Results 1 to 19 of 19

Thread: The greatest Hack ever: The Max Head Room Incident

  1. #1
    King of Lost Wages LarryLaffer's Avatar
    Reputation
    175
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Lost Wages
    Posts
    4,874

    The greatest Hack ever: The Max Head Room Incident

    I've been feeling a bit nostalgic lately. When I was growing up in the 90's, hacking was pretty big. The movie Hackers was released in 1996, and it was like the War Games of my time. Everyone wanted to be a hacker.

    I've been around computers since I was 4 years old. My family had a PC that was built by a friend of theirs so they could do the books for our family business. It was a dos computer. When Windows 3.1 came out, we got that and my obsession with computer games was born (I played the DOOM games, mostly DOOM 2, over a modem for death matches as DOOM2 was never meant to run over the internet it self, only LANs).

    The internet wasn't much back then. AOL 2.0 was the standard and we as little pre teen kids would go into the private chat rooms (mainly the GIF and JPG) and download porno pictures etc. When I was in 6th grade, we got into having programs for our computers that could do things like DOS peoples AOL accounts, ping programs, macro programs for chat rooms (I loved doing that the most) and of course, the most fun thing to do, password phishing.

    I read the anarchist cook book religiously (not for the explosives part although I did make napalm once, different story) and I was captivated by the Jolly Roger, who was an old school hacker known for making Blue Boxes and other types of tone generators. I never made one though. I read about all the famous Phreakers of the 80s (Captain Crunch, who was a blind guy who would use this whistle he got from a cereal box to generate tones that could break into phone companies systems). I watched the movie War Games so many fucking times, I could've been David Lightman.


    Telephony was a subject i studied as a kid growing up. What the fuck was my obsession with phones? I don't know. I used to record the tones coming from payphones when you put money in and play them back to see if they worked, and they did. It was awesome.

    But the biggest hack ever, occurred right here in Chicago (I'm originally from the suburbs north of here). It was the MAX HEAD ROOM INCIDENT.

    a bit of background here: The Max Head Room Incident wasn't the first. Captain Midnight who broke into HBO's signal in the mid 80's to protest the ongoing rising rates of cable television happened a year earlier (the year i was born). He was caught though (he was a florida satellite dish salesman) because back then, there were only a few places you could harness the energy needed to over take a broadcast satellite. His pirated broadcast only lasted a few minutes.

    captain midnight pirate:



    a year later, in Chicago, as legend has it in the suburb of LaGrange (just west of the city limits) where there was a huge group of people on the BBS scene. Out of that group, emerged a subculture of teenagers bent on messing with the system. Seeing what they could do, and what they couldn't. Then, on a november evening in 1987, what is still considered the greatest hack of all time happend. First, he tried to break into the WGN broadcast, which lasted only a few seconds because WGN switched their signal. Then a few hours later, the same hackers broke into the WTTW signal and this time, they were able to get the audio to work. The audio on the second signal was deranged. The hackers berated WGN, and talked about the 50's tv show Clutch Cargo. The broadcast ended with Max spanking someone with a fly swatter. The case was never solved (the pirates gave the signal back to WTTW after 90 seconds for fear of being located by the FCC) and to this day, it's the last ever signal hijacking that ever happened. There were roumers abound in the hacking community that the singal came from La Grange. But to this day, no one has ever come forward, and probably no one ever will.
    Wgn:

    Wttw:



    fucking epic. The Trolls of the Trolls. The best hack ever.


    here's some reddit threads about it:
    https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/commen..._max_headroom/
    https://www.reddit.com/r/UnsolvedMys...room_incident/

     
    Comments
      
      Sanlmar: Captain Crunch reference - win a prize
    Last edited by LarryLaffer; 07-07-2016 at 07:00 PM.
    "Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next."

    George Steinbrenner

  2. #2
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
    Reputation
    4305
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    29,681
    Blog Entries
    2
    I was a big fan of the Max Headroom TV show in 1987-88, but didn't hear about that Chicago TV hack until much later.

    I did hear about Captain Midnight when it occurred, which was hilarious.

    I was part of the '80s phone/computer hacking community in the mid-late 1980s.

    Like you, I also had an obsession with telephones from a very young age. I had (and still have) the ability to recognize specific telephone touch tones with my ear, even if dialed quickly.

    Looks like you were born a bit too late, Larry. I think you would have fit in a lot better if you were born in the '60s or early '70s.

  3. #3
    King of Lost Wages LarryLaffer's Avatar
    Reputation
    175
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Lost Wages
    Posts
    4,874
    I would love to hear some Druff phone phreaking stories if you could share them. I saw in the one thread about how you duped a pedo into dialing into your computer and the guy thinking it was a BBS typed in all of his information.

    You're right, I was born late, but never the less, there was still a lot of fun to be had in the 90's before telephones went digital.

    I also was big into the IRC. used mIRC. i saw some scary shit on there back in the day.

    next time i'm at my parents house, i'll try and find my copy of the anarchist cook book.


    oh and a bit of BBS trivia. The town i'm from, hosted the biggest Virus sharing network in the united states at the time.

    Hell Pit {459}, The Hell Pit, The Hell Pit BBS
    (1990-1995) S
    "The most famous virus exchange BBS in the United States- its collection at its peak was second only to the Virus Exchange BBS in Bulgaria. Hacking, phreaking, and programming message bases. Access to the viral file bases required that you upload a virus to their already-huge 1000 unique virus collection (very impressive for 1991 standards)- and even then, each virus required 50 file points to download (equivalent of a 500KB file for a mere 4k program). Later (1993) joined NuKENET viral programming network. Many rumors that this BBS was a fed board, all unsubstantiated. BBS went away after Kato (the programmer brother) moved to France and Hades (the punk rocker brother) graduated high school and moved out of their folks' house."
    http://bbslist.textfiles.com/708/

     
    Comments
      
      sonatine: BitchX, faggot.
    Last edited by LarryLaffer; 07-09-2016 at 09:20 AM.
    "Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next."

    George Steinbrenner

  4. #4
    Who's to say what the greatest hack was? Hacks are like art or music. Who is to say what the greatest song ever was? Ok, Limitless.... but aside from him.


    Ron Rosenbaum’s “Secrets of the Little Blue Box”, Esquire 1971 is a masterpiece.

    http://www.lospadres.info/thorg/lbb.html


    I was drawn to it through an article about Steve Jobs and Wozniak prior to Jobs getting kicked out of Apple by the Pepsi guy. Jobs and Wozniak read this article and their first product was the phone phreaking "Blue Box".

    This article had a huge influence on me. Hacking, electronics & anti social shananigans.

    Cap'n Crunch wasn't blind. You are conflating two different characters.


    I ask him who this Captain Crunch person is.

    "Oh. The Captain. He's probably the most legendary phone phreak. He calls himself Captain Crunch after the notorious Cap'n Crunch 2600 whistle." (Several years ago, Gilbertson explains, the makers of Cap'n Crunch breakfast cereal offered a toy-whistle prize in every box as a treat for the Cap'n Crunch set. Somehow a phone phreak discovered that the toy whistle just happened to produce a perfect 2600-cycle tone. When the man who calls himself Captain Crunch was transferred overseas to England with his Air Force unit, he would receive scores of calls from his friends and "mute" them — make them free of charge to them — by blowing his Cap'n Crunch whistle into his end.)
    Blind Kid - Joe Egressia:

    The next number I choose from the select list of phone-phreak illuminati, prepared for me by the blue-box inventor is a Memphis number. It is the number of Joe Engressia, the first and still perhaps the most accomplished blind phone phreak.

    Three years ago Engressia was a nine-day wonder in newspapers and magazines all over America because he had been discovered whistling free long-distance connections for fellow students at the University of South Florida. Engressia was born with perfect pitch; he could whistle phone tones better than the phone-company's equipment.
    Never heard about this cable hack. Plus, plus. Totally organic and home made.

    Early cable makes me think about that book that chronicaled the start of ESPN. Very interesting times.

     
    Comments
      
      LarryLaffer: knowledge drop. Thank you for that.

  5. #5
    King of Lost Wages LarryLaffer's Avatar
    Reputation
    175
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Lost Wages
    Posts
    4,874
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanlmar View Post
    Who's to say what the greatest hack was? Hacks are like art or music. Who is to say what the greatest song ever was? Ok, Limitless.... but aside from him.


    Ron Rosenbaum’s “Secrets of the Little Blue Box”, Esquire 1971 is a masterpiece.

    http://www.lospadres.info/thorg/lbb.html


    I was drawn to it through an article about Steve Jobs and Wozniak prior to Jobs getting kicked out of Apple by the Pepsi guy. Jobs and Wozniak read this article and their first product was the phone phreaking "Blue Box".

    This article had a huge influence on me. Hacking, electronics & anti social shananigans.

    Cap'n Crunch wasn't blind. You are conflating two different characters.




    Blind Kid - Joe Egressia:

    The next number I choose from the select list of phone-phreak illuminati, prepared for me by the blue-box inventor is a Memphis number. It is the number of Joe Engressia, the first and still perhaps the most accomplished blind phone phreak.

    Three years ago Engressia was a nine-day wonder in newspapers and magazines all over America because he had been discovered whistling free long-distance connections for fellow students at the University of South Florida. Engressia was born with perfect pitch; he could whistle phone tones better than the phone-company's equipment.
    Never heard about this cable hack. Plus, plus. Totally organic and home made.

    Early cable makes me think about that book that chronicaled the start of ESPN. Very interesting times.

    ahh I guess my memory wasn't as fresh as I thought. I had forgotten about Jobs and Woz being phreakers. And I totally had read that article somewhere along the way. Thank you for the insight. I'm glad i opened up a conversation on the long lost art of Phone Phreaking.

    I guess that's why they called that magazine 2600.

    I know there were other boxes, not just the blue box. but i'm too into that article to find out. I think if i remember correctly there was also a red box as well.


    I had a lot of older friends back when i was a pre-teen who were wizards at this shit.


    edit: that article actually has the list of all the boxes.

    of note is the blotto box which supposedly crashed every phone in the area.

     
    Comments
      
      Sanlmar: 2600 Hz
    Last edited by LarryLaffer; 07-09-2016 at 05:32 PM.
    "Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next."

    George Steinbrenner

  6. #6
    Omg, Larry.

    mIRC

    That last reference .... you are a "made guy" with me. Haven't thought about that shit for years.

    Hacking passwords with mIRC. Other code.

    mIRC bots... the scripts. You just snapped me back 15-20 years. Picture it like yesterday.

    mIRC was treacherous. I really never understood who or what was on the other end.

    I was a little older then and me and a buddy decided to back away. Sold porn passwords for coffee money occasionally and let everything else go.
    Last edited by Sanlmar; 07-10-2016 at 12:05 PM.

  7. #7
    King of Lost Wages LarryLaffer's Avatar
    Reputation
    175
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Lost Wages
    Posts
    4,874
    Quote Originally Posted by Sanlmar View Post
    Omg, Larry.

    mIRC

    That last reference .... you are a "made guy" with me. Haven't thought about that shit for years.

    Hacking passwords with mIRC. Other code.

    mIRC bots... the scripts. You just snapped me back 15-20 years. Picture it like yesterday.

    mIRC was treacherous. I really never understood who or what was on the other end.

    I was a little older then and me and a buddy decided to back away. Sold porn passwords for coffee money occasionally and let everything else go.

    I too saw some crazy shit on the IRC. mIRC wasn't the only front end I used I also used TelNet (used to mess around in computer class on it logging into other computers and sending them messages)


    I spent 100s of hours learning how to navigate systems over IRC. When I was in 7th grade I used my bar mitzvah money to purchase a compaq persario with a 56k modem and a 4x cd rom burner. let's just say I was the only kid who could make you a music cd. and I had a dedicated phone line for my computer so I never had to log off to use the phone. Consequently, I also learned Linux from that (as IRC was basically a Linux type of interface)

    I haven't used Linux in years though.





    I mainly used mIRC to watch skate videos (before YouTube this was the way to do it) and also talked to crazy people across the lines. Also downloaded music before Napster and Kazaa etc.


    glad tha we could bond over such a small thing like Internet relay chat.
    "Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next."

    George Steinbrenner

  8. #8
    King of Lost Wages LarryLaffer's Avatar
    Reputation
    175
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Lost Wages
    Posts
    4,874
    also used to lurk the WareZ channels and on AOL i had a plethora of programs like the Pepsi's and the AOHell's. and the Havoks. we used to trade them on discs in study hall. those were my favorite as you could macro the chats, and you could DDOS someone by sending them 100 instant messages at one time.


    man those were the days.
    "Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next."

    George Steinbrenner

  9. #9
    King of Lost Wages LarryLaffer's Avatar
    Reputation
    175
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Lost Wages
    Posts
    4,874
    one program I could never understand for the life of me was nMap. that is the real hacker shit there and I never got that good.
    "Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next."

    George Steinbrenner

  10. #10
    King of Lost Wages LarryLaffer's Avatar
    Reputation
    175
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Lost Wages
    Posts
    4,874
    you mind if I ask how old you are? for instance, I'm 30, so I was doing this shit when I was 11 years old to about 17 when I lost interest and skateboarding took over my life.
    "Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next."

    George Steinbrenner

  11. #11
    King of Lost Wages LarryLaffer's Avatar
    Reputation
    175
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Lost Wages
    Posts
    4,874
    I also had a t3 connection starting at about 16 so the last year or so I was into it my computer was logged into mIRC 24 hours a day
    "Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next."

    George Steinbrenner

  12. #12
    bump for lil lar's thread.

    30 years ago today was the Max Headroom hack.

    https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/a...eadroom-hacker
    @CursedDiamonds on twitter

  13. #13
    It's all well and good, but a signal intrusion is not a "hack".
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff
    We were asked why we allowed overt racism. We were asked why giant black cocks were all over our website.

  14. #14
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
    Reputation
    4305
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    29,681
    Blog Entries
    2
    I'm surprised someone doesn't come forward at this point and claim responsibility, unless they're dead.

    You'd have to think that the statute of limitations has long expired.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    I'm surprised someone doesn't come forward at this point and claim responsibility, unless they're dead.

    You'd have to think that the statute of limitations has long expired.


    This one was before the Max Headroom incident.

    People actually shit themselves and thought this was legit.

    Again, identity unknown. I wonder if this is a code amongst hijackers to not reveal their work?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southe...t_interruption
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff
    We were asked why we allowed overt racism. We were asked why giant black cocks were all over our website.

  16. #16
    King of Lost Wages LarryLaffer's Avatar
    Reputation
    175
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Lost Wages
    Posts
    4,874
    Nice Bump Crowe!


    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    I'm surprised someone doesn't come forward at this point and claim responsibility, unless they're dead.

    You'd have to think that the statute of limitations has long expired.
    If you follow the reddit AMA link, there was a guy who very well might've known the hackers. It was more than one person (OBVIOUSLY). But this guy claims to know the guy who was in the mask.

    Why would you come forward now anyway? would ruin the lore.
    "Winning is the most important thing in my life, after breathing. Breathing first, winning next."

    George Steinbrenner

  17. #17
    I remember watching this! And the one that interrupted Doctor who

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Cupid Stunt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    I'm surprised someone doesn't come forward at this point and claim responsibility, unless they're dead.

    You'd have to think that the statute of limitations has long expired.


    This one was before the Max Headroom incident.

    People actually shit themselves and thought this was legit.

    Again, identity unknown. I wonder if this is a code amongst hijackers to not reveal their work?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southe...t_interruption
    That led to me marrying my wife. She was 5 at the time that happened and living near Newbury in Berkshire. She was alone in the living room with the tv on when this happened and it affected her greatly, helping foster a love for weirdness/forteana etc. If it hadnít been for the nudge it made on her personality she would never have met/married me.

     
    Comments
      
      Cupid Stunt: Ha
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyde View Post
    I stay to myself and keep out of trouble and/or potentially problematic scenarios

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Wiganer View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cupid Stunt View Post



    This one was before the Max Headroom incident.

    People actually shit themselves and thought this was legit.

    Again, identity unknown. I wonder if this is a code amongst hijackers to not reveal their work?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southe...t_interruption
    That led to me marrying my wife. She was 5 at the time that happened and living near Newbury in Berkshire. She was alone in the living room with the tv on when this happened and it affected her greatly, helping foster a love for weirdness/forteana etc. If it hadnít been for the nudge it made on her personality she would never have met/married me.
    If you are legit not fucking with me, then that is awesome!

    I get it, though. I used to sneak downstairs in the middle of the night at that age and watch all the horror VHS tapes that the parents had. It fucked me up back then, but now I love horror films..
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff
    We were asked why we allowed overt racism. We were asked why giant black cocks were all over our website.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 52
    Last Post: 02-08-2019, 10:53 PM
  2. LOL @ someone trying to hack my account
    By Dan Druff in forum Flying Stupidity
    Replies: 55
    Last Post: 07-12-2015, 09:32 AM
  3. Almost fatal incident at bar
    By Seth in forum Flying Stupidity
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-23-2014, 03:17 AM
  4. Jeans (sad?)Conclusion to my Barcelona incident
    By yaahello in forum Flying Stupidity
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-11-2013, 11:54 PM
  5. $100 Fantasy Football League- auction & non-head-to-head.
    By DirtyB in forum Flying Stupidity
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-23-2012, 04:54 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •