Dec 11, 2013
The Difference Between Hacking and Attacking
Posted on Aug 1, 2011
In this age of terrorism and anxiety, we sometimes let loose a little too freely with loaded words like “attack.” Take the case of LulzSec, the humorous hacker collective that brought down the CIA’s World Factbook, penetrated PBS and resurrected Tupac.
An 18-year-old from the Shetland Islands was arrested in connection with LulzSec and faces five related charges. His granddad called the raid to capture the teenager “dramatic and ridiculous.” That’s pretty much how we would imagine a raid on a youngster who allegedly pulled pranks, albeit on big targets.
Let’s take a breath and try to remember that many of these hackers, whether they call themselves LulzSec, Anonymous or Frank, are not terrorists, nor are their actions remotely as heinous as shooting journalists from a helicopter or torturing people to death.
Gary McKinnon is a British hacker and UFO enthusiast fighting extradition to the U.S., where he faces 70 years in prison. Did he do more damage to the United States, allegedly poking around protected servers in search of aliens, than Lawrence Summers, who ushered in the deregulation that obliterated trillions of dollars of American wealth?
A little perspective is in order. —PZS
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