Perhaps some of you remember a short while ago, Christmas to be specific, you couldn’t play online with your friends. Unless you had a Wii, because nobody wants to bother Nintendo. More specifically, if you own an Xbox or Playstation the networks went down and your Christmas was ruined. Ruined, because God forbid you actually spend time with family and loved ones. You needed to play your new games online with possibly friends or, most likely, a lot of people you don’t even know. Well, you couldn’t get your anti-social vibe on due to a hacker group called “Lizard Squad” hacking both networks and bringing them down.
Well, lucky for you, we now have faces and names to go with the two of them claiming responsibility. Vinnie Omari and Julius ‘Ryan’ Kivimaki felt their Christmas stunt was all that and a bag of chips. Perhaps it was considering they didn’t call off their attack until Kim Dotcom offered them a reward valued at approximately $300,000 US.
In an interview both of the youths made it sound like this was primarily a publicity stunt for the both of them. They really wanted to get some recognition over a rival hacker group and felt like this would be the best way to do so. Both allegedly have records for previous hacking crimes. So what is it that compels individuals such as these to take such steps? Outside of fame, some claim to do so in order to force companies to have stronger security for their customers. While many of these groups may be playing internet Robin Hood, they aren’t quite helping the populace out when we can’t enjoy our time online.
At the end of the day, I feel that groups such as this should approach companies in a business manner if they feel that their securities put their consumers at risk. This may give them the opportunity to prove to these companies they’re as good as they say they are and negotiate a wage to help fix it. On the other hand, I have never understood the hacker community at large and while sometimes I think their actions are justifiable, I feel the ends don’t always justify the means. Fortunately, they got a nice paycheck for Christmas and also managed to get arrested for their actions.
Let us know what you think about hacktivists and their campaigns to force companies into better security. Does it really work? Is it really worth it? Will it ever make a difference?