Written and Illustrated by Koriander Bullard
Cancer. Autism. Hacking. What do these three things have in common?
If you haven’t suffered from it, you know somebody who has.
I was hacked several times between 2010 and 2011. I’ve had everything from exposed emails to pictures of me with photoshopped male genitalia added on to having my grandmother’s address shared on a public hate shrine.
I’m still standing.
A friend of mine had his information stolen two years ago by LizardSquad, when they decided to be mad at PlayStation.
He’s still standing.
Hillary Clinton has been hacked several times, with the most famous hack being from WikiLeaks.
She’s still standing, and as of this writing, still in the running for president.
As I type this, I am staring at a white and gray screen on my phone, the glare coming from my Twitter app, which thanks to yet another useless, wasteful DDOS attack, is now hanging on life support, trying to squeak enough juice to send my tweet. Amazon and Netflix are also ghosting, suffering from a similar DDOS attack. The three apps host their content on servers from DYN and AWS respectively, and while the outage initially only hit the east coast, here in Kentucky, I just got slammed.
Somewhere, Anonymous, WikiLeaks and a litany of other hackers are snickering and giggling in their basements, actually deluding themselves into thinking that a DDOS against Twitter is somehow “sticking it” to the imaginary entity known as “The Man”.
Are we done yet?
Since 2010, we’ve been living in fear of a group of adults – yes folks, adults, not teenagers and definitely not children – who hack websites, data dump financial, medical and other personal records, and then parade around as a modern day Robin Hood. Not only do we stand still and let it happen, we actually encourage it. We mollycoddle their feelings on the rare occasion one of them gets arrested, we blame mental disorders for their sophomoric comments, and then we don our tin foil hats and declare to our children that hacking equates to heroism.
And all the while, we are told that they are hacking and attacking for “us”. They are sending a message to “The Media” and taking them down.
Okay. It’s fact checking time.
First of all, no they are not. The oh so evil “Media” is actually doing just fine. In fact, they probably owe these hackers a thank you e-card for all their antics. Instead of reporting on important things like fires in your neighborhood or the latest local crime, they now have to devote somewhere between seven and ten minutes of television time per thirty minute block to who got hacked, whose email got exposed and what website went dark from a DDOS. It’s distraction television at it’s absolute best, and nobody in “The Media” has to write a single word. They can just copy and paste whatever the hacker has posted on their Facebook account, grab an analyst to say something obvious, and boom. Work is over. If anybody is supporting “The Media” it is most definitely these hackers.
Second, for a group of people who are super anti-corporate, they sure are known by their corporate images, aren’t they?
Anonymous is probably the best assembled group of hackers out there. Out of all of the groups, this is the one that has been the most consistent and organized, and nobody can take that away from them.
But consistency is both their upper hand and their downfall in this argument.
Consistently, they have declared war on “The Media” and on anything corporate. They milk the late 1960’s and mid 2010’s hippie and millennial philosophies that there should never ever, under any circumstance be a corporation or any business with more than 300 employees. That all businesses should be “mom and pop” forever, and that if they become large enough to be a corporation, they are instantly “evil” and must be shut down and “exposed” via poorly photoshopped memes and hacking.
But our friendly, neighborhood anons, are wearing a corporate logo on their faces.
Each bears the image of V, the lead character in the comic book V for Vendetta. The character originally debuted in the British anthology Warrior, owned by publisher Quality Communications, and was later sold off to Vertigo, which is a subsidiary for DC Comics, which is a subsidiary of Warner Brothers.
So this isn’t just a corporate owned image, it’s a corporate owned image several times over.
And third, the people who are routinely harmed by hacking and DDOS attacks… are not even media sponsored at all.
Each year when PlayStation Network is shut down, do you think Sony is harmed by it?
No. Of course not. In fact, while the hackers have led us to believe that they are doing this to “help” Sony learn about “flaws” in PSN while also making fun of them online and leading the public to complain on social media, sales of their games have not been hampered in any way. The same is said for Microsoft when every Christmas, XBOX Live goes dark. Similarly, Twitter’s parent company isn’t sweating this morning’s DDOS anymore than your local bank did the last time they were hacked. Having to install yet another security measure is a mild inconvenience to “Big Business” and by next week, this will be entirely forgotten.
Hackers swear they do this to protect “us”. You know, the “little guys”.
But “we” are the only people they hurt.
How many “mom and pop” stores rely on Twitter to get the word out for their businesses? Without social media, which provides a cheap, mostly free advertising platform, these precious stores don’t have a leg to stand on. No ads? No online word of mouth? No business, and they close doors. It’s that simple.
And what about everyone else? Sure, Sony will survive the next hack, but did I really need to see that Jennifer Adams of 123 Noneofmybusiness Lane just turned six and likes Skylanders? Do I need to know her mother’s credit card number? Her father’s social security number? Of course not, but thanks to last year’s public doxxing, I now can Google their financial records, social security numbers and everything I need to pose as a six year old Skylander player. Or worse, I have all the information to visit their house in the middle of the night, as I can also Google their ADT codes, thanks to adjacent doxxing done for other corporate websites they use. See how this gets out of hand?
And the fourth thing is the hypocrisy of it all. Aside from the wearing of a corporate logo issue and the blatant “I’m helping the media I hate by giving them a story to report on” parade, we also have a lovely dose of bias to be dished out.
When Wikileaks hacked Hillary Clinton, they said this was their effort to “expose” her. I always laugh when a hacker threatens to expose anybody, because they can’t seem to expose themselves without screaming, hence the use of cartoon characters and logos as their photo ID on social media. Those who are untouchable shouldn’t fear having their faces online, but I digress. So they data-dump some emails. Whoop dee do. She’s still in the running, so obviously, this was a waste of time.
So why not hack Donald Trump?
Think about it. Between the two presidential candidates, he’s been the biggest media monkey there is. Multiple television shows, corporate licensed dolls, he even has two different Pokemon in his likeness. He is “The Media”’s biggest bimbo, a walking, talking corporate logo in a cheap toupee. Plus, it’s been publicly documented by the Republican party and once again, “The Media” that he is and always has been a lecher. He’s currently being sued for raping a 13 year old little girl, and he has been outed for peeping in on underage girls as they dressed for the Miss Teen USA pageants.
Anonymous claims they detest pedophiles, evident by their successful #OpPedoChat in which they have gotten several of these monsters thrown in jail, and yet, here is a prime candidate for a dox. A media-backed, corporate pedophile.
So why isn’t Trump being hacked?
I’ve asked a few hackers myself, and the response I get is amazing. They shuffle their feet, stare at the floor, and mumble a defensive “well…. WE’RE GONNA!!” before the topic turns back around to some regurgitated slight on Hillary. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the biggest Hillary supporter right now, but these are jokes I’ve heard to death.
The closest we’ve gotten to an equal hack against Trump has been a halfhearted dump of sound and video files where he says disgusting tings about women. And for as great as this is for someone who hates Trump, let me be clear. I didn’t need the videos. I have Hulu, where half of the “tapes” came from. Most of these videos were shot for television, with just a handful of them being on the cutting room floor. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good start, but with the election just two weeks away, I was expecting a more thorough haul. He isn’t as technologically bright as Hillary, so this should have been more personal.
The lack of effort placed on taking down Donald Trump emphasizes my theory that these hackers may be media sponsored.
Regardless, we’re better off seeing these attacks as a form of cyber terrorism, and not as an extreme form of vigilantism. The novelty has worn off, and it’s become just general trolling, to the point where recent episodes of South Park have mocked the hackers as being nothing more than sloppy trolls.
And let’s be real. These are not modern Robin Hoods by any stretch of the imagination.
Robin Hood stole money from the rich to return to the poor. If he had access to the internet in his heyday, it’s highly unlikely he would have turned around, exposed all of the passwords of the poor, photoshopped a male appendage onto the faces of a few or told them to kill themselves.
I’d like to think better of old Robin.
Koriander Bullard is an author, cartoonist and human rights advocate. Keep up with her on Facebook!