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As a Defcon N00b, and entering the short sotry contest, I have a general question

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  • As a Defcon N00b, and entering the short sotry contest, I have a general question

    Since this will be my first Defcon, I want to try and keep things along the rails of believable in my story, I have a question. I know there are hacking events going on at the con... Would it be a fair assumption that there are vigilante style hacks happening there? In other words, Hacks for the greater good? Any feedback on this would be amazing.

    Cheers!
    //GeekSedition
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________
    TRS80's, BBS'es, 1200 Baud, Token Ring, UniSys Icon QNX, and most importantly... ANSII Snipes! These things made me the geek I am today.

  • #2
    Everyone that learns about anything has their own motivation. Hackers will hack.

    Meanwhile, some want to co-opt other people's effort for their own agenda..Some people want to push a political agenda to support their view. Some want to tell you to obey their rules on what should be hacked and when. Most of this is ignorable; it isn't hacking, except maybe social hacking when effective, to get others to do what you want them to do.

    From observation, most people that have learned something are most impressed by the "how" things work than "why" they should accept other people's opinion as their own - - these are distractions.

    There are people that hack for prestige, some as a form of escape, some for profit, some for the joy they feel in learning and applying knowledge effectively, some to expose problems (to, "make a better world," or for any of the previously mentioned items.) If you know of a motivation to do anything, it probably exists as a motivation in hacking for at least one person. People can have more than one motivation.

    Because expertise and skill are some of the things that bring many people together at places like DEF CON, attempts to unify people under ideology, religion, politics or "isms" (belief systems with expected obedience to arbitrary rules based on faith, not based on tested science) usually fail to produce meaningful action. Diversity of opinion at places like DEF CON makes group programming/social-engineering more difficult.

    So yeah, I am sure there are vigilante-motivated hackers, and we see examples of this in the news with attempts to expose what some view as abusive behaviour.

    If the vigilante action is illegal, you won't likely see it being conducted in public at DEF CON. Consider all the casino cameras, and portable phones with cameras... all could be collecting evidence. It is hard to know who is recording, when, and how that data will be used. That person walking by, are they a fed? Is what you are doing something they could use against you to advance their career or justify their travel expenses?

    However, "for the greater good," is ambiguous and up for interpretation. A simple example of this without pushing opinion might be "Death Penalty." Those that support it can claim "greater good" and those against it can claim "greater good" but is either side right? (Don't answer here. This is meant to illustrate the complexity in trying to answer your question.)

    Hope this helps,
    -Cot

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    • #3
      Thanks Cot! I will refrain from starting a discussion about the death penalty ;) You are also right... just what IS the greater good. But your explanation helps a great deal! I am not looking to join a hack "group" while I am there I just plan to feed my brain... and meet people. I want to keep my story in tune with the community and that has helped illustrate the picture I had in my mind. Thank you so much!

      Cheers
      //GeekSedition
      __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________
      TRS80's, BBS'es, 1200 Baud, Token Ring, UniSys Icon QNX, and most importantly... ANSII Snipes! These things made me the geek I am today.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, said, Cotman and thank you!c Not much else to add to that really. Good luck with the short story!
        "They-Who-Were-Google are no longer alone. Now we are all Google."

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