Get ready to meet some of the most feared people on the planet; the sort that if they put their minds to it, can expose every one of your dirty little online secrets to the world. Some of them might even send your website crashing, no matter how secure it is. Billions are spent every year to keep our tech systems safe from these miscreants, yet they prevail.
Yes, they are hackers and on December 27, 2013, the crème da la crème among them will be under one roof in Hamburg, Germany, at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress (30c3).
Organized by The Chaos Computer Club (CCC), the keynote at the conference will be delivered by none other than Glenn Greenwald, the journalist who was instrumental in bringing the documents leaked by former NSA man-turned-whistleblower, Edward Snowden, to the public eye.
With spying being such a hot topic of discussion during the last few months, many eyes will be fixed on the conference. After all, hackers played a huge role in helping the NSA spy on US citizens and the world leaders alike.
However, hacking can also be put to some positive use. For example, Random Hacks of Kindness, a joint initiative between Microsoft, Google, Yahoo!, NASA and the World Bank, has proposed solutions for a wide range of issues such as tracking cell phone and Wi-Fi signal strengths in disaster scenarios.
Hackers also made life absolutely miserable for members of “hate group” Westboro Baptist Church when it announced plans to picket the funerals of the Sandy Hook victims. A hacktivist vigilante group ‘Anonymous’ accessed and released private information of members. One of the hackers even managed to gain access to the group spokesperson’s Twitter account.
Their actions were widely appreciated, showing that hacking can be used for useful purposes.
Granted it can be used for destructive purposes and create mayhem for the victims as well, but as has been proven, there are those who use this black art constructively. Let’s hope most of them are at the conference.