Hacking Rhetoric

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hack response

My Siri life hack post was hacked. Sean post a link to a soundclould file which was the Siri’s voice reading my life hack post. I felt very bad after listening to the file because I thought I had been trolled because robotic voice is so hilarious that it makes me look like a clown. But I have to say it was creative and I ended up having a good laugh.

Then I started thinking the question that is Sean really trying to troll me? I read my original post sentence by sentence right after listening to the file. My guess is that Sean is mocking my argument being too naive, just like the Siri. I knew that my guess could be wrong, but it was the information I received from the hack. I realize that even though hackers may have purposes on their hacks, their targets may understand those hacks differently due to variation of knowledge they have.

When I post my first password hint, I knew that the hacker hacking my wordpress will never be able to find out my password without further hints. I do not use Twitter and Facebook, instead I use a Chinese social media called Weixin. So the hacker won’t be able to find information he needs get access to my password. This reminds me of the password I use for my other accounts, which is three letters followed by some random numbers. This password has some special meaning to me that nobody elso knows. I’m sure it is very secure.

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Hack Response

It was very interesting experience having my blog account hacked.  I think I would have been more worried if my blog password was the same as my e-mail, Facebook, etc., but it was still weird to have someone else on my wordpress account.  Lara was chosen to hack me and from her artist statement, I learned that she was able to figure out my password very quickly.  However, my hacked blog experience was a little bit slower.  Because we do not receive any type of notifications when something on our blog post is edited, it took me a while to figure out that I had actually been hacked.  It took me until the day before our artist statements were due to realize I had been hacked.  I had to go through each one of my blogs and read them to see which one was changed.

This could be scary if it were not an assignment.  This showed me that it could be so easy for someone to hack onto something of mine (Facebook, e-mail, twitter, etc) without me having any idea that they were on my account. This causes me to think about the security that we have on all our personal accounts.  I realized that I do not receive a notification when someone signs onto my Facebook or e-mail.  There could be someone who has access to my password, and I would never know.  This makes me want to be more careful with my passwords.  I found a setting on Facebook that changed my notifications to alert me if someone signs onto my Facebook account from a different device than my computer.  I also decided that I want to continuously change my passwords on all of my accounts.

The hack Lara performed was very interesting.  She edited my blog post about Anonymous.  My original post held a negative connotation towards Anonymous, and she changed mine to make it seem like I was interested in being apart of Anonymous.  She also changed the Church of Scientology to the Church of Google.  She did this based off research she found from anonymous comparing god to Google.  I found this very interesting because she put a lot of thought and research into hacking my blog post.  She even posted the links to her research for everyone to see after she hacked my blog post.

I was not upset by Lara’s blog post.  I found her post to be very interesting, and I actually learned even more about Anonymous from how she hacked my post.  This was an innocent, creative version of a hack.  However, if someone was hacking into my personal accounts for a negative purpose, I would be very upset.  I believe that in most cases, if someone finds out your password and hacks onto your accounts, it is not usually for a good reason.  As I explained earlier, I have already taken actions upon several of my accounts in order to maintain more security of who has access to my passwords.

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Response to being hacked

I was very shocked to being hacked even though I knew it was coming, because when I visited the website the first post I saw was one that said “you’ve been hacked!!!” and next to it was my username. It was a weird and scary feeling because again I was expecting it and I have nothing to hide on my WordPress account but still, the thought of someone searching my high school mascot and following my posts to gain clues about my password is an eerie feeling. I can’t imagine logging into a different account, where I wasn’t expecting to be hacked, and finding a post that I haven’t done or more realistically, a purchase I hadn’t made. Having no idea who logged on to my account and was stealing private information would be a really frightening situation. This experience was personalized to a small classroom and a within period of time, and it still was a strange experience.

My hacker also edited my blog post about how living in a house with people, sometimes your computer gets messed around with as a joke. The hacker added a line to say that this happens to them too. By adding this to my blog, it lets me know that my hacker read through all my posts and related them to his or her life, which makes it more personal and less of an intimidating “hack”, which typically has a negative connotation.

This being hacked experience gave me a lot of insight into hackers and how they work. I understand their love for the thrill and excitement, but also it was hard to hack (and be hacked) without giving a couple of clues about where I go to high school, where I was born, etc., and leaving information on my Facebook account out and visible. So, I think a big part of being hacked is what you leave out there for hackers to access. Yes, sometimes it’s not your fault, it’s something set up that you click on or open. But I think if you’re careful, a lot of hacking can be avoided by being careful with information.

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Hackee Sack Response

My blog post, about the results of my apple juice life hack, was hacked. Lauren decided that she would take my post and instead of modifying it, she would just add on to it. She added in some research about apples and a brochure for a company she had started that would deliver apples to your door every night. Upon being “hacked” like this, I attempted to make a comparison between my situation and a hacking situation a real person might experience. This seems pretty reminiscent of creative property theft, in my opinion. I made something that sort of attracted attention and praise, and someone else took that thing and attempted to make money off of it without consulting me. It’s like stealing someone’s ideas to make your own business, or using someone else’s face as an endorsement of your product without even telling them about it. In a real life situation, I could imagine being very pissed of by that. It’s an interesting reaction that people get in these situations, and I often wonder whether it’s selfishness or spite or something else that causes people’s reactions. Here I was with no intentions of ever using my idea for commercial purposes. And now Lauren has gone and made money off of it behind my back. My kneejerk response is to try and sue her or at least send a cease and desist letter. But why? Is it because I’m mad at her because she was smarter and made money where I wasn’t clever enough to try? Or is it because I’m angry that she is receiving money without doing as much work? Some human instinct makes us angry when others succeed regardless of whether or not we ourselves are hurt by it. I think humans are basically stingy and I’m not sure if it’s a necessary evolutionary tactic or a regrettable byproduct of our personalities.

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Hack Response

The hacking process definitely generated some ambivalent feelings because I wanted my hacker to get into my account, but at the same time I didn’t want to be hacked because well, no one wants to be hacked. When I first changed my password, I thought I had made it fairly easy to figure out. I realized later on that it was more difficult than I intended and that I had chose a security question with so many possibilities. I also had no idea that you were only allowed five attempts of logging in before wordpress locks you out. My password could have been any superhero out there. After reading Shimu’s, my hacker, artist statement, I definitely wish I had made it a little easier for him to get in!

I had no idea that I had been hacked until I was scrolling through the class blog and saw in Shimu’s artist statement that he had hacked me. He had decided to choose a few key words in one of my weekly blog posts to capitalize to make it appear that I was overly emotional about what I was saying. In my normal life conversations with friends, I use all capitals letters to show excitement, anger, or to just be funny. Thus, I think that by capitalizing just a few words in my post, Shimu changed the content of the post, making it an effective hack. I did wonder why he chose the words he did to capitalize, though. If I were someone else and had stumbled across my blog, I would feel very confused about why certain words were made to stand out among the rest. Despite how unstable or emotional it made me appear, I do think it put a greater emphasis on my thoughts because it showed much more passion than the original post.

In this hacking experience, I, like most others, didn’t mind being hacked because I was expecting it. Additionally, the guidelines were clear so I didn’t have to worry about anyone trolling or completely vandalizing my account. It did, however, give me insight into how real life hacking occurs and I was able to relate to the uncomfortable feeling that is accompanied by being hacked.

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Hackee Response

The thought of being hacked could sound distressing to almost anyone.  Having a person browsing through your private information and property is plain terrifying.  When I got hacked, I didn’t even know.  There were no signs of account alterations, unusual notifications, or even a password changes.  I had to ask Beck if I even got hacked because I found absolutely nothing different with my account (I later found the modification after reading my hacker’s artist statement).  In my opinion, this is one of the scariest methods to get hacked.  Someone is snooping on you and you don’t even have a clue!  Luckily for me, I was hacked for academic purposes, on a website I barely even use.  On top of that, I already knew that I was going to get hacked, making it no surprise.

The person who hacked me was Audrey.  She took one of my blog posts and changed the piece to say the exact opposite of what it originally meant.  Initially, the blog post was talking about how I came to better understand and sympathize with hackers after utilizing Hackasaurus.  Audrey changed the post to say that I felt guilty and horrible after using the tool.  She even went on to declare that I would never understand hackers.  I thought the way Audrey portrayed me was pretty funny.  She made me sound like an innocent individual who stands up for justice.  What Audrey did really caught my attention.  Why?  Because I conducted the same hack on my hackee, Min Chul.  Maybe this is some type of karma coming back at me.   Probably not, though. 

To get a better idea of what Audrey’s aim was when hacking my blog post, I decided to read her artist’s statement.  After reading the post, it seems to me that Audrey was trying to portray her unease of hacking me (and hackers in general) through using my identity.  If this was her true intention then I would have to say that the hack she performed was effective.  She inverted my blog post to portray her feelings of hacking me and did a good job at it.  Also, the way she worded my post made me chuckle so props to her.

Unlike this situation, being hacked is not always fun.  That is why I have decided to be more cautious with my security settings.  Someone like Audrey could hack into my account at any time and I would not want that to happen.  That is why I decided to change my passwords more frequently.  In addition to that, most websites offer location tracking of where your account is being accessed so I decided to utilize that functionality more often.  Yes, doing these things may be annoying, but I would rather be safe than sorry.

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Presentation feedback

Presentations start tomorrow!

For the nine of you not presenting tomorrow, please come with your best listening ears … and your web-capable mobile devices (phones, laptops, tablets, etc) so that you can fill in the feedback forms without turning your back on the class.

If you don’t have a web-capable mobile device, you can totally turn your back on the class to use the computers in the classroom. But it’ll be nicer if we don’t need to do that.

Presentation feedback is to be given through a Google form (that will automatically collate it for me). After the presentations, I’ll collate the feedback for each presenter and email it to them anonymously, along with my own comments. The form DOES ask for your name, but that’s only so I can make sure everyone is taking the feedback process seriously — I will not under any circumstances release your name to your peers.

Here is a direct link to the form.

You can also access it at the following short URLs if you want to type it in:

TinyURL: http://www.tinyurl.com/hackfeedback

On my server: http://www.beckwise.com/hackrhet

I’ll put these addresses on the board in class tomorrow, but I’m providing them here so you can bookmark them if you want. See you all tomorrow.

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Hackee Response

         For the most part, I didn’t really mind being hacked because I was expecting it and I only use my word press blog for this class. However, if I had other active blogs connected with personal information, I would have felt more violated. My Facebook has been hacked before where the hacker compromised my password and messaged the majority of my friends. I remember feeling so shocked that someone was able to access my private information like that and I was also forced to change the password for my Gmail account because they were the same. The sandbox hack was harmless and actually pretty fun. It was cool to experience the life of a hacker for a few days and read through a classmate’s work and respond/change it up a bit. I can understand how hackers get an adrenaline rush from gaining access to foreign accounts.

         I learned a lot about password security and how easy it is for someone to quickly glance at your social networks and figure out thousands of passwords idea. Someone with enough time on his or her hands could easily hack into another persons account with a weak password. Now I understand why many secure websites (like my bank) require capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols in their passwords.

         I liked how Haley performed her hack on my word press account. I hadn’t even realized I did back to back blogs somewhat relating to candy (Halloween and the candy crush hack). I didn’t even realize the irony while I was writing my blogs just a week apart. Haley’s hack was thoughtful because it showed the difference between pragmatics and meaning. She mixed up the words in my blog about hacking Halloween with words from my candy crush blog. Someone who has never played Candy Crush or read my hacking Halloween blog probably would have never known the difference.

         In conclusion, it was a good experience to act as a hacker and be able to change somebody’s blog. Haley had no bad intentions when she hacked into my account and she successfully demonstrated the difference between a pragmatic analysis and a semantic analysis. The hack was effective and I could see hackers doing the same type of hack to prove a point (as many of us did as we vandalized many Wikipedia sites). 

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Hackee response

My hacking experience was kind of mixed since I accidently found out that Josh was going to be my hacker while telling Beck I hadn’t been hacked yet.  Even though my password was my high school mascot, I forgot that I never had my high school listed on my Facebook or Linkedin page.  So I apologize for that Josh for making it more difficult for you on this assignment than it should have been.  But at least I take comfort in knowing that even though I have a digital footprint, it’s smaller than the average person.  This is because I take my privacy a bit more seriously than most.  My preference is not to let everyone know about my information unless I know him or her first.  There isn’t exactly a solid reason that I have for this besides the fact that it is just my preference.

Once I gave Josh the name of my high school I was a bit unnerved.  He warned me that his hack was going to be subtle, which made me look at my blog in both nervousness and excitement on what he might do.  After a few times of checking though I simply just waited.  When he finally did confirm to me in class that he did hack me, I wanted to see what he did and sure enough he went for the one blog where we both worked on the same assignment. Quite honestly it was humorous and I wasn’t the least upset.  Maybe because the curtain of mystery was already lifted before he did anything.  In addition, because I’ve worked with Josh in the past and got to know him a bit better throughout the course of the semester I probably wasn’t threatened by him or his actions during this hacking assignment. 

 What he did mention in his artist statement is true, I didn’t realize that whatever photos you have on Facebook in the cover photo is public.  So when he told me he read through some pictures of a graduation, I went to search for it.  Looks like I missed something after all.  And it did slightly disturb me that I never knew it was public and caused me to review all my privacy settings.  So there was a residual effect of Josh’s hack.  Even though his hack I knew was friendly, it made me concerned that I could be vulnerable to a real hack by someone anonymous.  

Overall this assignment was a mixed experience, but a good one no doubt.  

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Artist Statement

The person who I was assigned to hack was Audrey. Before Audrey posted a hint, I looked her up on Facebook to find out details about her. She went to Highland Park High school in Dallas and I thought this would be a good place to start. Highland Parks High School’s mascot is the “Scots” I typed this in immediately thinking this would be my answer and I would be done so quickly. I was wrong. It wasn’t her password. Then I proceeded to type in every color of the rainbow. Those were not her password choices either. I gave up for awhile until she posted a hint on her blog. That she went to Highland Park High School and their mascot is plural along with 1234 at the end of her password. This made it really easy.

Once I was pretty sure I knew what her password was I tried it thinking I would get in right away. It did not work. I tried different number schemes and beyond and again it did not work. After many, many attempts to hack into Audrey’s word press account I finally tried the first password again. This time it worked. I must have typed it in wrong the first time otherwise I would not have been spending all that time trying to figure out the right password when I had it all along!

When I was finally into her account I went through and changed one of her blog posts to ever other sentence bolded. This was just something funny that amused me. Hacking into her account was more fun for me than I thought.  Although, I did feel a little guilty for being on someone else’s private account it gave me some sort of rush. I had just successfully completed a hacking task. Even though the directions and hints were all there I still did it magnificently. I was also very proud and impressed with myself that I knew her password would be her high school mascot right away. Maybe I thought this about her because that is what I made mine. Once I was on her account I felt nervous, as I could get caught or get into trouble. Hacking is a serious issue. This was for school purposes but I could not imagine getting onto someone else’s social media account. Example, Facebook or Twitter, I have been hacked by my friends many times on these social media websites. Every time I feel the same way, frustrated and I want to make sure my Facebook friends and Twitter followers know it was not me. After the hack is over me and my friend can laugh about it. But, Audrey is just a classmate and she is not one of my best friends that I can hack and it can be funny. This is her personal account and this made me feel awful about hacking.

I rhetorically changed the word “hack” or any form of the word hack into “prank” on her first two blog posts. This was something that is humorous to me and prank is a little similar to hack. Especially this type of hack I would consider it a prank. In her first two-blog posts it even makes sense with prank instead of hack. This hack is so minor that no one would noticed unless they knew that this class was about hacking! Hacking into someone else’s blog was intriguing but showed me that hacking into other peoples personal space is not my thing.