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Where and what?
Posted by: rsnake
Date: April 25, 2008 08:31AM

I recently got a fairly interesting query that I thought I'd pass along to the experts out in the field. The question was "What is the hacking culture like regionally?" So what I am looking for is ethnographic or geographic differences between hacker micro-cultures.

So I have a few questions for you all:

1) What country/region are you from?
2) How would you describe the hacker culture where you live?
2a) What are the motives for hackers that you know (money/fun/politics...)?
2b) How do hackers stay in touch where you live (IRC/cons, etc...)?
3) What are the differences between hackers in your region verses other regions that you pay attention to?

- RSnake
Gotta love it. http://ha.ckers.org

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Re: Where and what?
Posted by: Kyran
Date: April 25, 2008 05:43PM

1 - I'm in Western Canada.
2 - Culture? Doesn't there need to be more than ten of us for this to work well? I bet I can count us on my hands.
2a - All the people I could even remotely call hackers in the area are pretty much whitehat and do it for fun and/or part of their job.
2b- CanSecWest is the only con in the area and not too much new stuff occurs there from the looks of it. Weirdly, a fairly decent amount of them lurk in a social networking site 'Nexopia', run by Timo who seems to have a decent interest in security. Our OWASP chapter here in Edmonton has been dead for awhile.
3 - Tis just short of a ghost town here. But over in many areas of europe it seems like much hacker networking goes on.

- Kyran

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Re: Where and what?
Posted by: Malkav
Date: April 26, 2008 03:44PM

1 : french, and more specifically parisian

2 : i have observed to major groups around me. original 80's style hacker, not particularly obsessive with computing, more with breaking things. those guys tend to do a little of everything, locksmithing, phreak (although apart from a few, they all moved to the RF field), hack or just anything that can be fun. apart from that, members of the first group tend to be real nerds, roleplaying, card trading, not shagging anything.
the second is made of mono obsessive guys, (one dimensional experts) that tend to eat and breath *their* part. (their part being often "the obscure point of detail in technology that nobody knows about", like FPGA based hardware encryption, or hacking the OpenVMS kernel. or HURD.). this guys often do 'their part' as a living to, and tend to be overly paid (yeah, just *how many* OpenVMS experts you know hmm ? and your friends know ? that makes room for friggin' high salaries).

the heaviest difference i observed is between us and "new" h4x0rz, which often doesn't give a fuck of the underlying technology. hacking is more and more seen just a tool to reach whatever agenda they have. you *need* to go to the CCCamp to take a breath of pure hacker spirit. that's like returning home :)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Those that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
--Benjamin Franklin

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Re: Where and what?
Posted by: id
Date: April 26, 2008 04:27PM

1) US
2) I share an office with one, he never buys lunch for me
2a) the girlies
2b) usually I shout
3) we battle with rattan sticks here, they use numchucks elsewhere.

-id

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Re: Where and what?
Posted by: thrill
Date: April 26, 2008 05:05PM

1) El Salvador, currently living in California, but hope to go back home soon.
2) I know no hackers.. those are evil people. I just know a few security experts. ;)
2a) I know none as I mentioned, but they do it for fun and lunch money.
2b) SuperEncrypted and self-signed 2048bit signature emails.
3) I'm so broke, I can't even pay attention, let alone to other regions.

--thrill

---

It is not the degrees you hold, but the mind you possess. - thrill

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Re: Where and what?
Posted by: Ivan
Date: April 27, 2008 03:45PM

1) What country/region are you from?
- Serbia

2) How would you describe the hacker culture where you live?
- There is no culture, there is only few enthusiast.

2a) What are the motives for hackers that you know (money/fun/politics...)?
- Fun and money

2b) How do hackers stay in touch where you live (IRC/cons, etc...)?
- IRC/IM

3) What are the differences between hackers in your region verses other regions that you pay attention to?
- They have more resource to use because they don't have wars ;)


Btw, I`m not hacker ...

http://www.security-net.biz/



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/27/2008 03:46PM by Ivan.

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Re: Where and what?
Posted by: hanfi
Date: April 27, 2008 05:01PM

1) What country/region are you from?
Switzerland
2) How would you describe the hacker culture where you live?
Not existent. As our whole country, the German part goes with German hackers, the French part with France, the Italians with Italia.
2a) What are the motives for hackers that you know (money/fun/politics...)?
career and politics (either want get a good paid IT-job or deface nazi-sites)
2b) How do hackers stay in touch where you live (IRC/cons, etc...)?
Most I seen was personal talk. One don't uses the Internet, it could make one trackable by officials, and beeing caught would hurt career. So we don't do that.
3) What are the differences between hackers in your region verses other regions that you pay attention to?
Here all is about education. "Hacking" is part of it. Since it leads to trouble with officials, after school everyone stays outside. It could hurt the career.
I think other parts in the world risk more.

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Re: Where and what?
Posted by: Malkav
Date: April 27, 2008 05:08PM

<rant>

a hacker, is definitely NOT an evil doer by essence, whatever dumbasses like the_Ut may say. hacker is a word that find its root in literature, where it described authors writing furiously day and night. the word was hijacked in late 60's/early 70's to describe comp sci students and researchers that would "hack" through punchcards 24/7, and it took the sense we often use in the 80's, where hacking became describing 'the activity of using things in a way their were not designed for' (roughly). the fact that mainstream media understand nothing to this, and misuse the term doesn't make it real. mmkay ? i am a hacker, and proud of it. guys that pretend to be "h4x0r" are just a bunch of criminal, and should be treated like it.
</rant>

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Those that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
--Benjamin Franklin

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Re: Where and what?
Posted by: Anonymous User
Date: April 27, 2008 05:18PM

. taken

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Re: Where and what?
Posted by: tx
Date: April 28, 2008 02:28PM

I'll bite:
1) US - California
2) There is a lot going on where I live, but then I don't spend too much time socializing.
2a) I'm in the bay area so there is a little bit of everything, of course there are tons of security researchers that do it for a living here, as well as a decent political hacking movement (places like hackbloc, etc.); blackhat too, but not really more so than there was in L.A.
2b) IRC and instant messengers of course and there are tons of cons/meetups here, but I've never been one to take part in such things, although I hope to change that in the upcoming year (missed the wasc meetup at RSA unfortunately)
3) haha I don't pay attention to anything but my monitor and my girlfriend (because she gets mad if I don't ;)

-tx @ lowtech-labs.org

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Ethography of Hackers
Posted by: rsnake
Date: April 29, 2008 08:53AM

This is good stuff guys, please keep it coming.

@Malkav - I don't think anyone here thinks hackers are evil, I'm asking about the culture and motivations for being a hacker. If their motivation is money and money alone, that's a different kind of hacker than one that's just in it for fun.

I really want to know more about your perception of other regions though. How do you perceive nearby regions. For instance, I heard something really interesting from a guy who got back from China recently. Apparently the government sponsored some sort of pen test against one of companies in China. During the pen-test they brought the production website completely off line for a number of days, and no one complained. It's part of the culture there to expect the government to be intentionally aggressive in the effort to insure security. These kinds of stories are important to understanding how different regions feel about things and how hackers are "bred" to act by their countries.

For right or wrong, those cultural issues are pretty important to our industry. Specifically how the government treats hackers is another one. From my perspective the Russian federation and the Romanian government both are pretty lackadaisical about arresting cyber-criminals, even in the most egregious examples, not that I've ever thought you should arrest people - it's far better to spend the time and money to fix the hole than chase after bad guys. But either way, perhaps that is encouraging other traits amongst hackers from that region.

The comments by hanfi are another great example - the Swiss appear to try to stop illegitimate hacking whenever possible or instill fear into hackers to encourage them to move into legitimate careers. Perhaps that's one reason I don't see a lot of hackers attacking this site from the Swiss IP space. ;)

- RSnake
Gotta love it. http://ha.ckers.org



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/29/2008 08:54AM by rsnake.

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Re: Where and what?
Posted by: Matt Presson
Date: April 30, 2008 04:30PM

1) What country/region are you from?
US - TN

2) How would you describe the hacker culture where you live?
Non-existent unless you count the 2600 meetings.

2a) What are the motives for hackers that you know (money/fun/politics...)?
Mostly fun, and as a profession (security professionals at companies (like me))

2b) How do hackers stay in touch where you live (IRC/cons, etc...)?
Forum (may not be up anymore) and IRC

3) What are the differences between hackers in your region verses other regions that you pay attention to?
Too busy at work to worry with other people's stuff.

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Re: Where and what?
Posted by: istari
Date: April 30, 2008 05:57PM

There I go...

1) What country/region are you from?
Argentina.

2) How would you describe the hacker culture where you live?
Inexistant. There's very few real hackers around (although there's a lot of script kiddies!), and the only ones I know are the ones I met for reasons that are not related to hacking... so there's no possible unifying culture here.

2a) What are the motives for hackers that you know (money/fun/politics...)?
The ones who make a career out of it are in politics, but they are REALLY lame: they work for government agencies (because companies here don't really care about security, so they don't have security teams), and they use techniques that are so simple they are hilarious (phishing mostly). The rest of us do it for fun and personal gain (the small benefits we all love :-P ), but not for money because there's no business oportunities available...

2b) How do hackers stay in touch where you live (IRC/cons, etc...)?
Doesn't really matter: there's no one to stay in touch with... except for a few guys you know and can meet personally or phone directly to their home.

3) What are the differences between hackers in your region verses other regions that you pay attention to?
There's some disadvantages: no cons as in the US or Europe, no money in it at all, no way to exchange knowledge, etc... But there's some advantages too: no one is interested in hacking, not even the law, so we don't really fear anything might happen to us (as in "nobody ever gets caught")...

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