The Lazy Genius

Security News & Brain Dumps from Xavier Ashe, a Bit9 Client Partner

‘The Best Of 2600’ To Be Released At Last Hope

Posted by Xavier Ashe on June 12, 2008

Since its introduction in January of 1984, 2600 has been a unique source of information for readers with a strong sense of curiosity and an affinity for technology. The articles in 2600 have been consistently fascinating and frequently controversial. Over the past couple of decades the magazine has evolved from three sheets of loose-leaf paper stuffed into an envelope (readers “subscribed” by responding to a notice on a popular BBS frequented by hackers and sending in a SASE) to a professionally produced quarterly magazine. At the same time, the creators’ anticipated audience of “a few dozen people tied together in a closely knit circle of conspiracy and mischief” grew to a global audience of tens of thousands of subscribers.

In The Best of 2600, Emmanuel Goldstein collects some of the strongest, most interesting, and often controversial articles, chronicling milestone events and technology changes that have occurred during the last 24 years – all from the hacker perspective. Examples:

  • The creation of the infamous tone dialer “red box” that drove Radio Shack and the phone companies crazy. It was in the pages of 2600 that this simple conversion was first brought to light. By modifying an inexpensive Radio Shack touch tone dialer with a readily available crystal, free phone calls could easily be made from all of the nation’s payphones.
  • An historical chronology of events in the hacker world that led to the founding of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
  • A close looks at the insecurity of modern locks through an article entitled “An Illusion of Security” that debunked the value of Simplex pushbutton locks, used on everything from schools to homes to FedEx boxes.
  • The stories of famed hackers Kevin Mitnick, Bernie S., and Phiber Optik as they unfolded. Through 2600, the world heard these controversial tales despite the efforts of authorities and the mass media.

Hackers invariably find the one hole in an otherwise perfect system or will spend inordinate amounts of time to get around a barrier previously thought to be impenetrable. But the one thing hackers do more than anything else is share information with those who are interested. This book is a gateway into this mysterious yet familiar world of endless technology and security experimenting.

Man am I drooling!  It’s going to be release at the Last Hope in NY next month.  Here’s the post on thelasthope.org and here’s where you can preorder it on Amazon.  You bet I am going to preorder it.  Now I have to figure out what to do with my large stack of 2600 zines in my closet.  Ebay?

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