alt.2600 FAQ Revision 2003-06-08 - Part 1/1 (The Voyager)

Questions (and their answers) about hacking. It should be read by anyone who wishes to post to the alt.2600 newsgroup or use the IRC channel #hack.

Archive-Name: alt-2600/faq
Posting-Frequency: Random
Last-Modified: 2003/06/08
Version: 2003-06-08

Welcome to the alt.2600/#hack FAQ!

The purpose of this FAQ is to give you a general introduction to the topics covered in alt.2600 and #hack. No document will make you a hacker.

If you have a question regarding any of the topics covered in the FAQ, please direct it to alt.2600. Please do not e-mail me your questions; I do not have time to respond to each request personally.

If you do not have the entire FAQ, find it on the worlwide web at


alt.2600/#Hack F.A.Q.

A TNO Communications Production



Greets go out to:

TNO, L.O.D., The Guild, r00t, L0pht Heavy Industries, TACD, PLA.

A-Flat, Aleph1, Alhambra, Apok0lyps, bodycount, Bogus Technician, Colonel Mustard, Disorder, DrFaustus, Frosty, Glen Roberts, Harlequin, Hobbit, Ila, K4thryn, Kgee, Lizzie Borden, Major, Marauder, Montell, Mudge, Outsider, Plexor, Presence, Rage, RF, Rogue Agent, Route, Simple Nomad, Theora, ThePublic, Tomes, TVoid, Vidiot, Wozz and all of the other happy zanies out there on the 'net.

When I picture a perfect reader, I always picture a monster of courage and curiosity, also something supple, cunning, cautious, a born adventurer and discoverer...

-- Friedrich Nietzsche

#hack FAQ Home | Computers | Data Networks | Wireless Networks | Telephony | Mobile Telephony
Radio | Television | Resources | 2600 | Smart Cards and Magnetic Cards | Miscellaneous

Section A: Computers

A-01. How do I access the password file under Unix?
A-02. How do I crack Unix passwords?
A-03. What is password shadowing?
A-04. Where can I find the password file if it's shadowed?
A-05. What is NIS/yp?
A-06. What are those weird characters after the comma in my passwd file?
A-07. How do I access the password file under Windows NT?
A-08. How do I crack Windows NT passwords?
A-09. How do I access the password file under VMS?
A-10. How do I crack VMS passwords?
A-11. What can be logged on a VMS system?
A-12. What privileges are available on a VMS system?
A-13. How do I break out of a restrictive shell?
A-14. How do I gain root from a suid script or program?
A-15. How do I erase my presence from the system logs?
A-16. How do I change to directories with strange characters in them?
A-17. What is this system?
A-18. What are the default accounts for XXX?
A-19. What is a trojan/worm/virus/logic bomb?
A-20. How can I protect myself from viruses and such?
A-21. Where can I get more information about viruses?
A-22. What is Cryptoxxxxxxx?
A-23. What is PGP?
A-24. What is TEMPEST?
A-25. How do I defeat copy protection?
A-26. What are some available debuggers and disassemblers?
A-27. How do I defeat a BIOS password?
A-28. What is the password for <encrypted file>?
A-29. Is there any hope of a decompiler that would convert an executable program into C/C++ code?
A-30. How does the MS-Windows password encryption work?
A-31. What is an Intrusion Detection System (IDS)?
A-32. What is an SQL Injection Attack/Vulnerability?
A-33. What is a format string vulnerability?

Section B: Data Networks

B-01. How do I send fakemail?
B-02. How do I fake posts and control messages to Usenet?
B-03. How do I hack ChanOp on IRC?
B-04. How do I modify the IRC client to hide my real username?
B-05. What is sniffing?
B-06. What is an Internet Outdial?
B-07. What are some Internet Outdials?
B-08. What port is XXX on?
B-09. What is an anonymous remailer?
B-10. What are the addresses of some anonymous remailers?
B-11. What is
B-12. How do I post to a moderated newsgroup?
B-13. How do I post to Usenet via e-mail?
B-14. What is a firewall?
B-15. How do I attack a remote network across the Internet?
B-16. What is a TCP sequence prediction attack?
B-17. What is a VPN (Virtual Private Network)?
B-18. What is peer-to-peer file sharing?

Section C: Wireless Networks

C-01. What kind of wireless data networks are there?
C-02. What is CDPD (Cellular Digital Packet Data)?
C-03. What is HSCSD (High Speed Circuit Switched Data)?
C-04. What is PDC-P (Packet Data Cellular)?
C-05. What is GPRS (General Packet Radio Service)?
C-06. What is Bluetooth?
C-07. What is IrDA?
C-08. What is LMDS (Local Multipoint Distribution Service)?
C-09. What is MMDS (Multichannel Multipoint Distribution Service)?
C-10. What is 802.11?
C-11. What is a SSID?
C-12. What is WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy)?
C-13. What is MAC Address Filtering?
C-14. What is a rogue access point?
C-15. Where can I get some really cool 802.11 antennae?
C-16. What are some interesting 802.11 tools?
C-17. What are EAP, LEAP, PEAP and EAP-TLS and EAP-TTLS?
C-18. What is TKIP (Temporal Key Integrity Protocol)?
C-19. What is SMS (Short Message Service)?
C-20. What is WAP (Wireless Application Protocol)?

Section D: Telephony

D-01. What is a Red Box?
D-02. How do I build a Red Box?
D-03. Where can I get a 6.5536Mhz crystal?
D-04. Which payphones will a Red Box work on?
D-05. How do I make local calls with a Red Box?
D-06. What is a Blue Box?
D-07. Do Blue Boxes still work?
D-08. What is a Black Box?
D-09. What do all the colored boxes do?
D-10. What is an ANAC number?
D-11. What is the ANAC number for my area?
D-12. What is a ringback number?
D-13. What is the ringback number for my area?
D-14. What is a loop?
D-15. What is a loop in my area?
D-16. What is a CNA number?
D-17. What is the telephone company CNA number for my area?
D-18. What are some numbers that always ring busy?
D-19. What are some numbers that temporarily disconnect phone service?
D-20. What is a Proctor Test Set?
D-21. What is a Proctor Test Set in my area?
D-22. What is scanning?
D-23. Is scanning illegal?
D-24. How can I make a lineman's handset?
D-25. Where can I purchase a lineman's handset?
D-26. What are the DTMF frequencies?
D-27. What are the frequencies of the telephone tones?
D-28. What is the voltage used to ring a telephone?
D-29. What are all of the * (LASS) codes?
D-30. What frequencies do cordless phones operate on?
D-31. What is Caller-ID?
D-32. How do I block Caller-ID?
D-33. How do I defeat Caller-ID blocking?
D-34. What is a PBX?
D-35. What is a VMB?
D-36. What are the ABCD tones for?
D-37. What are the International Direct Numbers?
D-38. What are some telephone switches?

Section E: Mobile Telephony

E-01. How many types of mobile telephone systems are there?
E-02. What are AMPS (EIA/TIA-553) and NAMPS (IS-91)?
E-03. What is a MTSO?
E-04. What is a NAM?
E-05. What is an ESN?
E-06. What is a MIN?
E-07. What is a SCN?
E-08. What is a SIDH?
E-09. What are the forward/reverse channels?
E-10. What are IS-54 and IS-136?
E-11. What is IS-95?
E-12. What is GSM?
E-13. What is PCS?
E-14. What is iDEN?

Section F: Radio

F-01. What are these radios I see all of the hacker types carrying around?
F-02. Do I need a license to use one of these radios?
F-03. What about modifying ("modding") these radios?
F-04. What are better radios for scanning?
F-05. What is trunking?
F-06. What is pirate radio?
F-07. What frequencies are used for what purposes?
F-08. What is CB (Citizens Band)?
F-09. What is FRS (Family Radio Service)?
F-10. What is MURS (Multiple Use Radio Service)?
F-11. What is GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service)?
F-12. What is a Repeater?

Section G: Television

G-01. What kinds of satellite television networks are there?
G-02. What is VideoCipher II RS (VCII RS)?
G-03. What is DigiCipher II (DCII)?
G-04. How do I get free DSS programming?
G-05. What kinds of DirecTV access cards are there?
G-06. What do DirecTV and Dish Network do to stop signal theft?
G-07. What software is there to experiment with access cards?
G-08. What are the different types of access card hardware?
G-09. Where can I purchase hardware to experiment with access cards?
G-10. What is this extension DirecTV is telling me to call?
G-11. What can I do with a TiVo?

Section H: Resources

H-01. What are some World wide Web (WWW) sites of interest to hackers?
H-02. What are some FTP sites of interest to hackers?
H-03. What are some newsgroups of interest to hackers?
H-04. What are some IRC channels of interest to hackers?
H-05. What are some books of interest to hackers?
H-06. What are some videos of interest to hackers?
H-07. What are some mailing lists of interest to hackers?
H-08. What are some print magazines of interest to hackers?
H-09. What are some e-zines of interest to hackers?
H-10. What are some organizations of interest to hackers?
H-11. What are some radio programs of interest to hackers?
H-12. What are other FAQ's of interest to hackers?
H-13. What are some conferences of interest to hackers?
H-14. Where can I purchase a magnetic stripe reader/writer?
H-15. What are the rainbow books and how can I get them?

Section I: 2600

I-01. What is alt.2600?
I-02. What does "2600" mean?
I-03. Are there on-line versions of 2600 available?
I-04. I can't find 2600 at any bookstores. What can I do?
I-05. Why does 2600 cost more to subscribe to than to buy at a newsstand?

Section J: Smart Cards and Magnetic Cards

J-01. What is a Smart Card?
J-02. What are some common Smart Cards?
J-03. What is the layout of data on magnetic stripe cards?
J-04. How do I determine if I have a valid credit card number?

Section K: Miscellaneous

K-01. What does XXX stand for?
K-02. What's inside my PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)?
K-03. Can I hack my Palm Pilot?
K-04. Can I hack my XBOX?
K-05. What are the ethics of hacking?
K-06. Why did you write this FAQ?
K-07. What is the alt.2600 Survival Guide?
K-08. Where can I get a copy of the alt.2600/#hack FAQ?

#hack FAQ Home | Computers | Data Networks | Wireless Networks | Telephony | Mobile Telephony
Radio | Television | Resources | 2600 | Smart Cards and Magnetic Cards | Miscellaneous