punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Script kiddies who couldn't hack a wet paper bag

I made this post in Slashdot a while ago. The Redhat 6.3 and Windows 2000 comments kind of date it, but it's one of my favorite of my writings on Slashdot.

Most hackers I've met here are script kiddies who couldn't hack a wet paper bag

This got me to think about how I would hack a wet paper bag.

Test Subject: Plain small paper bag from a plastic bag of paper bags labeled, simply, "Paper lunch bags." Then I soaked it in water for 2 minutes, shook off the excess water, and laid it down flat.
Software used: I used Red Hat Linux (6.3) and a variety of tools on Windows 2000 (with SP1).

My first attempt was to connect the paper bag to the network. Lacking any RJ11 port, I was forced to assume it was wireless. I placed it on my cable router, in hopes that it would try and boot to DHCP. I waited a long time, but it did not attempt to gain IP access. This would be harder than I thought.

Then I thought maybe it I wrapped the bag around the head of a Cat5 cable, maybe that would work. No luck. It just sat there, inert. I tested the Cat5 cable on a known working system, and found it did not work. I tried another, but while this worked, it did not work on the wet paper bag.

I searched Google for "wet paper bag" and "2600 wet paper bag" and Usenet for "wet paper bag." It did not return any useable results, although it appears that quite a lot of people assume script kiddies cannot hack one, either. I checked the TCP/IP manual that came with my Cisco training, and did not find anything that might help. I had no idea what level of the OSI layer would work on a wet paper bag, but I assumed if it was hackable, it would have to at least get to layer 2. So I attached it to an old X.25 serial cable, and tried frame routing, but all I got were device timeouts. Wet paper bags are a LOT more secure than I thought!

After a day of this, I thought I had finally gotten a login prompt, but I found I accidentally was using the IP address of my other LINUX box.

I asked around, and found a script kiddie at the local comic book store. I asked him if he could hack a wet paper bag, but instead of answering, he became angry, and asked me what cable service I used. I didn't think it would help, but I told him everything I knew. Later when I got home, my ZoneAlarm had crashed in what I am guessing was a DOS attack.

So far, I have concluded I cannot hack a wet paper bag, either. I have shown my results to my boss, and soon, "WPB Protocol" will replace OpenBSD as the security standard in all our offices. That gives me only 3 weeks to learn how to program one. I hope there a gcc for it...
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