A Story About How an Hacker Almost was Arrested by the FBI
Hackers are some of the most intelligent individuals in the world. At least that is what many companies claim on a constant basis. They praise the abilities of hackers to be able to get into their computer systems and do as they please. I can tell you that not all hackers are geniuses. This statement can be made because of the experience I went through when I was younger. I was the evil hacker ruining people’s lives. This is my story about how I became a hacker and was tracked FBI. My goal is to inform you how easy it is to hack and hopefully make you want to keep a closer eye on what your children just might be doing.
How did I ever get into becoming a hacker. I was your typical kid who never got into any trouble. If I was to remotely come close to doing something wrong, my mother would lay down the law. I never thought about stealing or making money while doing so. My thoughts were filled with the latest cartoons and basketball stories. I also had an obsession with wrestling. You would of seen hundreds of dollars of wrestling related merchandise laying around my room. I was truly in love with wrestling and craved to know more about the business. Who would of thought that a simple hobby would lead to me becoming a professional hacker.
The Internet allows many of us wrestling fans the opportunity to go on-line and get the latest news on what is going on. We can find out what wrestler’s real names are and even where they are from. My favorite thing to do was go on line to check out what the wrestling rumors were for that day. Rumors were basically rumblings about what might happen in wrestling before it actually happens. I liked to gloat to my friends and parents how I knew what was going to happen on television before it actually did. My addiction towards these rumors led to me calling toll free wrestling hotlines.
I thought that a toll free wrestling hotline was one of the coolest things ever. You would dial a number and hear a daily report on the latest wrestling news. I thought the people doing these hotlines were really cool. They had everyone wanting to be their friend and receive the inside scoop. We began to respect the people that did these hotlines. I started wondering what I could do to get my own hotline.
The first thing I tried was getting an answer from one of the people who ran the hotlines. They refused to tell me how much they were paying and seemed to shy away from the subject. After awhile I figured that he was not paying anything for the hotline. I started doing my own investigating and found out that the hotline was actually voice mail for a pager. One day while listening to the hotline, I hit the star button. A voice came on that asked me to type the four digit password. I dialed a random number and was told that the password was incorrect. I decided to try my luck again and pressed 9999. That one move changed everything.
Somehow I ended up in the control panel of the hotline. I had access to everything. I could erase the daily message and create my own. It must of been my lucky day! I truly had no clue how I guessed the password. What I did next was the first sign of me becoming a true hacker. I changed the password to the pager box and stole it. My mind told me to be greedy and get what I always wanted. I now had a hotline to promote my own wrestling rumors. People would now look up to me and respect me. Come on, I was a kid after all.
My curiosity started to rise. I decided to try other pager numbers from the same company. Each box requested the individual to type in a four digit password. At every number I decided to try 9999. What I discovered was that the number combination was the default password for every pager not in use. I stole around two hundred pager voice mails that night. Over the next month, I was the owner of nearly two thousand pager boxes. I now needed to figure out what to do with the boxes. This is where I got the bright idea to sell them over the Internet to other kids who wanted their own hotlines. They came flocking to me and the demand skyrocketed.
I was receiving money in the mail nearly everyday. My parents started questioning where the letters were coming from. I explained to them I was doing a project at school where we received pen pal letters from other children around the world. It seemed that my parents believed me for some odd reason. Thus, the money continued to come in. I felt rich. Without my parents even knowing, I had accumulated nearly $2,000 dollars. All this from hacking! I was truly addicted and never felt like I could get caught.
The hacking get's cracked
As you would of guessed by my last statement, I was caught. The school principle called me into the office during second period of school. They told me that my mother called and needed to talk to me as soon as possible. For some reason I knew that she found out what I had been doing. I never expected to hear the words that came out of her mouth though. She told me that a FBI agent had called the house and wanted to talk to me. They called and told my mother that I had been stealing pager boxes.
My mother left me finish the rest of the school day. The entire day I pondered what was going to happen to me. I was not that afraid of what my mother would do to me. To be honest, I was more afraid of what the FBI might do to me. Were they going to arrest me and put me in jail? Was I going to have to pay everyone their money back? I was truly scared and found out that I was also truly lucky. I guess the FBI did not know how old I was. They were shocked to find out that I was under the age of 18. Since I was yet to be an adult, the FBI decided to give me a warning. I was able to get out of something that could of possibly affected the rest of my life. Who knew that hacking could be so easy that even a kid could do it.
Parents need to keep a close eye on their children. I hope that my story helps you understand how easy it is for someone to fall into the lifestyle of a hacker. A hacker does not need to be a super genius in order to hack. The individual just needs to find out one way to get to the solution that they want. By figuring out how to do something, a sense of power comes over you. It can become rather addicting and hard to stop. It was hard for me to stop. Most people only stop when they get caught. Usually those people who get caught though end up in jail. I was one of the lucky few.
The FBI is now taking hacking much more seriously. It no longer matters what age you might be. You can now be prosecuted anytime by the FBI. If you are unsure of what your child is doing and want to make sure that they do not hack, ask them more than one question. Also make sure what type of activities they are getting involved in. It is easy for children to view whatever they want on the Internet. We can find out information and get involved in way too many things. Just make sure that you have an understanding out what your kids are doing at all times. You might save them from something that could ruin their lives. You could save them from becoming a hacker.