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2 years, 8 months ago
The name of command 414s sounds so as if it is some fashionable rock group of the 80th. But heroes of this history became famous not for music, and computer crackings at all. By means of normal home computers they hacked about ten computer systems of serious organizations, such as Los-Alamossky National laboratory to New Mexico, the Oncological center Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York, as well as school of the city of Milwaukee. Young hackers had so a good time and only satisfied the unreasonable inquisitiveness.

The command 414s consisted of group of teenage supporters. But the public only six young men, age from 16 to 22 years opened. The group on a twist of fate gathered — their meeting and a close acquaintance was promoted by research club of boy scouts which was sponsored by the known company IBM. The main objective of this organization was to teach kids to use computers. And pupils exceeded any expectations. So exceeded that since 1983 got under close attention of FBI and became famous for the whole world.

Young hackers 414s

Young hackers were natives of the picturesque town of Milwaukee located in the north of the USA. The name for group was thought up when children walked in the local park. On summer little tables engravings with numbers 1-9, 2-7 were placed, they reminded codes of areas. It seemed to teenagers amusing and they decided to call the group in the same vein — 4-1-4 s (in honor of a code of the area Milwaukee, State of Wisconsin).

Young hackers 414s

Milwaukee, State of Wisconsin

Teenagers from 414s were perceived as harmless jokers, almost characters from the appeared movie WarGames. They used inexpensive personal computers and simple methods of cracking. For example, easily guessed the passwords set by default thoughtlessly left by users without changes. Young men were original in the trick and did not cause damage to society. It is rather even on the contrary, the cracking brought benefit, having indicated experts weak places in system. Also these malefactors with the purpose to do real harm could crack it. At that time the computer sphere was poorly regulated from the law.

Young hackers 414s

poster to the movie WarGames

On assurances of young hackers, they only "looked round around" and played on foreign systems. They were not going to do any harm at all. In computer crackings teenagers did not see anything bad. Children just communicated about the next interesting system, together studying the principles of work. As a rule, on computers there were Digital Equipment Corporation VMS operating systems.

Young hackers 414s

In an effect most of participants of command 414s was not pursued by the authorities. From them only took the promise once and for all to stop illegal actions, and also to promote in cybersafety improvement. Yes in fact there was also no law under which they could be made responsible. The precepts of law regulating telecommunications seemed the most suitable. Participants found themselves guilty of "excessive concern phone calls". For similar offenses at most 6 months of restriction of will and $500 of a penalty were supposed.

So children from "six" got off with two years of a trial period and received $500 of a penalty. But listenings on cybercrimes drew attention of the Government to a problem of hacker attacks. As a result of illumination of history in news, the congressman Dan Glikmen called the authorities for full investigation and further adoption of the relevant precepts of law which would regulate similar questions. One of the main participants, Neil Patrick, testified on September 26, 1983 before the House of Representatives of the USA and spoke about dangers of actions of hackers. And at once six bills of the concerning computer crimes were submitted for consideration in chamber the same year.

And the administrator Chen Chui found electronic cracking of command 414s. It left the message for malefactors then contacted FBI.

Young hackers 414s

press conference with group 414s

Mass media extremely became interested in group 414s and its main participants. But Timothy Winslow and Neil Patrick became unambiguous "favourites".

Got the first computer experience of Timothy Winslow in the mid-seventies. Brought the computer to school and showed to pupils as it works. On it it was possible to make simple operations, to solve mathematical testings.

Young hackers 414s

Timothy Winslow

Within the next several years he made friends with group of supporters — the same teenagers, mad about computers. As they participated in club of boy scouts, could practice computer business much.

And only in 1982 Winslow had the personal computer — Heathkit H-89. It was placed in garage of one of members of team 414s. Teenagers connected the modem and began to use this computer for an output on other electronic systems. It was interesting to it to learn about how other computers, operating systems work in more detail. Children stopped only after cracked about ten computers of different organizations. One they them were the American laboratory researching the nuclear weapon.

Young hackers 414s

the Heathkit H-89 computer from which illegal "excursions" on foreign systems were made

As one of participants of group Timothy Winslow remembers:

I definitely do not remember at what moment my hobby for computers went not to that party — straight to problems with the federal government. But definitely I will never forget ill-fated morning 1983 when several FBI agents seemed on a threshold of my house. I went to bed late enough, near the 4 or 5 morning, just sat up on the Internet. But did not manage to sleep … Alarmed mother woke me with words that in a hall there are several men who are represented federal agents. And they want to talk to me seriously …

Further I remember how I sat before the terrible judge with the lawyer. The judge took an interest why he should not put me behind bars. What I sincerely answered that I met love of all the life not so long ago and that we will have the first child. And I very much would like to see its birth. Generally, to lead happy and full-fledged family life. In a word, I regretted deeds and asked to give me the second chance.


The judge agreed to the transaction, but with the clause — not to use the Internet during passing of a trial period. Well and to pay monetary compensation to the state. Only 2 years conditionally and $500 of a penalty — not so serious punishment for hacker attacks of the large companies and organizations.

Young hackers 414s

Neil Patrick, student of the higher school Rufus King

The young hacker Neil Patrick who was apprehended as the representative of group became this star. Mass media especially became interested in his person, calling the young man attractive, young, motivated and very vigorous young man. His face decorated a Newsweek log cover on September 5, 1983.

Young hackers 414s

Hackers consider that they set the soil for improvement of cybersafety and directly promoted increase of the security level. They helped to create many federal laws regulating information technology sphere.

History quickly found popularity, glorifying its participants for the whole world. The famous director Michael Wallman shot the short documentary about command of hackers 414s.

According to Michael Volmen:

The 80th were more favorable for hacker attacks. The century of the Internet only began to develop and corporations gradually used computers as a communication medium between people. A set of computers were connected on one Telnet network. And many of these operators in the companies did not even think that somebody will try to get into their systems. Programmers often left passwords by default or very much entered simple combinations of digits for access to computers. It was not difficult to children to pick up passwords because they did not differ in a special variety and originality.


Young hackers 414s

process of creation of the movie

In an effect participants remained to work in the computer sphere and continued to develop, improve the professional skills. Timothy Winslow works as the network safety engineer also now, constantly potters with computers. He is still married to that girl thanks to whom to it made indulgence.



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