Pumpcon

10/31/92

written by someone who was there

who wishes to remain anonymous

NOTICE: The word “Hacker” is used frequently throughout this file – it is to be interperated as “a computer literate person”, and NOT as “someone who engages in illegal activities using a computer”.

Friday, October 30, Pumpcon began, at the Courtyard of the Marriott, in Greenburgh, NY. All in all, about 30 hackers showed up, and had a great time. At least until the evening of Oct. 31st, when 8-10 members of the Greenburgh police force showed up and raided the Con. At the time of the raid, there were between 20 and 25 hackers in the hotel. 3 of the 4 rooms rented by Con attendees were raided. All the occupants of these rooms were taken to a conference room, and then another hotel room (255) where they were held approximately 6-8 hours for questioning.

The police all came in unmarked police cars, and parked on all 4 sides of the hotel. No one noticed they were there, until they were standing in the hall where all 4 rooms were located. The officers stood in the hall outside the doors, but did not enter the rooms right away. They waited about five minutes, for some unknown reason, which was just enough time for them to be noticed by the hackers in at least one of the rooms. Unfortunately, there was no way the hackers in one room could warn the other rooms – the fone lines were busy, and the cops in the hall kinda left the “walk down and tell ’em in person” option out.

The police produced copies of a search warrant to search rooms 246, 233, and 237. Room 246 was the one where everyone was hanging out; it was pretty much THE room. It was where the computers were located, and where most of the Con attendees were 99% of the time. The other two rooms were rented by attendees of the con, and were simply used for sleeping quarters.

Before too long, the police entered the rooms, and began rounding up poeple. My recollection of this time period is a bit faint, and I don’t remember all the minute details. All I know is that we all ended up in a conference room, and then room 255.

A few hackers who had been out driving around during the time of the bust returned a few hours later, and when they were seen by police, they were immediately taken to 255 and questioned. (They were walking down the hall, when a cop appeared, and told them to step into a room) The cops asked them if they were hackers, and when they didn’t answer, one police officer reached into the coat pocket of one of the people, and produced an auto dialer. This in itself was enough to send the three to room 255, where the rest of the hackers were being held for questioning. My question to you – isn’t that just a bit illegal? Bodily search without probable cause OR a warrant? Ooops – I’m forgetting – we’re HACKERS! We’re ALL BAD! We’re ALWAYS breaking the law. We don’t have RIGHTS!

Room 255 was packed. No one was allowed to smoke, and everyone was nervous as hell. One by one people were called to be interviewed, with some interviews lasting 5 minutes, others lasting 30 or 45 minutes. Some people were sleeping, others were conversing, and still others were shaking, and looked like they were about to puke at any second. Even though the situation was quite serious, a few joked around, saying things like “So guys, I guess PumpCon ’93 won’t be held here, eh?”.

No one knew who was going to be arrested, or when they would be released. The 2 cops in the room with them were actually pretty cool, and answered any questions they could to the best of their knowledge. They weren’t the guys in charge of the investigation; they were simply there to make sure we didn’t leave. Of course, as friendly as they seemed, they were still cops…

All the people who were detained were held until between 5:45 and 6:30am. Four hackers were arrested, 1 because 2 of the rooms were registered in his name, a second because he signed for the rooms, and the others for previous crimes, apparently. No one knows as of yet. As of this message, no news on what will become of those arrested is known. They have not yet been arraigned. The other hackers were all searched, questioned, and then released pending further investigation. Those under the age of 18 had their parents notified.

To my knowledge, there were no federal investigators there at the time of the bust. However, people kept mentioning the FBI and the Secret Service, and it is very possible that they will be called in to investigate. Actually, it’s more than just possible, it’s almost guaranteed. The police said that although most of those detained were released, there will most likely be more arrests in the near future, as more is learned about the alleged illegal doings.

3 computers (2 Amigas, and 1 AT&T dumb term) were confiscated, along with anything which looked like it could have been involved in phone fraud. For some odd reason, although Auto Dialers were listed on the search warrant, not all of them were confiscated. I acutally don’t know if ANY were, I do know that not ALL were. 😉

In one of the rooms, there were about 2 dozen computer magazines which were apparently confiscated, although the warrant did not specify that magazines could be taken. But, when you’re busting HACKERS, I suppose you can take what you want. After all, hackers are evil geniuses, and don’t have the same rights as NORMAL criminals do.

As of yet, the actual charges against the hackers are not known. The raid apparently stemmed because the hackers were ALLEGEDLY using stolen calling card numbers and/or access codes to obtain free phone calls. One of these card numbers or codes was rummored to have tripped a flag at AT&T, which alerted security personel that something was possibly wrong.

This assumption about the calling card fraud is made because the police confiscated any calling card found during their searches, and some of the questions they asked the detained centered entirely around calling card theft and use. A few other questions asked me were “Do you know what computer systems were accessed?”, “Do you refer to each other with handles?”, “Who was primarily responsible for this meeting?”, and “Where did you hear about this meeting?”

My interview lasted only about 10 minutes, and it started at about 5:50am. Everyone was dead tired, and the cops wanted to get everything over with as fast as possible so they could get some sleep. After the interviews were over, everyone left, to wait and see what the next few days will bring. I am releasing this file now, to prevent any rumors from starting, and to try to make the outside world aware of what happened during PumpCon. I have left out any specific incidences and references to specific people as a precaution, since the investigation is only beginning. We were hoping to write a file of all the attendees of PumpCon, to share with the world the names of those who were there. However, as you can obviously see, that would be highly stupid. For anyone who WAS there who is reading this, rest assured that the running list of names which was kept made a very tasteless dinner for the one who had it in his pocket.

Oh, BTW, one of the cops who was apparently in charge made a comment to me… he said “You can post a message on the boards telling your friends to stay out of Greenburgh”. Well boys, you heard him – PumpCon ’93 will be held in Greenburgh, at the Courtyard Marriott….

*————–*

The following is a word for word copy of the search warrant issued to each person who was detained and questioned. No spelling errors were corrected, but I probably made a few when I typed this in. Oh well.

TOWN of GREENBURGH POLICE DEPARTMENT

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NEW YORK

ORDER OF SEARCH AND SEIZURE

—–

( signed here by Det. Hugh F. Gallagher #103)

———————————————-

JUSTICE COURT, TOWN OF GREENBURGH

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NEW YORK

ORDER

—–

IN THE MATTER OF Room 233, 237, & 246 Westchester Marriott Courtyard

THE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER OF SEARCH AND SEIZURE OF: (Specify)

Computers Disketts Computer

Printers

Computer Terminals Auto Dialers Disketts

Calling Card Computer Systems & Wire

Computer Printouts Disk Drives

Modems Hand Written Notes About Credit Co.

” ” ” ” Computer Service.

_____________________________

IN THE NAME OF THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK

TO: ANY POLICE OFFICER OF THE TOWN OF GREENBURGH POLICE DEPARTMENT

PROOF by affidavit having been made before me this day by

Det.H.Gallagher #103

____________(Affiant) of the Town of Greenburgh Police Department that certain property, which is (stolen/unlawfully possessed, used to commit an offense…) and which constitutes evidence and tends to demonstrate that an offense has been committed and that a particular person participated in the commission of an offense will be found at the location captioned above.

YOU ARE THEREFORE COMMANDED,

** (Between the hours of 6:AM – 9:00 PM / AT ANY TIME OF DAY OR NIGHT)

** ** (WITHOUT GIVING NOTICE OF YOUR AUTHORITY AND PURPOSE)**

TO MAKE A SEARCH of the above described (location/person)** for the following property: (describe fully)

Room # 233, 237, & 246 of the West. Marriott Courtyard

and all its occupants as listed on this attached affidavit.

>><< Suspects name was written here >><< AND if any such property is found, you are hereby directed to seize the same and without unnecessary delay, return it to the court, together with this warrant and a written inventory of such property subscribed and sworn by you. THIS COURT DIRECTS THAT this SEARCH WARRANT and ORDER issued this 1 day ETC ETC ETC ETC ETC ETC … see the PUMPBUST File online…

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