Thursday, January 5, 2012

Chronicles of the Anonymous: the Hacker and the Hacktivist, is there really a difference?

Continued….

Where to hack means to break into computer systems, hacktivism is the act of hacking, or breaking into a computer system, for a politically or socially motivated purpose. The individual who performs such an act of is, expectedly, a hacktivist.

It is in the purpose where the fundamental difference between a hacker and a hacktivist lies. Essentially, a hacktivist uses exactly the same tools and techniques as a hacker BUT where the latter’s goal may often be for illicit profit or selfish reasons, the former focuses on socio-political ends. Hacktivists conduct attacks to bring attention to a special political cause that they emphatize with. Both employ exactly the same methods but for completely different aims.

Of the many kinds of hacktivist assaults perhaps the most common is a Denial-of-service attack, often called a DoS attack. This is occurs when Computer users bombard website servers with data in the hopes of knocking them offline. The Anonymous are well known for their coordinated DoS attacks on popular sites, such as YouTube. This involves saturating the target machine with external communications requests, such that it cannot respond to legitimate traffic, or responds so slowly as to be rendered effectively unavailable.

DoS attacks start out as an idea initiated in discussion boards-usually in 4chan.org where the details are then set, e.g time, date, site and such attacks usually lead to a server overload.

Nathan J. Marasigan, Entry No. 3

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