[Air-L] CFP: Expanding the frontiers of hacking

David Golumbia dgolumbia at gmail.com
Tue Jun 14 06:54:38 PDT 2011

On Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 4:24 AM, Mathieu ONeil <mathieu.oneil at anu.edu.au>wrote:

> During the past two decades, hacking has chiefly been associated with
> software development. This is now changing as new walks of life are being
> explored with a hacker mindset, thus bringing back to memory the origin of
> hacking in hardware development. Now as then, the hacker is characterised by
> an active approach to technology, undaunted by hierarchies and established
> knowledge, and finally a commitment to sharing information freely.

i wish I had any understanding of why this view can continue to be

i see so little of it from groups like anonymous and so on. to the contrary,
contemporary hacking is characterised by:

   - attempting to steal every bit of information and financial property i
   and you and every other person on this list has earned or owns by whatever
   - doing so without any clear political program or input from political
   thinkers, but typically because there is something they don't like about the
   target, and/or the target has something of value they want to steal;
   - being absolutely antidemocratic and authoritarian with regard to their
   decisions and actions;
   - keeping whatever profits they make solely for themselves;
   - in many cases, working on behalf of large multi-national corporations
   and governments. the most famous recent example is Stuxnet.

where is the special issue on that topic? why do we keep having them, and
endless list and conference discussions, on this one, which does not map
onto the reality i know at all?

it's not like this was in the news as recently as yesterday or today or

Hardly a month has gone by this year without a multinational company such as
Google Inc., EMC Corp. or Sony Corp. disclosing it’s been hacked by cyber
intruders who infiltrated networks or stole customer information. Yet no
hacker has been publicly identified, charged or arrested.

If past enforcement efforts are an indication, most of the perpetrators will
never be prosecuted or punished.

“I don’t have a high level of confidence that they will be brought to
justice,” said Peter George, chief executive of Fidelis Security Systems
Inc., a Bethesda, Md.-based data protection consulting firm whose clients
include International Business Machines Corp., the U.S. Army and the
Department of Commerce. “The government is doing what they can, but they
need to do a lot more.”

In the U.S., the FBI, the Secret Service and other law enforcement agencies
are confronting what amounts to a massive crime wave that’s highly organized
and hard to combat with traditional methods. The hacker organizations are
well-funded and global, eluding arrest except in the rarest of cases.

Attacks are coming from organized crime groups based in Eastern Europe and
Russia, from industrial spies in China and from groups such as LulzSec,
whose members appear to reside mostly in the U.S. and Europe and seem more
interested in publicity than in making a profit from their crimes. (By
Michael Riley, Greg Farrell and Ann Woolner, Bloomberg News, "Cyber
intruders confound: Few hackers are brought to
Jun 12 2011)

David Golumbia
dgolumbia at gmail.com

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