So, we’ve all been hacked. I’ve no doubt that this engendered feelings of insecurity or perhaps anger in some. The first time I was ever hacked, I experienced similar emotions. However, as a member of various segments of the hacker community, I have unearthed a simple truth: People get hacked, period. It doesn’t matter how carefully your password has been selected, nor how securely you’ve designed your systems; anything can be hacked. I’ve had a variety of systems under my control be hacked in various way throughout my life; sometimes a simple defacement of a website; sometimes a complete compromise of a critical server. Each time, I learned a little bit more about what it means to live in this wild west we call the Internet. Unfortunately, the Internet is a dangerous place — there are no police, no rules, and no accountability. While you may wish to have all your digital lives perfectly secure, it’s simply not how the Internet works. Chances are that you will be hacked many more times in your life — even if you never use a computer and live in the woods, someone may still steal your identity. Getting hacked is a fact of life, better to get used to it.
In addition, I found that my hacker made a reasonable argument under my assumed name. There was no slander, no trolling, and nothing unreasonable about the way in which my pilfered account was treated. When given complete control over the online identity of another (or at least a portion of it), most are not so kind. As we read in class, some have their entire digital lives destroyed by a hack. Others have their companies bankrupted, their identity stolen, or their credibility compromised. The hacks that we’ve all endured as a part of this course are rather tame — hopefully the experience has proven enlightening to some. I hope that you all will approach your digital lives with a bit more caution after having the experience of hacking someone else’s digital life first-hand. Hopefully we can all (myself included) learn something from this.