Why Trust Techopedia

What Does Phrack Mean?

Phrack is an electronic newsletter which originally dealt with phone phreak and hacker information. Distributed worldwide, the magazine is geared toward the computer hacking community. Phrack has been considered by many as the handbook for the hacking community. Phrack has commonly been a target for law enforcement agencies as the articles published often contain material which could aid in fraudulent activities.


Techopedia Explains Phrack

Phrack is considered by many in the hacking community as the best and the longest running hacker magazine. Although it sometimes publishes sensitive material, the magazine editors are cautious not to publish anything illegal. Phrack follows a format in which anyone can contribute an article and an editor decides what to include in each issue of the ezine. Phrack has a wide distribution network which, apart from hackers, also includes computer security professionals.

Topics commonly covered in the magazine include:

  • Hacking
  • Cracking
  • Cryptography
  • Computer security
  • Physical security
  • Radio broadcasting
  • Coding
  • Spying

Phrack was first published on November 17, 1985 and issued on Metal Shop BBS. The editors often use the pseudonyms while distributing the Phrack magazine. The magazine has often generated high-quality articles such as “Hacker Manifesto” by The Mentor and “Smashing the Stack for Fun and Profit” by Aleph One. After the original ten-year run, the magazine began to be published by different groups. Although it was announced that issue #63 in 2005 would be its last, more editions were published in subsequent years.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.