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SKiMo.

  

   A European living outside Australia, SKiMo has been hacking for at

   least four years, although he probably only joined the ranks of

   world-class hackers in 1995 or 1996. Never busted. Young--between the

   age of 18 and 25--and male. From a less than picture-perfect family.

   Fluent in English as a second language. Left-leaning in his

   politics--heading toward environmentally green parties and anarchy

   rather than traditional labour parties. Smokes a little dope and

   drinks alcohol, but doesn't touch the hard stuff.

  

   His musical tastes include early Pink Floyd, Sullen, Dog Eat Dog,

   Biohazard, old Ice-T, Therapy, Alanis Morissette, Rage Against the

   Machine, Fear Factory, Life of Agony and Napalm Death. He reads

   Stephen King, Stephen Hawking, Tom Clancy and Aldous Huxley. And any

   good books about physics, chemistry or mathematics.

  

   Shy in person, he doesn't like organised team sports and is not very

   confident around girls. He has only had one serious girlfriend, but

   the relationship finished. Now that he hacks and codes about four to

   five hours per day on average, but sometimes up to 36 hours straight,

   he doesn't have time for girls.

  

   `Besides,' he says, `I am rather picky when it comes to girls. Maybe

   if the girl shared the same interests ... but those ones are hard to

   find.' He adds, by way of further explanation, `Girls are different

   from hacking. You can't just brute force them if all else fails.'

  

   SKiMo has never intentionally damaged a computer system, nor would he.

   Indeed, when I asked him, he was almost offended by the question.

   However, he has accidentally done damage on a few occasions. In at

   least one case, he returned to the system and fixed the problem

   himself.

  

   Bored out of his mind for most of his school career, SKiMo spent a

   great deal of time reading books in class--openly. He wanted to send

   the teacher a message without actually jacking up in class.

  

   He got into hacking after reading a magazine article about people who

   hacked answering machines and VMBs. At that time, he had no idea what

   a VMB was, but he learned fast. One Sunday evening, he sat down with

   his phone and began scanning. Soon he was into phreaking, and visiting

   English-speaking party lines. Somehow, he always felt more comfortable

   speaking in English, to native English-speakers, perhaps because he

   felt a little like an outsider in his own culture.

  

   `I have always had the thought to leave my country as soon as I can,'

   he said.

  

   From the phreaking, it was a short jump into hacking.

  

   What made him want to hack or phreak in the first place? Maybe it was

   the desire to screw over the universally hated phone company, or

   `possibly the sheer lust for power' or then again, maybe he was simply

   answering his desire `to explore an intricate piece of technology'.

   Today, however, he is a little clearer on why he continues to hack.

   `My first and foremost motivation is to learn,' he said.

  

   When asked why he doesn't visit his local university or library to

   satisfy that desire, he answered, `in books, you only learn theory. It