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It is worth remembering that, although we do not cause damage to the systems we hack, what we do is still illegal. Our main aim is to satisfy our desire to hack and this co-exists with our aim of helping the system administrator secure his system against possible future attacks by the sort cyber-vandals who have managed to give hackers a bad name, by crashing systems, violating people's privacy and generally causing trouble. The closest we come to this sort of thing is when the machine we hack is a web server, in which case, we will often leave our "calling card" - a small image of an ace of spades - at the bottom of the page, linked to a hidden page with information about AoHP. One of our primary aims is to dispel the myth perpetuated by the media that all hackers are bad. Our name comes from an interview given by John Austen, then the Detective Inspector in charge of Scotland Yard's Computer Crime Unit, who expressed fears that "Gullible young hackers could be taken advantage of by agents of a hostile power." One of our aims is to influence gullible young hackers who might otherwise fall into the trap of hacking into some serious site using some script they've downloaded from the Net that exploits some bug that allows them root access, boasting about it online or to their friends and getting busted by the FBI and touted as a major threat to national security.

We feel that we define ethical hacking and we would like to think that a system administrator, when asked "If you were going to be hacked - didn't have a choice in the matter - who would you prefer to be hacked by?", would reply "The Agents of a Hostile Power."

More and more, we are seeing hackers being captured and claiming that they did not intend to cause harm to the systems they had hacked and that they were only doing it for the challenge and so on. To these people, we would say this: If this is true, then adopt our policies of not altering the system by installing backdoors and of only using true hacking techniques - ie. avoiding password sniffers. Most importantly, alert the system administrator to the fact that his systems security is flawed, and let him know what steps he needs to take to fix this. Only then can you claim that your intentions were honourable or ethical as opposed to malicious.

We know that what we do is illegal and, if any of us were to be captured, we would accept this fact, admit that we knew what we were doing was wrong, and face the music. For us, hacking is an intellectual challenge, not something to boast about to our peers (particularly as none of us are teenagers).Hacking isn't about impressing our friends. We don't want fame. We're ethical hackers and although it may sound corny, we have our honour and our code.

That's all we need.

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