Oxymoron: A figure of speech in which actual or apparently actual contradictory terms appear in conjunction with one another.
Hack: Conventionally, to cut with rough or heavy blows, such as to hack off deadly tree branches.
In more recent times, to use a computer device to electronically gain unauthorized data in a system, or to otherwise access unauthorized data in a system, not intended for public consumption, such as confidential passwords, social security numbers, bank accounts or the fraudulent manipulation of data.
Black Hat Hackers: Those who criminally hack for personal gain, such as to steal money or intellectual property or to extort payments by threatening to reveal hacked evidence of misconduct.
White Hat Hackers, Ethical Hackers, Hacktivists: Those who hack ostensibly not for personal gain but supposedly for the noble good, kind of like soldiers who take a life on the battlefield. (But whose soldiers?)
The U.S. Elections–Just the Tip of the Iceberg?
Whether a hacker is a Black Hat Hacker or a White Hat Hacker often depends on the perspective of the person making that determination. A few illustrations might help:
- Julian Assange is a hero to some and a narcissistic criminal to others for what he has publicly revealed, either as hacked by him or by others.
- It has recently gone viral that an individual guessed President Trump’s Twitter password, and thus empowered him to falsely publish tweets in Trump’s name. Trump loyalists would no doubt characterize this individual as a Black Hat Hacker, a common criminal who belongs in jail. Never Trumpists would dismiss such claims on the grounds that it was all harmless fun. White House social media representatives thanked the hacker for graphically demonstrating Trump’s vulnerability.
- In the past week, it has surfaced in the media that a massive and elaborate hacking of the systems of a number of federal agencies has been in progress for as much as the past nine months. While the identity of the hacker, and his motivations, remain unclear, it’s not likely that anyone would dispute that this onslaught was perpetrated by a Black Hat Hacker.
- During this year’s heated election campaign, a laptop computer belonging to Hunter Biden, the son of President Elect Joe Biden, was accessed and shown to contain data evidencing criminal activities on the part of the son and, circumstantially, on the part of the father. Was that physical hacker, a White Hat Hacker or a Black Hat Hacker? Depends on which side of the aisle you sit, doesn’t it? Most mainstream press, generally pro-Biden, or at least anti-Trump, suppressed that data until after the election, thinly rationalizing that it was Russian “disinformation.” Now that same press is jumping on the bandwagon of revealing and respecting that data, and what it might portend. Should the American voters have been better informed of the contents of the son’s laptop prior to the election, when it was known by the media? Was that suppression by the media a form of “reverse” hacking, more specifically reverse Black Hat Hacking?
- And finally, admittedly closer to home, was Jake Klein, aka JK, the protagonist in the instant #1 Amazon bestselling fictional Brooks/Lotello thriller novel, JK’s Code, published just one week ago, a White Hat Hacker or a Black Hat Hacker, or perhaps both, acting for the common good, yes, but also in it for fame and fortune? 📚💥🧐
What Do You Think JK Would Do?
Ethicist panels have been created worldwide to debate White Hat Hacker or Black Hat Hacker. For example, the individual who compromised Trump’s Twitter password has not been prosecuted in his home country because that country’s ethicist panel concluded that he had acted for the common good in that he had no ulterior personal goal (other than perhaps fame and fortune).
Arguably, the expression Ethical Hacker is an oxymoronic misnomer because respect for due process and the right not to self-incriminate means that all hacking should be considered inappropriate unless secured under process of law or in the name of public well-being and safety. One might think that hacking to prevent public mayhem should be extra-judicially permitted. Given the possibility that President-Elect Biden’s independence may have been compromised by his son’s activities, should the public have known about the son’s data before the election and should hacking bearing upon that question have been revealed by a genuinely neutral media (and the Justice Department) prior to the election?
To gain insight into these questions, and their answers, consider reading JK’s Code to see what JK did and concluded.
Note: When accused of being anti-Trump, this writer answered that such appearance was solely because Trump was the incumbent. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, it seems only fair that such scrutiny (or back seat driving) should be equally applied to Biden. Fair is fair. 😊
Want to better understand the present hacking onslaught of our federal agencies? Don’t be left in the dark about how these terrorist attacks may impact YOU, regardless of your visibility and the side of the aisle you favor. Read Amazon #1 bestseller JK’s Code, possibly the most exciting and timely thriller novel of the year. Not just ripped from today’s cybercrime headlines, JK’s Code anticipates, explains and lays bare these events BEFORE they reach the front pages of your favorite news media—how they are happening and how they can be stopped.
🌟 More Praise for JK’s Code! 🌟
“JK’s Code is shockingly relevant, an action-packed thriller that mirrors our political turmoil with frightening accuracy.” —Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author of the Rizzoli & Isles novels
“JK’s Code is really a suspenseful, satirical take on Politics and Technology in timely perhaps timeless fashion during an election year. I couldn’t put this book down or stop laughing as well as shaking my head. It really does make you wonder what is possible for foreign interference especially when Russia has been in the news and its influence with the Dark Web is just the tip of an iceberg of a well thought out story line… This novel will really make you think of any and all possibilities.” —Michael V., Amazon reviewer
“You are truly captivated by the possibility that it could actually happen. And we now know that it indeed really did happen.” —Chuck Y., Amazon reviewer