(Posted on my personal blog, moving it here to the public blog. Woops)
My name is Joshua Bennett, but most people call me Josh. I am currently a 4th year Computer Science major,
As a Computer Science major, my immediate reaction when I hear “hacking” is the misconception most of society has of it. It is seen as an overall negative action taken by cyber-terrorists to corrupt the internet and steal your information. Hacking has been relegated into only dealing with malicious computer nerds and has been given a negative connotation. Hacking to me means anything that can be changed to do something it wasn’t originally intended to do. Hacking is a widely used term in my Computer Science classes and has to do with editing pieces of code in a unconventional way to quickly fix or improve the function of it. We also use it in my apartment often when we want to make something perform better by adding or changing something about it.
I can’t ignore what everyone immediately thinks about hacking though, which is circumventing security online by changing information through exploits. Groups that I am quite familiar with are Lulzsec (which has since been shutdown) and Anonymous. Both groups have their own agenda of supposedly trying to portray a good message, and hurt evil organizations by doing it in an evil way themselves. In a sense they are online vigilantes. I think these groups don’t actually feel too strongly about what they are hacking though, and do it instead because it gives them a sense of power and notoriety. Overall, I feel like these groups are completely unnecessary. They are able to shut down sites for a few days, and extract private information, but it also seems quite pointless. They make issues bigger then they are, and give their victims more things to complain about. In most cases, I think the answer is to just ignore these organizations. So personally, I find these “hacker groups” annoying.
As for hacks in general, it all depends on what you are hacking, but I love hacks! I used to hack everything. Most of what I’ve learned is through hacking. I used to hack Pokemon games so I could create my own. I used to hack programs to learn how they were built and change them into tools I can use. It’s important to me and I wouldn’t be me without it.