I am the international hacker

I read with some interest Richard Adams's colourful piece profiling "The Hacker" (4 September). As someone who has made a living from the aforementioned trade for the past nine years, I would like to correct the following:

Having been "exposed" on the front page of the Sun six years ago as "Hacker phones Queen", after I compiled a documentary for Channel 4's Stuart Cosgrove (Without Walls hacking special), I was filmed at the one (and only) hacking conference I went to in Lillesad, Denmark, with Emmanual Goldstien, on the podium and subsequently at the bar.

Adams implies that the children's club at London's Trocadero, known as 2600 Club, is where all teenage hackers meet every month. Goldstien, the editor of 2600, has never appeared there.

The greatest new threat to the internet is the "brown box", according to CNN.com. Coded by, I quote, "international hackers", it allows users to silently monitor other people's computers through a remote BO-Peep plugin, and to view files on someone else's computer via his or her e-mail address.

I know - I coded it! And I have never attended a 2600 meeting in an amusement arcade in London.

Adams implies that "not many [hackers] smoke or drink alcohol. When I was in Lillesad, I rarely left the bar - nor, from what I remember of it, did Goldstien. It was apparent that those of us who were genuine hackers (who coded the utilities, scanners, blue boxes and so on) were drunk most of the time, and the busy "children" were swapping the software and information that we had given them or told them. Times don't change.

It may come as a shock to Adams, but as "international hacker" (as CNN put it) I am a professional, educated person who reads the Telegraph and the Guardian daily, and subscribes to the New Statesman, Private Eye and Spectator.

As for sad teenagers sitting alone in their bedrooms, I went through that stage eight years ago when I ran Skid Row, an Amiga Games cracking group, as D-Man/Skid Row. Now, in my opinion, the best chat room is my local pub.

When I release my next utility (BO2Kv2001), I will send Adams a copy with a personal "profile" of myself. Perhaps then he would cease writing such bovine pieces on matters he clearly knows little about.

Darrol Skinner
Hastings, East Sussex