Hack in the day

Brad Swanson

Brad Swanson

Speaker Bio

Brad Swanson (@d1g1t4l_t3mpl4r) is an information security professional, specializing in social engineering and wetware hacking. He got his first computer in January of 1985, and began taking software apart to ‘see how it works’ in February of 1985. In the late 80’s he developed a ‘recreational interest’ in the phone systems. Now that he’s old he likes to collect ‘vintage’ computer and telecom equipment (junk, as his wife calls it). He is most recently coming off a speaking engagement for the State Bar of Wisconsin. He hopes to be a red teamer when he grows up.


This talk will be about hacking/phreaking in the late 80’s, early 90’s, and what the scene was like back then as compared to present times. Tips and tricks that were considered cutting edge back then, and some tricks that still work today. The general attitude around hacking, and hacking ‘groups’ has matured and evolved over the years, and this talk will give a snapshot into some of the origins of how we got to where we are at today. This will be a talk that touches not only on technical aspects, but also on social aspects of historical hacking.