[ISN] Imaginary Gardens. Ego Tripping. May 20, 1998 (fwd)

From: William Knowles (erehwonat_private)
Date: Thu May 21 1998 - 04:14:17 PDT

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    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 11:37:06 -0500
    From: Richard Thieme <rthiemeat_private>
    To: rthiemeat_private
    Subject: Imaginary Gardens. Ego Tripping. May 20, 1998
    Ego Tripping
    by Richard Thieme
    Hackers apprehended by authorities often wanted their exploits to be
    acknowledged. They showed trophies to their pals, basking in digital
    clapping, and who can blame them? The respect of our peers matters much
    more than anonymous applause. It's an anchor for an ego that wants to know
    it has a home.
    A 23 year-old Argentine hacker who used a Harvard computer to gain access
    to military documents was caught when a government computer program
    searched the computer for his telltale trademarks. The hacker called
    himself "El Griton," the screamer. He had used the name years earlier on
    another electronic bulletin board posted on the Internet.
    He should have called himself Hush.
    Our tracks in the melting snows of cyberspace remain visible in the right
    goggles long after the tracks have vanished.
    In the world of corporate espionage, "social engineering" often secures
    more data than hacking. Social engineering means pretending to be someone
    else, playing a role so well that others give you what you want. It's like
    making a copy of a floppy and leaving the original intact. The information
    doesn't even know it's missing, and the transaction is invisible.
    El Griton was like a car with its panic button pushed, lights flashing and
    horn honking,   his need for strokes the sign of an ego that had spread
    like pancake batter across an IRC channel. 
    Hackers that boast of their trophies are not the ones to fear. The ones to
    fear are those who disappear into the digital system, as invisible as deer
    in the woods, and use stolen data to build a Big Picture. That leverages an
    advantage that no one knows they have. 
    Knowing what knowledge makes a difference and how to use it is the key to
    real power. But when we use it, we are less noticeable than ever. And the
    trophies are inside, where only we can see them.
    Imaginary Gardens is a daily reflection on techno/spirituality --
    the interaction between ourselves, computer technology, and the
    ultimate concerns of our lives.
    To subscribe to Imaginary Gardens, send email to
    rthiemeat_private with "subscribe gardens" in the body of
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    of the message.
    Imaginary Gardens and the weekly column, Islands in the
    Clickstream, are archived at the ThiemeWorks web site at
    Copyright 1998 Richard Thieme. All rights reserved. 
    Subscribe: mail majordomoat_private with "subscribe isn".
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