Timothy Winslow

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Timothy D. Winslow was born in Milwaukee and has lived there all his life. Raised in a family with 5 children, 4 brothers and 1 sister. It was in Junior High School that Winslow had his first taste of computers and was hooked. During high school is when he started meeting up with other kids who liked computers and several joined up with an Explorer Scout group hosted by IBM. All either had computers or would spend hours or days on end at friend’s homes communicating with others via a modem.

With connecting like this, they learned of other systems to connect to. This lead to finding out about a system of computers that were connected to a pool of modems that connected into business systems around North America. The 414s would then log onto these business systems to look around and maybe play some games, not trying to be harmful. The reason it was so easy to get into these systems is that they all were built with the same user-id and password as others of their type and that information was printed in the manual, usually on the first page.

In 1983 it was these escapades that finally got them in trouble. Several were visited by the FBI. They all were honest about what they were doing and very cooperative. At the time there were no laws for computer crimes, so they had to think about what to do with the kids.

Sometime around 2012-2013 a filmmaker named Michael Vollmann found out about the 414’s story by listening to the radio. Working with another filmmaker Chris James Thompson, they then developed a short documentary called “The 414s: The Original Teenage Hackers”. This was then shown at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and eventually bought by CNN for a new online documentary site.

Winslow still loves and works with computers as a network engineer that actually works partially in security, so on the other side of the hacking business - trying to keep them out. Some of the projects include finding some of the world’s largest primes, helping climate prediction, looking for space anomalies like black holes and gravitational waves, plus drug and cancer research.

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