, run by Carolyn Meinel
, that encourages "white hat hacking
", that is, mostly harmless fun you can have with a UNIX
box, or a Mac
, including Net vigilante work such as stopping spam, closing down pedophile
Some of the hacks she advocates (like "torturing" your PC by changing startup screens, etc.) are baby-simple, meant to increase the fledgling hacker's confidence by showing that they are indeed the masters of their own box, others are more complex, and go far into the realms of computer security, programming, and the like. Mostly, she likes dealing with original sources: while you can find ping flooders and port scanners anywhere (along with not a few canned exploits), this is the place to go to get a good overview on what RFC's are, how and why you should read them. Of special interest, therefore, is the Links page, where you can find such fascinating info as free LISP and C tutorials, intreguing bits of software, and the like. Having a wacky sense of humor, she keeps a running log of her email, where you can read the continuing efforts of poor lamer wannabee script kiddies to get her to teach them, keystroke by keystroke, how to change their grades, break into banks, and teach NORAD a lesson. You can also find the original Hacker Tarot, UNIX wars, "Heretic", a novel, and other tasty tidbits, along with a log of all the breakins she's fielded in the past few days or so. Wicked good fun!
Her most interesting contribution to the computer field is her efforts to popularize what can be termed "sport hacking", whereby a computer is designated to break into for a prize or glory, which along with Core War, comprise what could be considered "true computer games" (as opposed to simply games played on a computer). No matter how hackers stand on her, personally, there's a good chance that somewhere, that guy who defaced your company's web site or that officemate who ALWAYS tracks down SPAM (with or without fiendish laughter accompanying) learned at least a bit of what they know from her. For better or worse.