Grass growing beneath our feet

inexplicable

We are not questioning enough, which is why a web sub-culture has built up beneath our feet. While we visit the web, they occupy it as an integral part of their lives, no, existence. I am putting aside the teenage commonplace problems such as destruction with no purpose – the “I dunno”. This sub-culture is most prevalent amongst the under-25’s but by no means exclusive to that group. Some have embraced the web to launch their inner angels/demons. Some are called dramawhores, which as you can probably guess, means those who will do anything to seek attention. That word sounds like it came straight out of Girls TV show.

[Drama Whore] A person, male or female; who sees any aspect of their personality or actions in their life as interesting topics. Often the drama whore will send out messages with absolutely no content except for something inflammatory or retaliatory directed at another person(s) they dislike.

It is unsurprisingly how this sub-culture has grown so rapidly, as it has done completely out of view.  The very public and sometimes questionable activity of Anonymous has brought it more to the surface, and hacker world is tied into this wild-west sub-culture, quite naturally.  The laws are, there are no laws.  A kind of anarchy prevails, with posse mentality to retribution, sometimes just based on matters of opinions, rather than real moral outrage.  Your little angel of a teenager, could actually be an online demon – trolling transexuals, hacking facebook accounts and uploading porn, DoS attack on a website for the hell of it.

You just don’t know unless you look.  And as a parent I would advise you do – I am finding it fascinating and educational.  It is the seed of something a lot more interesting, if a little chaotic at present.  You will find lots to shock you, just don’t torture yourself with it.  There is plenty of other genuinely interesting or bizarre places to visit.  I will do another post soon reviewing a few.  And access using an anonymous proxy – just common sense protection, as it’s a world where anonymity is prized (unless you are a “dramawhore” of course!).

It annoys me how little questioning there is generally over hacker activities. Too many adopt a scatter-gun approach with no defined targets beyond bringing down servers. With most, it is a young innocence about the cause/effect of their acts of online bravado. From intentions of being the moral rebellion, can quickly fall into category of aimless vandalism. The equivalent of simply shouting at the world, without expecting response. When questioned, most will ignore you, but some will surprise you. There is a  “causalities of war” mentality to effects on individuals, but if you highlight an individual case it can sometimes make people look at their morality a little differently. If adopting a “war is war” mentality, then you have to be very certain of your goals, or the effect of your activity will be pretty meaningless.

The web is perfect platform for opinions, and excellent chance for cross-generational dialog, but it is underused.  The generation gap appears even worse online, and I believe old-fashioned etiquettes still exist in older generations that should be ceremonially dumped.  If you saw a kid smashing bottles, you would tell them to pack it in.  Exactly the same online. Exactly. Just keep the conversations publicly viewable, that is very important if you hope to come across as genuine and encourage others to contribute to your arguments.

inexplicable

From “The 38 Most Unexplainable Images On The Web”

People who could be harshly termed “drama whores” covers another large group of the sub-culture which is what could be broadly called non-sexual fetish-oriented performers.  It’s a mouthful, but just my own lazy description of examples I have seen around websites.  Websites that are not hidden, but would never come up with your average 40yo+ user’s search string.  It all started when I started searching individual hackers whose activity was a little more interesting and focused.  This led on the websites (of various levels of interest and offence) both supporting and criticising the hackers various actions . The web is a very judgemental world, so opinions are many and various.  But very little from generations over 30.

We should change that.

“Anonymous”

Anonymous

I have had a few years of frustration at self-proclaimed “web saviours” amounting to little more than scattergun ddos attacks, ftp and database compromises. All, I should say, as easy to protect yourself against. For a start don’t use ftp! Switch that service off, and use ssh or a secure ftp protocol to deal with file management. I have had a few more experiences this year dealing with fallout from hacker attacks, along with some communication to some groups and individuals.

I have been a little hard on youth, as it is easy to lose focus by getting caught up in a moment. Sometimes I believe hackers confuse the web itself with their targets. Attacking random websites, just because you found back-door access into server or database, seems a little churlish and not in the least bit revolutionary. “Highlighting security flaws” is a pretty weak motivation, as who does it really benefit. The hoster? They nail that particular hole shut and go about their business. Meanwhile the hosters’ customers are the ones who sustain the actual damage.

Anonymous

One of the more publicly known of the more focused hackers is the “The Jester” – he calls himself a (US) Patriot hacker. Maybe not best of starts, but his targets are deliberate – mainly Islamist extremist websites, but occasionally sidesteps onto other projects such as the turgid Westoboro Baptist Church and the tasteless twitter trolling site that appeared quickly in the wake of the Newtown school shootings.

There is an arrogance in the hacker world – as with anything with tech, you get the stars and a million imitation drones. It is easy enough to create a presence on the web and declare yourself and Anonymous hacker. Take credit for other attacks, blame embarrassing boo-boos on other. There is a childish level of “blame culture”, but now the “stars” are easier to spot as they carry an agenda is that understandable and to varying degree, morally sound.

What currently interests me how few seem to challenge hackers online. For all the umprompted outpourings of opinions, no-one seems to challenge something so prevalent and so potentially damaging for individuals. Are you sure you don’t have an opinion? Usually with a little digging you can find responsible party for a website attack. Though there are truly anonymous hackers out there, most will publicise their action in some way. Even if it is just boasting in a readme file! My point is if you don’t voice up when you think something is wrong, how will they ever know. “Script kiddies” are getting to be a bit of a curse, rather than any help.

Cult of the Dead Cow

cDc

I remember this was one of the first sites i kept going back to.  That was 1995, and they are still here with a slighly different website, but still the same great aims.  They started in 1984 at a slaughterhouse, with aim for  “Global Domination Through Media Saturation”  -cDc and their affiliates (such as Ninja Strike Force) exercise their right to roam the web, and operate by stealth. Continue reading

Hysteria

New technologies evoke a variety of reactions, not the least of which is fear. From coverage of the Kevin Mitnick case to “cyberterrorism”, the popular press plays upon fear around new technology in order to deliver an audience to advertisers.

The result?

Disinformation, and, at worst, manipulation.

hackerculture [at] tranquileye