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7 Hackers Who Got Legit Jobs From Their Misdeeds

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the i-didn't-do-it dept.

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adeelarshad82 writes "Just like in Stephen Glass' fabricated feature where a lonely teenage hacker gets hired by a major software company, the 21 year old PlayStation 3 hacker, George "Geohot" Hotz, was offered a job at Facebook. Ironically Hotz wasn't the first school-aged hacker to be rewarded for his cyber-crime rather than a prison sentence. Turns out there are others who have managed (with one exception) to avoid jail time, and instead found themselves gainfully employed by some of Silicon Valley's most exclusive circles."

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Meh (5, Insightful)

dexomn (147950) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610456)

GeoHot != Criminal

Re:Meh (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36610486)

Indeed. This whole story slants towards defamation and libel. At worst he violated the terms of service, which would be a civil matter.

Re:Meh (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610788)

And that's assuming he actually agreed to and was abound by them in the first place.

Re:Meh (2, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610818)

If we had competent courts rather than a mockery of a court system run by corrupt "lawyers" and bribed/senile judges, those provisions would long ago have been declared unconscionable and therefore unenforceable anyways, much like "non-compete clauses" have routinely been found unconscionable.

Re:Meh (3, Insightful)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611204)

If we had competent courts rather than a mockery of a court system run by corrupt "lawyers" and bribed/senile judges, those provisions would long ago have been declared unconscionable and therefore unenforceable anyways, much like "non-compete clauses" have routinely been found unconscionable.

Emotional-driven generalization != truth.

Re:Meh (2)

geoskd (321194) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612422)

Emotional-driven generalization != truth.

Our legal system is directly influenced by the politics of our day, and as anyone in politics will tell you, perception is reality. The image our courts have of not being able to provide an unbiased decision, is a direct result of and reflection of the failings of our legal system. Judges have routinely failed to recuse themselves when they should on the grounds that they do not understand the underlying principles, nor the ramifications of their decisions. A judge taking the time to learn about the things they are being asked to decide is far less common than the alternative.

Our legal system needs an overhaul badly, and all parts of the intellectual property laws need to be removed, and subsequently / expressly forbidden by amendment to the constitution. Nothing less than that will restore the faith of the citizens that the government works for them, not for big business.

-=Geoskd

Re:Meh (2)

sarysa (1089739) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613100)

And that's assuming he actually agreed to and was abound by them in the first place.

Exactly. His incident was the inspiration for my signature.
One day someone will have the will to go through years of legal battles necessary to take down abusive EULAs...is what I was going to end this post with, but then I realized that iPhone jailbreakers already won their battle and nothing changed. Sigh...

Re:Meh (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611384)

Actually at worst he violated the terms of the DMCA given that he was disseminating DRM circumvention code. It didn't get to that point of charges being brought luckily for him.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611592)

Not all "DRM circumvention code" is banned by the DMCA. The DRM has to be "a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work" covered by the law. My understanding is that Geohot's hack gives you access to Linux. Sony doesn't hold copyright to Linux, so any DRM they use to control access to it is legal to circumvent.

Only 2 or 3 are actually black hats (4, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611808)

George Hotz - Benevolent tinkerer
Peter Hajas - Benevolent tinkerer
Johnny Chung Lee - Benevolent tinkerer
Jeff Moss - Benevolent
Jeff Putnam - Created destructive Facebook virus - Black hat
Ashley Towns - Created harmless prank virus - Benevolent
Michael Mooney - Created spamming twitter worm - Black hat
Kevin Poulsen - Rigged a competition to give himself a car - Could be considered a black hat

Re:Meh (4, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610536)

Neither are most of the others in the slide show. The one guy who actually did to jail time actually did something quite illegal. Figuring out how to pair your Wii mote via bluetooth, not so much.

Peter Hajas is the creator of uber-popular iOS jailbreak app MobileNotifier, a notification system that resembles Google Android’s in that it seamlessly layers and stacks your mobile notifications on top of running apps

Johnny Chung Lee is more of a modder than a hacker (which some would argue is just a matter of shades of grey). Lee is a computer scientist who famously hacked a Nintendo Wiimote in 2008 using a few ballpoint pens and infrared lights. He was then hired by Microsoft to develop the Kinect.

Jeff Moss is the founder of the Black Hat and DEF CON computer hacker conferences, but back in the pre-bubble 1980s he ran underground bulletin board systems for hackers.

During his early college years at Georgia Southern University, Chris Putnam and his friends created an XSS-based worm on Facebook and modified infected pages to look just like MySpace profiles.

In 2009, a then 21-year-old Australian named Ashley Towns stayed up late one night downloading iOS app development programs, and unwittingly created the first known iPhone worm. The virus automatically set a photo of singer Rick Astley’s face as your mobile wallpaper, possibly the ultimate "Rickroll."

Also in 2009, a 17-year-old high school student from Brooklyn named Michael “Mikeyy" Mooney coded a Twitter worm that sent tweets from hundreds of accounts, mostly with links to a spam website or Mooney’s phone number. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone likened Mooney’s worm to the Samy worm that hit MySpace in 2005 and vowed to press charges.

Kevin Poulsen hacked into L.A.’s KIIS-FM radio station to rig a competition that eventually scored him a Porsche. He followed up with breaches into FBI computers. Naturally this put the federal agency in hot pursuit of the black hat hacker. He was arrested in 1991 and served five years in prison in addition to paying a $56,000 fine for charges of mail, wire, and computer fraud. Upon serving his sentence, Poulsen became a journalist, and is now a senior editor at Wired magazine. One of his most notable achievements was creating a program that identified hundreds of sex offenders on MySpace.

Re:Meh (2)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611028)

Figuring out how to pair your Wii mote via bluetooth, not so much.

Johnny Lee didn't actually hack the Wiimote; what he did was pull off a very cool hack using the Wiimote. The original reverse engineering was done by other people, myself included. He is indeed more of a modder (though he very much deserves the praise - anyone can play around with devices, but it takes someone special to envision and develop the applications that he did).

The article is pretty silly though. Big corporations hire all the time, and most of the people they hire you've never heard of. Why is it news that they also happen to hire hackers? I know plenty of hackers with day jobs at big companies; it's not exactly unheard of or weird. Newsflash: most hackers are good developers and companies like hiring good developers.

The bigger question is whether the hackers want to be employed by big companies. Some do, some don't.

Re:Meh (1)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613126)

Kevin Poulsen hacked into L.A.â(TM)s KIIS-FM radio station to rig a competition that eventually scored him a Porsche.

IIRC, he actually broke into the phone company switch so that he or his friend would be the Nth caller to win the car.

Re:Meh (2)

drolli (522659) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610634)

Yes. He and Sony *settled*. That means that sony found it better for their image to put this ad acta, and saw no big change of winning. Otherwise they would have sued him to the end. Agreeing to a settlement does not make you criminal. Agreeing to a settlement does not even mean that you broke a contract.

Agreeing to a settlement just means that you and the other side agree that there has been a different in the interpretation of a contract, but that its of for both sides not to insist in the original interpretation any further under specific circumstances.

Re:Meh (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610852)

Sony came out ahead in the settlement. They got Geohot to bow and kiss their feet by promising never to hack ANY sony product ever again, or face 10K in fines for EACH attempt. All his security work on the PS3 gets locked up forever and he can't talk about it ever again.

He's also agreed to be bound by all future TOS for said products even before he's read them.

And what you said about Sony settling because they couldn't win could just as easily be said about Geohot. Plus, suing a young hacker into oblivion isn't a good PR move. They had him by the balls with both the DMCA as well as having cherry picked a judge that was probably in their pocket.

Re:Meh (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610914)

Its simple: No side could afford to loose. the Hacker because he would be bankrupt and sony because that would render a part of their business model worthless.

Re:Meh (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612792)

And what you said about Sony settling because they couldn't win could just as easily be said about Geohot.

No, because Geohot doesn't have the money for a lawsuit from a large multinational corporation. As an ordinary private citizen, you'd better agree to the settlement, even if you're innocent. Even if you come out winning a decade later, you'll have lost ten years of your life and amassed legal fees you'll never be able to pay back.

The situation is not symmetrical. It's nothing strange or unusual for a large corporation to come out ahead in a settlement against a private person even if their legal position is weak.

Re:Meh (1)

Mysteray (713473) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612894)

Even if Geohot had lost the lawsuit it wouldn't make him a criminal. This article submission stinks and I'm ashamed of Slashdot for posting it.

CNN Coverage (1)

abarrow (117740) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610772)

CNN's coverage described George as a hacker who "Cost Sony 20 Million Dollars by hacking into the PlayStation Network. He also published instructions for how to do it online."

Sigh...

Re:CNN Coverage (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612276)

Because they just republished Sony's press releases unchanged.

Re:Meh (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611244)

GeoHot != Criminal

That's what I was thinking ... AFAIK, he was working on something to allow loading of homebrew games onto a PS3 ... other than the fact that Sony are dick heads, what exactly did GeoHot do that was illegal or criminal?

Whoever is lumping him in with people who got somewhere due to their "misdeeds" is an idiot. Sony disagreed with what he did, and claimed it could be used to do illegal things ... but nothing he did was illegal.

Not irony (2)

Gorath99 (746654) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610488)

Ironically Hotz wasn't the first school-aged hacker to be rewarded for his cyber-crime rather than a prison sentence.

Fail.

Re:Not irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36610568)

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/irony

Re:Not irony (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611106)

Seriously, I can understand that there may be some situations where the use of ironic is debatable, but that usage must just be to troll us. They even spelled it 'Ironically', FFS.

Re:Not irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612098)

Now who's trolling? There is only one spelling of ironically.

Re:Not irony (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612704)

Spelling wasn't the right word for me to use there. My point is that the word they wanted is 'ironic'.

Re:Not irony (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612938)

No, "ironically" is correct. In the sentence "Ironically Hotz wasn't the first school-aged hacker who...", "ironically" modifies the predicate ("wasn't"), not the subject ("Hotz"), so it's an adverb, not an adjective. It's not Hotz who's ironic; it's him being "the first school-aged hacker..."

What's with this aversion against "ironically"?

Re:Not irony (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613132)

P.S. There should be a comma after "Ironically", though.

Doesn't take much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611488)

All it takes is one individual misusing a word or spreading incorrect grammar, and if that individual happens to be popular or admired by his or her peers (for reasons entirely unrelated to grammar), soon the entire town does it. When an entire town does it, there's no going back.

My favorite example of recent times is the astonishingly invalid phrase "needs X'ed", as in "my computer needs reinstalled", or "my car needs washed". This level of butchering doesn't just appear out of nowhere, nor does it arise through "grassroots" language evolution. It takes a person of special standing to light the fire under the collective ass of aspiring destroyers of grammar. You can bet they won't repeat what they hear from just any loser off the street. The individual who started this (and make no mistake, at the bottom of such a blatant misuse of language must be exactly one individual) was clearly admired by his peers for some reason, and it sure wasn't for his use of grammar (which obviously his admirers didn't study much either). It sounds like something out of a toddler's mouth: "Mommy, I need changed". But here it is, a radical change in the English language disgusting enough to leave you speechless, and it's here to stay. Here's a hint on how to use it: the dropping of "to be" only applies to the specific verb "need". Apparently it doesn't apply to any other verb, for example "like": "my dog likes pampered" is invalid to the same group of people (as it should be), however "my dog needs pampered" is -- cough -- "valid".

Re:Doesn't take much (2)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613092)

I work at a Danish multi-national corporation. It has English as its official language, but most of the top-level bosses are Danes. I've noticed that people here are using some peculiar English phrases, and I'm guessing they're based on grammatical misconceptions from one of the bosses which have then spread throughout the organisation. For example, at our company, we don't "reply" to e-mails; we "revert" to them. I haven't seen this particular error anywhere else.

According to a high school teacher of mine, odd dialects among the upper class, like speaking with a lisp or through your nose, were historically often the result of a speech impediment with one of the royals, which was copied by those below him.

It also reminds me of the American president who made people pronounce "nuclear" "nukular".

Here's a hint on how to use it: the dropping of "to be" only applies to the specific verb "need".

It's probably a mix of "It needs to be changed" and "It needs a change".

Re:Not irony (1)

carpenoctem63141 (2266368) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611968)

It's ironic that they decided this was news even though it's not the first time it's happened.

IDIOT. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36610498)

Geohot was not a criminal. He did something Sony didn't like, bottom line.

KEVIN MITNICK! (3, Informative)

hashish16 (1817982) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610502)

Come most you should remember the "Free Kevin Mitnick" campaign. He is the original hacker/cracker turned "consultant".

Re:KEVIN MITNICK! (2)

shadowfaxcrx (1736978) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610646)

Came here to say this. How these dopes could list all those minor guys and skip Mitnick is beyond me.

Re:KEVIN MITNICK! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36610808)

He is self employed after starting his own security company. All of the others received job offers, most of which came from large corporations.

Re:KEVIN MITNICK! (1)

shadowfaxcrx (1736978) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612444)

Whether he's a drone in a corporation, or corporations hire him as a contractor, he still got work off of his rep as a hacker.

Re:KEVIN MITNICK! (0)

Slime-dogg (120473) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610754)

Actually, it's John Draper.

Re:KEVIN MITNICK! (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611840)

Stew Nelson might have a claim, too. But he's not named after a breakfast mascot.

Re:KEVIN MITNICK! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612454)

Robert Morris, anybody?

I mean, seriously. Okay, Mitnick got in more trouble, but Morris worked during an earlier era.

Re:KEVIN MITNICK! (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613578)

Morris's attempt to exploit a buffer overflow resulted in something he did not intend. He was not trying to create a self sustaining worm. I seem to remember he made a rather simple error in the conditional which resulted in a non-terminating loop.

Re:KEVIN MITNICK! (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610824)

Exactly. Kevin Mitnick is a far better example of this than anyone else. Though there are a lot more hackers who came from the security cracking scene and went on to become rich internet entrepreneurs. Rop Gonggrijp is a pretty famous example.

Re:KEVIN MITNICK! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612832)

Well, and Woz. Though I think his activities were limited to making and selling blue boxes.

Re:KEVIN MITNICK! (1)

jschmitz (607083) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611260)

Agreed I was expecting to see him first on the list not these kids who look like their are in blink 182

his cyber-crime (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36610518)

what?? I can't remember him being judged and proved guilty of any crime.

Meh (2)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610534)

Ironically Hotz wasn't the first school-aged hacker to be rewarded for his cyber-crime rather than a prison sentence.

Wouldn't call this irony. The whole ex-hacker/burgler/forger/etc turned ultra-well paid employee working for the "good guys"[tm] is an old cliche.

Hell, in some lines of work, doing a little jail time (or at least almost doing some) to earn some rep might just be part of the plan.

Re:Meh..on the internet (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611524)

Ironically Hotz wasn't the first school-aged hacker to be rewarded for his cyber-crime rather than a prison sentence.

Yes, but this time is was done on the internet which, as the USPTO will tell you, makes it novel and original - worthy of praise as if it had never been done before!

What crime? What misdeeds? (4, Insightful)

jjo (62046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610544)

Geohot didn't do anything illegal, so why is he a 'criminal'? How is restoring the Linux functionality that Sony originally sold, and then disabled though updates, a 'misdeed'?

Re:What crime? What misdeeds? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36610666)

Exactly. It's not like he was hacking into Sony websites and stealing credit card numbers. He was just tinkering with his own bought-and-paid-for equipment at home to make it more functional. A true hacker in the traditional and honorable sense rather than a criminal, as much as Sony tried to paint him as one.

Re:What crime? What misdeeds? (1)

Ceallach (24667) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610778)

This! So very much this!

Re:What crime? What misdeeds? (2)

bberens (965711) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611192)

He arguably violated the DMCA. Breaking unjust laws does not stop you from being called a criminal. Not having ever been convicted also does not make you any less of a criminal.

Re:What crime? What misdeeds? (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611856)

What's criminal is defrauding people by taking away functionality they purchased.

Re:What crime? What misdeeds? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612946)

The words you are looking for are unethical, unjust, "not right." I think "criminal" would refer more to breaking laws, committing crimes: An action or omission that constitutes an offense that may be prosecuted by the state and is punishable by law. We use it hyperbolically or analogously when we really, really don't like something ("that's a crime!") but that doesn't make it technically correct...

Re:What crime? What misdeeds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612124)

Sony perpetrated a bait and switch scam with regards to their Other OS feature of the PS3. They advertised it, some people bought it with the ability to use that feature, and then they removed it during firmware updates. That is also arguably illegal. But being a large corporation makes it difficult for anyone to take you to court and prove you're a criminal, and individual actors within the company are not personally liable for the acts they perform. Accountability is a joke with companies.

Re:What crime? What misdeeds? (0)

Raisey-raison (850922) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612544)

So then I guess the following people are all criminals and we certainly shouldn't respect them.

1. George Washington - committed treason. And it's still treason and criminal no matter how unjust the law.
2. Abraham Lincoln - he abrogated the constitution during the civil war.
3. Any black slaves that ran away - they should have just 'stayed' I guess.
4. Alic Paul - and those other suffragists. Cause they should have asked more meekly for freedom and equality.
5. Rosa Parks - she was such a criminal sitting at the front of the bus. I guess all those in the civil rights movement should have been more meek. Cause we know that would have worked.

[Hint: There is a reason to obey the law. And is does not always apply. There would be no modern civilization if no-one had broken the law, no industrial revolution and no Slashdot to post on. I think sometimes that the reasoning part of the cerebral cortex is switched off in some people when they blindly go on about always obeying the law. If the law is enough of an ass, it is the obeying of it that is repulsive and the word criminal in that context is meaningless.]

[Hint 2: Read the declaration of independence:
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another...requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
Our Founding fathers stated that when you decide to 'break the law' then it's necessary to explain why and explain that it is justified. If you don't accept this you really cannot be an American - you might as well go back to Britain.]

Re:What crime? What misdeeds? (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613246)

Well, the grandparent may just have wished to point out that Geohot was technically breaking the law, even if it was justified.

I highly doubt Geohot did even that, though. I haven't seen any evidence of it.

Re:What crime? What misdeeds? (1)

bberens (965711) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613284)

...and we certainly shouldn't respect them.

Don't put words into my mouth. I have no problem with what GeoHot or whatever his name is did. I thought that was made clear by me referring to the law in question as unjust. Don't let that stop you from flaming on though.

Re:What crime? What misdeeds? (2)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612588)

It's higly doubtful he broke any of the criminal provisions of the DMCA. Sony only sued him; they didn't file any criminal charges.

Re:What crime? What misdeeds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612824)

Oh, come now jjo. Geohot was a terrozin little terrorizor now wasn't he, a terrorist

Hotz isn't just some script kiddie (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610564)

This wasn't the case of some phone-phreaker or wardriver getting hired. Hotz was an actual skilled hacker, with some pretty serious reverse-engineering and programming abilities. He wasn't just some asshole who figured out a password or slightly modified some virus code.

Re:Hotz isn't just some script kiddie (2)

Anrego (830717) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610630)

As much of an ass that I think geohot is.. I have to agree. Man has some serious talent.

Really makes me wonder what the hell he'll be doing at facebook. Surely he could be doing something more interesting then cranking out IOS apps.

Re:Hotz isn't just some script kiddie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611104)

It's even stranger because he's actually a pretty meh "general purpose" programmer. He's good at reverse-engineering at smart, but his coding skills aren't exactly top notch (try reading some of his code). I have no idea what could he possibly be doing at Facebook. He doesn't sound like the kind of guy who would be interested in churning out web or mobile apps.

Re:Hotz isn't just some script kiddie (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611878)

Maybe they're putting him at the head of some tiger team?

What idiots (1)

Groo Wanderer (180806) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610570)

When an article wrongly bases itself on the premise that hardware hacker, IE Hotz, equals security hacker, IE Lulzsec, you have to scratch your head and wonder. When that article is from a 'reputable' computer publication, you have to wonder if they have a clue or not, or are just trolling for hits. Either way, PC mag just went down in my eyes to a level just above supermarket tabloids.

Re:What idiots (2)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610780)

Yes, my first thought was "most of these people are hackers in the old sense of the word," but when being cleaver, inventive and creative is lumped in with "and, oh yeah, a guy who committed wire fraud to steal a car", then it just makes everybody who uses a computer for more than word processing seem like a potential threat to national security. Computers are the chemistry sets of the 21st century, I suppose.

Re:What idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36610932)

Computers are the chemistry sets of the 21st century, I suppose.

Hey, man, my brother died playing with that dangerous water!

Geohotz performed no misdeeds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36610574)

Geohotz performed no misdeeds. He simply unlocked some hardware and showed the world how to do the same. If that's a misdeed, we're all in sad shape. We may all be able to create Free software, but a chip fabrication plant is a little tougher to do in your spare time.

This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36610590)

I saw this done back in the 1970s. Someone stole time on the university mainframe, then got hired by the computing services dept. to fix the hole they used. This is newsworthy how?

Better than incarcerating the youth (2)

zig43 (1422373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610612)

Seriously, many of us have done stupid things when we were younger. In todays incarceration culture many kids are going to prison to hang out with violent criminals for pulling the same stunts. We as a society need to more carefully consider the reasons for which we take away someone's freedoms.

Re:Better than incarcerating the youth (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610796)

We as a society need to more carefully consider the reasons for which we take away someone's freedoms.

In an economy with over 25% un- or under- employment, any reason to "thin the herd" seems acceptable by the (rapidly shrinking) majority that still have jobs... That's what gives this story a twist, rather than being thinned from the herd, they actually got jobs.

If we don't "thin the herd" using the questionable justice system, we'll either have to admit the situation is worse than it appears, which certainly isn't going to happen, or find another way to thin the herd, perhaps stealth ageism by grade inflation filtration? Is there a way to thin the herd that is more ethical or less unethical than the justice system? Maybe, but right now it sounds like the old one liner about democracy, its a terrible system but all the others are even worse...

Re:Better than incarcerating the youth (1)

zig43 (1422373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610930)

Perhaps we wouldn't have so many economic troubles if we questioned our leaders more often...

Re:Better than incarcerating the youth (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611426)

Or if people just got off their asses and stopped expecting the world to hand them anything they want anytime they want. If the guys mentioned in this thread had applied their skills to actually creating something rather than basically breaking something somebody else created we might start seeing some societal improvements. If the morons involved with Lulz were really interested in improving security why don't they actually develop a system immune to breakins? As it stands now people spend more time squealing about the inequities in life and stand around waiting on somebody else to fix it for them.

Re:Better than incarcerating the youth (2)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612048)

Perhaps we wouldn't have so many economic troubles if we questioned our leaders more often...

And perhaps we wouldn't have so many economic problems if instead of always blaming "the man", we took responsibility for not being a savings culture, living always on credit and always ready to jump into the next speculative thing (the dot-com, trading, real-state, blah blah) and never caring for our own education and manufacturing capabilities because rar rar we are USA we rock, them Chinamen and dot-injuns are too neolithic to take mah jawb.

Stop putting all the blame on leaders. Yes, they have a responsibility for this mess, but so do we, common folk, Our work and education ethos is a f* up one, and we are not innocent bystanders in this crapfest.

Re:Better than incarcerating the youth (2)

Dainsanefh (2009638) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612412)

Exactly. Respecting diversity and different race/culture is a good start. Racism does not come from the leaders, it comes from the common folk.

Just look at what happened last weekend in Rose Bowl for the final of Copa Oro. People threw racial slurs to mexican fans after USA lost in a spectacular fashion.

In order to clamp down racism, banning religion is the key. Religious text provides racial superiority over others (Talmud for the Jews are the best example). With religion such as Islam, Judaism and Christianity, racism will continue to exist.

Re:Better than incarcerating the youth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36613020)

This seems true, but I think it's a scapegoat. I mean, it's true, we carry too much debt. But people are irresponsible and silly everywhere.

In the meantime, we call each other lazy while countries like Greece give themselves mandatory 6 weeks of vacation. I don't know a single person that gets more than 3. Or if you ever get the chance, visit Italy. The people there barely work at all, on any given day. Not enough? Compare us to France. The list goes on and on.

Look, I'm the first to agree that we've got entitlement issues... but we're also one of the hardest working, among first world nations (my genuine apology for using that phrase). The Chinas and Indias can only go on grinding their workforce to bits for so long. Eventually they get wealthier, better educated, and entitlements go up. We've seen this in India already... which is why they're not the hot-spot for offshoring anymore.

So there are more difficult issues to deal with than, "everyone is spoiled, lazy and irresponsible". We have serious leadership issues, legal issues, banking issues, etc. that are causing us problems on a scale considerably larger than, "well... work harder and quit your whining!" will fix.

Re:Better than incarcerating the youth (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613320)

And perhaps we wouldn't have so many economic problems if instead of always blaming "the man", we took responsibility for not being a savings culture, living always on credit and always ready to jump into the next speculative thing

If people have the chance to make a quick buck by exploiting the holes in the system, they will. The only thing we can do is to plug the holes.

I think people are responsible for their own, personal misery resulting from taking too big loans, but the misery on a large scale (economic recession) and the indirect effects it has on people, is the responsibility of the government.

How times change... (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610716)

I love how these "hackers" only one maybe two of which truely are. Are being lauded for what they have done. Personally if the world knows they did it, then they aren't very good. And I love how these days finding a flaw in a social network site constitutes a hack.

Long live the days of the unknown, unsung hacker... for he is truely the one to ph33r.

Exceptions to the rule. (1, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610732)

For every "geoHot" out there there are 40,000 of them getting ass raped in prison. Remember kids, "street cred" is romantic, but doing it anonymously and covering your ass and tracks protects you from the unwanted sodomy of the legal system. Be paranoid. IF you want that lifestyle you have to be paranoid and assume that anyone you know will rat on you. Look at Adrian Lame-o he happily ratted on anyone and everyone to save his own ass. your "buddies" will do it to you if they get the chance.

A friendly reminder from an "old hat". Kids today have the skillz but they utterly suck at hiding.

Re:Exceptions to the rule. (1)

cbeaudry (706335) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611468)

40 000?

I doubt there are 40 in prison for "cybercrimes".

I would say there are more like 40 000 under the radar hackers employed by corporations that did or did not attain notoriety but never got linked to their real life name.

None of them in the list (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612256)

I haven't see any carder ( a special type of hacker ) on the list. China , Russia , former soviet bloc and Vietnam are more advanced in terms of laws regarding cybercrime as carders are offered a real job.

Re:Exceptions to the rule. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611484)

For every "geoHot" out there there are 40,000 of them getting ass raped in prison.

For every hacker there are 40,000 blackhats in prison? "old hat" should dispense wisdom, not fearmongering condescension, to the "kids".

CmdrTaco is a bitter asshole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36610848)

> Ironically Hotz wasn't the first school-aged hacker to be rewarded for his cyber-crime rather than a prison sentence.

Let me put some oil on CmdrTaco's misery... http://www.google.com/trends?q=slashdot

hach.... revenge for all AC's... :D

Re:CmdrTaco is a bitter asshole (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611246)

I never thought of comparing webpages.

Unexpected results came from searching:
slashdot, xkcd, gamespot

True of most politicians! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36610866)

Isn't that also true for most Politicians (getting legit jobs through misdeeds).

What cybercrime? (1)

emuls (1926384) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610894)

Honestly, I'm dying to know. What crime did Geohot commit?

George Hotz and misdeed in the same paragraph? (2)

rgviza (1303161) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611048)

The only issue with George Hotz being in this list is he's never committed a misdeed. He's removed limitations on hardware he owns, placed by the manufacturer and shown others how to do the same. He hasn't broken the DMCA. He is a hacker in the truest sense of the word. He's never been caught doing anything illegal, most likely because he hasn't done anything illegal.  He'd be in jail for breaking the DMCA.

How can what he's done be a misdeed? He was placed under an injunction to not show anyone else how to do what he's done, essentially a gag order. The only reason he agreed to this is he didn't have the money to fight sony in court. Sony is the one guilty of misdeeds in this case.

What About The Ones We Don't Know About? (1)

mlauzon (818714) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611062)

What about the ones who aren't known about, the ones that would've been hired by the US Government (ie: NSA, FBI, CIA, etc), providing they are US citizens..?!

So the moral of the story is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611282)

The next time I find myself unemployed, starving, and desperate for a job, I should write a worm or virus instead of futilely trying to finish that game engine I've been trying to finish since the dawn of time. And then the job offers will roll in.

Or is this only applicable if you're a teenager?

Incorrect Statement in Summary (1)

Rmalmberg (1784084) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611322)

"Ironically Hotz wasn't the first school-aged hacker to be rewarded for his cyber-crime rather than a prison sentence." Unless Sony is the author of this summary, GeoHotz is not a criminal.

Please don't indulge this (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611422)

I hope it's not just me, but I'm sick of seeing this trend of "list" articles on the web in the Cracked Magazine style. I cannot put my finger on it, but it comes off as litter to me. It's a cheap way to grab attention and generate page views by leading the reader through a slide show of bulleted items.

Re:Please don't indulge this (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613332)

Agree, it's lazy journalism.

I'd expect general media to do this but slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611482)

I'd expect the general media to erroneously call Hotz (and others) criminals, but Slashdot should be knowledgeable enough to know he/they never committed a crime. Are Slashdot articles not subject to editor approval?

PCMag slumps to Yellow Journalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36611598)

This is the kind of yellow journalism I would not expect from a well established periodical like PCMag. I am severly disappointed. Many of these people are not "hackers" In the way that the article is describing them, and the writer is painted a very untrue picture of what is happening.

The premise may still hold but you need to research people that actually were black/gray hat hackers. Not a jailbrake app developer, or some one that altered a device of thier own that they payed for with thier own money. Those aren't black hat hacking at all, and it's not illegal. Developing jail broken applications, are as held by the supreme court... perfectly legal, and is NOT tantamount to writing virus code as this article states.

Flawed Logic Arguements and poor conjecture create a false picture. Would have been better off citing Kevin Mitnick or many others that really did break laws, and do corperate damage.

really? (1)

Nihn (1863500) | more than 3 years ago | (#36611868)

Hackers created the ability to post on the internet...how you may ask? They INVENTED the internet, it wasn't christian conservatives, business tycoons, government officials.....it was hackers...worthless, criminal, degenerate people who deserve to be in jail because they possess a level of intelligence you will never have. If you feel like they impede on your safety understand you are in their territory, they know the net better than you ever will, they understand the technology that runs the servers because they wrote it. You are in their house..not the other way around. They have access to everything in virtual space, Lulsec has proven that in absolute. The laws created to "govern" the internet was written by business men, politicians...people who couldn't set up an email for themselves yet they try and dictate behavior of nerds who actually run the system. If you put your baby in the middle of a 6 lane highway during rush hour and it gets run over there in no one else to blame but you, it is an obvious danger, the situation shows no sign of security. If you put all your personal and financial info into a system that is obviously open to certain people there is no one else to blame but you, there is nothing about the internet that is safe or secure, not even the government systems are safe from people who are more intelligent that the people who "secure" said systems. This is a war of intellect...and hackers will always win

Re:really? (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612486)

So everyone and anyone who has contributed anything at all in the development of the internet falls into the sole category of "hacker"? Your desdain for those obviously inferior minds that have the nerve to use the internet but not understand the technology behind it is astounding. Last time I checked being described as a hacker was just one attribute of a persons life. I am sure there are plenty of technically adept people that also consider themselves conservatives, liberals, religious, business leaders, volunteers, or government officials. Also the people being described as hackers today usually gain their reputation by destroying or compromising something somebody else created. It's easier to break shit then it is to build something new. Running around bragging about your superior technical skills seems a little childish.

These people in the TFA (2)

Dainsanefh (2009638) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612318)

Have not taken any profit except the last one. That is why they are gone scott-free.

That is why you won't find a single credit card / bank hacker in the TFA. The law regarding cybercrime are much different in 3rd world countries, as those people are bringing in much $ for the economy, similar to how 419 plans works for the economy of Nigeria.

Not a crime (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612526)

Geohot hasn't committed any crime. He hasn't even been accused of one. Sony sued him (i.e, a civil trial, not a criminal one) for publishing information that allowed people to modify their own PS3 consoles. It's highly doubtful he broke any law by publishing the information, and the parties eventually settled out of court.

It's kind of worrying that people think there's anything illegal about what these hackers do, just because multinational corporations try to scare them with dubious lawsuits. Does something automatically become illegal or immoral because a large corporation doesn't like what you do?

Light on perspective, and hold the insight? (1)

skyyblueandblack (1893306) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612626)

... Seriously? First: it's a hell of a lot smarter to keep someone who's proven he can hack just about anything BUSY. Ish. Or something. Idle hands, and all that. Second: would anyone *really* not be willing to bet that being saddled with a nine-to-five corporate job is the next thing to a living hell for most hackers? Honestly. Somehow, I get the sense that the article's written by someone who lives and dies for the corporate grind. o_O

Connection (1)

Major Legit (2322290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613090)

Well lets face it hacking has become just like singing... if you sing well then people want you to continue to sing. Now if you hack and people see you hack something they like then they want you to keep hacking but it would be more anti hacking then hacking for them. Its just becoming famous. So in the long run if your going to do something on a computer wrong then just make sure everyone else can see it so that way you can get paid more!

Is Work Env at Facebook that bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36613400)

Is this the kind of punishment you want to subject a young budding hacker?

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