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   Hacking a system gave him a sense of control. Getting root on a system

   always gave him an adrenalin rush for just that reason. It meant the

   system was his, he could do whatever he wanted, he could run whatever

   processes or programs he desired, he could remove other users he

   didn't want using his system. He thought, I own the system. The word

   `own' anchored the phrase which circled through his thoughts again and

   again when he successfully hacked a system.


   The sense of ownership was almost passionate, rippled with streaks of

   obsession and jealousy. At any given moment, Anthrax had a list of

   systems he owned and that had captured his interest for that moment.

   Anthrax hated seeing a system administrator logging onto one of those

   systems. It was an invasion. It was as though Anthrax had just got

   this woman he had been after for some time alone in a room with the

   door closed. Then, just as he was getting to know her, this other guy

   had barged in, sat down on the couch and started talking to her.


   It was never enough to look at a system from a distance and know he

   could hack it if he wanted to. Anthrax had to actually hack the

   system. He had to own it. He needed to see what was inside the system,

   to know exactly what it was he owned.


   The worst thing admins could do was to fiddle with system security.

   That made Anthrax burn with anger. If Anthrax was on-line, silently

   observing the admins' activities, he would feel a sudden urge to log

   them off. He wanted to punish them. Wanted them to know he was into

   their system. And yet, at the same time, he didn't want them to know.

   Logging them off would draw attention to himself, but the two desires

   pulled at him from opposite directions. What Anthrax really wanted was

   for the admins to know he controlled their system, but for them not to

   be able to do anything about it. He wanted them to be helpless.


   Anthrax decided to keep undercover. But he contemplated the power of

   having System X's list of telephone exchange dial-ups and their

   username-password combinations. Normally, it would take days for a

   single hacker with his lone modem to have much impact on the US

   military's communications network. Sure, he could take down a few

   exchanges before the military wised up and started protecting

   themselves. It was like hacking a military computer. You could take

   out a machine here, a system there. But the essence of the power of

   System X was being able to use its own resources to orchestrate

   widespread pandemonium quickly and quietly.


   Anthrax defines power as the potential for real world impact. At that

   moment of discovery and realisation, the real world impact of hacking

   System X looked good. The telecommunications company computer seemed

   like a good place to hang up a sniffer, so he plugged one into the

   machine and decided to return in a little while. Then he logged out

   and went to bed.


   When he revisited the sniffer a day or so later, Anthrax received a

   rude shock. Scrolling through the sniffer file, he did a double take

   on one of the entries. Someone had logged into the company's system

   using his special login patch password.


   He tried to stay calm. He thought hard. When was the last time he had

   logged into the system using that special password? Could his sniffer

   have logged himself on an earlier hacking session? It did happen

   occasionally. Hackers sometimes gave themselves quite a fright. In the