‘Hacker’ – The most misunderstood term in the Digital world

hackers-taking-on-hollywood__oPt

 

The word ‘hacker’ – sounds dangerous, destructive and villanious! Exactly as digital media describes it. Another Sci-fi movie where a young kid is depicted as ‘hacker’ as he is shown hijacking into highly secured networks, altering school records, stealing secret files and and financial records.

That shit only happens in hollywood movies!

The biased representation in the media leads to many people think of the word ‘hacker’ in a derogatory sense – a geeky individual who prefers to live in dark basements with highly specialized programming skills, who does what he does out of greed, grudge and ill intentions.

This constant and ever-growing thirst for knowledge is a major personality trait disorder of a hacker. Hackers have an irrecoverable malfunction in their brains called “curiosity”.

They are not always criminals,nor they have got ill intent always. They are creators, they are motivated, curious – We get so deep into how things work, that we acquire the knowledge to control them and change them to something else.

It’s a preconceived notion that to be a hacker, you need to be good at math, or you need to be good at cracking some code. – To be a hacker, all you need to do is to be curious, and to be able to question everything.

You don’t need to be a programming prodigy to achieve that. You just need to be willing.

Everything the majority of the world knows about hackers are completely and utterly wrong. And there’s a way to fix this through showing, to the rest of the world, that we, hackers, can hack the world, and make it a better place to live!

Read on, if you wonder how. .

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The hacker’s manifesto

 

The Conscience of a Hacker (also known as The Hacker Manifesto) is a small essay written January 8, 1986 by a computer security hacker who went by the handle of The Mentor (born Loyd Blankenship), who belonged to the 2nd generation of Legion of Doom.
It was written after the author’s arrest, and first published in the underground hacker ezine Phrack and can can be found on many websites, as well as on t-shirts and in films. Read it as they are the are not only the words of a single individual, they are the words of the whole hacker community.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
The following was written shortly after my arrest.
\/\The Conscience of a Hacker/\/
by
+++The Mentor+++
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
Another one got caught today, it’s all over the papers. “Teenager
Arrested in Computer Crime Scandal”, “Hacker Arrested after Bank Tampering”…
Damn kids. They’re all alike.

But did you, in your three-piece psychology and 1950’s technobrain,
ever take a look behind the eyes of the hacker? Did you ever wonder what
made him tick, what forces shaped him, what may have molded him?
I am a hacker, enter my world…
Mine is a world that begins with school… I’m smarter than most of
the other kids, this crap they teach us bores me…
Damn underachiever. They’re all alike.

I’m in junior high or high school. I’ve listened to teachers explain
for the fifteenth time how to reduce a fraction. I understand it. “No, Ms.
Smith, I didn’t show my work. I did it in my head…”
Damn kid. Probably copied it. They’re all alike.

I made a discovery today. I found a computer. Wait a second, this is
cool. It does what I want it to. If it makes a mistake, it’s because I
screwed it up. Not because it doesn’t like me…
Or feels threatened by me…
Or thinks I’m a smart ass…
Or doesn’t like teaching and shouldn’t be here…
Damn kid. All he does is play games. They’re all alike.

And then it happened… a door opened to a world… rushing through
the phone line like heroin through an addict’s veins, an electronic pulse is
sent out, a refuge from the day-to-day incompetencies is sought… a board is
found.
“This is it… this is where I belong…”
I know everyone here… even if I’ve never met them, never talked to
them, may never hear from them again… I know you all…
Damn kid. Tying up the phone line again. They’re all alike…

You bet your ass we’re all alike… we’ve been spoon-fed baby food at
school when we hungered for steak… the bits of meat that you did let slip
through were pre-chewed and tasteless. We’ve been dominated by sadists, or
ignored by the apathetic. The few that had something to teach found us will-
ing pupils, but those few are like drops of water in the desert.

This is our world now… the world of the electron and the switch, the
beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying
for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn’t run by profiteering gluttons, and
you call us criminals. We explore… and you call us criminals. We seek
after knowledge… and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color,
without nationality, without religious bias… and you call us criminals.
You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us
and try to make us believe it’s for our own good, yet we’re the criminals.

Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is
that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like.
My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me
for.

I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual,
but you can’t stop us all… after all, we’re all alike.

+++The Mentor+++
______________________________________________________________________________

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But… Isn’t “Hacking” An Illegal Crime?

Saying “hackers are evil, because they can screw your online identity” is as equally ridiculous as saying “car mechanics are crooks, because they can install a time bomb in your engine”.

Hacking, in an of itself, is not illegal. It is as legal as throwing a dart. It all comes down to your intent:
If you are throwing the dart at the bull’s eye of a dart board, then it’s fair game; but if you are poking the dart into the eye of someone, then I’m sorry my friend, you are going to jail.

As in everything, you are responsible, and you will be kept accountable for anything you do. Once this distinction is clear, then hacking is no more dangerous than wood painting.

As a matter of fact, a hacker is none but an insanely creative person; and as with anything out-of-the-ordinary, creativity can be used for good purposes, as well as for evil purposes.

Hacking Is Misunderstood

A hacker is a person who makes things work beyond perceived limits, or beyond their common use.
Hackers enjoy exploring the details of systems, and are curious about how they can stretch the system’s capabilities; as opposed to many who only prefer to learn the minimum necessary skill set to get the stuff done.

Hacking is all about learning, empowerment, and sharing knowledge. – Hacking is not a goal, it is a means to do good.

Hacking is an “attitude”. There’s a community, a shared culture, and an accumulated wisdom behind it.

And you don’t necessarily have to confine yourself to hacking software: The hacker nature is totally independent of the particular medium that the hacker works in.

No matter what you do, and no matter where you are; if you have the hacker spirit, you will reflect it in every action you take. And that’s something to be proud of.

We solve problems; we build things, and we believe in collaboration,
meritocracy, and mutual help. That’s the gist of being a hacker.

If we do something really, really well, then it is discovering:

We are motivated, curious, and creative. – We get so deep into how things work, that we acquire the knowledge to control them and change them to something else.

pcbots hacker

There Is a Way To Fix the Misunderstanding

After a hard day at work, I don’t want to see an ass-twerking, tongue-wagging dumbass on the TV, bitching about her recent “video album”. Instead, I would love to see how HIV can been fully deleted from the human cells for the first time, or what the best way of learning a new language is, or now nano flakes provide a greater solar efficiency, and may solve the energy needs of the next generations.

This constant and ever-growing thirst for knowledge is a major personality trait disorder of a hacker:
Hackers have an irrecoverable malfunction in their brains called “curiosity”:
We want to learn anything, and everything; regardless of whether it will be useful at work, or in our daily life. It’s this “curiosity” that makes us look at things from diagonally different angles; and it’s this curiosity that makes a hacker figure out unconventional solutions to seemingly-hard problems in ways that no one else can imagine.

Not only do we want to acquire knowledge about everything but the kitchen sink, but also we want to share the knowledge, and help others who want to walk the walk.

And I bet you, if there was a way to inject this mentality to the rest of the world, then the world would become an exponentially better place.

Yet still people want to see us as skinny, black-coffee-chugging nerds who sit in their garages 24/7, with their $50,000 computer set-up, using nicknames like “M4fi4 B0y” as an alias to talk to other fellow hackers, while plotting on how to take down the government.

Hey, wake up Trinity… Wake… Up! –

That Shit only happens in Hollywood movies!

Everything the majority of the world knows about hackers are completely and utterly wrong. And there’s a way to fix this through showing, to the rest of the world, that we, hackers, can hack the world, and make it a better place to live!

Hackers, are pioneers. They constantly discover new and unusual ways of doing things; they constantly learn, research, and explore. It’s about discovering, and finding extraordinary solutions, to seemingly-ordinary problems. It’s about doing things differently, in a hope to create better outcomes.
Every child is a natural hacker; therefore you are born to be a hacker.

It’s time, society, the system, whatever you name it… makes you grind this innate ability to a halt.

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Pardon Me, So What Is a Hack Again?

A “hack” is trying to do something differently.
It’s possible that what you create can turn out to be a solution that’s better than similar ones that have ever been done before, or it can be some crazy shit that no one else but you will use ever.
The essence of hacking is not the final outcome. Per contra, the essence of hacking is the road you are willing to walk.

What Makes a Hacker?

If everybody is born to be a hacker, then so are you. And there are certain characteristics that make hackers stand out.
Wanna be a better hacker? Then just sharpen the following habits of yours:

Be self-directed: We value in inner motivation, and self-direction. They believe that people learn best when they are free to explore their passions.

Be accessible: We know that no matter how much karate you know, there’s someone better than you somewhere. We share knowledge, we share wisdom, we try to build thing on top of the shoulders of giants, and we openly share what we’ve learned on the way. Hackers are connected, thoughtful, and supportive.

Be curious: That’s the most important part of it. Just observe a three year old, interacting with the environment; how curious she is, how she questions even the most basic facts. A hacker is that three year old kiddo, grown up, without having lost her attention, intention, and curiosity.
Contrary to popular myth, you don’t have to be a nerd to be a hacker. It does help, however ;).

Have you read anything to coding, computers, or programming in the above list? – Read once more, if you are not sure.

It’s a preconceived notion that to be a hacker, you need to be good at math, or you need to be good at cracking some code. – To be a hacker, all you need to do is to be curious, and to be able to question everything.

You don’t need to be a programming prodigy to achieve that. You just need to be willing.

hacker-hacking

You Can Hack For Good

Hacking, in a sense, is the ability to connect the dots to create desirable outcomes. When this ability is used to promote ecology, sustainability, civic life… to improve the state of the world around us, then wonderful things happen.

There are enough of insurmountable issues that need to be tackled in the world today. Take for example the climate crisis, gender inequality, war and hunger, need for clean air, underrepresented groups, discrimination, increased crime rates, torture…

Hacking is evolution; it is the only way to create better alternatives to our current way of living.

Sometimes you want to flip things around, and want to convince people of actually wanting to live in a better world, in a sustainable way. And that’s when the hackers come into play. It’s as simple as that.

Hacking is Not Only For the Elite

Hacking is not something exclusive to a limited sub-community of geeks. It is something that everyone does. It is something that everyone can do.

One of the core values of the hacker ethic is that hackers are not judged by bogus criteria like their degrees, their education, whether they have a CS major, or a Ph.D., or an MBA, or their race, or their position, or how long they have been into hacking. In contrast, the hacker culture is extremely open and meritocratic.

The best idea and the best implementation always wins – not the person who’s best at lobbying for an idea, or the person who has bigger role power.

Which makes us do more, talk less, and get the $#!% done. That’s the “hands on imperative”.

You can learn a lot from the world, or from a system, by taking it apart into pieces, seeing how stuff works. This micro-level knowledge that you acquire helps you create new and more interesting things.

Seeing the internals of the system will help you understand how the system is broken, and what can be done to fix it.

And the system to fix need not be a computer program:

It can be the day-long waiting lines in government agencies;
It can we the ridiculous thing called “war”;
It can be a preventing a disease from killing millions;
It can be child abuse;
Or it can gender inequality.
The matter of fact is, something can always be better.

Nothing is ever complete. You just have to go fix it.

Get Your Hands Dirty

If the system is not working for you, go out there and make it better!
In the end of the day, this is not about thinking who we are, or what hacking is.
This is about getting your hands dirty and getting $#!% done; because, once your hands are dirty, miracles can happen.
So if you are unhappy with the status quo, instead of mourning about it, go and make a change.
Hacking is good, and you are born to be a hacker.
So there’s only one question that remains…
Are you ready to hack?

 

 

Source:

This article was referenced from geekli blog .
The hacking manifesto was taken from the original letter written by The Mentor and was published in the phrack magazine.

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