This is an interview with a hacker who has been active in hacking websites and applications for several years. The hacker wishes to remain anonymous, and we will therefore not mention any name.
How did you start hacking?
It all began years ago when I was 16. I read about taking over someone’s Windows PC to play pranks like opening and closing the CD-ROM drive remotely. Then I learned about shutting down the PC, which also seemed fun. But it quickly became boring as I couldn’t see the person’s reaction. Also, back then, there weren’t as many laptops, and most of them didn’t have webcams, which I would have liked to see at that moment.
That sounds relatively harmless, but I understand you have been involved in other activities in recent years.
Yes, the feeling of having power over someone or “breaking in” was quite addictive. Eventually, I started sending keyloggers via email, allowing me to receive weekly emails with everything they typed. But even that became dull, as there wasn’t much interesting stuff to read.
And then you started hacking websites?
Well, not directly, as it was quite challenging to learn, and everything online changed so fast. It actually started with an acquaintance who had a website. Just for fun, I tried some login credentials, and he used his own name as the user and password, which he used everywhere, even for games, etc.
So, just for fun, I changed a few words on the website.
With someone you knew personally?
Yes, just for fun, harmless… I only changed a few words, giving the information a different twist.
How did you progress to the point where you started seriously intruding into other people’s websites, I assume strangers?
Well, intrusion… I’d say they left the backdoor of their website wide open, and I just walked in. And they weren’t strangers because the first websites I started hacking belonged to people I didn’t really like. My former employer and a few individuals who deserved it. I mean, it’s still quite decent, right? I didn’t physically harm them but just took them down a peg.
I only modified their websites. I deleted all the pages and uploaded my own page with a nice picture.
It’s really that simple once you’re inside the server.
Aren’t you afraid they might catch on or report you to the authorities?
They have to find me first. I have a way to be “invisible” on the internet without leaving my IP address, etc.
Are you still very active? Should I think about one website per week, per month, or…?
No, not at all. Occasionally, when I have free time, I turn on some hacking software and try to get into a website. Sometimes, I even email them. I politely tell them they have a vulnerability and how to fix it. But most of the time, I don’t get paid for it, even though I provide my Bitcoin address. Not even a tip for the effort, so it’s more fun to hack a well-known or popular website and mess around with it.
Thank you for the interview.
You’re welcome. It’s also nice to share sometimes. Most of what happens on the internet is anonymous because I prefer to keep everything private from acquaintances. They usually wouldn’t understand anyway.