The Archangel F.A.Q.
By Baron Harkonen and others
This FAQ is no longer accurate. Archangel is retired and no longer lives in Las Vegas. He also no longer hosts a radio show. He still works with computers, so if you have a question it's easiest to email him. This webpage is kept simply for archival purposes.
Who is Archangel?
Archangel prefers privacy. It is very difficult to be an effective hacker under such scrutiny, and with the level of notoriety that Archangel has attained. Some say that Archangel is a Congressman, others will swear that Archangel is a female. You can speak with 30 different people who think they know, and get 30 different theories. Most hackers agree that we all have a right to privacy, just the same, lamers will always claim they know who Archangel is anyway.
What happened to Archangel?
A quick search through Google will show that Archangel was challenged to various hacking contests. When Archangel broke into these servers, he was accused of breaking the law.
What is the name of Archangel's book?
The original title was "CIA Hacker". After two publisher changes, the book's future is presently in the hands of a yet another publisher, who hopefully will publish later this year. In the mean-time, Archangel has released 3 of his manuscripts for sale, as some people seem to be intensely interested for some reason..
How many Archangels are there?
The origional core group of Archangels consisted of seven members. When the group temporarily disbanded due to the lawsuit, some of us spread out, and are yet to be contacted. At one point the membership numbered over two hundred and fifty. Members now, at this point, include Archangel, The Baron, BladeRunner, The Wiz, Two of Hearts, Sandwich, Guitar Man, Spike, Two-Two, Lou Cypher, Spanky, Mystique, Asuzu 5, Freedom, and Joshie.
Did Archangel REALLY work for the CIA?
Archangel was recruited into the Central Intelligence Agency during the 1980's. Originally assigned to the Greenbriar Hotel, was moved to Forsythe and worked as a "TV Repairman". Those positions were temporary, and Archangel eventually settled into traditional hacker work. The vast majority of Archangel's work is now declassified, and is freely discussed by Archangel.
How can Archangel say he brought down the Berlin wall?
First it should be made clear that Archangel has never made any claims about himself at all, other than to confirm individual facts that a fellow hacker may have found through independent research.
That having been said, Archangel was assigned to one of several teams of computer professionals who's job was to communicate with counterparts behind the "Iron Curtain". One of Archangel's tasks was to help coordinate East German border crossings with the Western press, so that the breaches could be caught on video, and used to encourage more breaches.
This "Voice of America via Computer" was very successful, and the program played a very direct role in the felling of the Berlin wall.
How long has Archangel been hacking?
Archangel has been hacking since the seventies. Archangel wrote his first programs with punch cards. If you have a question about old computing...
Is it true that Archangel sells hacking lessons?
There was a time when Archangel thought that it would be a good idea to sell hacking lessons. The experience was so bad that he has not only changed his mind, but actively campaigns against the practice. Archangel now feels that the selling of lessons is a breach of hacker ethics.
Is Archangel a spammer?
Archangel was one of the first people to develop spamming software, which was a lot of fun when he was practically the only person on the internet doing it. At that time, spamming (Send People Alotta Mail) was as much a form of hacking as any other way of manipulating the internet. It was a lot of fun to basically be the only person to send his opinions across the entire web. "Microsoft is Evil", "AOL sucks", "Archangel Roolz", etc.
Like all good things, it came to an end as others developed spamming software of thier own, for sales purposes. Now Archangel equates SPAM with any other annoying form of advertising, which is what it is now.
What did Archangel do to America Online?
The Devil's Night festifities of 1997 were designed to protest AOL's callous attitude toward not only the entire internet, and the concept of free speech, but toward AOL's own customers. The Devil's Night festivities were an attempt to bring AOL down for a couple of hours.
Katie Courig reported, incorrectly, that Archangel was a disguntled AOL employee. Steve Case claimed that AOL members need not be concerned because the service had "taken care of the Archangel problem."
What really happened: The AOL system went down or slowed in most metropolitan areas, but because the system is so large and complex, was virtually unaffected in rural areas. AOL's only action was to forbid "Archangel" as a screen name, a pointless and useless action designed to placate the helpless sheep that AOL referrs to as it's customers.
I found Archangel's name in my Windows Install! (Win.ini) What's up?
We have no idea what that's all about. "Archangel", "George", and other names that come up due to the Windows install would appear, on the surface, to belong to prominent hackers. It could some sort of tribute, or it could be a coincidence. It's possible that someone at Microsoft is a hacker, or ex-hacker, and used the names. We have made several phone calls, but are unable at this time to find the origin of the names.
What is the Archangel Trojan Horse?
There are several Trojan Horses written by Archangel. The most well known of these, (in fact - it's the most well known Trojan - period.) is the "Archangel Roolz" Trojan Horse.
This trojan, like most of the Archangel trojans, is designed to be used as a warning. It prints the words "Archangel Roolz" to the screen on random mouse clicks. A button appears on the menu bar which offers to uninstall the program by inputting a password. It does no damage to the computer. Another well known Trojan designed by Archangel is the Archangel warning Trojan, which will start up multiple programs on windows systems, play music, and display Archangel's logo along with nasty messages. Another one is TANGEL, named for the tiny Archangel graphic from this website. The little angel is displayed in the lower right hand corner of the computer screen and is difficult to remove without fairly advanced knowledge of computers.
Are we supposed to hack into the Archangel site?
Archangel will occasionally set up a box with a direct dial-in, as a challenge to hackers, but THIS site is NOT an invitation to hack. Hacking this site will not mean that you have hacked Archangel, anyway. It would only mean that you have hacked the hosting service for this site.
Why was Archangel given a newsgroup?
The response to Archangel's presence in the hacker newsgroups was so overwhelming, so over powering, that Archangel posts flooded the newsgroups to the point that no other subjects were even noticable. Archangel related topics outnumbered all other topics in the newsgroups, including spam topics, combined!
Now the new newsgroup, alt.2600.archangel, is one of the most popular hacker newsgroups, and other hacker newsgroups are back to normal.
Is it true that Archangel invented the Ping of Death?
Not really. Saying that Archangel invented the Ping of Death is a bit like saying that Archangel was the very first spammer. Archangel was using a technique which he called the "Death Ping" in the very beginning, but it is almost certain that others may have been using the same or similar technique. By the time the technique became known as "The Ping of Death", it's roots were lost, as was the origin of the technique.
What is the Old School?
"Old School" is a name given to any/all of the original hackers. Archangel is "Old School", as are many of the more prominent hackers.
What CAN you tell me about Archangel?
Not much. Archangel works as a computer security consultant, is a moderate politically, enjoys AD+D, and has a dog named Zuni.
How many languages can one person speak anyway?
Archangel speaks German, English, Arabic, Spanish, and Japanese.
Why doesn't Archangel write like other 'leet hackers?
There is a certain segment of the hacking community that uses abbreviations, juxtapositions, and various misuse of alphanumerics. This was popular among the hackers for a while, and there is even some evidence that Archangel used to do this as well, although the hacker steadfastly denies it. (witness: Archangel Roolz)
Eventually, this practice was seen, and rightfully so, by the hacker community as simple wannabe sloppiness, and Archangel is no exception. Old School hackers had a lot of success in 1997 stamping this practice from the newsgroups, and now is primarily only found on AOL.
How does Archangel deal with all the stalkers and groupies?
Archangel gets a great deal of email (about 300 emails) every day from "S+G's" (as Archangel puts it). All correspondence is read by Archangel, and every attempt is made to answer any pertinent email. As with anyone who is as recognized as Archangel is, dealing with the S+G's, and the huge amount of resulting email can be difficult at best.
Why do Archangel and other hackers all vacation in Saudi Arabia?
While it is true that Archangel has gone to Saudi Arabia in the past, it is impossible to address the vacation habits of other hackers. People can vacation wherever they please.
But Sadena Meti and Mahatna Rahm were in Saudi precisely when Archangel was!
We were as surprised as you were.
Can't I just read a header or Google and tell who Archangel is?
It would be nice if life were that simple. In the past, certain people, have made claims to have "exposed Archangel" after finding old posts, or reading the header of a post. The simple fact is that, of the ISPs used by Archangel, only one is even in the same state where Archangel lives.
Archangel used to have a habit of using client accounts to send email and post to newsgroups. While this might, through research, reveal who some of Archangel's clients once were, it does nothing to reveal Archangel's identity. Add to that, the fact that some of these accounts were in use by as many as thirty people, well, you get the idea. There is just no way of telling who is actually sitting behind a computer when a message is posted. If you are REALLY that interested in knowing who Archangel is, COME TO LAS VEGAS AND MEET HIM! He's a nice guy, and he'll probably let you stay at his house!
Why is it so important to know who Archangel is?
Who knows?! It would be nice if there was a simple answer to that question. All other hackers enjoy a cloak of anonymity. Archangel must constantly cover the "electronic trail", and is always under intense and hostile scrutiny. It seems that everyone in town needs to know who Archangel is. It is not really possible to say why. There are tons of people who think they know who Archangel is, and they all reinforce each other on USENET. Every year during DEFCON, Archangel puts up about ten hackers at his house in Vegas. If you REALLY want to know who he is, we suggest you meet him.
Where can I find the "Sea Shells from Heaven" series?
Much of that series can be found on Google. Archangel had no idea how popular his Sea Shell series would be, and there was no attempt to archive them.
How could Archangel hack Compuserve before it existed?
Archangel hacked Compuserve in 1977. It was in existence for years by then. Certain members of the anti-Archangel crowd are not beyond lying about the facts in thier attempts to discredit the Archangel. One of the most recent was an attempt to convince people that Compuserve was not founded until the 1980's, making Archangel appear to be lying about 1977.
Is Archangel the best hacker in the world?
The best hacker in the world is one that knows how to keep his butt out of jail. Publicly hacking a server, even in a contest, is a dangerous thing to do. Archangel broke one of his own rules when he allowed himself to be goaded into such a trap, and paid a price for it. It's an error he won't make again, and wise hackers will not repeat his mistake.
Was Archangel REALLY an international fugative?
Yep. Archangel was wanted by the FBI, INTERPOL, and a host of law enforcement agencies from several countries. That has all been cleared up now, and the bogus charges have been dropped. They still monitor his activities though.
What did Archangel do to the Art Bell Show?
Nothing. Archangel appeared on the Art Bell show twice, and jealous FAA's (Flaming Anti-Archangels) have seeded rumors that Archangel Hacked Art Bell or his show in some way. There is no truth to it.
How did Archangel stop all the Amtrack Trains?
This is another factual event that has been twisted by rumor. Archangel did not hack Amtrack. As reported on the Coast-to-Coast Show, Archangel came across information, through a Saudi contact, that a group of hackers from the Middle East had planned to use the Y2K bug as cover for hacker activity. Archangel reported the information to the FBI, and to Amtrack Security. Archangel's data was investigated, and found to be accurate. As a result Amtrack decided to stop all train activity for one hour while the rollover bug occurred, in order to protect the safety and lives of the passengers.
What's the deal with the radio show?
The Radio Show is called THE K0LLEDGE 0F KRIMINAL KN0WLEDGE, and is hosted by Archangel. It is in it's third season. It's a bit like having David Letterman or Howard Stern hosting CNET CENTRAL. There's pranks, naked chicks, and computer talk.
What is THE NEW PROJECT?
It is a large computer program that Archangel is writing. Unfortunately we cannot give you any details at this time.
Where do I find answers to my other questions?
The easiest way to contact Archangel directly is to throw up a post in alt.2600.archangel. Please do your homework before posting up a waste of time.