Friday, October 26, 2007

An it harm none, do what ye will - Hacking

I don't tend to hack anymore. Not only is it dangerous, but it is also often times harmful.

I've never been a fan of any black hat hacking. Destroying stuff just because you can isn't cool. It's destructive. What are black hats trying to prove? Superiority? Intelligence? Well, it fails. It takes a lot of skill and talent to create something beautiful, but it doesn't take much creativity or talent to take a crowbar to it and destroy it.

White hat hackers are almost as bad as black hats. They do it out of some form of purifying. They hack to 'teach a lesson' to someone, who they judge as being deserving. They believe their actions, legal or illegal, are justified because they are on the side of 'right'. Do the ends justify the means? What about those that get caught in the middle, the collateral damage?

Brown hats are the ones that just can't pick a side. Are they the bad guys or the good guys? What do they hack for? Sometimes they break stuff because it's fun, sometimes they break something because the other person was 'a bad guy'. True Neutral? I doubt it. They are motivited by the same thing as most hackers, the desire to prove something, even if it's only to themselves.

That being said... there are reasons to hack. Today I hacked. I contemplated the hack. Would it even be considered a hack? I am pulling some files off of a server that I was not intended to have copies of, I am tweaking a little script to run outside of it's home... I am doing something with all of these that the owner did not intend. It required knowledge of code. It required knowledge of scripts. It required knowledge of servers. Was it 'Hacking the Gibson'? Oh heck no. This was a little thing. Minor. Small fry. It's a hack that many non-hackers could do. I often times wouldn't even refer to it as a hack.

So if I don't like the reasons most people hack, why did I just do a hack? Oh, simple really: it harmed none. Not only that, but I think it will be good for some. If I could have gotten a hold of the fellow that owned these files, I am pretty sure he would have gladly given me permission to do exactly what I did. His creative work will be shown to a group of people who really deserve to see it. They will likely love it, and it will probably make some of them cry with happiness and sadness both.

So for an event at a VFW that doesn't have an internet connection for their presentation: Here it is, comin at you Lo Tek style!

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