alias of hans heubner, one of the few accused of hacking Berkeley University in association with the KGB in the mid/late-eighties. Cliff Stoll referred to pengo and the others (Markus Hess(who was the original suspect, along with pengo), Karl Koch, Dirk Brezinski, and Peter Carl)

a few urls to get some more information/useless ramblings:

clifford stoll also spoke of this and more at esc '99, get the audio here:

or you can read the article in
and even more, you can read the cuckoo's egg by Clifford Stoll, isbn 0-671-72688-9, i paid 25 cents for my copy but of course i got it at a yard sale, sez it's 6 bucks american, 7 canadian.=)

Pengo was an arcade game produced by Sega in 1982. The name (presumably) comes from the fact that your guy is a penguin. The basic setup is the following:

The Rules:

There is a playfield filled with blocks of ice in the pattern of a maze. There are also three things called Diamond blocks which are placed at varying locations around the maze. The way you interact with the game is you walk around and kick things while squashing (and not getting stung by) the monsters called Sno-Bees.
  • If you kick a block of ice and its path is unobstructed in the direction you kick it it will slide until it hits something, picking up and squashing any monsters along the way.
  • If its path is obstructed by an adjacent wall, ice block, diamond block, the kicked block will shatter and that part of the playfield becomes clear.
  • If you kick one of the side walls it will shake the wall and stun any of the Sno-Bees that happen to be near that wall for a moment. When they are stunned you can walk over them to kill them, or crush them with ice.
It takes a small but significant amount of time to kick, so if you are being chased by monsters too closely you may not have time.

The level ends when you have killed all the Sno-Bees. Although each level only starts out with a few of them on the board (three in the early levels, four in the later ones) there are certain blocks of ice that host Sno-Bee eggs and when a Sno-Bee is killed another will hatch until the supply of eggs has been depleted. If you break a block containing an egg you have essentially killed that Sno-Bee before it has hatched. The more Sno-Bees there are on the board at a time the more aggressive they are. Occasionally when there is only one left it will run away and the level will end. At the beginning of the level, and after each new Sno-Bee hatches the remaining egg-containing blocks will flash for a moment so you can memorize which ones they are. This is an important thing to keep track of.

The Sno-Bees can melt ice blocks that obstruct their path but they cannot move them. They can't break the diamond blocks, and they can't break blocks that contain their eggs.


There are varying numbers of points awarded for various feats, as listed here:
  • Breaking an ice block is worth 30 points.
  • Running over a stunned Sno-Bee is worth 100 points.
  • Squashing one Sno-Bee is worth 400 points.
  • Breaking a Sno-Bee egg is worth 500 points.
  • Squashing two Sno-Bee is worth 1600 points.
  • Squashing three Sno-Bee is worth 3200 points.
  • Squashing four Sno-Bee is worth 6400 points.
  • Lining up the diamond blocks against a wall is worth 5000 points.
  • Lining up the diamond blocks without the assistance of a wall is worth 10000 points.
There are also bonus points awarded for finishing a board quickly. Those go as follows:
  • Finishing in 0-19 seconds is worth 5000 points.
  • Finishing in 20-29 seconds is worth 2000 points.
  • Finishing in 30-39 seconds is worth 1000 points.
  • Finishing in 40-49 seconds is worth 500 points.
  • Finishing in 50-59 seconds is worth 10 points.


For the most part the most important thing is to get a good handle on how the game plays. Whenever there is an opportunity for a bonus (like an easy double squash, or a simple way to line the blocks up), go for it. When it's a stretch and you're likely to get stung, don't bother, and just kill all the Sno-Bees as efficiently as possible to get the speed bonus. Since the levels are randomly rotated, it's not worth scrounging for points on a difficult board and possibly loosing a life when an easier board may be just around the corner.

There are, however, some tricks of the trade:

  • When there are two Sno-Bees chasing you if you lead them to a wall and kick it you can then slide a block along the wall that squashes them both while they're stunned, and BINGO you've got 1600 points.
  • Also if they are bearing down on you quickly you can often corner tightly and loose them.
  • In general if you avoid wide open spaces they will have a much harder time getting you cornered.
  • When you put together the diamond blocks after awarding the bonus points all the Sno-Bees in circulation are stunned. You can use this to your advantage by waiting a split second if it looks like two or more of them are going to end up in the same row or column so you can double (or more) squish them while they're out.

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