Hacktivism's Pit Fall

from the it's-not-an-old-video-game dept

Cyberterrorists are predicted to attack more multinational corporations in lieu of governments. Defacing web pages, DOS attacks, and the like are the “methods they are using … in their infancy”. This article predicts more attacks from animal rights activists and other fringe groups. But the real question is how effective can these attacks be? Defacing a web page is mostly harmless right now. But I guess if cyberterrorists could make the dot-com stock market plummet… oh wait, they don’t have to.

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Comments on “Hacktivism's Pit Fall”

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Perpetual Newbie says:

Hacktivism, modern protest

Anybody who thinks they can change major corporate or government policy by defacing a few web sites is seriously lacking in the clue department. The people doing this are kids with no coherent view of the Big Picture. Corporate managers if they ever hear of these defacements will consider them akin to a middle finger in the road, a minor annoyance not worth considering. Meanwhile, the government will consider the kid to be as dangerous as the Unabomber and Al Capone, and will act accordingly, and there’s one less grievance that the world will ever hear about.

To effect great change, you need a critical mass of people and power, acting in a manner that if does not at least incite popular support, must not inflame popular anger. It helps to have reasoned arguments, clear-cut examples of what things you consider wrong and how they can be fixed, and it helps to make your opinions known to and have good relations with legislators, media and those in power. Finding other groups with similar ends and sharing resources with them can advance an effort, but the key is that your support must exceed your opposition. Acting in an unlawful, destructive manner or the appearance of such is a sure way to strengthen the opposition to your goals.

A hacktivist can get a critical mass of power by rooting several thousand popular, high profile web servers and displaying their message simultaneously on all at once. This may lead to public discussion of the message, but almost everyone is assured to be prejudiced against the hacktivist’s viewpoint because of the uncivil way that the message was transmitted. Because of this public disdain, I wouldn’t be surprised to see "hacktivist" ratfucking in the near future, people and corporations defacing websites and replacing with messages of support for their opponents in order to turn popular support against the target.

mhh5 says:

Re: Hacktivism, modern protest

But terrorists don’t care about how their message is received, just that it is received…

So I assume you think terrorism is ultimately self-defeating. I’m inclined to agree, but the difference between bombings and web-page-grafitti is that usually no one gets physically injured in web page defacements. So how much public disdain could be incurred really? If the only point is to get a message across, then I advocate hacktivism over real terrorist actions…

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