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Current issue : #43 | Release date : 1993-07-01 | Editor : Erik Bloodaxe
IntroductionDatastream Cowboy
Phrack Loopback Part IPhrack Staff
Phrack Loopback Part II / EditorialPhrack Staff
Line Noise Part IPhrack Staff
Line Noise Part IIPhrack Staff
Phrack Pro-Phile on Doctor WhoDoctor Who
Conference News Part Ivarious
Conference News Part IIvarious
How To Hack Blackjack (Part I)Lex Luthor
How To Hack Blackjack (Part II)Lex Luthor
Help for Verifying Novell SecurityPhrack Staff
My Bust (Part I)Robert Clark
My Bust (Part II)Robert Clark
Playing Hide and Seek, Unix StylePhrack Accident
Physical Access and Theft of PBX SystemsCodec
Guide to the 5ESSFirm G.R.A.S.P.
Cellular InfoMadjus
LODCOM BBS Archive Informationunknown
LODCOM Sample Messagesunknown
Step By Step Guide To Stealing a CamaroSpy Ace
Acronyms Part IFirm G.R.A.S.P.
Acronyms Part IIFirm G.R.A.S.P.
Acronyms Part IIIFirm G.R.A.S.P.
Acronyms Part IVFirm G.R.A.S.P.
Acronyms Part VFirm G.R.A.S.P.
International Scenevarious
Phrack World NewsDatastream Cowboy
Title : Conference News Part II
Author : various
                              ==Phrack Magazine==

                 Volume Four, Issue Forty-Three, File 8 of 27

                                CONFERENCE NEWS
                                    PART II


Fear & Loathing in San Francisco

By Some Guy

(The names have been changed to protect the guilty.)

1. The Arrival

I had been up for about 48 hours by the time America West dropped
me off at San Francisco's airport.  The only thing I could think about
was sleep.  Everything took on strange dreamlike properties as I staggered
through the airport looking for the baggage claim area.  Somehow, I
found myself on an airport shuttle headed towards the Burlingame
Marriott.  Suddenly I was standing in front of an Iranian in a red
suit asking me for a major credit card.  After a quick shuffle of forms
at the checkin counter I finally had the cardkey to my room and was
staggering toward a nice warm bed.

Once in the room I fell down on the bed, exhausted.  Within the space of a
few minutes I was well on my way to Dreamland.  Within the space of a few
more minutes I was slammed back into reality as someone came barreling into
the room.  Mr. Blast had arrived from Chitown with a bag full of corporate
goodies.  I accepted a shirt and told him to get lost.  No sooner had he left
than Fitzgerald burst in with enough manuals to stock a small college's
technical library.  After griping for nearly 30 minutes at the fact that
I had neglected to likewise bring 500 pounds of 5ess manuals for him,
Fitzgerald took off.


2. Mindvodxka

After several needed hours rest, I took off downstairs to scope out the
spread.  I ran into Bruce Sterling who relayed some of the mornings
events, the highlight of which was Don Delaney's "Finger Hackers"  the
inner city folks who sequentially dial, by hand, every possible combination
of pbx code to then sell on street corners.

Out of the corner of my eye I spotted two young turks dressed like
mafioso:  RBOC & Voxman.  I wandered over and complimented them on their
wardrobe and told them to buy me drinks.  Beer.  Beer.  More beer.
Screwdrivers.  Screwdrivers.  Last call.  Last screwdriver.

RBOC and I decided that it was our calling to get more drinks.  We took
off to find a bar.  Upon exiting the hotel we realized that we were in
the middle of fucking nowhere.  We walked up and down the street, rapidly
getting nowhere.  In our quest for booze, we managed to terrorize a
small oriental woman at a neighboring hotel who, after 10 minutes of our
screaming and pounding, finally opened up the door to her office wide
enough to tell us there were no bars within a 15 mile radius.
We went back to the hotel very distraught.

We went back to RBOC's room where Voxman was sampling a non-tobacco smoke.
We bitched about the lack of watering holes in the vicinity, but he was
rather unsympathetic.  After he finished his smoke and left the room, we
decided to order a bottle of vodka through room service and charge it
to Voxman since it was roughly 50 dollars.

RBOC called up room service and started to barter with the clerk about the
bottle.  "Look, tell you what," he said, "I've got twenty bucks.  You meet
me out back with two bottles.  I give you the twenty and you keep one of
the bottles for yourself."

"Look man, I know you have about a thousand cases of liquor down there,
right?  Who's going to miss two bottles?  Don't you want to make a few
extra bucks?  I mean, twenty dollars, that's got to be about what you make
in a day, right?  I mean, you aren't exactly going to own this hotel any
time soon, am I right?  So, I'll be down in a few minutes to meet you
with the vodka.  What do you mean?   Look man, I'm just trying to help out
another human being.  I know how it is, I'm not made out of money either,
you know?  Listen, I'm from NYC...if someone offers me twenty dollars
for nothing, I take it, you know?  So, do we have a deal?"

This went on for nearly an hour.  Finally RBOC told the guy to just bring up
the damn bottle.  When it arrived, the food services manager, acting as
courier, demanded proof of age, and then refused to credit it to the room.
This sparked a new battle, as we then had to track down Voxman to sign
for our booze.  After that was settled, a new crisis arose:  We had no

The soda machine proved our saviour.  Orange Slice for only a dollar a
can.  We decided to mix drinks half and half.  Gathering our fluids,
we adjourned to the lobby to join Voxman and a few conventioneers.
The vodka went over well with the crew, and many a glass was quaffed
over inane conversation about something or other.

Soon the vodka informed me it was bed time.

3. It Begins.

I woke late, feeling like a used condom.  I noticed more bags in the room
and deduced that X-con had made it to the hotel.  After dressing, I staggered
down to the convention area for a panel.

"Censorship and Free Speech on the Networks" was the first one I got to
see.  The main focus of the panel seemed to be complaints of alt.sex
newsgroups and dirty gifs.  As these two are among my favorite things
about the net, I took a quick disliking of the forum.  Nothing was resolved
and nothing was stated.

There was a small break during which I found X-con.  We saw a few feds.
It was neat.  The head of the FBI's computer crime division called me by name.
That was not terribly neat.

The next session was called "Portrait of the Artist on the Net."  X-con
and I didn't get it.  We felt like it was "portrait of the artist on
drugs on the net."  Weird videos, odd projects, and stream of
consciousness rants.  Wasn't this a privacy conference?   We were confused.

The session gave way to a reception.  This would have been uneventful had
it not been for two things:  1) an open bar 2) the arrival of the Unknown
Hacker.  U.H. was probably the most mysterious and heralded hacker on
the net.  The fact that he showed up in public was monumental.

The reception gave way to dinner, which was uneventful.

4. Let the Beatings Begin

A few days before the con, Mr. Blast had scoured the net looking for
dens of inequity at my behest.  In alt.sex.bondage he had run across
a message referring to "Bondage A Go-Go."   This was a weekly event at
a club in the industrial district called "The Bridge."  The description
on the net described it as a dance club where people liked to dress up
in leather and spikes, and women handcuffed to the bar from
9-11 drank free!  This was my kind of place.

On that Wednesday night, I could think of nothing but going out and
getting to Bondage A Go-Go.  I pestered X-con, Mr. Blast and U.H. into
going.  We tried to get Fender to go too, but he totally lamed out.
(This would be remembered as the biggest mistake of his life.)

We eventually found ourselves driving around a very seedy part of
San Francisco.  On one exceedingly dark avenue we noticed a row
of Harleys and their burly owners hanging outside a major dive.  We
had found our destination.

Cover was five bucks.  Once inside we were assaulted by pounding
industrial and women in leather.  RAD!  Beer was a buck fifty.
Grabbing a Coors and sparking a Camel, I wandered out to the main dance
floor where some kind of event was taking place.

Upon a raised stage several girlies were undulating in their
dominatrix get-ups, slowly removing them piece by piece.  A smile
began to form.  X-con and U.H. found me and likewise denoted their
approval.  The strip revue continued for a few songs, with the
girlies removing everything but their attitudes.

The lights went up, and a new girl came out.  She was followed by a
friend carrying several items.  The first girl began to read rather
obscure poetry as the second undressed her.  Once girl1 was free
of restrictive undergarments girl2 donned surgical gloves and
began pouring generous amounts of lubricant over her hands.  As the
poetry reached a frantic peak, girl2 slowly inserted her entire hand
into girl1.

A woman in the crowd screamed.

My smile was so wide, it hurt.

The fisting continued for an eternity, with girl1 moving around the stage
complaining in her poetic rant about how no man could ever satisfy her.
(This was of no surprise to me since she had an entire forearm up her twat.)
Girl2 scampered around underneath, happily pumping away for what seemed like
an hour.

When the performance ended, a very tall woman in hard dominatrix gear
sauntered out on the stage.  From her Nazi SS cap to her stiletto heels
to her riding crop, she was the top of my dreams.  Two accomplices tied
a seemingly unwilling bottom to the stage and she began striking
her repeatedly with the crop, to the beat of something that sounded like
KMFDM.  The screams filled the club, and drool filled the corners of my

As the song ended, the girls all came back out on stage and took a bow
to deafening applause.  Then the disco ball lit up, and Ministry began
thundering, and people began to dance like nothing had ever
happened.  We were a bit stunned.

We all wandered up to the second level where we were greeted by a guy and
two girls going at it full on.  I staggered dazed to the second story on the
opposite side.  There was a skinhead getting a huge tattoo and a girl
getting a smaller one.  I was not brave enough to risk the needle in
San Francisco, so I wandered back downstairs.  That's where I fell in love.

She was about 5'2", clad in a leather teddy, bobbed blood red hair, carrying
a cat o'nine tails.  Huge, uh, eyes.  Alas, 'twas not to be.  She was
leading around a couple of boy toys on studded leashes.  Although the
guys seemed to be more interested in each other than her, I kept away,
knowing I would get the hell beaten out of me if I intervened.

As it approached 3:00 am, we decided it was time to go.  We bid a fond
farewell to the Bridge and took leave.

We all wanted to see Golden Gate, so U.H. directed us towards downtown
to the bridge.  Passing down Market, we noticed a man lying in a pool of
blood before a shattered plate glass window, surrounded by cops.

We eventually reached the Golden Gate Bridge.  We drove across to the
scenic overlook.  Even in the darkness it was rather cool.  We took off
through the hills and nearly smashed into a few deer with the car.
It was almost time for the conference by then, so we decided to get back.

5. Thursday

I made it downstairs for the "Medical Information and Privacy" that
morning.  As I was walking towards the room, I got a sudden flash of
an airlines advertisement.  The Pilot had arrived.  I was shocked.
Here was this guy who used to be one of the evil legionnaires, and he
looked like an actor from a delta commercial...blue suit, aviator
sunglasses, nappy hat with the little wings.  Appalling.

I drug him into the meeting hall where we sat and made MST3K-like
commentary during the panel.  I began to get mad that no one had
even mentioned the lack of legislation regarding medical records privacy,
nor the human genome project.  I was formulating my rude commentary
for the question period when the last speaker thankfully brought
up all these points, and chastised everyone else for not having done
so previously.  Good job.

I snaked The Pilot a lunch pass, and we grabbed a bite.  It was pretty
good.  I noticed that it was paid for by Equifax or Mead Data Central
or some other data-gathering puppet agency of The Man.  No doubt a
pathetic ploy to sway our feelings.  I ate it anyway.

After lunch, John Perry Barlow got up to bs a bit.  The thing that stuck me
about Barlow was his rant about the legalization of drugs.  Yet another
stray from computers & privacy.  It must be nice to be rich enough to
stand in front of the FBI and say that you like to take acid and think
it ought to be legal.  I debated whether or not to ask him if he
knew where to score any in San Francisco, but decided on silence, since
I'm not rich.

I lost all concept of time and space after Barlow's talk, and have no idea
what happened between that time and that evening.

6. Birds of a Feather BOF together

That night we went to the Hacker BOF, sponsored by John McMullen.
Lots of oldies siting around being superior since it wasn't illegal
when they swiped cpu access, and lots of newbies sitting around feeling
superior since they had access to far better things than the oldies
ever dreamed of.

A certain New York State Policeman had been given the remainder of the
bottle of vodka from the previous night.  It was gone in record time.
Later he was heard remarking about how hackers should get the death
penalty.  When Emmanuel Goldstein demonstrated his Demon Dialer from
the Netherlands, he sat in the corner slamming his fist into his hand
muttering, "wait till we get home, you'll get yours."

I went outside and hid.  Also hiding outside was Phiber.  We exchanged a
few glares.  He and I had been exchanging glares since our respective
arrivals.  But neither of us said anything directly to the other.
I had heard from several people that Phiber had remarked, "on the third
day, I'm gonna get that guy.  Just you wait."  I was waiting.

I decided that Thursday should be the night we would all go to a
strip club.  After telling everyone within a 15 mile radius about
Bondage A Go-Go, it was rather easy to work up an interest in this
adventure.  Me, X-con, Mr. Blast, U.H. and Fender would be the
valiant warriors.

Before making preparations to leave, X-con and Fitzgerald decided to
check out the hotel's PBX.  Setting up Tone-Loc, X-con's notebook
set out banging away at the available block of internals.  We
decided that the hotel had a 75, and yes, it would be ours, oh yes,
it would be ours.

It was a Herculean task to gather the crew.  Despite their desire to go,
everyone farted around and rounding them up was akin to a cattle
drive.  Fender cried about having to attend this BOF and that BOF and
Mr. Blast cried about being tired, Fitzgerald cried about not being
old enough to go, and I just cried.  Eventually we gathered our
crew and launched.

8.  Market Street Madness

We initially went out to locate the Mitchell Brothers club.  I had heard that
it was quite rad.  Totally nude.  Lap dancing.  Total degradation and
objectification.  Wowzers.

U.H. said he knew where it was.  He was mistaken.  The address in the
phone book was wrong.  It was nowhere to be found.  We ended back up
on Market surrounded by junkies and would-be muggers.  Thankfully,
there were no fresh corpses.  I saw a marquee with the banner Traci Topps.

Forcing Mr. Blast to pull over, we made a beeline to the entrance.
Cover was ten dollars, and we had missed Traci's last performance.
We paid it anyway, since we had bothered to pull over.  Big mistake.

Now, when I think of strip clubs, I think of places like Houston's
Men's Club, or Atlanta's Gold Club, or Dallas' Fantasy Ranch.  Very
nice.  Hot women.  Good music.  Booze.  Tables.

We entered a room that used to be a theater.  Sloping aisles along
theater seats side by side.  Up on the stage, was a tired, unattractive,
heavy set brunette slumping along to some cheesy pop number.
I was instantly disgusted.  I felt compelled to tell X-con that strip
clubs were not like this normally, since he had never been to one, and
it was my bright idea to be here.

We noticed some old perv at the far end of our row in a trench.  It was
like out of a bad movie.  He was not at all shy about his self-satisfaction
and in fact seemed quite proud of it.  He kept trying to get the girls to
bend down so he could fondle them.  Gross beyond belief.  We debated
whether or not to point and laugh at him, but decided he might have
something more deadly concealed under the trench and tried to ignore it.

Some more furniture passed across the stage.  One sauntered over to me
and asked if I'd like any company.  I asked her what the hell this place
was all about.  She said that this was the way most places were downtown.
I told her that I expected tables, beer, and a happy upbeat tempo.  She
shrugged and said she didn't know of anything really like that.

On the stage a really cute girl popped up.  A shroom on this turd of a club.
Fender and I both decided she was ours.  Fender said there was no way that
I would get the only good looking girl in the place.  I said he needed to
get real, that it would be no contest.

As soon as she left the stage, Fender disappeared.  Later he returned
smirking.  Moments afterward, the girl appeared and plopped down in his lap.
(We found out later he paid her.)  He continued his dialogue for about
20 minutes discussing philosophy or something equally stupid to talk
to a nude dancer about, and then we got up to leave.  She gave him her
phone number.  (It was the number to the Special Olympics.)  We left,
and I apologized to everyone.

We took off to Lombard street and fantasized about letting the rental
car loose to plummet down the hill, destroying everything in its
path.  Next time we decided we would.

Then it was decided that it would be a good idea to look for some food.
We ended up somewhere where there was some kind of dance club.
Everything was closed and there was no food to be seen.  Walking down
a few side streets looking for food, U.H. decided to tell Fender that
he had broken into his machine.  Fender turned about 20 shades of green.

We then went back to the Golden Gate Bridge since it never closed and
stared out at the bay.   Fender began to talk incoherently so it
became urgent that we get back to the hotel and put him to bed to dream
happy dreams of his stripper Edie.

Back at the hotel X-con and I could not sleep.  The notebook had found
a number of carriers.  One was for a System V unix.  We decided that
this was the hotel's registration computer.  We knew most used some kind of
package like encore, so we...well.  :)  We also found several odd systems,
probably some kind of elevator/ac/power controllers or whatnot.

At 5am or so, X-con and I took off to explore the hotel.  Down in the lobby we
found RBOC busily typing away to a TTD operator on the AT&T payphone 2000.
He was engrossed in conversation, so we left him to his typing.
X-con started to look around the Hertz counter for anything exciting and
set off the alarm.  Within seconds security arrived to find me
perched on the shoeshine stand and X-con rapping on the payphone to
another hotel.  We told him we hadn't seen anyone go behind the counter.
He didn't believe us but left anyway.

As we burst into fits of laughter, Mitch Kapor, in shorts and t-shirt came
cruising by and exited through a glass door.  We weren't quite sure if he
were real so we snuck through the door after him.  The door led to the
gym.  Mitch was busily pedaling away on an exercycle.

X-con and I decided to explore the hotel since we never even knew there
was a gym, and who could tell what other wild and wacky places remained
unseen.  We took off to find the roof, since that was the most obvious
place to go that we should not be.  Finding the stairwell with roof access,
we charged up to the top landing.  The roof was unlocked, but right before
opening the hatch, we noticed that there was a small magnetic contact
connected to a lead.  Not feeling up to disabling alarm systems so
late in the evening (or early in the morning), we took off.
On another level, we found the offices.  Simplex locks.  Amazing.
Evil grins began to form, but we wimped out, besides it was damn near
convention time.

9.  Coffee, Coffee and More Coffee

Outside the convention room the caterers had set up the coffee urns.
X-con and I dove into the java like Mexican cliff jumpers.  It got
to be really really stupid.  We were slamming coffee like there was no
tomorrow.  Fuck tomorrow, we slammed it like there was no today.
I put about eight packets of sugar in each of my cups.  Ahh, nothing like
a steamin' cup o' joe.  By the time we were done we had each drank
nearly 20 cups.  The world was alive with an electric hum.  We were ready
to take on the entire convention.  Yep.  After another cup.

The first panel of the day was "Gender Issues in Computing and
Telecommunications."   As the talk began, the pig in me grew restless.
"What's all this crap?" it said.  "Bunch of feminazis bitching about
gifs.  They should all go to the bridge next Wednesday, that will give them
a new perspective.  Where's Shit Kickin' Jim when you need him?"
Then I got more idealistic in my thinking.  "Ok, fine, if women
demand equal treatment on the net, then what about equal treatment for
homosexuals?  What about equal treatment for hermaphrodites?  What about
equal treatment for one-legged retired American Indian Proctologists on
the net?  And let us not forget the plight of the Hairless.  Geez.  What
a load of hooey.   I wanted to jump up and yell, "THE NET IS NOT REAL!
REALITY BY CHANGING THE NET!"  If only I'd had another cup of coffee, I might
have done it.

The women got nothing done.  After the panel X-con and I took off to the
room, after getting a few cups of coffee for the elevator ride.  We sat
in the hotel room and made rude noises until Mr. Blast and Fitzgerald
got up.  We all fought for the shower and by noon we were ready to
venture outward for lunch.

10. Cliffie!

The lunch that day had a few pleasant surprises.  The first came in the
form of a waitress with HUGE, uh, eyes.  Having something of an
fetish for big, ahem, eyes, I practiced my patented Manson-like gaze
for her benefit.  The second surprise came when a the CFP staffers
cornered a couple of people at our table.

KCrow and Xaen had photocopied lunch tickets and forged badges to hang
out at the conference.  Finally, on the last day, the staffers suddenly
decided that these two might not be paying attendees.  Whether it was
the names on their badges that did not check out, or the fact that
Xaen had been walking around in a red and white dress-like robe the entire
day.  They let them stay, but told them next time to either make better
forgeries or send in their scholarship applications like everyone else.

As lunch drew to a close, the crowd grew restless.  A cry rang out,
"CLIFFIE!"  The crowd took up the cry, and executives began throwing
conference papers in the air, stomping their feet and holding up
their lit cigarette lighters.  "We want Cliffie, we want Cliffie!"
The house lights dimmed and a silhouette of frazzled hair appeared at the
head of the room.

Well, maybe it wasn't quite like that.  Cliff Stoll took the stand and
began a stream of consciousness rant that would make someone with a bipolar
disorder look lucid.  Contorting himself and leaping on tables, Cliff
definitely got my attention.  It was kind of like watching Emo Philips
on crank while tripping.  I dug it.  If you have the opportunity
to catch Cliff on his next tour, make sure to do so.  Lorne Michaels could
do worse than make some kind of sitcom around this guy.  It was
probably the most amazing thing I had seen at the official conference.

11. A Little Bit O' History

Fitzgerald heard that there was a Pac Bell museum downtown.  This news
evoked a Pavlovian response almost as pronounced as me at The Bridge.
Me and The Pilot wanted to check it out too so we decided to go.
It was like the Warner Bros. cartoon of the big dog and the little dog
"huh Spike, we gonna get us a cat, aren't we Spike, yep, we are gonna get
that cat, boy, aren't we Spike, yep, yep, boy I can't wait, boy is that
darn cat gonna be sorry, isn't he Spike, huh, Spike, huh?"  Fitzgerald
was psyched.

Driving through downtown San Francisco was kind of like some kind of
deranged Nientendo game.  The streets were obviously layed out by farm
animals.  Traffic was disgusting.  Of course, 3:30 on Friday afternoon
is official road construction time in downtown San Francisco.  That was
not in my "Welcome To SF" guide, so I penciled it in.

About 4:00 we found an open lot, amazingly enough across from the
Pac Bell building.  We paid roughly 37 thousand dollars for the spot and
took off to the museum.  Fitzgerald was in heaven.  He had called the
museum from the hotel before we left and told them we were on our way.

Upon walking in the building we were stopped by a guard.  He asked us what
we wanted.  Fitzgerald said, "We're here for to see the museum!"  The
guard gave us the once over and said, "Museum's closed."  Fitzgerald
almost fainted.  Sure enough, the museum guy had bailed early.  Probably
immediately after receiving our phone call.  Typical telco nazi antics.

We took to the streets.  (The streets of San Francisco...haha)  Wandering
up and down the hills checking people out proved quite fun.  We checked out
Chinatown where we all decided that the little Oriental schoolgirls in their
uniforms were quite amazing.  We tried to spot the opium dens, and pointed
out suspect organized crime figures.  Suddenly, we realized we were lost,
and if we didn't get back to the lot we would lose our car.  (Thirty-seven
thousand dollars only buys you a spot for a few hours.)  We managed to
find our car minutes before the tow trucks rolled in and spent
a few more hours looking for buildings with good dumpsters for that night's
planned trashing spree.  We found a few spots and took off towards the
hotel and dinner.

12. Zen & The Art of Trashing

That night everyone decided to move into our room.  Somehow Fitzgerald stole
a bed and wheeled it into our room to allow for more sleep space.  So, it was
X-con, Fitzgerald, me, Fender and Mr. Blast all smashed into the little
room.  As we were sitting in the room discussing what to do that
evening, the door burst open and a large man in basketball sweats walked
in.  After he saw us in the room he turned around and quickly exited.

Fitzgerald ran out in the hall after him and discovered that the whole hall
was full of basketball players.  We called down to the front desk to complain
that our room had been given out.  The desk apologized and told us that the
mistake had been noticed and they would correct the problem with the
basketball team.  This did not exactly sit well with me, as I envisioned
shitloads of jocks rooting through our stuff, taking my camera and
various and sundry electronics gear.

Temporarily forgetting about the impending robberies, we took off to do
a little recon of our own.  The five of us and The Pilot piled into
two cars and took off towards downtown looking for garbage.

We found several Pac Bell offices but the only one with any type of
dumpster had nothing to offer save old yellow pages and pizza boxes.
We were totally bummed.  We decided to wander around aimlessly
to see what we could stumble across.

After making about a dozen turns and walking a mile or two we came across
a huge black beast of a building.  It looked like the Borg Cube.  It was
vast and foreboding.  It was an AT&T building.  Fitzgerald took off
towards the door to ask for a tour.  It was only 11:00 in the evening,
so we were certain that we would be given a hearty welcoming and
guided journey through the bowels of the cube.  Yeah, right.

Alas, we were not to be assimilated.  The guard told us to get lost.
We decided to see the Borg used dumpsters.  Around the back end of the
building by the loading docks we saw several stair landings starting about
three floors up.  We debated scaling the building, but noticed about
500 security cameras.  This place was possibly the most secure telco
installation we had ever seen.

We decided that this place must be the point of presence for the West Coast
since it was just so damn impenetrable.  As we turned to leave I noticed a
small piece of white cord on the ground.  As I picked it up, we noticed it
led from a small construction shack behind the POP.  It ran all the way
from the shack to a heavy steel door in the side of the cube where it
snaked its way under the door into the building and probably into the
frame.  We all had a great laugh at the exposed line, and wished we
would have had a test-set to make a few choice overseas calls.

We wandered back to the cars and ended up driving around downtown some
more for a few hours before ending up back at the hotel.

13.  Mr. Blast Can't Drive.

We all regrouped the next morning to go shopping downtown.  Fender was kind
enough to dish out vast quantities of chocolate-covered espresso beans
and we all got completely wired.  X-con and I decided that we should have had
a bag of these the previous morning.

We drove straight down to Chinatown and began looking for a place to park.
Mr. Blast, Fender, X-con were in one car, me, Fitzgerald and The Pilot
in another.  Mr. Blast, for being from a huge city, had absolutely no
concept of driving in traffic in a downtown setting.  He missed lots,
made weird turns, ran lights and generally seemed like he was trying
to lose us.  He achieved his desired goal.

We cursed his name for fifteen minutes and then gave up our search.
Fitzgerald had swiped Fender's scanner and was busily entertaining
himself listening to cellular phone calls.  He had the window rolled down
in the back seat and took great joy in holding up the scanner so people
walking down the street could join in on the voyeuristic fun.  Suddenly
Fitzgerald shouted, "HOLY SHIT!  I can't believe it!"

The Pilot and I nearly had matching strokes, "WHAT?" I said.  "It's
ENCRYPTED!  I can't believe it man, encrypted speech on the phone!"
I began to laugh, and The Pilot soon joined in.  It was Mandarin.
"Where the hell are we, Fitz?"  I asked him.  "San Francisco, " he replied.
"No," I said, "Specifically, where in San Francisco?"  Fitzgerald
thought for a minute and said, "Uh, Chinatown?"  Suddenly, his eyes
lit up, "OHHHHHHH.  Hehe..  it's not encrypted is it?"  We laughed at him
for about ten minutes.

We came to a stop light where a very confused Chinese lady was looking
at us.  Fitzgerald held up the scanner and I yelled, "Herro!"  We
went hysterical as we drove off, leaving the woman even more bewildered.

We found a place to park and decided to explore on our own.  The plethora
of little Chinese hotties blew my mind.  We staggered around Chinatown
trying to get bargains on electronics gear.  It struck us all as odd
that every electronics store in the downtown area was owned and
operated by Iranians.  Needless to say, no bargains were found.

We had lunch at a restaurant called Red Dragon.  The majority of the
lunch was spent talking telco.  Watching Fitz and The Pilot get totally
wrapped up in the talk, both trying to tell the best story about the
neatest hack proved incredibly interesting.

We took off into the crowds to try to find cheap watches, since The Pilot's
watch was ready to retire.  He soon made a totally sweet deal on a watch
from an oriental merchant and we took off for the car.  On the way we noticed
a small shop in a back alley with throwing stars in the window.

Inside was ninja heaven.  They had daggers, cloaks, stars, nunchaca,
swords, masks and tons and tons of violence inducing paraphanalia.  I saw
a telescoping steel whip behind a case.  I knew I must possess this item,
and when I found out that it was only $22.00 the money was already in
my hands.  Fitz also got a whip and five stars.  We were now armed...Phiber

We took off down to the port to look out at the bay.  While we were there
we watched a bunch of skaters doing totally insane street style in a small
cement fountain area.  One kid waxed the street with his face and we all
had a serious laugh, much to the chagrin of the injured and his posse.
As soon as they scraped up the hapless skatepunk off the ground,
they resumed their thrashing, avoiding the wet spot.  We decided
that these kids were totally insane.

We took off back to the hotel to meet up with the idiots.  Once we arrived
we found that we were locked out of our room.  In fact, not only had they
cut off our keys, but they had checked us out.  We got a security guard
to let us in the room.  Shortly thereafter X-con et.al. returned loaded
with gear they had picked up on their trip.  They exclaimed that they
rushed back to the hotel at top speed, since when they tried to call the
room, the hotel had said that our room was not in use.

I got furious and went downstairs to yell.  Eventually, we got our phone
service back and the manager went upstairs to give us a live body to
verbally abuse, which we took full advantage of.  He shucked and jived
his way through an apology but we did not get a free night as we had
hoped for.

14. Castro-Bound

X-Con wanted shoes.   We all sorted out the card key mess and piled back in
The Pilot's car and headed out to find NaNa's.  As we drove towards
the store we noticed something change about the city.  The fog lifted.
The colors got more pastel.  The men walking down the street seemed to
have more spring in their step.  We had entered the Castro.

I really wanted to hit a record store in the Castro because homos always
seem to have cool dance music.  I convinced everyone that we should pull
over and risk a quick walk down the main drag.

The stroll was a complete farce.  Our crew seemed to be extremely
apprehensive.  To make them more edgy I took great glee in talking
real nelly and batting my eyes at anything that moved.  No one was amused.
In fact, Fitzgerald and the Pilot looked like they wanted to cry and run
back to the car and hide.

None of the record stores had anything good.  There were lots of old
Judy Garland and Ethyl Merman but nothing more modern than the
Village People.  (And I was expecting techno.  But noooooo...)

On our way back to the car we passed by a leather goods store.  Not
exactly Tandycraft, if you get my drift.  X-con was the only one
brave enough to go in.  He came out looking drained of all color holding
a catalog.

"There were these three guys in there," he stammered.  "One of them was
being fitted for a cock sheath.  The two other guys kept showing him
different ones, but he said they were too big."

We all shuddered and hastened our return to the car.

We drove a few miles more down the street and ended up at the NaNa's shop.
The store was your typical alternative grunge-wear shop.  Stompin'
boots, nifty caps, shirts by Blunt.  X-con got his shoes.  We all got
nifty caps.  Leaving for the hotel, I grabbed a handful of flyers from
the front window.  Most were rave flyers for the next weekend.  One however
was announcing a bondage party for 'women only' two days later.  I felt a
tear begin to form as I reminisced about the Bridge.

15. Hating It In The Height.

We regrouped back at the hotel and took off again for the Height to go
check out Rough Trade records and see what could be seen.  And X-con
and I needed a few tabs.  (YEEE!)  We needed these rather badly since
Mr. Blast had found out about a rave that evening from the SF-RAVES
mailing list.  There was no way X-con and I could sit through a rave
sober, and dancing was WAY out of the question.

Rough Trade was closed.

We decided to grab a quick bite to eat while waiting for information
on the rave.  We decided to try something really odd, since we weren't in
for the typical corporate burger scene.  A bit down the street from
Rough Trade we happened upon a Ethopian restaurant.  Since this was about
as obscure as any of us had ever dreamed, we decided to check it out.
I personally didn't think Ethopians ever had any food, and made a few jokes
about wanting something light, so this would definitely be the place.

Ethopian food was odd.  Looking over the menu, Mr. Blast decided that
he didn't want much of anything they had to offer.  We decided that we
should buy a lot of everything and just pick and choose.  I made the
comment that I would only eat chicken, and Mr. Blast didn't like the
idea of eating much of anything everyone wanted to try.  We ordered

The food came out in a rather odd fashion.  Everything was piled on top
of everything else.  It was all splattered on top of a weird pancake-like
sponge bread.  There were all manner of sauces to smother, dip, or otherwise
destroy the entrees with, so we all took great bravado in our sampling of
each.  It was quite a fantastic spread, and I wholeheartedly urge everyone
to check out this particular cuisine.

After the meal we took off to find a phone to call the raveline.  On our
way to the phone X-con and I stumbled across a few transients who offered
us acid at a remarkable price.  This was almost too good to be true.
We slunk down a side street and bs'ed with the homeless couple as we
decided how many to buy.  We settled on 20 hits for 45 dollars.  X-con
and I were psyched.  The rave would indeed be tolerable.

We hooked up with the crew, smiling like Cheshire cats.  Mr. Blast had
the directions to the rave so we took off ready to overindulge.
By the time we reached the rave, we were one of what seemed like
a hundred or two hanging outside of a warehouse.  This might be
pretty damn cool.  X-con and I began our dosing.

Now, usually I love the first contact of the blotter with my tongue.
It evokes a certain tangy taste, akin to touching a battery to the tip
of your tongue.  It always gets the adrenaline flowing, and brings
back memories of what will soon be repeated.


I looked at X-con.  "Dude," he said, "I can't taste shit.  I better
take more."  He dropped about 3 more.  Still no taste.  I ate a few more
myself in a futile hope that some lysergine substance may have once resided
in the fibers of the blotter.  Nope.

This was the beginning.

As we waited to be let in to the warehouse, cursing the transients, the sirens
begin to wail.  Fucking great.  Five police cars swept into the cul-de-sac
that led to the warehouse.  The rave would not be in this location.  Everyone
bailed like rats from a sinking ship, yelling that the rave would be
moved to a soon to be announced location.

Now X-con and I were really pissed.  I whipped out my steel whip and said,
"Let's go pay a quick visit to the Height and visit our friends."
We piled back into the cars and set out to do some serious damage.

Arriving in the Height we noticed that cops were everywhere.  This was not
going to be easy.  X-con and I set out like men possessed.  The transients
were gone.  We wandered up and down the street for about 30 minutes looking
for our prey.  Finally we saw them.  They saw us.  One ran like a marathon
sprinter.  The other stayed, but was soon flanked by a gang of eight
other transients.  X-con walked right up and said "You fucking ripped us

As we tried to get either our money back or working drugs, more and more
transients gathered.  It was time to write it off as a loss.  We cursed
and backed away from the crowd.

Our group had congregated at a grocery store at the end of the street.
Mr. Blast was speed dialing the raveline in a desperate attempt to
find a venue to spin wildly in and blow his day-glo rave whistle.

Across the street, a homeless black man screamed painfully at each and
every passing car, "HELP!  You gotta take me and my girlfriend to
the hospital now!  She's gonna DIE!"  He staggered over to us
and begged for a ride, we respectfully declined.

As this was going on, the grocery store erupted with violence as
a drunken frat type was ejected forcibly.  He started swinging
wildly at the rent-a-cop, and was greeted with the business end
of a police baton.

The Pilot decided this was a good time to make his exit.  He waved
goodbye and was gone.

RBOC, Voxman and a nameless waif arrived in the parking lot.  We
told them the status of the rave and they decided to wait to see if
there may be any type of decadence forthcoming.  About that time
Mr. Blast came screaming across the lot with the directions.

We no longer had room for everyone, so Voxman & the nameless waif were
offered a ride from a flaming pedophile who overheard their plight.
The took him up on his offer before we could stop them.  We said a quick
prayer for them and piled into the car.

16. Stark Raving Mad Late Into The Night

The new location was out at a marina in Berkeley on the beach.  It took damn
near an enternity to get there and when we arrived it was raining.
X-con and I made it our mission to find acid at this location.  The music
could be heard for several hundred yards from the street, so we took off
in a sprint towards the source.

There were roughly 40 or so people.  Thirty-nine guys, one ugly girl.

X-con immediately disappeared in the crowd looking for someone with
a beeper...anyone.  Fender disappeared.  Fitz disappeared.  RBOC and I
sat and made rude comments.  X-con arrived back with a big smile.

Our saviour was in the form of a teenage Hispanic dude.  He had red blotter
with elephant, and yellow blotter with some other kind of design.  The
yellow was "three-way."  We bought several of each, and there was much
rejoicing.  X-con had already eaten one three-way and one regular, before
I could split one in half for RBOC.  The taste was overwhelming.
Freshly squeezed.

The three of us perched up on a hill staring out over the undulating mass
waiting for the effect.  It came quickly.

As it hit, Fitz wandered up and said, "Let's hack the raveline!"
This idea went over VERY WELL, so we all set out towards the car, leaving
little sparky streamers behind us as we moved.

From a nearby hotel lobby, Fitz and X-con busily hacked at the VMB
while RBOC and I sat in the car totally wigging.  About 30 minutes
later they ran out screaming.  It had been done and the code was
now 902100.

We drove back to the rave and noticed the red and blues flashing and the
ravers bailing en masse.  We picked up Mr. Blast and Fender and took off
back to our hotel.  Fender had done a bit of networking at the rave and
exchanged a few business cards.  We were totally appalled.

Once back at the hotel X-con took even more.  He said he wanted to see
static.  Within an hour he achieved his goal.  He spent a large portion of
the night walking in and out of the room muttering, "Man...you guys are
totally fucking with me."

We then decided to spice up the raveline.  RBOC changed the outgoing
message a few times and then finally decided on, "HAR HAR HAR, Y'all been
boarded by the pirate!  No more techno!  No more homosexuals
grinding away at 120 beats per minute!  No more Rave!  HAR HAR HAR!"
We laughed like schoolgirls.

Everyone passed out.  Everyone but us tripsters of course.  We stayed up
the majority of the night telling really odd pharmaceutical war stories.

At about 6 am RBOC decided that he was hungry and called for room service.
He ordered linguini.  The room service clerk told him that the kitchen
was not ready for dinner, and would only be serving breakfast.  RBOC
replied, "Look, do you have noodles?  Yes?  Do you have water?  Well,
what's the fucking problem.  What exactly do you need to boil water?
Turn on the stove, and I'll be down in a few minutes to make it myself."
With this logic, the room service clerk replied his linguini would
be up in about half an hour.

We then decided to get escorts, or at least order up a few, and listen
to them on their cell phones calling their pimps.  (Fender had listened
to about five different such conversations a few nights prior.)
RBOC ordered up a couple of buxom blondes to go and we waited for their
return phone call to barter on the price.

The call never came in.  The hotel had turned off our phone for incoming
calls.  This sparked even more fun, as RBOC called up the front desk
to complain, "Look ma'am, my hookers can't fucking call into my room!
Turn my phone back on NOW!  I've had a rough night up for 24 hours on
drugs, and I need a woman."  The operator was not amused.

The sun rose.  We all remarked about the typical morning after layer of
filth that seems to congeal after a good fry.  The static was no longer
visible to X-con and he became almost lucid again, interjecting bits
of wisdom like "Uh" and "Yeah" into the conversation.  His flight was in
two hours.

The linguini arrived and everyone had a small taste as the smell of
the white sauce permeated the room.  As we smacked away, the inexperienced
of the crowd arose to greet a new morning.  RBOC suddenly realized that
NYC was probably snowed under, so he took off to find a phone to check
on the status of his flight home.

X-con gathered his bags and mumbled "Later," and disappeared.  I fell on the
bed and disappeared into darkness.

17. Laterz

The alarm clock blared out a sickening beep, to which it was rewarded with
a small flight across the hotel room.  I gathered up my gear and made a
beeline towards the elevator.

Still confused, I wandered down to the lobby where I was greeted by
Fitzgerald and Fender.  I bid them both a fond farewell and boarded
the airport shuttle.  This was one hell of a good time.  I wonder if
CFP4 in Chicago will be as good?  One can only hope.  See you there.


                  D E F  C O N  I   C O N V E N T I O N
                  D E F  C O N  I   C O N V E N T I O N
                          DEF CON I CONVENTION
                  D E F  C O N  I   C O N V E N T I O N


                    Finalized Announcement: 5/08/1993

              We are proud to announce the 1st annual Def Con.

    If you are at all familiar with any of the previous Con's, then you
will have a good idea of what DEF CON I will be like. If you don't have any
experience with Con's, they are an event on the order of a pilgrimage to
Mecca for the underground. They are a mind-blowing orgy of information
exchange, viewpoints, speeches, education, enlightenment... And most of all
sheer, unchecked PARTYING. It is an event that you must experience at least
once in your lifetime.

    The partying aside, it is a wonderful opportunity to met some of the
celebrities of the underground computer scene. And those that shape its
destiny - the lawyers, libertarians, and most of all the other There will
be plenty of open-ended discussion on security, telephones and other
topics. As well as what TIME magazine calls the "Cyberpunk Movement".

    Las Vegas, is as you might have guessed a great choice for the Con.
Gambling, loads of hotels and facilities, cheap air fare and room rates.
It's also in the West Coast making it more available to a different crowd
than the former Cons have been.

Your foray into the scene and your life will be forever incomplete
if by some chance you miss out on DEF CON I. Plan to be there!

WHO:   You know who you are.
WHAT:  Super Blowout Party Fest, with Speakers and Activities.
WHERE: Las Vegas, Nevada
WHEN:  July 9th, 10th and 11th (Fri, Sat, Sun) 1993
WHY:   To meet all the other people out there you've been talking to for
       months and months, and get some solid information instead of rumors.


     So your bored, and have never gone to a convention?  You want to meet
all the other members of the so called 'computer underground'?  You've been
calling BBS systems for a long time now, and you definitely have been
interacting on the national networks.  You've bullshitted with the best,
and now it's time to meet them in Vegas!  For me I've been networking for
years, and now I'll get a chance to meet everyone in the flesh.  Get
together with a group of your friends and make the journey.

     We cordially invite all hackers/phreaks, techno-rats, programmers,
writers, activists, lawyers, philosophers, politicians, security officials,
cyberpunks and all network sysops and users to attend.

     DEF CON I will be over the weekend in the middle of down town Las
Vegas at the Sands Hotel.  Why Las Vegas?  Well the West Coast hasn't had
a  good Convention that I can remember, and Las Vegas is the place to do it.
Cheap food, alcohol, lots of entertainment and, like us, it never sleeps.
We will have a convention room open 24 hours so everyone can meet and plan
and scheme till they pass out.  Events and speakers will be there to provide
distraction and some actual information and experiences from this loosely
knit community.

        This is an initial announcement.  It is meant only to alert you to
the time, dates and location of the convention.  Future announcements will
inform you about specific speakers and events.

        An information pack is FTPable off of the internet at nwnexus.wa.com,
in the cd/pub/dtangent directory. The IP# is  Information
updates will be posted there in the future as well as scanned map images and
updated speaker lists.


        COST:  How you get there is up to you, but United Airlines will be
the official carrier (meaning if you fly you get a 5% to 10% price reduction
off the cheapest available fare at the time of ticket purchase)  When buying
airline tickets, call 1-800-521-4041 and reference meeting ID# 540ii.  Hotel
Rooms will cost $62 per night for a double occupancy room.  Get your friends
together and split the cost to $31.  Food is inexpensive.  The entertainment
is free inside the hotel.  Reference the DEF CON I convention when
registering, as we have a block of rooms locked out, but once they go it will
be first come, fist serve.  Call 1-800-634-6901 for the reservations desk.

        The convention itself will cost $30 at the door, or $15 in advance.
It pays to register in advance! Also it helps us plan and cover expenses!
Mail checks/money orders/cashiers checks to: DEF CON I, 2709 East Madison
Street, #102, Seattle, WA, 98112.  Make them payable to: "DEF CON" we're not
trying to make money, we will be trying to cover costs of the conference room
and hotel plus air fair for the speakers who require it.  Don't bother mailing
it a week in advance, that just won't happen.  Advanced registration gets you
a groovy 24 bit color pre-generated name tag.  Include with your payment the
name you want listed, your association/group affiliation/bbs/whatever, email
address, and/or bbs number for syops.  Last day for the registrations to reach
me will be July 1st.

        SPEAKERS:  We have solicited speakers from all aspects of the
computer underground and associated culture (Law, Media, Software Companies,
Cracking Groups, Hacking Groups, Magazine Editors, Etc.)  If you know of
someone interested in speaking on a self selected topic, please contact The
Dark Tangent to discuss it.


        For initial comments, requests for more information, information
about speaking at the event, or maps to the section where prostitution is
legal outside Las Vegas (Just Kidding) Contact The Dark Tangent by leaving
me mail at: dtangent@dtangent.wa.com on the InterNet.

Or call: 0-700-TANGENT for conference information/updates and to leave
         questions or comments.
Or Snail Mail (U.S. Postal Service) it to DEF CON, 2709 East Madison Street,
#102, Seattle, WA, 98112.

Future information updates will pertain to the speaking agenda.

Updates since the last announcement:

>> The Secret Service is too busy to attend.
>> New Media Magazine, Unix World and Robert X. Cringly have stated they will
>> We got a voice mail system working (I think) for comments and questions.
>> We don't have enough $$$ to fly out the EFF or Phillip Zimmerman (Author
   of PGP) or Loyd Blankenship.
>> Judy Clark will be representing the CPSR and a few other organizations

Don't forget to bring a poster / banner representing any of the groups you
belong to.  I want to cover the conference room walls with a display of all
the various groups / people attending.  (Break out the crayons and markers)



             Saturday the 10th of July 10am, Sands Hotel, Las Vegas

         INTRODUCTION       Welcome to the convention
                            *The Dark Tangent (CON Organizer)

      Keynote speaker       Cyberspace, Society, crime and the future.

                            To hack or not to hack, that is not the question
                            *Ray Kaplan

   Civil Libertarians
                -CPSR       Computer Privacy/1st Amendment/Encryption
                            Gender Rolls and Discrimination
                            *Judi Clark

       -USC Comp. Law       Legalities of BBS Operation, message content
                            laws and network concerns.
                            *Allen Grogan, Editor of Computer Lawyer

     'The Underworld'
          -Networking       Concerns of National Networking
                            of CCi (Cyber Crime International) Network.
                            *Midnight Sorrow.

    -Packet Switching
               SPRINT       Concerns/security and the future
                  MCI       of packet switching.
                            (*Jim Black, MCI Systems Integrity)

                 Misc       Common misbeliefs and rumors of the underground
                            *Scott Simpson

     -Virtual Reality       The law, and it's intersection with VR

       -Unix Security      Future developments in unix security software,
                           General Q&A on unix security
                           *Dan Farmer

-System Administrator       Security Concerns of an Administrator

     The 'Underworld'
            -Internet       The security problems with Internet/Networks
                            Overview of hacking
                            *Dark Druid

      -Getting Busted       The process of getting "busted"
                            *Count Zero

  -How to be a nobody       Hiding your identity in the high-tech future, or
                            The payphone is your friend.

     -The Prosecutors       Their concerns/problems and
       Hacker Hunters       suggestions for the 'underworld'/Q&A

           CONCLUSION       General Q&A

This itinerary is proposed, and topics and speakers will be marked as
permanent once a confirmation is received.  This is by no means the exact
format of DEF CON I.  Any Questions / Comments Contact:

Voice Mail 0-700-TANGENT
[>             DEF CON I and United Airlines Travel Arrangements             <]

        United Airlines has been chosen as the official carrier for DEF CON I
and is pleased to offer a 10% discount off the unrestricted BUA coach fare or
a 5% discount off the lowest applicable fares, including first class.  This
special offer is available only to attendees of this meeting, and applies to
travel on domestic segments of all United Airlines and United Express flights.
A 5% discount off any fare is also available for attendees traveling to or from
Canada in conjunction with your meeting.  These fares are available through
United's Meeting Desk with all fare rules and restrictions applying.

        Help support the DEF CON I Conference by securing your reservations
with United Airlines.  To obtain the best fares or schedule information,
please call United's Specialized Meeting Reservations Center at 1-800-521-4041.
Dedicated reservationists are on duty 7 days a week from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
ET.  Please be sure to reference ID number 540II.  You or your travel agent
should call today as seats may be limited.

        As a United Meeting attendee you qualify for special discount rates
on Hertz rental cars.  Mileage Plus members receive full credit for all miles
flown to this meeting.

        Tickets will be mailed by United or you can pick them up at your
local travel agency or United Airlines ticket office.

Generic update #1---

My system exploded, so it's been hard to keep in touch with everyone,
but my mail response should be better now.  Yep the conference is
still on.  A blown hard drive won't kill me.  You can reach me for
information or questions at 0-700-TANGENT (the DEF CON I hot line)


Sorry for the huge signature, but I like privacy on sensitive matters.
Version: 2.2

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