hacker
I would advise all parents to refuse this request. One of the reasons your
son is interested in switching providers is to get away from AOL's child
safety filter. This filter is vital to any parent who wants his son to
internet without the endangering him through exposure to "adult" content. It
is best to stick with the protection AOL provides, rather than using a
home-based solution. If your son is becoming a hacker, he will be able to
circumvent any home-based measures with surprising ease, using
information gleaned from various hacker sites.
2. Are you finding programs on your computer that you don't
Your son will probably try to install some hacker software. He may attempt
to conceal the presence of the software in some way, but you can usually
find any new programs by reading through the programs listed under
"Install/Remove Programs" in your control panel. Popular hacker software
includes "Comet Cursor", "Bonzi Buddy" and "Flash".
The best option is to confront your son with the evidence, and force him to
remove the offending programs. He will probably try to install the software
again, but you will be able to tell that this is happening, if your machine
offers to "download" one of the hacker applications. If this happens, it is
time to give your son a stern talking to, and possibly consider punishing
with a grounding.
3. Has your child asked for new hardware?
Computer hackers are often limited by conventional computer hardware.
They may request "faster" video cards, and larger hard drives, or even more
memory. If your son starts requesting these devices, it is possible that he
has a legitimate need. You can best ensure that you are buying legal,
trustworthy hardware by only buying replacement parts from your computer's
If your son has requested a new "processor" from a company called "AMD",
this is genuine cause for alarm. AMD is a third-world based company who
make inferior, "knock-off" copies of American processor chips. They use
child labor extensively in their third world sweatshops, and they
disable the security features that American processor makers, such as Intel,
use to prevent hacking. AMD chips are never sold in stores, and you will
most likely be told that you have to order them from internet sites. Do not
buy this chip! This is one request that you must refuse your son, if you are
to have any hope of raising him well.
4. Does your child read hacking manuals?
If you pay close attention to your son's reading habits, as I do, you will
able to determine a great deal about his opinions and hobbies. Children are
at their most impressionable in the teenage years. Any father who has had
a seventeen year old daughter attempt to sneak out on a date wearing
make up and perfume is well aware of the effect that improper influences
can have on inexperienced minds.
There are, unfortunately, many hacking manuals available in bookshops
today. A few titles to be on the lookout for are: "Snow Crash" and
"Cryptonomicon" by Neal Stephenson; "Neuromancer" by William Gibson;
"Programming with Perl" by Timothy O'Reilly; "Geeks" by Jon Katz; "The
Hacker Crackdown" by Bruce Sterling; "Microserfs" by Douglas Coupland;
"Hackers" by Steven Levy; and "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" by Eric S.
If you find any of these hacking manuals in your child's possession,
confiscate them immediately. You should also petition local booksellers to
remove these titles from their shelves. You may meet with some resistance
at first, but even booksellers have to bow to community pressure.
5. How much time does your child spend using the computer each
If your son spends more than thirty minutes each day on the computer, he
may be using it to DOS other peoples sites. DOSing involves gaining
access to the "command prompt" on other people's machines, and using it to
tie up vital internet services. This can take up to eight hours. If your
doing this, he is breaking the law, and you should stop him immediately. The
safest policy is to limit your children's access to the computer to a
of forty-five minutes each day.
6. Does your son use Quake?
Quake is an online virtual reality used by hackers. It is a popular meeting
place and training ground, where they discuss hacking and train in the use
of various firearms. Many hackers develop anti-social tendencies due to the
use of this virtual world, and it may cause erratic behaviour at home and at
If your son is using Quake, you should make hime understand that this is not
acceptable to you. You should ensure all the firearms in your house are
carefully locked away, and have trigger locks installed. You should also
bring your concerns to the attention of his school.
7. Is your son becoming argumentative and surly in his social
As a child enters the electronic world of hacking, he may become
disaffected with the real world. He may lose the ability to control his
or judge the rightness or wrongness of a course of behaviour. This will
manifest itself soonest in the way he treats others. Those whom he
disagrees with will be met with scorn, bitterness, and even foul language.
may utter threats of violence of a real or electronic nature.
Even when confronted, your son will probably find it difficult to talk
problem to you. He will probably claim that there is no problem, and that
are imagining things. He may tell you that it is you who has the problem,
you should "back off" and "stop smothering him." Do not allow yourself to be
deceived. You are the only chance your son has, even if he doesn't
understand the situation he is in. Keep trying to get through to him, no
matter how much he retreats into himself.
8. Is your son obsessed with "Lunix"?
BSD, Lunix, Debian and Mandrake are all versions of an illegal hacker
operation system, invented by a Soviet computer hacker named Linyos
Torovoltos, before the Russians lost the Cold War. It is based on a program
called "xenix", which was written by Microsoft for the US government. These
programs are used by hackers to break into other people's computer
systems to steal credit card numbers. They may also be used to break into
people's stereos to steal their music, using the "mp3" program. Torovoltos
a notorious hacker, responsible for writing many hacker programs, such as
"telnet", which is used by hackers to connect to machines on the internet
without using a telephone.
Your son may try to install "lunix" on your hard drive. If he is careful,
may not notice its presence, however, lunix is a capricious beast, and if
handled incorrectly, your son may damage your computer, and even break it
completely by deleting Windows, at which point you will have to have your
computer repaired by a professional.
If you see the word "LILO" during your windows startup (just after you turn
the machine on), your son has installed lunix. In order to get rid of it,
have to send your computer back to the manufacturer, and have them fit a
new hard drive. Lunix is extremely dangerous software, and cannot be
removed without destroying part of your hard disk surface.
9. Has your son radically changed his appearance?
If your son has undergone a sudden change in his style of dress, you may
have a hacker on your hands. Hackers tend to dress in bright, day-glo
colors. They may wear baggy pants, bright colored shirts and spiky hair
dyed in bright colors to match their clothes. They may take to carrying
"glow-sticks" and some wear pacifiers around their necks. (I have no idea
why they do this) There are many such hackers in schools today, and your
son may have started to associate with them. If you notice that your son's
group of friends includes people dressed like this, it is time to think
severe curfew, to protect him from dangerous influences.
10. Is your son struggling academically?
If your son is failing courses in school, or performing poorly on sports
teams, he may be involved in a hacking group, such as the infamous
"Otaku" hacker association. Excessive time spent on the computer,
communicating with his fellow hackers may cause temporary damage to the
eyes and brain, from the electromagnetic radiation. This will cause his
marks to slip dramatically, particularly in difficult subjects such as
Chemistry. In extreme cases, over-exposure to computer radiation can
cause schizophrenia, meningitis and other psychological diseases. Also, the
reduction in exercise may cause him to lose muscle mass, and even to start
gaining weight. For the sake of your child's mental and physical health, you
must put a stop to his hacking, and limit his computer time drastically.
I encourage all parents to read through this guide carefully. Your child's
future may depend upon it. Hacking is an illegal and dangerous activity,
may land your child in prison, and tear your family apart. It cannot be
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