Having access to information is a currency of power and hackers possess powerful skills in our digital age.
Keren Elazari, Cyber Security Industry Analyst for Gigaom, argues the need for hackers in today’s tech savvy culture in her TED video, “Hackers: the Internet’s Immune System.” Keren points to them as an exceptional force for change and a chance for innovation.
Khalil Shreateh, a computer programmer and hacker in the West Bank, identified a serious privacy flaw on Facebook. He hacked into Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook account to personally tell him about the problem.
Hackers have also exposed corrupt politicians, popes, and business leaders. In 2011, the Egyptian group Telecomix fought a government ordered internet shut down in Egypt by using twenty-year-old analog dial up infrastructures to keep the Egyptian people connected.
Keren stresses the need to understand the capabilities of the common hacker. For example, the Syrian Electronic Army hacked into the Associated Press’ Twitter account and tweeted that Obama had been attacked. The fake post caused the stock market to drop and people lost millions.