Saturday, December 21, 2013

I Applaud the Hackers Who Stole 40 Million Credit and Debit Cards from TARGET

TARGET was hacked over a very busy shopping period and about 40 million debit and credit cards were stolen. It gives me joy to say that I am reading that hackers in Eastern Europe may be behind this heist. Yippee ki yay!

I am happy not because 40 million customers have been directly affected. The affected customers are only 'collateral damage' - I am one of them-  and will be taken care of by the all powerful banks. I am thrilled because this event clearly shows that there is no way to protect a computer network, no matter how much money one throws at it.

In this case, I am quite sure that the Eastern European hackers only had a few thousand dollars to play with. They are using their brain power and their computing smarts to disarm a company security systems that cost hundreds of millions of dollars a year and I am elated to see that money cannot defend a network. Yippee ki yay! Again.

Expertise and constant questioning by freelancers can defend a network and companies and government agencies should encourage hacking as a way to increase our skills and abilities in this area. One cannot learn how to hack -at least not proficiently- in a classroom and this has to be recognized by our government. 

We should not prosecute hackers as criminals but use them as allies and place them all in a 'public corporation' paid for with our tax money. Let all freelancers out there -even in Eastern Europe- prove that they are experts by hacking the 'hackers corporation' first... The public company will then issue instructions on how a network needs to be set up to be able to withstand any type of cyber attacks. Their job would be to break into any company they can...

Socially, by using hackers as a public resource, we would be better off. Besides, this approach would be far cheaper than the current mentality/approach that states that hackers are the bad guys and they will pay for their misdeeds in the judicial system. We all pay more for banks' and retailers loses, either directly -higher prices- or indirectly -inconvenience, taxes, etc.-.

Au contraire, hackers are serving a social good, just like vaccinations. Let's learn how to harness the power hackers have and put it to good use. Why do we continue to vilify them?

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