Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A wasted hack

The title of this particular post is not, as it might appear, a reflection on my own life, although some of my readers may be justified in assuming so. No, this is a brief post about something that popped up on my Twitter feed last week.

As you may have read or seen on the news last week, NBC news had their Twitter account hacked by a small group of hackers calling themselves The Script Kiddies (a more unoriginal name I think would be hard to find!). Once they had taken over the account, the hackers proceeded to post tweets about a fresh attack on the World Trade Centre on the anniversary of 9/11. Of course, I find this particular act deplorable, but I also can't help thinking that it really was such a waste of a hack.

These hackers could have posted absolutely anything. The opportunities to post links to real stories about humanitarian disasters around the world to raise awareness, or to post stories and links to charities fighting disease and poverty around the world are truly endless.

The hackers could even have tried to bring a little joy into the world by posting ridiculously faked stories. A news item about a man being attacked by a shark on the 38th floor of his office building, or Toyota designing a car that only has one gear, reverse.

Stories along these lines may have helped cheer up a world so full of anger, suffering and misery that the hack may have been seen as something of a public service acted out by a group of hackers wanting to rid the world of a few frowns. Instead, the hackers once again made people question the very technologies they have become reliant upon and attempted to prove that hackers have nothing but evil tendencies and a talent for code.


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