Cops and Robbers
I walked into this classroom full of law enforcement officers and said, “Do you guys recognize any of these names?” I read off a list of the names. One federal officer explained, “Those are judges in the U.S. District Court in Seattle.” And I said, “Well, I have a password file here with 26 passwords cracked.” Those federal officers about turned green.
— Don Boelling, Boeing Aircraft
Matt and Costa weren’t planning an attack on Boeing Aircraft; it just turned out that way. But the outcome of that incident and others in their chain of hacker activities stand as a warning. The two could be the poster boys in a campaign to warn other kid hackers too young to appreciate the consequences of their actions.
Costa (pronounced “COAST-uh”) Katsaniotis started learning about computers when he got a Commodore Vic 20 at age 11 and began programming to improve the machine’s performance. At that tender age, he also wrote a piece of software that allowed his friend to dial up and see a list of the contents of his hard drive. “That’s where I really started with computers and loving the what-makes-things-work aspect of having a computer.” And not just programming: He probed the hardware, unworried, he said, about losing the screws “because I started out taking things apart when I was three.”
His mother sent him to a Christian private school until eighth grade and then to a public school. At that age his tastes in music leaned toward U2 (it was his first album and he’s ...