Academic papers, reports, essays, books and articles regarding hackers, the process of hacking, and the social aspects of the entire archetype. I've tried to be all-inclusive, and make this collection more browsable with quick summaries of what each paper contains.

816-4816-10.pdf 130890
How Hackers Do It: Tricks, Tools and Techniques, by Alex Noordergraaf, Enterprise Server Products, Sun BluePrints Online (May, 2002)
Overview of Solaris hardening techniques. Refers to hackers as motivated by curiousity, and lots of spare time; uses terms "elite", "script kiddies", "rootkits", "scanners" and "exploits". Oriented towards explaining techniques used to find poorly-configured aspects of Solaris machines.
baudy.html 77291
The Baudy World of the Byte Bandit: A Postmodernist Interpretation of The Computer Underground, by Gordon Meyer and Jim Thomas, Department of Sociology, Northern Illinois University (June 10, 1990)
Published in both "Computers in Criminal Justice" and presented at the American Society of Criminology annual meeting (November 9, 1989). Indicates that members of the computer underground (CU) are mistakenly labelled hackers. Focuses on the separate Computer Underground nomenclature. Excellent overview of different demonization of the term hackers through the 1980s.
denninghackers.html 88017
Concerning Hackers Who Break Into Computer Systems, by Dorothy E. Denning, Digital Equipment Corp. Systems Research Center, presented at the 13th National Computer Security Conference, Washington, DC (October 1-4, 1990)
Abstract: "A diffuse group of people often called ``hackers'' has been characterized as unethical, irresponsible, and a serious danger to society for actions related to breaking into computer systems. This paper attempts to construct a picture of hackers, their concerns, and the discourse in which hacking takes place. My initial findings suggest that hackers are learners and explorers who want to help rather than cause damage, and who often have very high standards of behavior. My findings also suggest that the discourse surrounding hacking belongs at the very least to the gray areas between larger conflicts that we are experiencing at every level of society and business in an information age where many are not computer literate. These conflicts are between the idea that information cannot be owned and the idea that it can, and between law enforcement and the First and Fourth Amendments. Hackers have raised serious issues about values and practices in an information society. Based on my findings, I recommend that we work closely with hackers, and suggest several actions that might be taken."
eddyhacker.html 17794
The Hacker's Craft, by Edward Welbourne (Date Unknown)
An analysis of the Hacking ethics and ideals (as defined by Eric S. Raymond) pushed through the concept of "craft", of creating new works with a set of ideals already existent in the culture. In this case, Welbourne indicates craft in the context of respect, best practice, and effectiveness.
gabriel1983.txt 7345
Hacker: The De-evolution of a Word, by Dick Gabriel (November 9, 1983)
A forethought analysis of the use of the word Hacker and its growing misuse by press and pundits in the early 1980s.
hackcrac.pdf 748010
The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier, by Bruce Sterling (Electronic Sideways PDF Edition) (January, 1994)
In 1994, Bruce Sterling released an electronic version of his Hacker Crackdown book, making it available freely for non-commercial purposes. This PDF is a remix of the original text to fit on a screen sideways. The book itself is covered in the books section of this site, but is made available freely here. Covers the situation of the 1990 hacker bust of several Bulletin Board Systems by the FBI, in response (but not ultimately linking to) a telephone system crash due to faulty software in the beginning of that year. Goes to great pains to "understand" the hacker etheic, life, and approach.
hackermeyer.txt 148104
The Social Organization of the Computer Underground, a Thesis in Sociology by Gordon R. Meyer of Northern Illinois University (August, 1989)
Abstract: "This paper examines the social organization of the "computer underground" (CU). The CU is composed of actors in three roles, "computer hackers," "phone phreaks," and "software pirates." These roles have frequently been ignored or confused in media and other accounts of CU activity. By utilizing a data set culled from CU channels of communication this paper provides an ethnographic account of computer underground organization. It is concluded that despite the widespread social network of the computer underground, it is organized primarily on the level of colleagues, with only small groups approaching peer relationships." Heavily regulated and citation-filled overview of "The Computer Underground" as defined by hackers, phreaks and pirates, focusing on the current (as of 1989) self-reference, use of words and phrases, and interaction media (phone conferences, BBSes, and voice mailboxes, as well as magazines). Concerned with the sociological pecking order more than any other aspect.
hackers_enemies.pdf 9933
Hackers are Indeed Enemies: A Rebuttal of Chris Goggans' 1992 Viewpoint, by M.E. Kabay, Ph.D. (1992/2000)
Dr. Kabay indicates that Chris Goggans is misleading by not calling hackers dangerous. Quickly defines "hackers" as "crackers" and proceeds to call them hackers anyway; indicates that Cracking should be taught to young adults, and links this to Goggans, an "unemployed 23-year old who wants a job with someone who won't make him cut his hair". Obviously intended as a letter to the editor and not as an academic study of the issues.
hackwithcause.txt 51595
Computer Hackers: Rebels With a Cause, by Tanja S. Rosteck, Concordia University, Montra, Quebec (April 27, 1994)
Academic paper on sociology of the computer underground. Makes the mistaken commentary "there has not been much sociological research done on hackers and their culture." in the introduction. Announces that it will look at hackers as a revolutionary collective. "It will be shown that the hacker's relatively harmless activities are forms of such protest; yet, this cannot be effectively vocalized to the public because of the nature of the activities, ie., hacking is widely considered illegal. As with any revolutionary subculture, the hacking movement is stigmatized, discredited, and persecuted by the media and corporate culture as juvenile, disruptive, and criminal. And, all the while, being generally misunderstood. Because of this problem, it is necessary to bring the hacker's plight to the attention of sociologists through a theoretical framework; that is the primary purpose of this paper." Relies heavily on Dorothy Denning's work. Evaluates the perspective of being a hacker in a series of attributes.
hungerhacker.pdf 552629
Wargames: Male Identity Construction and Playful Approaches to Computers, by Francis Hunger (May, 2005)
Academic paper (later presented at Chaos Computer Camp #23) discussing hackers as an "identity construction" in the context of playful interaction with technology. In the original presentation, clips from Wargames were shown. Phreaking is defined as "using a phone to talk without paying". Quotes from the (german language) papers of Claus Pias (http://www.uni-essen.de/~bj0063/archiv.html), who talks about the suspicion of computers and computer users. Cites Stallman and Raymond as sources of Hacker culture and definition. Tries to separate the "hacker-ego" into "good" and "bad" to describe both motivations and actions. Defines the "Hacker Ethic" as "Free access to information, voluntary cooperation, and self-realization". Indicates that male playfulness (versus female target-directedness) is a core cause of male domination of computer hacking. Ultimately says that the hacker belief of living rightly in the wrong life "is an illusion".
joemccarthy.txt 19913
Joe McCarthy in a Leisure Suit: (Witch)Hunting for the Computer Undergound, by Jim Thomas and Gordon Meyer, Department of Sociology, Northern Illinois University, published in the Critical Criminologist (September 2, 1990)
Critical paper of the treatment of hackers as the new Communists, percieved as a slippery threat that requires extraordinary extension of laws and prosecution to bring to a halt; implies that the shake-up of the "information elite" may be a partial cause. "Computer underground activity is usually thought of as "hacking," which is the unauthorized attempt to gain access to another's computer system through telephone lines. However, "hacking" simply refers to mucking about in a system or program as a way to learn more about it and to satisfy intellectual curiosity, and unauthorized access to another computer system is not necessary to the hacking enterprise." Covers Operation Sundevil and media/press hysteria regarding hackers, circa 1990. Includes a somewhat ham-fisted attempt to quantify the entire computer underground under 6 points.
lakhaniwolf.pdf 69376
Why Hackers Do What They Do: Understanding Motivation and Effort in Free/Open Source Software Projects, by Karim R. Lakhani and Robert G. Wolf, MIT Sloan School of Management and The Boston Consulting Group (2005)
Abstract: "In this paper we report on the results of a study of the effort and motivations of individuals to contributing to the creation of Free/Open Source software. We used a Web -based survey, administered to 684 software developers in 287 F/OSS projects, to learn what lies behind the effort put into such projects. Academic theorizing on individual motivations for participating in F/OSS projects has posited that external motivational factors in the form of extrinsic benefits (e.g.; better jobs, career advancement) are the main drivers of effort. We find in contrast, that enjoyment-based intrinsic motivation, namely how creative a person feels when working on the project, is the strongest and most pervasive driver. We also find that user need, intellectual stimulation derived from writing code, and improving programming skills are top motivators for project participation. A majority of our respondents are skilled and experienced professionals working in IT-related jobs, with approximately 40 percent being paid to participate in the F/OSS project." Attempt to discen motivations in the creation of Open Source; Hacker Ethic makes an appearance, as defined along Eric S. Raymond's definition.
piashacker.html 72367
Der Hacker (German Language) by Claus Pias (Roughly 2001)
German-language discourse on The Hacker and motivations for becoming one. Contains a lot of citations. If someone who speaks German fluently wishes to assist me in describing the gist, I would welcome it; I would not pretend to take a translation program and think I have even approached a nuance of a paper like this.
schultzehacker.pdf 41818
Thinking like a Hacker, by Eric Schultze, Chief Security Architect, Shavlik Technologies (March 7, 2002)
Short support document warning of typical methodology and approaches of hackers. Defines hackers as being similar to developers, working with processes they have developed over time, applying patience and careful documentation over every step of their 'work'. Lists common tools in the Hacker's toolbox, including netcat, tcpdump, getmac and whois.
sjtopten.txt 4224
The Top Ten Media Errors about the Steve Jackson Raid (1994)
An eye-opening list of the most common media errors regarding facts about the Steve Jackson raid. Informative as an example of how much can be misreported, even in a codified procedure.
sollfrankhackers.html 66086
Women Hackers: A Report from the Mission to Locate Subversive Women on the Net, by Cornelia Sollfrank, Rotterdam; First Published in "Next Cyberfeminist International" (1999)Attempts to define the term hacker both as described in Steven Levy's Hackers and Eric S. Raymond's Hacker Dictionary. Introduction indicates that the "hacker scene" is the only notable cultural environment that can be located and defined; then spends quite a bit of time trying to locate it and define it. Defines crackers as "hacker minus attitude", and then indicates that cracking is a sub-branch of hacking. Includes the search for Women Hackers, including statement by Bruce Sterling that there are none. Says that women gain no emotional linkage to hacking, unlike, say, stealing lipstick. Finally focuses on Susan Thunder as a real hacker, based on the "Cyberpunk" book by Markoff and Hafner. Finally classifies "Cyberfeminists" and indicates these are not Hackers, and that we should no longer close our eyes to the "fact" that hackers are white mails.
wilyhacker.pdf 209648
Stalking the Wily Hacker: An Astronomer-turned-sleuth traces a German trespasser on our military networks, by Clifford Stoll in Communication of the ACM (May 1988)
Academic article written by Clifford Stoll about his discovery of a German hacker's penetration into the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL). Includes this salient paragraph: "What is a Hacker? The term hacker has acquired many meanings, including, a creative programmer, one who illicitly breaks into computers, a novice golfer who digs up the course, a taxicab driver, and ditch-digger. Confusion between the first two interpretations results in the perception that one need be brilliant or creative to break into computers. This may not be true. indeed, the person we followed was patient and plodding, but hardly showed creative brilliance in discovering new security flaws." This article is the germ of work behind Stoll's book, "The Cuckoo's Egg".

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