Are You A Private Person? Hacking 101

Randal Schwartz and Johnny X were the hosts of this informative and funny panel on Saturday, 7PM, at the Marriott. This presentation was not about how to hack, but how to be private with your information while out in public.

On the screen was a display he called the Wall of Sheep, showing recent users who had logged into the free wifi at the Marriott. Since people focus on the free part, they think it’s safe. Users fail to read the disclaimer that all information will be open to the public. Randal used a sniffer program and was able to see everything about the user: their user name, password, and site they were viewing. On the screen, he used asterisks to block out most of the password for security reasons.

Johnny X recommended going to to learn more. 2600 is the world’s foremost authority on computer hacking and technological manipulation and control. Published by hackers since 1984, 2600 is a true window into the minds of some of today’s most creative and intelligent people. The de facto voice of a new generation, it has its finger on the pulse of the ever-changing digital landscape.

Another place to get information is DC404. DEF CON groups were spawned from the annual DEF CON security conference in Las Vegas. The groups are a gathering point for folks interested in the alternate applications of modern technology, properly referred to as hacking. DCGs are not intended to compete with any other computer groups, such as 2600, but rather to provide yet another gathering place for the discussion of technology and security topics. DCG meetings are open to anyone, regardless of their skill, age, job, gender, etc. DCGs are designed to help you learn new things, meet new people, mentor others, and provide some cohesion within the hacker culture and its members.

Remember, use encrypted passwords. Be careful where you log in. Someone may be watching you.

Author of the article

Award-winning author Amanda Faith may have been raised in Dayton, but her heart and home is in the South. With a lifelong love of teaching and writing, she had plenty of encouragement from teachers and friends along the way. Loving a good puzzle has always been a fascination, and writing gives her the outlet to put all the pieces together. Being adventurous and loving to try new things, it wasn’t long before her characters found themselves in unusual situations. She loves to put people from two different worlds into new situations and to see how they interact, taking them on journeys they would never have normally experienced. Her current adventure working as a high school English professor turned Media Specialist, writing, and doing paranormal investigations doesn’t slow her down from having a great time with a plethora of hobbies. Her published credits include several short stories, poetry, several journal articles, her doctoral dissertation, and her award-winning book Strength of Spirit. With multiple degrees, she has a passion for learning and exploring new venues. She is a staff writer for The Daily Dragon at Dragon Con. Check out her new website ( or on Instagram (@dramandafaith)