Recap of “The Gentleman’s Agreement” Talk at ShmooCon

Be honest; would you let your best friend hack your computer on a regular basis? If you’re Zachary Fasel or Matthew Jakubowski (aka ‘Jaku’), the answer is yes.

Hosts of the ShmooCon talk “The Gentleman’s Agreement” (or as they renamed it, “The Agreement”), Fasel and Jaku hack each other’s computers for a good cause: the goal of keeping themselves—and their computers—as safe as possible.

While this might seem slightly ironic, it’s not all that different from PenTesting; the main difference is that Fasel and Jaku have agreed to hack each other’s computers on a consistent basis.

While Fasel and Jaku readily admitted that alcohol might have been involved in their initial decision to make what they now refer to as “The Agreement,” at a Chicago 2600 meeting, their “Agreement” has since taken on a life of its own.

According to Fasel and Jaku, their “Agreement” is basically “[a] set of Rules and ‘Guidelines’ for attacking thy friends, family, and co-workers.”

Since their initial “Agreement” with one another, nearly 30 other members have joined “The Agreement,” in the hope of staying more secure and having a little fun. Fasel pointed out many times throughout his  and Jaku’s talk that, more than anything, the “Agreement” is about having fun and maintaining friendships. He said that anything done within the scope of the “Agreement” should never be something that would cause a friendship to end, nor should it ever be something malicious.

And from seeing Fasel and Jaku, it was quite obvious that they handle their “Agreement” by mainting a positive outlook. They even went so far as to surprise the audience—and each other—with some last minute hacks that they performed on each other during the last few months.

Fasel took control of Jaku’s iPhone, while Jaku took over Fasel’s router and obtained all his passwords (including the one to his server). There is no way to describe how hilarious it was to watch them play off of one another. It almost makes one wonder if friendship can truly exist outside the hacker sphere.

But while Jaku and Fasel take their “Agreement” all in good fun, audience members were quick to point out that there was no way that Jaku and Fasel could force other “Agreement” participants to do the same. Jaku and Fasel conceded, saying that they don’t want to personally create a nationwide “Agreement” group, since they don’t want to be held legally responsible for members who might not play by the “Agreement” rules. (Smart move).

As of now, Fasel and Jaku are allowing a few members into the “Agreement” if those prospective members are serious about having a good time and maintaining a friendly “you hack me, I’ll hack you” relationship. You can visit to learn more. You can also follow Fasel and Jaku on Twitter at @zfasel and @Jaku.


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2 comments for “Recap of “The Gentleman’s Agreement” Talk at ShmooCon

  1. February 10, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Hahaha looks like it would’ve been a great presentation.

    Just a quick note, the link to doesn’t have a http:// in front of it so it doesn’t work properly.


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