Infobox computer underground
group_name = L0pht Heavy Industries

caption = LHI Logo
origin = Boston, Massachusetts
country = United States
status = inactive
years_active = 1992–2000
category = hacker think tank
founders = Count Zero
White Knight
Brian Oblivion
Golgo 13
products = L0phtCrack
affiliates = CULT OF THE DEAD COW
website = [http://www.lopht.com/ Main Site]

L0pht Heavy Industries (pronounced "loft") was a famous hacker collective active between 1992 and 2000 and physically located in the Boston, Massachusetts area.


The second character in its name was originally a slashed zero, a symbol used by old teletypewriters and some character mode operating systems to mean zero. Its modern online name, including its domain name, is therefore "l0pht" (with a zero), not "lopht" (with an O), or "lØpht" (with a Nordic "Ø"), the latter of which would not have been a valid domain name at the time of its founding. The original idea for the name was simply "Lopht", but another member of the Boston hacker scene, Majikthys, suggested a 0 replace the o, and the idea was swiftly adopted.Fact|date=April 2008

The origin of the name may be traced to the fact that some of the founding members of L0pht shared a common loft apartment in Boston, from where they experimented with their personal computers and equipment purchased from Flea at MIT, and items obtrained from dumpster diving local places of interest.Fact|date=April 2008


L0pht was founded in 1992 in the Boston area as a location for its members to store their computer hardware and work on various projects.cite web|url=http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/cyberspace/jan-june98/l0pht_hackers.html|title=Online NewsHour: L0pht on Hackers|date=1998-05-08] In time, the members of L0pht quit their day jobs to start a business venture named L0pht Heavy Industries, a hacker think tank. The business released several security advisories and produced widely-used software tools such as like L0phtCrack, a password cracker for Windows NT.cite web|url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L0phtCrack|title=Wikipedia: L0phtCrack] On May 19, 1998, all seven members of L0pht (Brian Oblivion, Kingpin, Mudge, Space Rogue, Stefan Von Neumann, John Tan, Weld Pond) famously testified before the Congress of the United States that they could shut down the entire Internet in 30 minutes.cite web
title=Weak Computer Security in the Government: Is the Public at Risk?

In January 2000, L0pht Heavy Industries merged with the startup @stake, completing the L0pht's slow transition from an underground organization into a "whitehat" computer security company.cite web|url=http://www.infoworld.com/articles/ic/xml/00/01/07/000107icstake.html|title=Odd coupling links hackers with security firm|date=2000-01-07] Symantec announced its acquisition of @stake on September 16, 2004, and completed the transaction on October 8 of that year.cite web|url=http://www.symantec.com/press/2004/n041008.html|title=Symantec Completes @stake Acquisition|date=2004-10-08]

On March 14, 2008, several members of L0pht sat at a panel at a standing-room-only group of InfoSec professionals at SOURCE:Boston. Present were Weld Pond, John Tan, Mudge, Space Rogue, Silicosis and Dildog. cite web
title=SOURCE:Boston L0pht Panel on the SOURCE:Boston blog


As L0pht occupied a physical space, it had real expenses such as electricity, phone, Internet access, and rent. Early in the L0pht's history these costs were evenly divided between L0pht members.Fact|date=April 2008 In fact, L0pht originally shared a space with a hat-making business run by the spouses of Brian Oblivion and Count Zero, and the rental cost was divided between these.Fact|date=April 2008 This was soon subsidized by profits made from selling old hardware at the monthly MIT electronic flea market during the summer.Fact|date=April 2008

Occasionally, shell accounts were offered for low cost on the L0pht.com server to select individuals; while these individuals had access to the L0pht.com server they were not members of L0pht. One of the first physical products sold for profit by L0pht was a POCSAG decoder kit, which was sold in both kit and assembled form. Subsequently, the Whacked Mac Archives was transferred to CD-ROM for sale, soon followed by CD copies of the Black Crawling System Archives. The command line version of L0phtCrack, the password cracker for Windows NT, was given away free, but the GUI version was sold as a commercial product. This was followed by the creation of the Hacker News Network website to host advertisements. However, even with these sources of income, L0pht barely broke even, and eventually began doing custom security coding for companies like NFR. [ [http://www.infosecnews.org/hypermail/9903/1502.html NFR and L0pht to Deliver Improved IDS] . InfoSecNews.org.] cite journal
title=L0pht in Transition


L0pht membership varied but included at various times
* Brian Oblivion,
* Count Zero,
* Dildog,
* Golgo 13,
* John Tan,
* Kingpin,
* Mudge,
* Silicosis,
* Space Rogue, (Luke Van Der Linden)
* Stefan Von Neuman
* Weld Pond, and
* White Knight cite web|url=http://www.lopht.com|title=L0pht Heavy Industries Home Page|accessdate=2008-04-20]


External links

* [http://www.kingpinempire.com Kingpin Empire]
* [http://www.spacerogue.net Space Rogue's Blog]
* [http://www.lopht.com Current L0pht homepage]
* [http://csoonline.com/read/040107/fea_lopht.html "L0pht in Transition"] in CSO Magazine April 2007
* [http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/cyberspace/jan-june98/l0pht_hackers.html "L0pht on Hackers"] from PBS.com
* [http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/cyberspace/jan-june98/hackers_5-8.html "HACKING AROUND"] May 8, 1998 Transcript of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer - with photos of Stefan and Weld
* [http://hsgac.senate.gov/l0pht.htm U.S. Senate Press Release: Hearings Announced on Computer Security Failures in Government]
* [http://www.senate.gov/~govt-aff/l0pht.htm Alternate link to U.S. Senate Press Release]

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