2012: The Year Of The Hacker?

2012: The Year Of The Hacker?You pretty much can’t read or watch the news these days without some story about a new threat from a hacker or a data breach at a company. While the subject matter is no stranger to conversations I have daily, I was delighted to stumble upon an article this morning listing 4 signs “hacktivism” has gone mainstream. I’ve already dubbed 2012 as “the year of the hacker” so this couldn’t have come at a better time.

1. They’ve had a good 2011

They sure did! Banks, universities, healthcare—you name it, it got hacked. Forrester reports it’s only going to get worse, proceed with caution. Use multiple layers of defense!

2. They’re more selective in their targets

While hackers still aim at where they can cause the most damage with the least effort (Windows PCs and Android mobile OS), the Duqu zero-day threat was tailored to attack one specific company. Drone cockpits at the US Creech Air Force base were attacked by malware for 2 weeks. These attacks are not random anymore. They aim for a specific goal.

3. They self-police

This one may come as a shock to many of you but they are somewhat civilized in their own circles. They don’t let each other run rampant; they have a code which they follow (only a slight pun intended). But they work outside the law and that’s the problem. The push back from online entities to stop copyright bills is one thing, Annoymous shutting down child porn sites on their own is another. Grey area much?

4. They could change the law

Hacking for political protest can be lumped in with hacking for extortion under current restrictive laws, and this leads to more grey area that needs to be defined clearer. Several people charged during the Occupy movement this past year shone a light on this matter. Do their crimes go uncharged because they did so exercising free speech?

What do you think? Will 2012 be the year of the hacker? Check out the full article here.

Scott Cornell

When he’s not knee deep in blogging and all things tech, Scott spends his free time playing ultimate Frisbee and watching foreign films. An expert in emerging tech trends, Scott always has his ear to ground for breaking news related to IT security.