Sydney, Au. -12 Feb. 2009- Staff. A hacker out to impress his colleagues set a new standard in the emerging tech “sport” of “offline” hacking. Not satisfied like most hackers with stealing secure government data, manipulating live television or taking down websites with a million strong botnet, Hector Morgan, 32, has perfected a method of manipulating computer networks with nothing more than an ordinary plastic pen.
There’s only one rub: it’s a secret which he refuses to teach others.
“I’ll never tell. You’d have to duct tape my XBox to my mother and hold her hostage, and even then, I’d hold out as long as I could,” asserted Morgan, speaking from his home. While details were sparse, he did offer a video demonstration, which he provided through a secure website.
In the grainy, homemade footage, Morgan has three different computers, his own and two others operated by masked accomplices. “You need to grok the hacker community; anonymity is sometimes the most important tool,” Morgan explained, when asked about the masks.
Once his two shrouded assistants have logged into their machines, Hector then moves to the center of the room, where a series of cables are interconnected. Viewed at distance, Morgan appears to cut a larger cable and insert a pen. He then uses his finger to tap the end of the pen for several minutes, while a caption scrolls, “Binary by HAND, BIOTHES [sic] !” across the botom of the screen.
Morgan then returns to his own computer and is able to send commands to the each of the others. Close up shots of the hacked terminals show the same “Hexomizer rules the universe, your ass and your mom” which Morgan’s computer displays initially.
“Yeah, you probably shouldn’t print that fucking shit,” Morgan chuckled. “Next thing you know I get hate mail from all those bitches.”
Morgan is a freshman computer science student at the University of Sydney. US faculty did not repsond to repeated requests for comment, but Seth Norton, a senior consultant at Enviro Network Security Solutions based in Perth, cast strong doubts on the demonstration.
“Binary is a complex code that is specific to each program and the environment in which it runs. To even conceive of an act like the one you describe would take several thousand lines of commands. Even if you could get the code itself correct, binary isn’t like morse code; it isn’t possible to produce physcially.”
Given the video evidence, however, it seems there is a possibility that the pen is mightier than the computer, among other things.