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Subject: [uXu-449] Hacker Ethics

         [  Hacker Ethics  ]                           [  By drazQ  ]


Hacker Ethics
           by drazQ (

"Hacker Ethics" - we've all heard that cliche' before, and usually it refers to the old hacker standards that say "thou shall not erase a system" and so on. However, as Bob Dylan once sang, "Times they are changing," and they still are. Especially now in the final spurt before the new millennium - and especially when it comes to computer related issues.

We begin to realize that computers influence the people who use them, yes - even the people who doesn't use them. Computers influence the lives of people - people like you and me. This goes both ways; computers again are (of course) influenced by the people who control them. This way, we influence each others lives through computers. Realizing this gives the "set phrase" a whole new meaning.

Visualize yourself walking down the street on a sunny day. A lot of people are walking in the opposite direction of you this fine day, but there is one person that you particularly notice. It's a young man, probably in his mid 20's. He looks like a nice guy - if he was your neighbor he'd probably be one of your friends. He is wearing a suit, so he has probably got a good job. Maybe he is walking home to his wife and kids right now. That is what you thought as he came closer. The second he was close enough you punch his nose in! He falls backwards on the asphalt, reaching for his bleeding nose. It probably hurts a lot. You see a weird mixture of surprised confusion and fear in his eyes. Then you run.

The man whose nose you broke is called Tommy. He had a couple of weeks with pain after your meaningless and violent assault, and months - yes maybe even years later - he will ask himself: "Why?" "Why did he do it?". The answer is that you had no reason, you're simply one of those people who like to punch people in their noses. Maybe to see their reaction, or just because it feels good. It's just something you do.

Now visualize yourself sitting in front of your computer late a Saturday night. You're hacking some company on the Internet - no special reason - their box just had bugs so you exploited them. Or maybe you even have a reason, a reason that justifies what you're doing. Anyway, you feel pretty comfortable with it. The next morning the company's security expert has to write a report to his boss about the hack. This is the third time he's writing a report like this, so he has a very bad feeling about it. After receiving the report, his boss decides to fire the security expert - he's not doing his job well enough. The former security expert is Tommy. What do you think Tommy thinks is worst? Getting his nose punched in, or losing his job? Probably the last.

You would never punch someones nose in for no reason, cause that would be wrong. You've been raised that way. The crime of hacking however, you commit all the time. Fully aware of that the consequences of your hacking could be much worse than the consequences of a physical assault on someone. The consequences for your victims that is. The consequences for you however, is a completely different chapter. It's a much bigger chance of getting caught for breaking someones nose in broad daylight, than it is of getting caught for hacking. Maybe that is why you do it?

 uXu #449              Underground eXperts United 1998              uXu #449

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