Its been a few months, I’ve gotten a lot of game play in both on my consoles and on my PC. Also, my computer didn’t explode when the ball dropped on New Years Eve like they promised it would. Very thankful for that. I’ve been looking to learn something more…
I had recently discovered AOL Instant Messenger thanks to a friend of mine at school who also had a computer. Naturally, I installed it as a way to talk with him outside of school. It was amazing. Instantly sending messages back and forth with funny faces. Instant Emailing is what I called it when my parents asked me about it. Ended up finding out quite a few of my friends had computers and AIM shortly there after. I added them all.
I was in a chatroom one day that I discovered purely by accident. There was a room called “Hacking and Viruses.” Three or four people in the room talking about things like worms and trojans. I had no idea what any of this was… So I introduced myself, thinking it would be a good idea. Luckily, they were very nice and welcomed me into the conversation and started explaining things. This was an entire side of computing I’d never heard of!
They had their own private “invite only” website called AllIt.tk. A small forum where you could share source code in all sorts of languages. From Batch File to qBasic, PHP and HTML. A few languages I’d never heard of as well like C and C++. The owner and admin of the site was in the chat room. Gave me his invite link, which would auto accept anyone who used it. Naturally, I registered since my interest was peaked. I was remembering the virus I got a few months ago from Limewire.
Once I was onto the site, I was hooked! I was learning so much. I seemed to mainly latch onto Batch File at the time. It was easy to write, easy to run and there was so much you could do with it. I was learning from some of the best and I actually became fairly well known on the website. No one knew who I truly was. No one knew I was just this 11 year old crazy curious kid. That is until the admin of the website added me on AIM. We got to talking, and he wanted me to be honest. From what I’d been posting on the site, he was guessing I was around 16 to 18 years old. I told him the truth that I was 11 and he couldn’t believe it! He was 26 at the time, but amazed at how easily I was able to just soak up knowledge on programming. It was like I’d look at it for two days and understand it all. He really wanted to test me…
He introduced me to something called SQLi, or aka SQL Injection. It is an exploit anyone can learn very easily to crack into websites and hijack them. You can steal data, or even just straight wipe out the website and its contents to put up your own pages if you’re really good at it.
One day, I was talking to him. I only knew him by his username… which was just that, Him1337 (actually logged into my old AOL Email to get the real name in 2018!). We sat for an hour. He gave me a few web links. Some stuff about myPHPAdmin, PHP and a tutorial link on AllIt with a website he knew was possible to exploit.
Of course, I set off to work. What could go wrong? This would be crazy fun to learn. In about an hour, I had not only cracked the website wide open, but had downloaded all its contents and deleted the web pages on the site from existence! It was so exhilarating! I wanted to do more!
At the top of his tutorial was a Prerequisite called “Google Dorking.” Basically, you used certain commands on a google search to find exploitable web pages. It was so simple! I couldn’t believe it. I did 3 more websites that day that I remember. As well as I know I did several more, posting screen shots of my trophies and achievements on AllIt.tk
An amazing community. The first true forum where I felt like I belonged… but one day that all changed. I typed allit.tk into my browser and nothing came up. I logged onto AIM, Him1337 was offline for the first time ever. What happened?!?
Well, I waited a little bit that day, played some games, he never came on. About 3 weeks later, he signed on for a brief moment. Told me AllIt was gone for good for legal reasons. He would be in touch soon, but was going to be offline for a long time.
That’s when I realized how dangerous my knowledge was. I went back to gaming and didn’t look back for quite some time.