RE: Hacking Hoax (fwd)

Joe Barrera (
Tue, 26 May 1998 13:03:48 -0700

The Washington Post ran another good article on Stephen Glass (the author of
Hack Heaven). He wrote several well-known articles -- I remember reading the
one about the bond traders and the hand-held urinals...


Whatever Glass's personal problems, it is instructive to examine how he got
away with what he did. In the first place, it is always an advantage to
quote nonexistent people since they, like the dead, are not likely to
protest. Aside from that, though -- young people take note -- it helps to
write about computers and such things, since most editors over 35 are not
going to know enough to question anything.

In this respect, Glass is like Nicholas Leeson, 28, who lost more than $1
billion for Britain's oldest investment bank, Barings, back in 1995 by
trading in futures and options linked to Japanese stock prices. His elders
apparently understood little of what he was doing with his computer, and the
bank, as a result, is no more.


But it is not only in computers that Glass was able to snooker his editors.
He apparently brought them a world they little understood but were sure
existed: For instance, right-wing wackos who believe "Bill Clinton is really
a woman -- the lesbian lover of the first lady." Another story alleged that
3,000 novelty items dealing with Monica Lewinsky were either on sale or
being proposed, and that when it came to memorabilia, these items "will sell
more than five times the merchandise that the Gulf War did and 15 times

A story about Alan Greenspan told us about the Wall Street firm of RBL,
where the bond traders are so busy a barber visits them at their desk, "a
college intern . . . writes a weekly cultural summary so that traders can
fake it at parties," and the harried workers don't even get to go to the
bathroom. A "hand-held urinal normally used by cops on stakeouts" is used. I
confess I read that in disbelief but concluded it had to be true. Otherwise,
the New Republic wouldn't have printed it.

Is any of this true? Who knows? [...]

- Joe

Joseph S. Barrera III
The opinions expressed in this message are my own personal views and do not
reflect the official views of Microsoft Corporation.

-----Original Message-----
From: Tom Whore []
Sent: Tuesday, May 26, 1998 11:20 AM
To: Vox Expatriots
Subject: Hacking Hoax (fwd)

New Republic magazine ran an article on high-powered
hackers... that
turned out to be entirely fictional. Read all about it