Wednesday, November 17, 2010
In the article, “I, Hacker” (by Kim Deloria, for the March/June 2006 issue of the digit@l magazine), the author debunks the common perception of the public on hacking. In the movies, hackers are usually portrayed as technologically sophisticated people who use their gift to break into government systems and use the information they obtained for their own evil agendas. However, “hack” simply means an enhancement, modification or quick fix done to a computer program or system. As I was reading the article, I was surprised to find out that I myself was a hacker. The article stated that if you’ve played videogames, used a computer and lived in the Philippines, there is a ninety percent chance that you’ve participated in some sort of hack – and the author was right! Among the hacking activities mentioned in the articles that I was guilty of are: configuring your game consoles to accept pirated cd’s (because the original ones are soooo expensive!), using cheat codes for games (like the endless money cheat on sims) and restoring files that you have deleted from your computer and from your recycle bin (there are many free softwares for this in the internet). These are just the ones mentioned in the article; I’m sure that I’ve done a lot more hacking than I was aware of. It is therefore not true that you have to be technologically savvy to be a hacker, even a technology ignoramus like me could be one. And it is also not true that hacking is evil; by itself it is a neutral activity. It is what you decide to do with it is that makes it such.