You can make anything by writing – CS Lewis
Cops think they are illegal, families baffled about their job but they call themselves smart geeks. Let us find out with , co-founder The Hackers Conference, what are they really?
Jiten Jain and his tribe planned to get down in the capital to make some point about their trade. However, before they could start Delhi Police thought that if hackers have their conference, in future even gangster will want to have theirs. This clearly shows that how much we know about this profession. “That kind of reaction was not expected from a senior officer in Delhi police. Nevertheless, that does not matter today. What is important is that we did successfully convince them about the purpose of conference and they did join in the conference too,” says Jiten Jain the hacker.
Getting more into his subject of expertise, “Hacking is all about breaking into networks, gaining unauthorized access, finding loopholes and vulnerabilities in the systems. It’s about being one step ahead from other.” That does not sound good at all. They are barging into somebody’s space. “Well there is no straight answer to this, I think more than the legality or illegality; it’s the purpose that matter. Ethical hackers, security researcher, and analysts hack to find vulnerabilities with an aim to get them fixed and help make applications and networks more secure.”
That means if there is good guy then surely there will be bad guys also. “A black hat hacker is an individual with extensive computer knowledge whose purpose is to breach or bypass internet security. They are also known as dark-side hackers.” This is getting interesting! “And White hat hackers also identify security weaknesses; but, instead of performing malicious attacks and theft, they inform the security flaw to the owner so they can fix it before a black hat hacker can take advantage of it.” Okay, so the point is, it is a free bounty. “Off late there has been a growing trend of hackers who started out as black hat hackers are turning into white hat hackers and working as cyber security consultants and helping companies secure their websites and networks,” says the twenty seven years old Delhi guy.
So what it get to become one? According to the certified ethical hacker who works as cyber security analyst, “A hacker is always on hunt. To be a Hacker you need an innovative and a patient mindset along with skill-sets. Therefore, I would say a hacker is born and not created.” On a second glance, he does not look like one, the way they are portrait in movies, unkempt hair, dressed shoddily and what not. “One need to understand here is that hacker is not a shady person sitting in a dark room. But they are the one who make keys of the lock that are to be made in the cyber world.”
“Hacking in current times has grown beyond email hacks, phishing, or online scams. India today is facing biggest-ever national security challenge from cyber attacks and snooping from hostile countries. I strongly believe securing critical infrastructure of the country is not only the responsibility of government but also of the professional who can help government in it,” says Jiten, bringing in the need of the hour. “The Hackers’ Conference was an attempt in this direction to provide a common platform to the hackers and security researcher to demonstrate skills and share threats perception with government agencies and other stakeholders.”
The word hacking give us that negative impression but here they are on mission to secure us. “We are completely vulnerable to cyber espionage today. Frequently state sponsored hackers from hostile countries are hacking into our networks taking away all the sensitive information which otherwise would have simply be impossible to get through manual espionage. The recent hacking of navy systems is a glaring example.” Slowly things are making sense.
As Jiten continues, “I believe that there is an urgent need to address Cyber security concerns with the highest priority. It is by every thought assured that in the eventuality of a war with our hostile neighbors, the first round of attacks would be cyber attacks on our critical infrastructure aiming to bring them down. We must now not only think of securing our critical IT infrastructure like communication networks, power grids, and other scada systems. But we have to think far ahead of building first strike capabilities too and we are willing to help out in that.” Hope after reading this story, they get their due credit and some admiration.
(Published in Mandate Dec ’12, Page No. 146)