Hacking Rhetoric

Artist Hacker Statement for 11-25-13

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This whole hacking process was something totally new for me. The idea of actually hacking into someone’s account and rearranging their work felt really weird for me. The way I started out was trying to add my person, Damon, on Facebook. I don’t think he was a frequent user of Facebook so i never got added as a friend and I could not retrieve any information from there. After trying that, I tried to use Twitter as my next resource but again it failed to be any help to try and think of a password that would be correct. When Halloween came along I still didn’t have a clue to work off of so I was struggling for a while to even know where to begin to try and guess his password. When i finally got a clue, it informed me that it was his high school mascot. He went to school in Abilene. I went on Google and searched all high schools in Abilene and went to each individual’s school website and would try every mascot as the password. I finally guessed it right and was successful at entering his word press account. It felt really weird being on someone else’s account and actually playing the role of a hacker.

 I chose to hack Damon’s blog entry called “Responsible Disclosure”. It was about a guy that got into the school’s networks and publicly announced that he “knows what is open to the public and what is not”. At the end of the entry, he asked what we thought about the way the guy went about his hacking. I thought it was a perfect entry to respond to because it ended by asking what we thought.

            I think he used logos for this entry because he explains logic and reason to convince us that the hacker went about his hack in responsible way. He explains that there could have been serious consequences if the hacker had bad intentions, but it still ended not in a bad way. He reasons that even though bad things could have happened, he still believes that the hacker went about it the right way.

            I pretty much responded to his blog entry with logos as well. I explained that I felt the hacker did not go about his hack in a very responsible manner. I felt that he came off as too threatening. I also felt that he could have notified the right people in a discrete manner and let them know the information he had figured out.

            After performing this hack, I can kind of relate to the hackers that we have learned about this semester. I can relate to the feeling of accomplishing something that not everyone does. The feeling of accessing into someone’s account is scary yet exhilarating. It was weird trying to find out information from someone I do not really talk to. I think that hackers that hack for the good should not be labeled as bad guys who do bad things. They work really hard at what they do and can teach companies a lot about their systems. I felt the sense of accomplishing something after I finish the hack. I can only imagine how it feels when a hacker gets access into tough systems or breaks a security wall and gets important information. It must be a great feeling knowing that they have the skills and maybe even cleverness to get past secured websites or companies.

            I thought about how this is only an assignment and no bad intentions are at place here. It made me think of ethical decisions that hackers have to make or abide by. I could have easily taken advantage of this assignment and wrote inappropriate things over my Damon’s wall and done all sorts of irrelevant things with his blog. Ethically I knew that wouldn’t be right and just abided by the rules and regulations that Bec gave us for this assignment. I think hackers have to deal with ethical decisions every day that they perform a hack. They could be working for a company that only wants them to tell them of security loopholes in their websites. By doing that task, the hacker can get a hold of a lot of company private information. By ethical decisions, hackers have to just do the job they were given and not have bad intentions. With all that information they have, they must not sell it to other companies or publicly display it without the companies’ permission. Personally, dealing with the ethical part of this assignment was totally easy. I could definitely see where hackers run into trouble with ignoring ethical decisions and getting into trouble, especially when money is involved.

            This hacker experience was different and fun for me. I’m glad I got to be a hacker for a day.

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