9607.24 - Wednesday
Departed Austin airport at 10:50pm. Many senior citizens ready to go blow their retirement monies in Vegas. It didn't hit me til I heard these two old couples sitting behind me in the waiting area that I was really going back to *Vegas*. The flight its
elf was uneventful. I read four chapters in my book, snoozed for a few minutes til beverages were served, downed my Pepsi, and then went to sleep. Arrived at Las Vegas at 11:30pm. No one met me at the gate, but I found Rex waiting in Baggage Claim. We
hung for a while as I got my luggage. We arranged to meet at Boulder Station for drinks about 12:30. I wanted to run to Mark's quick and drop off my stuff. I got to Mark's and some other guy opens the door. Mark wasn't home & stuff. He (Vince, as I
later found out) didn't know I was supposed to come -- but then he remembered Mark said someone from Texas was gonna crash, and that's when he put 2 and 2 together and got 16. So I dropped off my stuff and went to Boulder Station. I hung out there waiti
ng for Rex til about 1:15am. No show. So I went back to Mark's. Vince was sittin' there playing Command & Conquer. He looked to be a newbie--very! He was playing an old friend of mine, Chris, over modem (14.4, yeah I know). Well, I helped him get ho
oked up and coached him in how to play. He wasn't the best, but we held Chris back for a while and did some major damage. About 4am I crashed and slept.
9607.25 - Thurs
Well, we couldn't setup til 5pm cuz Sun Microsystems was in the conference room. So first order of the day was to go to BankAmerica Computer Ops Center and see everyone there. First off I stopped by HR to see Chris--he didn't work there anymore--he was
downtown in Marketing now. Well, that's all good and well and I called him and told him we'd do lunch at noon. Then I went around and surprized Carla, Bonnie, Marlene, and Vicki. Spent about an hour with them all and then went & had lunch with Chris.
My cheezy-give-away-of-the-week from Chris this time....the patented BofA ButtPadd--aka. stadium cushion. Well, after lunch I called up Skip. We'd meet at the Meadows Mall at 2:15. So I went back home (Mark's--it used to be my place when I lived there,
as Mark was my old roommate there, and when I moved out, our buddy Jeremy moved in) and did some misc. stuff, like upgraded Mark's P133 with Win95 to OSR1. Met Skip & his g/f at the mall and hung and had late afternoon lunch (Chinese). Left there about
4:15 and headed over to Lori's place to meet Jim. Hooked up with Jim there and we loaded up the systems for the con (6 P5/166 Terminator's) and hauled them in Jim's truck over to the Monte Carlo. By CHANCE (or instinct?) we found the receiving dock rig
ht off. Got a dolly from the goobers downstairs and hauled it up to the conf. room. Met up with Myles (The People) and we started getting the Capture the Flag network hooked up. The suck thing of the night was the fact that I totally spaced out on brin
ging monitors for the systems I brought--in my job I never deal with 'em, so when I order systems, I never order monitors. Well, I introduced myself to the people at the Business Center and quickly made friends there as we hooked up with rentals. They w
ere good people, tho, seriously. We arranged to have 5 monitors delivered at 9am (I ate the bill on that--it wasn't fair to let DT handle it). Later on, we got 2 monitors from other guys at the con, and so I changed the order first thing in the morning.
After Myles was on his way to gettting that together (where he just had to config the machines with the appropriate hardware and make cables and setup the networks) then I started working on the ISDN lines. Quite a few people showed up Thurs nite. A s
ign of things to come, looking back. As we started wondering how we were gonna setup the outside network and get the links to the ISP running, we got donated the use of 2 Cisco 2501's to try to use. Well, we started there, and Myles donated a VT102 to u
se to test with. First job was to get the TA's to connect. Just getting them CONFIGURED was a nightmare. The TA's wouldn't connect, or wouldn't take the SPIDs, or just something weird on every TA we used (5 TA's were tried overall). Dinner got ski
pped, naturally, but after Chris made a run down to McDonalds for 2 20-pc boxes of chicken McNugget (it took a while, cuz they don't usually have that many on-hand!) we were feeling much better!
We left at 2am when we shut down for the night, without any luck. The guard that nite was cool, and left me with hope for their security force - as we were closing it up, he came over to the network table and wondered if we had a freq. scanner--his wife
likes to listen in while he's at work, but he didn't know the freq. that Monte Carlo used (the M/C had only been open about a month, so he was new to their system).
9607.26 - Friday
I arrived at 9am--our friendly guard told us that "they" (the radio phreaks) had found the freq. and had some fun during the nite, so he was able to get the freq from them. I thought that was kinda kewl. Well, I kept working on ISDN as the network crew
that started forming Thurs nite slowly got in & stuff. Again, a lot of people started showing up on this first day. The MCS guys (me, xist, et al) finally put in a call to Sprint to verify the SPID info they gave us right before lunch. We then went ahe
ad and went to lunch @ Mickey-D's. Later we got a call back from Sprint and they figured out that they gave us the information backwards! The SPIDS listed for jack 154 were really for jack 155, and vice versa. Great. This was about 2pm. Well, that in
formation helped greatly. Now the problem for the rest of the nite was just trying to get a TA to connect. The courier wouldn't accept the SPIDs still. The BitSurfr would just drop carrier. The Addtran seemed to connect, but then what? Well, as 9p
m came around, Myles and I kicked people off quake/net so we could secure the flag.net systems and get ready for the games to begin. The CtF goons were already setup and actually had already hacked into white.flag.net--but didn't realize that it was just
a terminal server and didn't count :). At 10pm we gathered everyone around and officially started CtF. Then about 11pm we let the Network Ninja's (at DT's request) jump in and see what they could do. It was in this same time-frame that a section of th
e lecture-room was cordoned off and became StripperCon. I'm sure the story of that entire situation will be explained in other text. We pretty much gave up on the idea that the cisco's would do PAP connections, so we got Crusad3r's GW2K system, he alrea
dy had linux installed & running, and started setting that up to do pppd/PAP and routing for the network. I had to take off (previous engagement) just before midnight and Hacker Jeopardy started. I stashed my BitSurfr in my spare parts box ("safely hidd
en"?) and took off--letting the Ninja's do thier work.
9607.27 - Saturday
Arrived (first one, again - is this a sign that I should sleep in later?) and started seeing what was going on with the network. I powered up the Capture the Flag network (it was still all working and no one had gotten into anything yet--Good job, Myles!
). Then I checked out the ISDN network. Powering up the router system, it sure didn't look like the Ninja's had much more luck than we did - tho they DID get the Courier I-Modem TA configured and to accept the SPIDs. The rest of MCS filtered in and we
kept working on the TA's. We put in a lot of calls with the ISP between Friday and Saturday, trying to figure out should we use V.120, BONDING, or CLEAR...Will it give us a TTY login or not...etc. After some work, we finally found a command in the BitSu
rfr that put it in "Internet Mode" - which is what made it finally CONNECT! But we couldn't figure out how to get PAP going. We ended up giving up on BitSurfr at some point and going back to the I-Modem, and found it's equivilent "Internet Mode" AT-stri
ng. We had to take a lunch break to clear our minds (and satisfy some fairly basic needs, too). After lunch we verified that we WERE indeed getting PAP login requests, but it was NOT timing out and dropping to a TTY login, as the LVDI tech said it would
. Well, altho this tech ran FreeBSD at home over ISDN and was going the exact same thing we were attempting, but couldn't (?) give us the proper pppd command-line parameters/files/etc to get pppd to authenticate us. Finally we just pulled back and start
ed adding options one at a time, finally getting to where we'd get the login auth'd, and soon after the p/w and establishing the connection properly. We confirmed connection & authentication at 2pm. We spent the next 45 mins or so getting routing proper
ly configured to route from eth0 to ppp0. So the network finally became live and direct approximately 2:50pm. DT made the official announcement a few minutes later. We watched and monitored things for a while and all was good. About 4pm we decided to
pull out the BitSurfr and get the other line up in BONDING mode, so we could have another line @ 128k (the I-Modem only does single-channel/64K). Well, low and behold the BitSurfr was missing. We looked all over the conf. rooms for it, but no one had se
en it, no one had it. It had been hidden in a box in a corner, but apparently during the mischief of Fri nite, someone went thru there and thiefed it. The general MCS concensus (since we ran the ISDN network) was to pull the plug on the network til the
TA was returned. Bootleg was speaking in the other room, but DT made the announcement in there when he was done. We were highly pissed off--they didn't even take the power supply, and this one item, in a box full of video cards, 2.5GB HDDs, 28.8's, and
other misc. parts. The TA by itself (without P/S) was useless, except maybe to pawn/sell off for $$. Well, DT made arrangments with me to take care of replacing the TA--since it was actually something I brought from work. That helped calm us down, but
still pissed us off, cuz we were left with only one 64K line due to lack of another TA. But in the long run, we did okay with the single B-Channel. I told some of the guys at the hub across from us that I'd probably bring the net back up at 6pm, since w
e were sure we wouldn't see the TA again. I think it was my alter ego (Mr. Locke :) that came over and asked if the net was up yet--I looked at him, reached over and plugged their RJ45 cable back into our hub, and said "Why yes, it is." At any rate, I t
ook off about 8:15 for about an hour, and got back around 10pm. Everything was going well. At least until 12:45am. Then MCI went down. The traceroute went from us to LVDI (the ISP), then to MCI/Denver. Denver was down for about 10 minutes totally, th
en came back up in a limited fashion--some routes out of Denver were fine, some were still down. It remained that way til we shut down at 2am.
Later that evening we made our attempts at Sidewinder. We strobed it and
checked it out, they only had like 4 ports open (telnet, ftp, www, and
finger?). FTP was locked down tight. They were running Cern HTTPD 3.0,
and it seemed well patched--no exploitable bugs. Same with Telnet & Finger. But it didn't appear to actually be firewalling anything. It was just sitting there on the net. Usually we'd wanna get AROUND a firewall to get to the machine(s) in question--not necessarily INTO the firewall its
elf (depending on your plan of attack, of course). Regardless, we found a straight-on attack pointless. But we were not daunted. Something had to happen. So we slowly gathered the information covertly to piece together a duplicate of their tty login s
creen. We pieced together a quick program on a laptop to display this and ask for a login. I was half-way done with a full-on program to go ahead & capture the login/password, then deny the login and just loop around again, but it was 1:45am, so we only
had 15 mins left (plus half the crew was half-drunk so they were eager to do SOMETHING NOW). So I modified the program to just display the issue & login prompt. Crusdad3r snuck around the backside of the sidewinder, behind the column, on the floor. Xi
st and Psylon (I think, I was tied up with MCI problems) went over and stood around talking to the Sidewinder guy, just as a distraction, while Crusad3r secretly switched the monitor from the sidewinder box to the laptop. The S/W guy would look back ever
y so often and check the screen--it appeared normal, and then went back to talking to Xist & Psylon. Things were great for Crusad3r until the laptop's APM mode kicked in and blanked the screen. DOAH! The guy looked back, saw the blank screen, and start
ed checking keyboard, then connections, and then finally saw Crudad3r on the floor with the laptop. We were caught, but for a while we'd had access to their console. Wild applause and cheers went up for us when we got caught, tho! We shut down at 2am;
There was a big party getting going on Zack's room, but I declined - was too tired to party-hardy. But DT and company were heading downstairs for drinks and invited me along--who could refuse a couple of drinks. Winn, Stratt, Demon9, Bootleg, and everyo
ne was down in the Houdini Lounge. Bootleg was hard-core trying to hook DT up with this prostitute he picked up, but after Stripper.Con, and the fact that this chick strongly resembled Wesley Snipes in drag (ref. "To Wong Foo..."), I can understand DT po
litely declining. :) Long about 3am we're all sittin' there bs'ing, and we catch the page off the K-Mart-class intercom/paging system: Paging Mr. Spoofer...Mr. IP Spoofer. The whole bar heard it and burst out laughing and cheering. Soon after we heard
another fake-page, for Mr. Bob Bobarino (ref. "Welcome Back Kotter" I believe it was determined?). Reports were made also of pages for Mr. Kevin Mitnick and others. DT and I both left at 4am; sleep was pretty essential.
9607.29 - Sunday
Well, I actually slept in a few more minutes today and WASN'T the first person there. I showed about 9:15am. We had left the ISDN connection up over night (stress test?) and I was glad to see the connection still alive and active. Also equally happy to
see that MCI was keeping it's connection strong (at least for now). MCS rolled in later in the morning and we started grabbing some utils and putting on the router. Nuff said. We messed around with that for a long while. MCI started having problems a
gain (same problem as late Sat nite). That went on for a couple hours. We were watching some guy with CUSeeMe peaking out the line a couple of times. We sat there and watched things for the rest of the night, doing our own things. Before one of the la
st speakers, DT got up and explained the BitSurfr problem. He and DA got a box up there and asked for everyone to just donate a buck so he could replace it for me--which was highly kewl of him to do, especially when I never implied or asked him to do it.
Probably one of the truly kewl sights that I won't forget for a long time will be the sight of everyone bum-rushing the stage to throw in a buck. It spoke volumes about the type of people at the con (well, except for the dishonorable bastards who were
theif'ing shit in the first place). With as diverse a crowd we had (from age, to culture, to profession--in nearly all ways) it was really a good thing to see *everyone* do this. THAT was something I wish the media could have seen. Well, moving right a
long....Security prompted came in at 5:30 and started to make sure we knew we were outta there at 6pm. Lovely people. We packed everything up and met a bypass. We had 8 boxes to ship back to Texas--but Airborne doesn't do Sunday pick-ups, and the Busin
ess Center was closed (not to mention--where do we return the rented monitors). Security said he had to check them at the Bell Desk overnight. Also noticed that we only had two outta the three rental monitors. DT said he thought he knew who had it (peo
ple were grabbing equipment just to get it outta there and didn't realize it was ours/the rental)--We got it back without any problems. So I went to the Bell Desk - they said they wouldn't/couldn't take 'em, but to talk to the mail/information desk. Tha
t lady said that we needed to check them at the Bell Desk cuz she didn't have any space for that much stuff. I went back to the Bell Desk (starting to panic). This time I talked to a youthful looking lady (unlike the stuffy older gentleman earlier). I
explained the situation to her (I was getting good at this) and she went around to corner to ask someone about it, came back and said she'd check it, just bring it down. She asked a porter to come up & help us, but his response was "Well...I have 10 minu
tes; I don't have time." THAT pissed me off. So I went back up the conf. room. We had the systems loaded up in the ugly storage carts. Security was not going to let us use those 'out in public' (gawd forbid we ruin their image!). I told the security
suit (as opposed to the uniformed rent-a-cops) that the bell desk said they didn't have time. He looked irritated, but just simply refused to help us. All he wanted to do was hold his mighty 2-way radio up to his face, like he was gonna talk, but then j
ust hold it there and no respond to us or do anything. Not a very personable fellow at all. But I digress. So, since they refused to help us, the only plan left, with 4 or 5 of us standing around, was to hand carry the boxes and monitors down to the Be
ll Desk. We "staged" the work - first move 'em out to the elevators, then from there down & over to the Bell Desk. Well, getting back to the Bell Desk, the old stuffy guy was there again (you know the guy who's about 20lbs overweight, shows, it, has tha
t small pair of glasses that hangs off the end of his nose). Well, he wanted to be a dick. He refused to accept the boxes. "That's what? about $20,000 worth of equipment, I can't be responsible for that." We argued, I pointed out I had NO way to get t
hem off site and all I needed was to place them somewhere overnight til the Business Center could arrange pickup. Prett simple, but this guy was of no use. Finally he called over one of the hotel managers. He wasn't much better at first, but after he r
ealized what I was up against (or something), he said he could get me a room in the hotel for $59 to store 'em in--I cornered him and made him admit that their security at the Bell Desk sucks and anyone can walk in anytime and grab something and walk out
("especially with all these people walking around with computer equipment"). Well, that seemed to be a good solution (and relatively cheap). In the meantime, Xist's g/f suggested maybe I could store the stuff in their room, since they were there in the
hotel. Xist was supposed to be right back, so I told Austin, the front-desk clerk who was gonna hook me up with the room, to hold on for a few minutes (he was kewl with that). We hung out, but he never showed, so I just got the room--no biggie. From th
ere, me and the rest of the MCS crew went out & had a helluva good night, starting out with my treat at the Hungry Hunter, and then mass quantities of Corona back at the Hilton hotel room while hacking til about 4am. Then we decided it was too late and I
took everyone back to their respective hotels.
9607.29 - Monday
Woke up. Got down to the Monte Carlo, hooked up with Ronnie from the Business Center, and she was great (as always). I asked her if she'd had much trouble with the computer convention, and she said not a bit--in fact we'd been really good in her opinion
. Anyway, we go the boxes outta my room and down there and she took care of shipping them out. I then went back home, packed up, and got to the airport. My former roommate, Mark, let me crash at his place over the weekend; he was going oiut to Flordia
for the weekend. So me and his brother went down to the airport to see me off, and Mark was getting back as I was going out, so we all hooked up along with Jeremy (another of our friends) and Mark's g/f, had lunch, and then flew home. The bad part of fl
ying home was the long leg from LAS to DFW. Little skinny me was literally smashed against the window, as the two people sitting next to me were at least 300lbs each. The lady next to me was literally half way over into my seat. Ugh. But I survived (m
aybe a little thinner after that, tho). The con was a huge success, I think. I tend to think the best DefCon yet, and maybe the best con this year (so far) from what I've heard.
Til next year....
(soon AKA "Rolodex"? Nawwww)