Hello to all! My name is Damon and I am a senior Computer Science major, planning to graduate at the end of this semester.
I have extensive experience with hacking, both technically and culturally. I’ve understood “access denied” as a challenge since I hacked my first computer system at age 12. After developing a rigorous code of ethics, I’ve refocused my energies towards so-called “white hat” hacking — playing the role of an adversary in order to pinpoint flaws in computer systems. I’ve been arrested for illegal hacking (though never convicted), and have had the pleasure of my living space invaded and my personal possessions seized, all for trying to do the right thing by reporting serious security flaws to the appropriate people. While I may have done things that have crossed certain arbitrary lines in the sand, I certainly have never maliciously done harm to another. I believe it is high time for the powers that be to recognize that ethical hackers have a place in the system. Today, I am gainfully employed as a professional hacker for a large security penetration testing firm. I have the distinct pleasure of exploiting security vulnerabilities in large corporate/government systems all day, under contract from their owners, in order to improve an organization’s overall security posture. I look forward to exploring society’s understanding of what a hacker does — the comments posted so far have been quite enlightening. I hope to someday bridge the vast gulf that divides public opinion and knowledge of the hacker community from reality.