Hackers: the Internet’s immune system

Great speech by Keren Elazari from TED.com


Keren Elazari is an internationally recognized researcher, author and speaker on all matters cyber security and hacker culture. 
Since 2000, Keren has worked with leading security firms, public organizations, Big 4 and Fortune 500 companies. Her independent research about cyber security has been featured by Scientific American, WIRED magazine, TED.com, VICE Media and more.

And today i want to share this speech from TED2014, where Keren talks about how hackers are useful in creating a stronger and healthier internet.

Yes, some hackers are bad guys, but many are working to fight government corruption and advocate for our rights.

Hightlights

We are often terrified and fascinated by the power hackers now have. They scare us. But the choices they make have dramatic outcomes that influence us all. So I am here today because I think we need hackers, and in fact, they just might be the immune system for the information age. Sometimes they make us sick, but they also find those hidden threats in our world, and they make us fix it.

I was such a nerd back then that even the boys on the Dungeons and Dragons team wouldn’t let me join. This is who I was, but this is who I wanted to be: Angelina Jolie.

She portrayed Acid Burn in the ’95 film “Hackers.” She was pretty and she could rollerblade, but being a hacker, that made her powerful. And I wanted to be just like her, so I started spending a lot of time on hacker chat rooms and online forums. I remember one late night I found a bit of PHP code. I didn’t really know what it did, but I copy-pasted it and used it anyway to get into a password-protected site like that. Open Sesame. It was a simple trick, and I was just a script kiddie back then, but to me, that trick, it felt like this, like I had discovered limitless potential at my fingertips. This is the rush of power that hackers feel. It’s geeks just like me discovering they have access to superpower, one that requires the skill and tenacity of their intellect, but thankfully no radioactive spiders.


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