Stephen Coty, chief security evangelist at Alert Logic, recalls his own youthful exploits in the late ’80s: Creating a boot sector virus that would cause an infected computer to put his name up on screen, for instance, or gaining access to mainframes and trading screenshots with friends to prove he’d done it, or war dialing to see if there were open modems he could break into.

At the time, these acts weren’t meant to be malicious. He says they were about exploration of what computers and networks could do, and what you came away with were trophies, so to speak. Many of the security breaches we’ve discussed here have that innocent quality about them.
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