Hacktivism Rides Again
4:56PM Jul 25, 2020
Hi friends, my name is antrix and I'm a volunteer for hope 2020. If you guys would like to volunteer and make the conference even a much greater success, please to send us an email, you definitely need a lot more volunteers to make it a grand success. So up next is a very interesting panel session where T star was of the popular count of the dead cow group. Join us For 2020 again the title of this panel is hacktivism rights again and our speakers oxyplot Ruffin Joseph men omega and Java men are you're with us today. Friends. I'll let you guys take the stage and let us know the new initiatives and strategies to fight surveillance racism and disease.
I'd like to thank HOPE for having us and everybody who, who's who's watching at home. I had been looking forward to coming with members of the of the CDC to hope in New York this year. But this way, hey, we get to we get to reach more more people. So I hope everybody's staying safe. I'm just with men. I'm a longtime investigative tech reporter, and I wrote a book about the other gentleman you're seeing here called coach the dead cow. How the original hacking supergroup might just save the world. And it's a if you don't know the cult of the dead cow. It is the oldest surviving and most influential hacking group in US history. They originated in 1984 when they're a bunch of teenagers running bulletin boards. And they're interested in finding people like them and being funny and writing text files, some of them interested in games or pirated software. And it evolved multiple times through the years became one of the sort of the top security security groups in the world in the mid 90s. Most Famous then for introducing back office and then b o to K a year later. These are both tools for hacking Windows machines, and they distributed them to all kinds Which was controversial at the time, but force Microsoft to take security much more seriously. This panel is called hacktivism. there and back again, I'd say that CDC is probably most famous for having invented at least the word hacktivism. And so crystallizing the concept, though, had multiple definitions over the years. My favorite is it was hacking and security work in service of human rights. And this is something that has only gotten more important as Tech has become more central to everybody's life and security has become more central to technology. So we have with us 320 year members at least of the dead cow in their their order of joining
omega giveaway omega, real name.
Misha joined well let him let him say but he's here today. Because he's still doing interesting things now but he was the man that came up with the word hacktivism. Next is oxblood Ruffin giveaway exploit if you would. There his real name Larry Brown oxblood is really the the Godfather, the godfather of hacktivism. He was champion within the cult of the dead cow and launched a spin off called activists Mo, which was devoted entirely to activism efforts many years ago. And then Java man, the last that you'll hear from today, giveaway Java man. Real name Adam O'Donnell. He joined in the in the early O's, making him the youngest of this particular crowd, in terms of CDC tenure, but he has been very active in electoral electoral politics, including fundraising for CDC, member, Beto O'Rourke, who you may have heard about. That's it. I'm going to let each of them give a little little bit of an introduction to their own career, inside CDC and outside of it, and then we'll go around and talk about hacktivism more properly. But would you start us off?
Sure, and thanks for the invitation and hello to everybody at home. I started my career. Well before the CDC working at the United Nations. I was there working with some NGOs and eventually went directly to the organization and was the CO editor of a book on the General Assembly. As a result of that I learned all of the arcane features of the General Assembly and ended up doing some consulting there. Afterwards, I moved into Android worked in advertising in the early days of FinTech and digital advertising these kinds of things. Join the CDC is In 1996, after lengthy correspondence with the death vegetable was a lot of fun, I had no idea my emails being read by the rest of the crew. But apparently that's what sealed the deal. Actually, a funny story I remember is that I was corresponding with veggie for about a year, it was a lot of fun. And then at the end of that period, I got an email from Grandmaster rat, who runs the CDC and said, okay, you're in the CDC now, and I thought it was a joke. I wasn't sure. And so I turned to one of my work colleagues, and I said, You know, I just got an invitation to join the CDC and he goes, No way, you're a moron. Those guys would never have you in. But it turned out that in spite of being a moron, I was actually invited to try and so I was always interested in I thought the CDC was cool as hell. And at the same time, I was also very interested and developing some kind of online activism. I didn't know what that was, but I thought for some crazy reason the CDC would be the perfect group to do that with. So as a result, got permission to get hacked to beastmode. Together, started recruiting people internationally. The first few members were from Germany. Some American guys joined and eventually we had about 40 people, I would say, we're very actively involved in the group from literally all over the world, some even from China and Iran, believe it or not, but we developed circumvention tech, and talked about national firewalls at a time when this was really not sort of public information in the sense that maybe academics and technical People and policy people were aware of these things. But it wasn't anything that was showing up in the press. And I'm actually proud that we use a lot of our style and swagger to publicize a lot of things that eventually I think led to a much broader public awareness. So it wasn't just the tech in hacktivism out of the circumvention tech, but also the style, the CDC style with which we did things i thought was very important.
You want to talk about your, your professional life at all the things you've done since then.
Sure, I mean, I've been working in startups seeing for the past 20 years in Toronto. I worked with a company called Open colo, we did peer to peer stuff. Then, thereafter I moved to Well, I did some more work and had Advertising interactive as it was called then around FinTech and did some consulting in Barbados. Then I moved to I got recruited by tkip solution firm in, in Munich, which I kind of think might have been one of the forerunners of blockchain and operated very much in the same fashion. went to India after that, worked in mesh networking technology up in the mountains in Dharamsala did a lot of work with Tibet and community there. Went to Bangalore for a couple of years worked on a documentary film on cybersecurity in India. And now, I've moved back to Germany. I'm based in Berlin now,
because one of the things I really like about the CDC message, I guess, is that you can do really good work in any in any venue. Whether you're working inside a big company, small company, your you know, your off hours, volunteerism, things contributing to open source projects or even in government you can do, you can do really good stuff. And then so I like that you sort of you have like recognized like, I think a lot of people in tech could relate to your some of your day jobs, maybe not all of it, but some of them, you know, you're kind of, you know, you were a superhero cape sometimes, and then you're kind of like a regular tech guy. gathers. You know, I think I think that's interesting. I still don't know what Misha does for a living. Excuse me omega. He won't tell me but I know, I know what he's done in his in his his private time. Omega. Can you give us a little bit of your history inside NASA CDC?
Sure. So I was a teenager in the 1980s during the era of online bulletin board systems. Like many of my peers, the movie wargames inspired me tempted me, let's say to investigate computer underground. I kind of grew up in the underground reading CDC text files, reading anything I could get my hands on. In 1990, I moved to Boston, where I met future members of the cult and loft. In 1982, I became a member of CEC. So I've been a member for about 28 years. Two more years and I'll get a gold watch. That's what that's what really sold me on on membership was the CDC pension plan. Grandmaster rap made me the editor and archivist for CDC, because I had mastered punctuation, the Lost Art of double spacing. And then for CDC, I also curate a media list of all our news clippings to track the progress of our global domination. I've kept an informal archive of CDC related things for about 30 Yours. In my day job. I work in computer security. I've been computer security professional for decades, several decades. I've worked mostly in financial, but also in startups in tech startups over the years.
Okay, gentlemen, you want to give us a snapshot of your background here?
Sure. I was a. I was actually born in West Philadelphia. I was raised in the city. I went to an art and math nerd high school called Central High School in North Philadelphia and it really shaped me pretty heavily. We were all kind of nerdy introverts who were into you know, a lot of us were into the arts and math and I would spend my time at home. Playing with electronics and using this thing I had on my computer called a modem dialing up into BBs is a breed cbct files People's t files and at the same time, I would make good scenes with a buddy of mine we use photocopier and, and upbraiding random stuff. So there's a, this priming, I feel that that happened. And there's a couple people I really kind of got me in high school buzz a little bit more.
I don't want to say mischievious. But I would say, you know, just liked doing things
a little bit differently that weren't exactly
by the book, I guess you would say and so I didn't really have my people amongst the people I went to high school with and there were certain parts of them that really spoke to me, but certain aspects, you know, weren't fully there. And then I finished high school and I had an amazing education high school so when I got to college, I kind of didn't have to work that hard to get my bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. I spent my free time exploring computers more in more in depth and Other people's systems, for example. And I would start taking a train from North Jersey was working internship to New York and went to New York 26 in New York City 2600. From there, a couple of people there took me up to this actually, I think we first met Emanuel many, many many years ago. But those that crew took me up to Boston and I ended up meeting a bunch of the last guys, kingpin and Brian oblivion. Specifically, I really fell in with those people. I was like, it was like finally other people that did hardware crap and had a little bit of a tweaked view of what you can do with hardware and that that part as I said, I started really feeling Oh, I starting to finally home.
At the same time,
I think also from my high school experience, I had this little bit of a interest in, in civil rights and human rights and I thought about how I could apply these to to the broader computer security world. And that interest lined up with some other people's interests as well as the CDC interests. And that's how I ended up becoming involved. And just it spoke to a lot of different parts of my personality and the things I was just in the way I carried on my life. And then professionally, I have a doctorate in electrical engineering I, we actually have a couple cc members out of their PhDs at this point, which is I think it's kind of amazing. And I have been working in computer security now for about 20 years. Started with some people that you know, a chunk of us want to add steak and a chunk of us went to a company called garden and I went to the garden ended up doing some consulting For different parties throughout grad school and then afterwards, moved to the west coast and started doing the startup thing and started a company that ended up being the first, effectively the first endpoint defense response product, which called me net, which became fire amp, and I got bought out by Cisco, so yeah. All right,
good. All right. Let's talk hacktivism here, um, Oxford. What, what? What did you work on? Back in the day that you think is still that you're proudest of and that you think is still resonating? I mean, I'll throw out some possibilities because you've done a lot you you advised or spoke with Ron de Burt, as he was putting together citizen lab, which does tremendous work up in Toronto on through monitoring the use of misuse of tech by governments against citizens. I'd say. You helped through your circumvention work you helped spur the development Have tours are like a friendly rivalry. And obviously you drew attention to what was happening in China with the Great Firewall and inspired a lot of people to work on helping people there, you know, reach the the open Internet. What have you have what has sort of lasting value and importance of those or beyond those that you're proud of stuff? I think
maybe two things. We did, we developed, basically an onion routing network, developed by the mixer called the six four system, very akin to Tor. And also we put out to Tor Park, which was the first Tor Browser and I think was ended up in that ecosystem. But actually, I think the thing that I I'm most proud of may seem like a weird interest is the hacktivism one enhance or a software license agreement, which was essentially a open or a transparent not open source, but you'd say a transparent license, very much like the GPL that had some restrictions on how the code could be developed. For instance, if it were seen
exploit the user in some way, then
theoretically and probably the perpetrator would be liable. So I think the idea of talking about Ethics and having standards and it's not to say that the interest in public interest tech Now is a direct result of that. It's certainly not but I think we were part of This movement, shaping ethics and tax And trying to form some kind of positivity. In a relationship between
Human Rights and technology
Okay, let's let's
fast forward and talk about present present day stuff. You're all doing things that are different strands of activism that are that are, but I think are really important and interesting in their own way. Above that, let's let's stick with you here. What do you what are you working on now? Um, that is is being preached to people that who are maybe you know, don't call them Don't go back 20 years and remember when ethics and tech was kind of a crazy Crazy new thing.
I was working on a project just Before the whole COVID thing happened, and it's sort of got derailed, but maybe we put a bit of a pause. on it because we're all ended up doing different things, but it's something I'll get back to but i think that you know, anytime related to the climate crisis technology Something that's quite positive and especially with younger hackers and even again, non technical people Like social, you don't have to have a lot of technical knowledge to use social media and there are a lot of campaigns. And actions that are developed through social media The particular project we were working on was essentially it's sort of a combination of a mapping app and encrypted chat programs. So that There were physical demonstrations somewhere. Like we we took the idea from a lot of the mapping software that was happening with the Hong Kong protests And thought to sort of meld that with The chat app so we got a bit into it and had to pause for a while once a covert hit but it's something we'll get back to but I think there is is I mean, anything related to the climate crisis is pretty much the number one issue with younger, younger hackers, I'm reluctant to use the term Zoomers, and no Millennials but you know, people you know college age high school age, especially kids who are Trying to organize and do something positive stuff see a lot of activity there. There's actually quite a cool
Social networking platform and see if I can
find it. I might
have to look it up maybe when somebody else is talking about There's a application that was developed by an NGO And Sweden. And it's essentially I think It's called we don't have time. I'm pretty sure that's the name of it. We don't have to dot org and it's basically a A social media platform for people who are interested in anything to do with the environment. So you can organize you can start on page you can post news articles or content So I think that you know, like that particular class Form I think is quite interesting and a good way to organize Social media I mean with all its pitfalls It's still is quite effective for organizing certain things. I think that's pretty solid platform.
Okay omega, can you Talk to us a little bit about the sort of things that you've been working on the past past couple of years. That would, in your view, qualify as hacktivism Yeah,
so I've been working on to personal Security guides one is aimed at helping a person sir secure their Their digital life. So the equity x breach of 2017 I think it was a game changer in terms of the personal biographic financial data that was leaked and I think that it's still putting All of us at risk in ways that most people have yet to realize. So if we assume that we're all comfortable But not yet exploited. Now what? So with that in mind, I've been running a guide of incremental steps to help a person sort of reduce the risk of exploiting and secure Important accounts offline and online accounts that sort of make up their digital Life. And then another guide that I've been working on is is focused on digital privacy. So if you months ago I saw a protest sign that read first came to the journal And we don't know what happened after that. Mmm To me that you know that the CDC has has Mine has long had interest in the university Declaration on human rights. I think we are all deserve access The free flow of truthful Information and unfortunately We live in an era where Many of us are ruled by Naked Emperor's and feuerwehr See that out loud. So you know, try to think of what are ways that we can, what are the things that we can do to enable truth tellers, journalists human rights Researchers activists, to enable them to safely speak truth to power. And so those are the kind of the two projects I've been working on lately.
Hey, Jeff man, you're you're sort of the I think the designated real world electrical All politics, art of the possible guy. What have you What have you been working on? last couple of years
I went from Thinking that
Being an affiliate do things like drive people to the polls.
Now, I would I would
remember one time Helping a woman who was in her 80s In a rougher neighbor hood, put her on chair character down or front steps put her in a car drove her to the point place. Harriet are down steps again with a couple other people. Make sure she You voted and then carried her back home. And I thought that would be enough to kind of like ground level. get out the vote. Type campaign and after 20 16
I and my friends became incredibly concerned that
all the technology that we built our data jobs have become weaponized back against us to enable things along the lines of camps and re education centers. And we were horrified about that idea. And so the idea is like what what can we do? Given the resources that we have to prevent that from happening, and so it's like, well, we knew we worked in we worked in tech, we had monetary resources. We had social networks. And we were able to do some data analysis. And so we decided to start building fundraising efforts. For Democratic candidates and marginal districts, and I don't I don't believe I won't be criminal I don't believe that everything begins and ends at the ballot box it takes silicosis It takes everyone participating at every level. To be able to move the needle towards what is just an Write for all of us in our in our day. Practice it and that means organize protest, getting messaged up doing it. running for for local elections running for state elections in the running for federal elections. What we were seeing is that there It felt like for people with my political values, you know, left wing There were a lot of there's a lot of there's a lot being left on the table. A lot of districts we're not having democrats run Because they thought they're unwinnable. The reality is that every district at every level Should have someone running from boot from that. least two parties and possibly more Because otherwise you're not going to be able to convince people that That at the national level. There's only two speak for them. And so we I organized some people to have fun fundraise for for Beto. I think we've been through one of the one of the first fundraisers in California for him very early on. And from that we pivoted over to funding where I worked with a great slate knows A handful of us I got that started and ended up raising about $5 million for Think 13 different in the end about 1213 different House races. That helps There's one part of the wave that powered the 20 18 house takeover Now we're working on trying to do the same At the state level because if you were able to control If you're able to control the state houses and break republican trifecta between the lower upper and the The governorship you have a say in the 2020 redistricting, the reason why things don't work Change and you go to the ballot box and you keep voting and nothing changes for you is that there are people Who are empower that have built structures around it to prevent your voice from being heard, and the only Way to to find that back into this show every single time the ballot box look at the core issues that are actually driving it and push push push in every possible seat Up and down the ballot and it's gonna take time to undo the left's. Frankly, are Her own belief that things will just get better naturally on their own. And that's that's what What we ought to fight for to push our, you know, at least my sense of a of the United States towards a more just society. That's, you know, and then pushing on the fundraising side helped a lot on data security. Mostly around the basics of getting everyone yubikeys getting their GML set up with with a PP and getting multifactor setup Yeah, I'm sorry for hopping so much on the fundraising component On the electrical side, but I feel like the house is a little bit on fire and we could all see it right now.
Great. Thank you.
Thanks a lot, okay. So, you know in the beginning you know 20 years ago, there you know it was more like about seating the idea of Have hacktivism now there are lots of different ways that people can get involved or lots of different things. Lord knows You all can do everything. What are our Other people doing, you think is is most attractive? That is Carrying the idea forward that you have nothing to do with you're just You know hate these these guys are have picked up the baton and are doing really cool things explode you you want to you know, start us off
sure there's this group I think it's been around for a couple of Yours called D dos or DDoS secrets I think they're the heir apparent to WikiLeaks. leaks there. On part is in there quite a balance. Organization they're not a code out operator For the FSP I think they're doing this all for the for the right reasons and they have a Really interesting mix of people some of whom I believe We're on the periphery. as sort of young Observers or participants with the original Wikileaks group in movement which I have to say like In the beginning I was quite an ardent supporter of WikiLeaks. I thought they were doing all have the right things and then sadly it turned into a cold And started doing all kinds of odd stuff but I I think they they started and did some really valuable work. I think that DDoS secrets is right in that same place. There are a lot of women involved. It's a very queer organization. It's quite technical. There are a lot of serious analysts and journalists involved. So It's a much more organic organization and now I'm on I'm quite excited about them and the fact one of my friends Laura Zoran is the editor of that group and she was I met her in Berlin When she was placed here, so she's quite an exceptional person and she's doing great work. What's
that? That's great. Java man is there is there one or a couple things that you think is really is really taking the ball forward here? Yeah, there's
things I really want to call out from a this this app. perspective technology plus organization stuff is one. What marks is what Moxie has done with signal has been phenomenal. It's we're very, very fortunate that we actually now have a fully encrypted chat system. That's not really beholden to an organization on these a look at the contents of sell us advertising. If we did not have i don't i don't know Where we start if we didn't have that there's very little good we have in this world security wise I mean there's TLS their signal and a couple other techniques. You stacks and that's about it. That's that's one big one. I want to call it something that I that warms my heart. Because of how organic it was over the past few months you know we we've had the the the Black Lives Matter human rights movement and police forces to try to respond to that have asked for people to upload video Have the protest to be able to do facial recognition to arrest people and spontaneously Kpop fans started uploading massive, con the massive like volumes of video to The police department's saying you know, go facial recognize this and which inflated their AWS bills and saturating them with bullshit and I thought that was amazing culture jamming and the people that that organized that I salute you from the bottom my heart those those brilliant
Great omega, something that you're particularly happy that you About the EC see out in the world
Yeah, a couple of things. This is not quite new. But securedrop is something that I think is still amazing and valuable whistleblowers in particular have big have sort of become important last year especially year year two and securedrop developed by Aaron Swartz and Kevin. Both facilitates the secure communication between journalists and whistleblowers, right. So I think this is this is something critical. It's it to what What signal is to secure messaging? I think secure drop is to whistle blower communication. So I think this is incredibly important especially to, to getting knowledge out to the public to use Getting an Informed Electorate about what's really going on. There's been a lot of news stories about algorithms and kind of like The downsides of algorithms Whether it's you know, facial recognition, or other things, but there's I think there's been some really interesting things being done with algorithms last night Angeles County is using an algorithm to clear 50,000 pot convictions. Now that marijuana is legalized In California, if you had to do that by hand, that would take forever, right so I thought that was really interesting. I like what Joshua Browder. He's the person behind do not pay. Like some of the things he's been doing. Including he's he's essentially written a chatbot that automates the The process of contesting parking tickets in small claims And he's single handedly Saved ordinary people, millions of dollars per year just by trying to automate these
very beautiful Credit processes that
often work against ordinary folks
Okay, and we're almost out of time. But if any of you want to call out like an area where you think there hasn't been enough activism that that is more of a green field. For people who are just just exploring this on their own for the first time, I'd like to hear that though. Whoever wants to say anything Make sure to unmute first
two big things. If you I mean, I don't know how young The crowd is watching but go watch Max Headroom if you get a chance. It's almost all the prophetic of the future. But one of the things that was the show was about was independent journalism being able to call truth to power. And we are living in a society where there's a push of the population wants to drive us into a post fact world and it is getting us into deep trouble. There are certain organizations out there that are doing these very data driven, Open Source Intelligence type reporting that I think has acid For for those of us who value self determination and and and living in freedom world and one of those is belling cat which did amazing well documented storytelling around the end. 17th shoot shot, shooting down the street ball. reasoning and and a couple other stories. So I think That taking the model that Boeing had As applied and bring in a tool Words other areas where We're seeing people bending the truth to try to push for an agenda. It doesn't have to be that you're fighting You know the defenses of the KGB it can be that you're using it to to push back you know, tell truth to power and give real Document demonstratable ways that our leaders are lying to us another One I think that's really important right now is full blown Data Archive Global global COVID deaths and illness That with citations and making this available to social scientists. There Several states in the United States. That's true. To hide this data because I believe that That will allow the economy to read. Be open again. And the reality is that that will allow the economy reopened again as people not worrying about being sick
I think that
sadly there's such an attempt to hide this data that we're To need to apply some of the techniques that you saw you saw applied by Dr. Patrick ball with the Human Rights data analysis group, where they tried to where they do try to show that the number of excess deaths in some area is actually caused by actions of a government versus, you know, some happenstance, I think we're gonna need to apply some of the same techniques actually be able to tell a story of how the pandemic is affecting certain people in certain states. And it just, it takes software developers who know how to aggregate large amounts of information and glue it all together and duplicated. This is something that social scientists may struggle with people in different governments may struggle with, but there's something that if you're working in software right now, this is something you do day in and day out. And I encourage you to build open tools to be able to do this.
anybody anybody else want to say you know y'all go know, look at, see if you can do good work in this area.
There are two things. One is, I would actually be interested in hearing from people who are watching this, whether it's maybe in some comments section or whatever areas that they think need development or that are under underperforming, but where where there could be more activity. Because quite frankly, I spent a lot of time listening to younger developers because their experience with the internet, the way they operate, primarily living on a mobile phone. I mean, it's something I've come to do, but I didn't grow up in that universe. So it's not completely foreign, but it's not entirely natural either. So if people could just, you know, maybe dropped in some of their ideas. I think that'd be great. I'm not interested urging anybody to do anything. But I think one thing that's that's going to be inevitable, especially with groups, like DDoS, DDoS secrets, rather, and possibly other groups coming along that governments and industry are becoming more peak by the moment. And there are a lot of things that really should find themselves a lot of a lot of datasets that should find themselves, you know, becoming a little more public. Now. Again, this is a sort of kind of hacktivism that can be quite dangerous for the person doing it. I mean, none of these things like breaking into networks are certainly not legal, but sometimes as a form of protest, I suppose, or exposure. People have to deal with those consequences, but I think there's going to be more of this, which we really haven't seen that much. For a while, but I think it's going to be a lot more.
omega anything. Anything that you think is a crying out for hacker attention right now?
it's one thing to be an online activist sort of collectivizing from the safety of your living room, it's another thing to be out on the streets like BLM protesting. You know, putting your physical safety on the line. There are few folks like LR mageddon who are teaching operational security to in person activists. Um, I think we could, they could use more help we could use more people like l doing that kind of work. Just teaching people like just you know, how to be safe and and protect themselves while they're protesting in person.
Terrific. That's great. I really appreciate the question. spectrum from all of you. And it's nice, I think, I mean, my first hope was a couple years ago, but you guys go, you know have been going for for for 20 years. So it's, it's nice to bring you back here. And if you're if you're watching this live, then please, please hit us up with the with questions. Thanks very much. Bye Bye, everybody stay safe.
Welcome back guys. I hope you
all enjoyed the valuable insights and learnings from our panelists. Now we have them all live with us now and they will answer your questions that we've received on the matrix. So
Joseph, you would want to start
Yeah, I'll get feedback and Thanks everybody for the questions they've been really good so far keep them coming. To begin with I like I like the like the time travel one what would you go back and tell your teenage hacker self? So omega you started out young and and hackery back when that was a real risk, um, anything you would would advise your younger self now definitely don't get caught. I you know,
I think to quote much make a dent in the universe, find something broken and fix it. You know, one of the tag lines for CDC is that we would put at the bottom of text files was go outside do something ride your bike, right? So, coding and hacking tends to be a solitary activity. It certainly was when you know when I was a teenager, for me. So I would say you know, seek out other people who have different experiences different backgrounds, but overlapping values and, and get to know those people. You know, find something that's broke and fix it.
Great. So oxblood there was a question about offense versus defense. Is there still a role for offensive hacktivism? And the examples the questioner gave were Phineas Fisher and and distributed denial secrets which you already spoke about. Or should his most important work or all the important work on defense? What's the value of offensive activism now?
I've when we first started years ago, I'd
like to say there was only one kind of activism and that's whatever the CDC said it was. It was also at a certain time and place and evolution of the internet and I Come to, I suppose soften my views and my views have evolved, that I tend to think now that hacktivism is somewhat like feminism in the sense that somebody asks, Are you a feminist? And my first question is what what kind? Do you mean? Do you mean this type or that type, whatever, because there are quite a few practices within the feminist community. So I think that people should act in a way that they feel comfortable with and that moves them personally. And they all should be very much aware of the risks involved. For instance, if we're talking about offensive hacktivism, then you know, how offensive is it to are you meddling with, are you prepared to deal with the risks? And if so, and if there is a practical public benefit than
People should do you know,
whatever it is that moves them.
You know, like coming back to to when we we got started, which was more maybe a defensive style hacktivism we were all very well known, even though we had handles, it would take anybody about any intelligence agency about two minutes to find out, you know, where we were living what we were doing. And at that time, it also because the people involved in activities Mo, it was an international crews, so I felt like a really deep sense of responsibility. I didn't want to throw anybody into the jackpot. So we were very careful about the work we did. We stayed well within the bounds of the law but did positive things. So and I'm still I mean, I think there's still a role for that. I think it really depends. You know, what the situation is and the particular circumstance of the person involved.
There was a there was another question that was sort of a broad philosophical one. And that one I want to put to Java man it was what's the value of attacking the system from the outside versus working from the inside? Can you do real important stuff from the inside? I think that's I think that's especially timely question because I think many people in tech thought that they were doing good for the world and have had to reconsider. And some people have left like, great jobs at great big famous companies with terrific salaries because they felt they couldn't do good work inside them anymore. Adam, you you, you know, the Oracle stuff is corrupt is completely hidden the system but you so was your work at, you know, Cisco, you know, big, big company. So how do you how do you wrestle with that, you know, inside versus outside world.
you know what, when when you first posed a question, I went to more of the the thought of the political aspects, because I think
you had to really define what actually is a system unless you're living in a monastic community or joining a Catholic Worker or something like that. You any level you participate inside our society or at your job or in a political space, I believe to be inside the system. And I think that regarding a work culture, you know, when it's time for you to move on, because you're not able to be effective. So, you know, it's as long as you're trying to make things better inside, and then once you realize you can actually make that happen, it's time to go. from a
political standpoint, I really want to hammer this one home.
There's, you know,
people look at politics as being a strange Getting a system that that super organizes hard to make things go and you know, maybe you should be outside of it and protest in the street. When I believe that protests industry is being part of the society and I, you know, you could call it system or not, but I really wanted to plead with people to vote this coming November, I am not going to be prescriptive about who to vote for what you should be voting for. But that is the one thing I want you to do. That's with them what we are defined to be the system. And I think that's a necessity for everyone who's listening to do
it, given that you
live assuming that you live inside a nation allows you to vote. Right,
so unfortunately, we're going to have to have to leave it there. I wanted to thank again, Java man, Megan oxblood, Ruffin for spending, spending time rehashing the past and and looking to a more hopeful future. I like to thank Hope for having us here. It's a great organization one that really fits with the cult of the dead cow very well. I think it's it's a idealistic optimistic, get involved sort of sort of an outfit and so he's he's a very good fit for that. So, thank you very much, everybody. And I
want to say thank you to Joe for writing this book.
I can't wait to read your sequel. When we follow the fellowship. They avoid the Eye of Sauron and throw Metasploit into the fiery cauldron of Mt. zero day. Thanks.
Yeah, if you want to know more, yeah, maybe maybe you should read the book guides the cult of the dead cow how the original hacking supergroup might just save the world. Thanks very much, everybody. Enjoy the rest of the conference. looks terrific.
Thank you. Bye Bye.
Thanks, everyone. Thank you. So
I just want to say communication is hard. We all see our tiny little bit of the world and make sense of it based on what we've seen before. Based on the first source that seemed trustworthy, then we talk to each other using the best words we know. And maybe the people we're talking to will have the same mental model for those words.
We're all just doing the best we can.
And for a large group of people, for something to be communicated clearly as we're all just bumping into each other in perfectly communicating, whatever it is, one on one person to person.
Communication is hard.
We're all just doing the best. We can