2600: The Hacker Quarterly

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2600: The Hacker Quarterly
2600 Spring 2012.gif
Spring 2012 issue of 2600
Editor Emmanuel Goldstein (Eric Gordon Corley)
Categories Computers, technology
Frequency Quarterly
Publisher 2600 Enterprises Inc.
Total circulation
Year founded 1984
Country United States
Based in Middle Island, New York
Language English
Website www.2600.com
ISSN 0749-3851

2600: The Hacker Quarterly is an American publication that specializes in publishing technical information on a variety of subjects including hacking, telephone switching systems, Internet protocols and services, as well as general news concerning the computer "underground".


The magazine's name comes from the phreaker discovery in the 1960s that the transmission of a 2600 hertz tone (which could be produced perfectly with a plastic toy whistle given away free with Cap'n Crunch cereal—discovered by friends of John Draper) over a long-distance trunk connection gained access to "operator mode" and allowed the user to explore aspects of the telephone system that were not otherwise accessible. The magazine was given its name by David Ruderman, who co-founded the magazine with his college friend, Eric Corley.[1] It was first published in 1984, coinciding with the book of the same name and the break-up of AT&T. Ruderman ended his direct involvement with the magazine three years later.

Publication history[edit]

The 2600 van, a modified New York Telephone vehicle.

The magazine was launched in 1984.[2][3] It is published and edited by its co-founder Emmanuel Goldstein (a pen name of Eric Corley and allusion to George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four) and his company 2600 Enterprises, Inc.[4] 2600 is released on the first Friday of the month following a season change, January, April, July and October.

Goldstein has published a compilation of articles from the magazine entitled The Best of 2600: A Hacker Odyssey. The book, an 888-page hardcover, has been available from July 28, 2008 in the US and August 8, 2008 in the UK and is published by Wiley.[5]

"Hacker" term[edit]

In the usage of 2600 and affiliates, the often loaded term "hacking" refers to grey hat hacking, which is generally understood to be any sort of technological utilization or manipulation of technology which goes above and beyond the capabilities inherent to the design of a given application. This usage attempts to maintain neutrality, as opposed to the politically charged and often contentious terms white hat hacking, which is designated as "hacking" motivated exclusively by good intentions (e.g. enhancing the performance of a device or exposing the vulnerabilities of a security system for the benefit of the system administrator), or black hat hacking, which is designated as "hacking" motivated exclusively by bad or selfish intentions or for monetary gain (e.g. stealing useful information (credit card information, source code, etc.) and selling it or trading it or exacting revenge through technological sabotage, technological invasion, physical invasion, social engineering, or other methods).

Associated conference[edit]

2600 established the H.O.P.E. (Hackers on Planet Earth) conferences as well as monthly meetings in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia, Scotland, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States. The meetings generally take place on the first Friday of the month at 5 p.m. local time, with various exceptions. 2600 meetings provide a forum to teach, learn, and discuss events in technology-land. Meetings are open to anyone regardless of age or level of expertise.

In other media[edit]

2600 Films has made a feature-length documentary about famed hacker Kevin Mitnick, the Free Kevin movement and the hacker world, entitled Freedom Downtime, and is currently working on one titled Speakers' World.

Corley is also host of Off The Wall and Off the Hook, two New York talk radio shows. Both shows can be downloaded or streamed via the 2600 site, and are also broadcast on various radio stations:

In the 1995 movie Hackers, Matthew Lillard plays a hacker by the name Emmanuel Goldstein / aka 'Cereal Killer'.

Court cases[edit]

2600 has been involved in many court cases related to technology and freedom of speech alongside the Electronic Frontier Foundation, perhaps most significantly Universal v. Reimerdes involving the distribution of DVD copy protection tool DeCSS, where courts upheld the constitutionality of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act anti-circumvention provisions.


  1. ^ interview with David Ruderman
  2. ^ Bruce Sterling (1993). The Hacker Crackdown. Bantam Books. ISBN 0-553-56370-X. 
  3. ^ Jack Bratich. "2600: The Hacker Quarterly". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved December 17, 2015. 
  4. ^ "NYS Corporation". Appext20. March 19, 1984. Retrieved June 7, 2014. 
  5. ^ Goldstein, E (July 28, 2008). The Best of 2600: A Hacker Odyssey: Wiley. ISBN 0-470-29419-1


External links[edit]