Hack The Planet

rant security blog

"You can't go around telling people you hack things"

No? So I should be ashamed of telling people that I have taken the time to learn about information security? That I'm capable of helping them secure their own things? That I find new, original, and innovative uses or solutions to problems is somehow a bad thing?

I'm a hacker. I'm a maker. I'm (soon to be) an engineer. Why should I restrain my words to keep people in the dark about my knowledge and skills when knowing that I have those skills could be of benefit to both of us?

I'm not stupid. I know people think of illegal penetration of systems and accounts when they hear the word 'hack' but I refuse to be defined by the minority. Doing so would be the same as letting the term 'African American' be synonymous with crime given the rates of incarceration by race in the US. I will not stand for that.

In 'Hacking: The Art of Exploitation' by Jon Erickson he says

The essence of hacking is finding unintended or overlooked uses for the laws and properties of a given situation and then applying them in new and inventive ways to solve a problem—whatever it may be

I don't remember where I first heard them, so credit where credit is due, but these are the inherit rules of hacking

  • ● Any good solution is fast, easy to understand, and above all elegant.

  • ● Any task which can be automated should be - if a computer can do it faster than you than you shouldn't do it by hand
  • ● Any problem that has been solved in a way that satisfies the above two rules should be looked at for reuse before reinventing the wheel.
  • ● Any question which has already been answered should not be left to a human to answer again.
  • ● All knowledge should be free†

  • † within practicality, trade secrets are obviously a thing, and I'm not crazy. I mean like publicly funded research and what not. While the specifics of this rule vary amongst hackers it is generally a core belief. Though for the writing at hand this particular rule isn't of much relevance *

Fundamentally all of these rules serve the same purpose, to save the most valuable resource: time. I value your time, and I ask that you value mine. I would love to explain to you and teach you everything I know, but don't make me repeat myself, don't make me do a task in a way that I know is inefficient, and don't make me explain to you how to do something that you could just google.

I think these opinions and this mindset can sound conflicting with being a good person, but I assue you that is not the case. If I see anyone I can help I do. There's a reason I'm a resident assistant at my university, and I know that If I were some self centered ass I wouldn't be.

I'm a hacker, and my guess is you strive to be too. Please, don't tell me I should change my language because you don't understand what it really means.

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