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Home » Hacking News » "Learning to hack" school in Paris

"Learning to hack" school in Paris

by kobbra on December 4th, 2001 "Learning to hack" school in Paris called Zi Hackademy is France's newly-opened school for computer hackers.


In an unremarkable alleyway in the 11th arrondissement of Paris, a strange, graffiti-sprayed building hides what could be a world first. This is Zi Hackademy.
Inside, in a cramped classroom, rows of would-be cyber pirates learn the not-so-ancient art of computer hacking.





Among them are businessmen, a grandmother - even a policeman. Those willing to speak say they've come to learn how to protect themselves and their websites from other hackers - their motives are those of self-defence.
There is three memberships, a beginners class - a "newbie", intermediates are called "wild" and the highest level is known as "intrusion".
All of the students have paid 450 francs for a course of nine lessons.





At the front of the class, a fresh-faced teenager with a shock of dyed crimson hair gives detailed instructions on how to hack into a company's computer system.
His "name" is Clad Strife - which, for the uninitiated, is a character from a Playstation game. None of the teachers go by their real names.
"Clad Strife" say they teach only ethical hacking skills
"Fozzy" is another one. They've all worked on the French hackers' magazine Hackerz Voice, which teaches you, amongst other things, how to invent false credit card details and fiddle your mobile phone bills.
Nevertheless, "Clad" is adamant that he teaches only ethical hacking skills.





The Paris police say they're watching the school with interest, but have not yet made any moves to close it down.
"I teach them ethical values," Clad Strife told me. "It's not my responsibility if they use my information to do something illegal at home.
"Hacking is not fundamentally illegal. After all, when you're driving a car, you can knock someone over and kill them, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be allowed to have driving lessons, does it?"


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