How Hackers Break In... and How They Are Caught; October 1998; Scientific American Magazine; by Meinel; 8 Page(s)
Sitting at his home computer one night, Abednego logs on to the Internet Relay Chat, the cyberspace equivalent of CB radio. After connecting to a channel devoted to the powerful Unix operating system, he watches as the on-line habitu¿s meet to make contacts, build alliances and exchange knowledge. The scene is reminiscent of the cantina in Star Wars.
Eager to interject himself into the conversation--and to impress others--Abednego waits for someone to ask a simple- minded question so that he can incite a "flame war," in which the participants begin hurling venomous insults at one another. Just then, someone with the handle "Dogberry" asks about writing a device driver for a home weather station. Abednego seizes his chance. "RTFM" is his response. It stands for "read the f----g manual."