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The Mind of a Hacker A broad look at the motivation of hackers and the hacking community By Tyler Herrington and Marlo Hume.

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Presentation on theme: "The Mind of a Hacker A broad look at the motivation of hackers and the hacking community By Tyler Herrington and Marlo Hume."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Mind of a Hacker A broad look at the motivation of hackers and the hacking community By Tyler Herrington and Marlo Hume

2 Agenda  What is a hacker  What motivates a hacker  The hacking community  Who belongs?  The “rules” of the game (aka Hacker Ethic)  Conclusions

3 What is a hacker? Many ways to describe hackers: 1.Creates and modifies. -computer software and computer hardware 2.Exploits systems and gains unauthorized access. -through clever tactics and detailed knowledge. 3.Computer enthusiast/person who enjoys learning programming languages. 4.Someone who breaks into computers. 5.Can make a computer do what they want 6.Anyone who ‘breaks open’ code and manipulates it in a clever or original -Not necessarily illegal.

4 Types of Hackers- white hat “White Hat”- hired by large corporations, or governments “White Hat”- hired by large corporations, or governments Usually as a “Tiger Team” Usually as a “Tiger Team” Tiger Team is a team that is hired to test the security of networks/find flaws or loopholes Tiger Team is a team that is hired to test the security of networks/find flaws or loopholes Will snoop around networks, trying to find loopholes Will snoop around networks, trying to find loopholes If such loophole(s) is/are found – report created explaining how hack was achieved If such loophole(s) is/are found – report created explaining how hack was achieved

5 Types of Hackers- grey hat “Grey Hat” Unhired People who break into networks for fun Usually don’t intentionally cause harm (following hacker ethic) Enjoy doing this Perceived as challenge Want kudos from hacker peers Want to “test security to prevent such attacks in future”

6 Types of Hackers- black hat “Black hat”/crackers Stereotypical hacker you hear about in the media Break into systems and damage them May write things like “you just got served by X group” May delete files, erase portions of code, etc. “Crackers” fall under this category Use reverse engineering of assembly code to make it open source, or to customize it to their liking Also known as pirates, or “warez writers”

7 What motivates a hacker To help others To help others ‘Hooliganism’ ‘Hooliganism’ Criminal intent Criminal intent Financial gain Financial gain Most hacker activity is of a nature where money is rarely involved Most hacker activity is of a nature where money is rarely involved Curiosity Curiosity Intellectual Challenge Intellectual Challenge Security heads-up! Security heads-up!

8 The hacking community- who belongs To join, have to be recognized To join, have to be recognized Sharing your creations (time, creativity, open source programs) Sharing your creations (time, creativity, open source programs) Learn to code efficiently Learn to code efficiently Hackers like “well-coded” programs Hackers like “well-coded” programs Better the program- more kudos Better the program- more kudos Become recognized when top hackers recognize you Become recognized when top hackers recognize you

9 1. reject hierarchies 2. mistrust authority 3. promote decentralization 4. share information 5. serve your community (i.e. the hacker community) The hacking community- the Hacker Ethic

10 Reject Hierarchies User no less important than author User no less important than author User may be able to improve product User may be able to improve product Authors are also users of other’s products Authors are also users of other’s products People are only judged on skill People are only judged on skill No social class, age, gender, race restrictions No social class, age, gender, race restrictions Open source programs Open source programs Hacking into secure networks Hacking into secure networks Hackers ignore what society says about class Hackers ignore what society says about class Have their own community Have their own community Have their own system Have their own system

11 Mistrust Authority Believe in libertarian environment Believe in libertarian environment Everyman for himself Everyman for himself Government shouldn’t dictate our boundaries Government shouldn’t dictate our boundaries A rule is meant to be broken A rule is meant to be broken If said can’t be done; green light to do it If said can’t be done; green light to do it Increased security= better “problem to solve” Increased security= better “problem to solve” Increased security is better reason to find loopholes Increased security is better reason to find loopholes

12 Hacker Joke of the day!! Not your typical hacker

13 Promote Decentralization Every man for himself mentality Every man for himself mentality Segregation from society good Segregation from society good Keeps your identity more secure Keeps your identity more secure More efficient work can be done More efficient work can be done Cooperation can occur over internet Cooperation can occur over internet Don’t need to be physically near each other Don’t need to be physically near each other Communities operate worldwide Communities operate worldwide

14 Share Information Believe all info should be free Believe all info should be free no restricted info no restricted info no “top secret” files no “top secret” files Governments should NOT hide things Governments should NOT hide things software should be “open source” software should be “open source” Open source= free/no copyrights Open source= free/no copyrights Increases awareness of software “out there” Increases awareness of software “out there” Value of info increases when shared Value of info increases when shared Data can be basis for learning Data can be basis for learning software can be improved collectively software can be improved collectively

15 Serve Your Community Contribute to open source projects Contribute to open source projects Become beta tester Become beta tester Code new projects to share Code new projects to share Make improvements to existing ones Make improvements to existing ones Keep Hacker infrastructure intact Keep Hacker infrastructure intact Make FAQ’s on how to be a hacker Make FAQ’s on how to be a hacker Establish websites/meeting places for hackers Establish websites/meeting places for hackers “Boring” jobs: maintain mailing lists, project databases/archives, moderate hacker news groups “Boring” jobs: maintain mailing lists, project databases/archives, moderate hacker news groups

16 Conclusion Gave broad overview of hackers/hacker culture Gave broad overview of hackers/hacker culture what is a hacker? what is a hacker? White hat White hat Grey hat Grey hat Black hat/cracker Black hat/cracker Hacker motivations Hacker motivations Hacker Community Hacker Community Who belongs Who belongs The “rules” of the game (aka Hacker Ethic) The “rules” of the game (aka Hacker Ethic)

17 Bibliography ABC. (2004). Platform 6. Retrieved 04/06, 2006 from ABC. (2004). Platform 6. Retrieved 04/06, 2006 from Cagle, D. (2006). Hacker attacks! Retrieved 04/06, 2006 from Cagle, D. (2006). Hacker attacks! Retrieved 04/06, 2006 from Chance, T. (2005). The hacker ethic and meaningful work. Retrieved 04/06, 2066 from Chance, T. (2005). The hacker ethic and meaningful work. Retrieved 04/06, 2066 from Graham, P. (2004). The word "hacker". Retrieved April, 6, 2006, 2006 from Graham, P. (2004). The word "hacker". Retrieved April, 6, 2006, 2006 from Hannemyr, G. (2005). Considering hacking constructive. Retrieved 04/06, 2006 from Hannemyr, G. (2005). Considering hacking constructive. Retrieved 04/06, 2006 from Hannemyr, G. (1997). Technology and pleasure: HACKING CONSIDERED CONSTRUCTIVE. Retrieved 04/06, 2006 from Hannemyr, G. (1997). Technology and pleasure: HACKING CONSIDERED CONSTRUCTIVE. Retrieved 04/06, 2006 from Jordan, T., & Taylor, P. (1998). A sociology of hackers. Retrieved 04/06, 2006 from 954X Jordan, T., & Taylor, P. (1998). A sociology of hackers. Retrieved 04/06, 2006 from 954X.00139http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/links/doi/ / X.00139http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/links/doi/ / X.00139

18 Bibliography Cont. Jupitermedia Corporation. (2006). What is a hacker? Retrieved April, 6, 2006, 2006 from Jupitermedia Corporation. (2006). What is a hacker? Retrieved April, 6, 2006, 2006 from Levy, S. (Undisclosed). Hackers, heroes of thecomputer revolution. Retrieved 04/06, 2006 from html/biblioteca_virtual/criptografia/Hackers_Heroes%20of%20the%20com puter%20revolution.pdf Levy, S. (Undisclosed). Hackers, heroes of thecomputer revolution. Retrieved 04/06, 2006 from html/biblioteca_virtual/criptografia/Hackers_Heroes%20of%20the%20com puter%20revolution.pdfhttp://quetzal.uis.edu.co/ciee- html/biblioteca_virtual/criptografia/Hackers_Heroes%20of%20the%20com puter%20revolution.pdfhttp://quetzal.uis.edu.co/ciee- html/biblioteca_virtual/criptografia/Hackers_Heroes%20of%20the%20com puter%20revolution.pdf Lowgren, J. (2000). Hacker culture(s). Retrieved 04/06, 2006 from Lowgren, J. (2000). Hacker culture(s). Retrieved 04/06, 2006 from Mizrach, S. (2006). Is there a hacker ethic for 90s hackers? Retrieved 04/06, 2006 from Mizrach, S. (2006). Is there a hacker ethic for 90s hackers? Retrieved 04/06, 2006 from Raikow, D. (2000). Is hacking healthy? Retrieved 04/06, 2006 from Raikow, D. (2000). Is hacking healthy? Retrieved 04/06, 2006 from Steven Raymond, E. (2001). How to become A hacker. Retrieved April, 6, 2006, 2006 from Steven Raymond, E. (2001). How to become A hacker. Retrieved April, 6, 2006, 2006 from Wikipedia. (2006). Hacker. Retrieved April, 6, 2006, 2006 from Wikipedia. (2006). Hacker. Retrieved April, 6, 2006, 2006 from


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