Michael Riddle's Thoughts » Blog Archive » Hacking and Consequences

Hacking and Consequences

Once again, my site was hacked. The loss is in the comments that readers have added. If you have posted a comment, I’d appreciate it if you’d re-post.

Since BlueHost provides WordPress sites in a totally unsecured state, and denies any responsibility for security, I’ve had to waste a lot of time learning. I’ll slowly get better, but never perfect. At least now I have made full backups and tested them, so the next hack should be reduced to a short annoyance. Some short-term good has come of it.

People often fail to see the long range results of social misbehavior. Years ago, when many people started stealing music, the industry responded with unlivable DRM schemes and unconscionable lawsuits against parents. One result is that I will no longer buy music. Their response in the war was too aberrant to support.

Music thieves caused that response, and we all suffer for it. A result of not paying for music is less well-produced music being available, and more expensive concert tickets. If everyone’s work was available for free, how would we earn a living?

Blu-Ray DVD players take forever to boot, and regularly require software upgrades to support more DRM, getting ever slower. Nice going. There is always a price, and the people least able to fight back are always the ones who pay it.

Hackers (in the newer, unfavorable, sense of the word) are doing the same thing. The web is currently anonymous. This is essential for freedom and communication in many parts of the world. They should realize that that may eventually be taken away from us due to their actions. Ideals like freedom and the free expression of ideas are much less important to governments than the well-being of large corporations. Hackers should not think for a minute that it can’t be done. Of all of us, hackers should understand the limits of security. When their security is lost, along with them may be ours. So far, it has not reached a great enough pain point. One day, the web may be lost to individuals, and every web transaction will have a verified back trail. Not a good thing. Do we really want Digital Source Management?

Don’t believe me? In the U.K., they are proposing laws to cut off web access to illegal downloaders. Certain you can get around it? I agree for now. But it shows the direction in which you are driving the train.

Hack me and you hurt my dozen or so readers, and waste a bit of my time. I’m small time. The general destructive ethic however, will lead to a much less desirable world. I once long ago was a ghost hacker – changed nothing, just proved I could do it. Learned some skills. I no longer do it, even though we all can google lots of harmful scripts and tools.

I think the real challenge is to write constructive tools – things people can use to improve their lives. Destruction has always been easier than creativity, and thus entitled to less respect.

This entry (Permalink) was posted on Thursday, October 1st, 2009 at 7:57 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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