Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hacking For Freedom

This is for the Geekish prepper out there. I'm a Geek, always have been.

I've never had the chance to go to DefCon or Blackhat. I'm really enthralled with what the new breed of hackers are always coming up with. I'm from the days of the 555 timer, Blue Boxes, and BBS services. If you had 300 baud modem, you were the envy of your friends.

Growing up and having to take on adult responsibilities took me away from that world. Jobs, schedules and deadlines caused me to lose touch with alt.2600, and now I'm pretty much a dinosaur when it comes to that world.

I've been opposed to the concept of E-Cash, and the use of so-called smart cards and RFID enabled devices for conducting financial transactions. There are too many holes in the system, and too many ways to easily exploit these vulnerabilities.

It seems that every time the proponents attempt to fix a problem, they introduce a whole new set of problems.

Hackers have gotten a bad rap by the media. Yes, there are people who use hacking techniques to commit criminal acts such as theft and embezzlement. These criminals are no different than the person who walks into a bank waving a gun. We fault the individual, and not all gun owners for his criminal actions.

People should remember this when the media blames hackers in general for the activities of a malicious few. Many hacking incidents that make the news are pranks and at most poke fun at those who believe themselves in control.

Most hackers never do anything to even make the news.

The average hacker is a friend of Freedom, for that is what he or she desires. Freedom to pursue his or her interests. Freedom from persecution and threat of arrest and jail for the simple act of asking "why?" and "how?".

Remember they are on the front lines of a technological battlefield. They are waging a war against those who would use tech to further enslave you.

The folks over at GrandIdeaStudio have decided to probe the mysteries of electronic parking meters. You can read what they've found out here.

There is a PDF of their presentation at BlackHat 2009. Some very interesting stuff is included.


Bitmap said...

I've never seen an electronic parking meter. I can't remember the last time I saw ANY parking meter. The last time I was in a place with parking meters was nearly 20 years ago.

Catman said...


I envy you. I wage war against parking enforcement frequently.

It is amazing some of the stuff that is out here in the more urban areas.

There are even vending machines that use this tech. Have you heard of the vending machines that can project a voice into your head?

HermitJim said...

Guess these things you mention are the main reason that I stay so ignorant anymore!

I can't keep up with most of what's going on in the tech world daily...

Thanks for the thought provoking post, buddy!

Unknown said...

Thanks for a very interesting post (Ya Geek!!) :)

ErinAndBrad said...

Gotta love Geeks! Hey Catman - tell me more about the vending machines that put a voice in your head - sounds like they are using carrier waves/frequencies like the ELF/GWEN towers??? Please tell me more!!!!!!

Catman said...

Hey Ernie,

The anomaly magazine link is for the paranoid in all of us. The first is for the company that is integrating the tech into devices. The vending machines are already in use in Japan. The other two links are for real world, real science sources.

ErinAndBrad said...

Thx Cat!:)

shinerbock said...

Hey Catman, I hear ya, I used to have one of those 300 boad modems on my commodore back in about 87. Sweet stuff.