A group first “officially” founded in April ’97, ironically on RSD-Day*. Founded by -=The Firestarter=- and Brakis, and originally consisted of 4 members whose soul purpose was to enjoy life in rural areas of South West Scotland while harmlessly exploding all manner of small home made “firework modifications”.
While pyrotechnics proved something that would get us a bit of a reputation, our other fondness was hacking into fone networks or when someone picked up the other line, harassing international people to elevate boredom when you’re in the middle of nowhere.
The SWATeam grew at quite a rate while in our infancy, the first lame duck release of SWAT Magazine came in September ’97, but was so shit we pulled it and released again officially it in Jan ’98 and released an issue every month until November 2001. Just short for FOUR years. We won’t lie, the grammar and spelling where totally atrocious – notepad.exe was our text editor and it didn’t come with a spell checker.
During this time period we became very efficient in cracking into most phone networks and many NT and *nix systems, although our skills far from ended there.
Once we’d established to around 7 or 8 full time members most of us joined up to Darkcyde Communications to aid in our phreaking and hacking abilities. We met some very interesting people here and learned some very interesting things. Other interesting individuals where mealy people we socialised with on occasion via various means. Fantastic times!
The Learning Curve
Before we knew it, we’d all grown up from lame arsed newbies into a somewhat half decent team with an excellent amount of resources and co-ordination followed by a rock solid following of several thousand dedicated ‘zine readers as well as being affiliated and respected by dozens of other small time h/p/a groups dotted mostly around the UK, but with several others in the US and Europe (not to mention a handful in Australia)
Our online exploits have included a massive coordinated DDoS attack utilising hundreds of people and every PC they had access too – this is in the days before all of your lame assed BOT nets stated. We used this man power to cripple a fraudulent casino server (cyberthrill dot com) that owed us advertising money, shortly after we spearheaded the initial cyber assault other hackers and coders took the time to utilise more sophisticated techniques to finally bring them to a halt – shout out to munga bunga for that (and his awesome HDD killer batch script that we deployed against many a paedo).
It was the sheer mass organisation of hundreds of people to pull off that DoS attack is what made it unique and worthwhile. Later on it our history we developed an application to automatically hijack IIS 4.0 web servers and carry out the same style of attack, arr the old sk00l way was far more satisfying.
What was once a small group of friends, had rapidly grown into a small army of 15-20 members dotted all over the world and people from every corner of the globe shared in our fun little exploits via our mag, things are fairly well documented, like the time we got busted beige boxing ha ha.
We inspired a generation of the underground, and are proud to have been described as “one of the most influential hacking (underground) groups in the UK for the last decade”.
These days SWAT’s Original founders – Firestarter & Brakis still conduct behind the scenes activities, all the other remaining members we had over the years and there affiliates have moved on and scattered to the wind. As a result of such, we’re having to track them down and claw them back into our ranks for our future world domination. Thank god we where always good at tracing people.
The ‘zine that stormed the scene
Released as you know it from ’98 – ’01 – from a lame little project originally done as a bit of fun, it grew into a massive monthly electronic publication that was read in all corners of the globe, every month without fail we released the stories of our exploits, our latest pyrotechnic inventions as well as guides to hacking into something or other.
0-day exploits to rip off mobile fones and numerous services that where out there, we covered the lot and thousands of readers each month loved us for it.
SWAT mag grew to be so popular that many small mag’s spun off from it, usually started by awe inspired groupies with the drive to add something to the scene. These people helped us to grow things into a bustling community, new groups formed, new magazines came out, the rest of the scene had places where they could release there latest creations of text file work as well as be ensured to have something entertaining to read each month.
SWAT wasn’t just made so great by us alone, despite all of the work we put into it all, it truly was the readers and those who submitted us there work and time that made things a success.
SWAT Magazine was, and always will be a unique cultural snapshot of the scene at the time. If you wish to skool yourself then go and download the magazine.
One humorous moment in SWAT’s history that we will always remember, was the time at DNS CON 2000 when we picked up Armageddon of AS-Mag and threw him in the sea.
SWAT’s E-Zine Affiliations:
Shoutz out to all of the now defunct zines & groups that supported us over the years:
- Underground Periodical
- Krash Mag
- Cocyusuk – irc.cocytus.org #cocytusuk (sadly now defunct – get in touch dudes!)
- Anti-Social Magazine – even tho we loved to hate them (Famous Pic series of Geddon getting 0wned by SWAT)
- F41TH magazine – Hybrid – we know u only started it coz u where jealous of SWAT’s domination of the scene!
- I’ll Insert another here when we get time
Do not under-estimate the magazines that came out under us (what we describe as “groupie-zines”), they all contained articles that we where envious of, if we set a standard, they most certainly excelled it.