Phrack


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Phrack

(PHReak hACK) A popular online magazine (e-zine) for hacker information that began in 1985 on a BBS. Later shut down and then resurrected, Phrack editors decide which submissions should be published. Although number 63 was supposed to be its last issue, Phrack 69 was released in May 2016. See phone phreaking and hacker.


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Over the years, Phrack has published articles that have become widely used by computer security professionals. (Image courtesy of Phrack, Inc., www.phrack.com)
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Here, for example, is The Mentor explaining the formation of a hacker in the essay that first appeared in Phrack (1985) as "The Conscience of a Hacker":
Members of the cyber constabulary had regarded Phrack as a toxic spore pod for some time before they came upon a means to shut it down.
To Phrack readers and contributors, phreaking and hacking covered both legal and illegal activities, and some of the articles in Phrack provided information that could be useful for someone trying to gain access to a system or free use of telecommunications lines.
Phrack published 30 issues from November 1985 through 1989.
This document, which was in the form of a computer text file, had been published in Issue 24 of Phrack.
They characterized the document as a road map to the 911 phone system, and claimed that its publication in Phrack allowed hackers to illegally manipulate the 911 computer systems in order to disrupt or halt 911 service.
Based on what I had read, which included the E911 file as published in Phrack, I did not see how the E911 file could be used to break into the 911 system or, for that matter, any computer system.
After Nagle showed me the published documents, I agreed with his conclusion that Phrack did not give away any secrets.
Meanwhile, I gathered articles, books, and programs that showed there are plenty of materials in the public domain that are at least as useful for breaking into systems as anything published in Phrack.
He reviewed Neidorf's history and involvement with Phrack, noting that the goal of the newsletter was the free exchange of information.
Recognizing the right of Craig Neidorf to publish Phrack is not an endorsement of the views expressed in Phrack.
The fourth area of disagreement is how we should treat young people who break into systems or publish magazines like Phrack that allegedly promote criminal activity.