Tuesday, April 28, 2009

In the Hacker's mind

"Why do hackers hack?", asked Ajay, and it sent me into a detour ...

"Looking in a hacker's mind, you have to be open to the social aspects behind the way they think. Often portrayed as loners, hackers can be socially involved and fit into what is considered 'normal' everyday lives.There appears to be a commonality of 'power' for hackers. The solving of 'puzzles' and the 'see what I can do' attitude is most apparent. By talking to 'wannabees' and individuals who have hacked, the 'power' of finding exploits and 'showing' the 'bigger' entity how they are not secure is the most outstanding trait we will find in these people.

There doesn't appear to be a criminological theory or 'true' understanding 'why' they hack. The motivation of hackers will always be a mystery. Hackers usually use social engineering to gain most of theirknowledge. Social Engineering is the act of getting someone to tell you about sensitive information through trust. This unadulterated trust becomes a weakness for most." This what I read on the net ....

I was in the IT circuit once upon a time ... A hacker in those days was different from now. S/he was a person who hacked for an ideology - it was defiance, it was a sheer enjoyment of knowledge and skills and seeing how far it goes, it was a lot of unadulterated mischief, a lot of times curiosity ... but no matter what the reason, one thing was common - a hacker was king (or queen), a whiz, a magician. It was also like being a 'underground' movement, a counterculture, an alternative to mainstream ... it was not mindlessly destructive.

But today the hacker is an Outcast, a Criminal.

I am not sure what moves this generation. Definitely, it has to do with power and control. Other than the obvious reasons of greed and money (when it is a crime), it sometimes could imply a wanting to have the power to "move" something. I do find that the current generation's ethics are very different from mine. There seems to be a more 'so what?!' and the boundaries between right and wrong seem to be very fuzzy and more easily permeable.