Giving Credit Where Credit’s Due

Recognizing A Good Deed

If you read the front page of this website in its entirety – then you had to have seen that we are not affiliated, associated, aligned with, or in absolute agreement with the hacker group Anonymous. But I came across a story today that made me think to give credit where it’s due.

The story can be found here

Hackers get a bad rap in the majority of instances. Mostly because of pop culture’s influence over what it means to be considered a hacker, though it cannot be denied that some within the hacker community have acted selfishly and caused some harm. Losing data in the digital world can be devastating when your entire business is run on some type of “open” network.

Anonymous, the hacker group, has the country on its’ heels – in a way. It seems to be about a 50/50 split of approval. Sorry, I haven’t seen any national polls about the groups’ status nationwide or I’d use actual statistics. But, based on my own dealings in day to day life, and from listening to stories of others; roughly half of those I’ve met support the cause on some level, while another half disagrees with the group’s motives and actions. Roughly-the-same trend extends from the stories of others.

When I see that Anonymous has made news, I’m usually hoping for good news. So, one could make the case that I fall into the first category, personally. And I suppose I would agree. I make no bones about saying that our government is corrupt & stagnant, our financial world is corrupt & greedy, and that no real options have been presented which would change our future for the better – from either. But, I will continue to say this as well; armed revolution, however exciting it sounds – and even how amazing it might be, if successful – is just far too costly to be realistic. I’m not talking about money when I say costly. Lives would be lost, many of them; no matter the outcome. And if the revolt were unsuccessful, every single person involved would be tried for treason; punishable by death. That’s just not something I want to support, personally.

What I do like about Anonymous, however, is their ability to grab the attention of people without an actual organization or coalition. Every individual is or can be part of Anonymous if they choose. I just hope we can all listen to reason along the way..

Anyway, hail Anonymous blah blah blah. Back to the story.

A rogue “black-hat-hacker” decided he wanted to delete a New Zealand website that raises money for hungry kids. The link above will tell you more about the company. This rogue black-hat went by the name: @AnonVoldemort. The site owner took to his company Facebook page to ask for help. And something interesting happened.

Apparently, some of those who followed his business were in touch with some white-hats who are Anonymous; they made contact and shortly thereafter those white-hats found @AnonVoldemort – and had given @AnonVoldemort’s location information to Bryan Bruce, the owner of the Redsky Film website that had been hacked by @AnonVoldemort.

As it turned out, Mr. Black-Hat (@AnonVoldemort) was from Spain, Madrid to be precise. He was a 35 year old man living with his Mother. There are many jokes to be made here. But, I’ll refrain. Instead, I’ll focus on the fact that there was a very good deed done this day by a group of white-hats. And that’s what I’d like to praise. Hackers are usually talked about in negative generalizations, as though they’re all the stereotypical young adult or kid sitting in their MOTHER’S BASEMENT randomly doing evil things to unsuspecting victims. We rarely hear about these stories, when good people do good things using the same techniques, but, within the confines of human decency and morality.

The image we’re given from pop-culture, to define a hacker, is that persona of the black-hat; the rogue, pimple-faced, deviant that is hell-bent on watching the world burn. But the reality is far different. Most people you probably think of as being a “hacker” are really just people who can maybe gain access to an online forum or website. This is not hacking, it’s simply a login trick built into some of the software the sites use. Real hackers don’t “hack” a website. They hack an entire network. And they usually do this to find security breaches for the very network they’re “hacking” into, as employees for the company. When they go above and beyond, it’s usually for good humanity reasons – like in the story above.

@AnonVoldemort should not be considered to be part of Anonymous any more than AnonGen should. I would hope the White & Grey-Hat’s out there can respect both those points. And I hope they all appreciate someone giving them accolades and recognizing their good deeds, while so many others only focus on the negatives.

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  1. #1 by John Ross on August 6, 2012 - 12:51 am

    It’s quite unfortunate that bad deeds overshadow good deeds. To the media, the only good news is bad news and when this is spoon-fed to the uneducated, they take it as fact, and not try to verify the information themselves.

  2. #2 by Wade on August 6, 2012 - 1:23 am

    Agreed. Tanner actually writes about this in his piece –

    There’s a lot of information our media puts out, but very few actually stop to think whether or not it’s true. Partly to blame is our cultures insistence on having their news NOW, as well. But the media is still ultimately responsible for putting out something inaccurate – and it’s a poor excuse when they say that they were “just trying to get it out first.” The main concern of news media shouldn’t be to get the story first; they should be focusing on getting the story right.

    Then there’s also the argument to agenda-driven media, making profit the most important attribute company’s are judged by. Some hope exists, though. This generation is not willing to watch tv news by the numbers that make corporate media profitable. The internet has totally re-written what is impossible for sharing information, I guess that’s why both the gov’t and corporations keep pushing so hard for laws to restrict it.

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