www.whyville.net Aug 1, 2004 Weekly Issue

Guest Investigator

Hacking Secrets Revealed!

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I was recently reading the Whyville Times and came across an article. Many of you have probably read it. It was called "Through a Hacker's Eyes" by Colaboi.

I began to remember a night in the Greek Theater... I was innocently talking to my friend Romeo333 when a faceless person began to say disgusting things to the rest of the room. I was appalled!

Many people began to yell at him/her to stop being gross. Others, mostly boys, began to laugh and cheer him/her on. I was very upset, and decided to look into what had happened.

I knew the person was saying such perverted things that his/her account would be banished pretty soon, so I decided to interview him right away. This is what I got out of it:

Asilaself: So are you a boy or a girl?
Hacker: A boy.
Asilaself: But your account info says you're a girl!
Hacker: Yeah, well, this isn't my account! I hacked it! lolz
Asilaself: May I ask how?
Hacker: You ain't working for the cops, are you? Just joking!! lol! Sure, I'll tell you! Okay, this is how I do it. Actually there are many ways I do it...

He went on to tell his five rules to "hacking". Here's what to look out for:

This is the least effective way to get someone's password, he told me. This is because with the more attention hackers are getting on Whyville, the less likely people are to share their passwords. He told me that he mainly targets new looking people who have less experience about the dangers of password giving.

"This is a fairly new way to hack", he stated. He told me that after a while people began to catch on to his makeover scheme and he needed a new gimmick. It only took him a few minutes to think of this new idea. He told me that telling people he was able to cure the pox was a great way to get new accounts.

Hacker: I usually say things like this: "If you give me your password I can get on your account and hack on to Whyville's y:// drive. I can erase the corrupted skin in your User Data file and that will erase your pox!" Of course I just made all of that up, but you have to admit it sounds like I know what I'm talking about.

You can see that something like this could really fool newcomers and younger Whyville members, so beware!

Have you ever come across a newcomer that asked you for a makeover? If so, be warned -- they may not be the new guy you thought they were....

Hacker: This is my favorite way to hack! You just get an account, get a few cheap-o parts and ask a olbie to give you a makeover. Most of the time, they will get on your account and change the password. Thinking you're just a newb and don't know a lot about Whyville, they change it to their own password. All I do is use the tool that sends the password to my account's parental e-mail -- then I take that password and test it on the other person's account. Most of the time this works, but not always. Sometimes they actually give me a makeover, giving me tons of face parts I don't even need. I usually just send them to Grandma's.

You see? You may have thought that you were just being nice, but all you ended up with was a stolen account or wasted clams! You may think you were helping this person, but they may have just been out to take advantage of you. No matter how helpless they look, NEVER GIVE MAKEOVERS!!! There's so much more you can do to help a person.

"This is the most effective way to hack," he said nonchalantly. As he told me more about this method, I began to realize why it is so effective.

Hacker: All you do is go into a room, give someone your account and tell them to change the password. Just make sure the account you give them has a parent e-mail connected to your e-mail address, and you're set. When the people change the password, they almost always change it to the same password as their original account. So then you just use the tool to send your password to you, check your e-mail, get the password and try it out.

The problem with this type of hacking is that even olbies fall for it. After all, you don't realize that you're giving away your password. Consider this a warning... DON'T GIVE OR RECEIVE PASSWORDS IN WHYVILLE!!! Doing this only results in trouble.

Editor's Note: Scammers have been known to do the same thing with non-Whyville accounts, too! So never trade passwords *anywhere* online -- you never know what that person really wants from you, no matter how well you think you know them.

For various reasons, many of us Whyvillians have more than one account. Many of us also have our separate accounts listed in our address books and have the same password for all these accounts. THIS IS NOT A GOOD IDEA!

Asilaself: Could you explain this address book thing in more detail? I'm kinda confused.
Hacker: Yeah, okay. When I get an older account, I write down all the names in the person's address book. Then I try the password for the account I just hacked on all the usernames. [It doesn't take long], and more often than not I'll come across someone with two or more accounts listed in their address book with the same password.
Asilaself: So I'm guessing that's how you got these eight accounts tonight.
Hacker: Actually, it's 12, and yes, the person had 12 accounts listed in their address book, all with the same password as their original account.
Asilaself: Wow, and you're just gonna make it so they all get banished for your foul behavior?
Hacker: Well, first I drain the account of all good face parts and clams. Then I send all worthless stuff to Grandma's. Sometimes I get the accounts banished, for fun, and other times I just change the e-mail.
Asilaself: Why would you change the e-mail?
Hacker: Because people think that if the password isn't changed, the e-mail isn't changed. They often don't change it when they get back into their account after I've gotten in. So all I have to do is wait until they have restocked their account again, and then I strike. Then I just banish the account.
Asilaself: How many account have you hacked?
Hacker: Seventy-eight, I've counted. The first account I hacked is what got me into the business. She asked me to give her a makeover and at first I planned on doing so, but then I changed my mind. I decided to change the password instead. The most-remembered account I hacked, she got her account back after days of begging me through parent e-mail. About six months later I came across her again. I gave her a free account and she took it, changing the password to her main account's password. I logged on to her again and checked her address book. I gained four more accounts from this. I ended up hacking her five more times before she realized what I was doing. It was great!
Asilaself: Well, I'll let you get back to your life in crime. I've gotta go.
Hacker: Yeah, I got lots to do, LoL. See ya.

You see! Nothing good can come from giving or sharing passwords. And even if you like to break rules and do it anyway, AT LEAST HAVE A DIFFERENT PASSWORD FOR ALL OF YOUR ACCOUNTS!!! This is the most safe way to go about it.

There are many more hackers than just this person out there. They will take advantage of you and think of more and more ways to hack you. They will use your pity, vulnerability, stupidity and laziness to get their hands on every last clam you have. Consider this a warning.

Until next time,

Editor's Note: Thank you so much for your fabulous, thorough report, aSiLaSeLf! This is probably the best expose of password scammers we've ever seen at the Times -- and it makes me wonder... is this hacker the legendary SkUmBaG68, who wrote "The Perfect Krime"? We may never know....

Now, for those of you itching to become investigative reporters for the Times, I issue a challenge: Can you find out other sneaky ways that scammers (and real hackers, if there are any!) are stealing Whyvillian's passwords? Not just passwords in Whyville, too -- some of our citizens lose email and IM accounts to folks like this. Can you help us put a stop to it?


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