Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Thank you for another year of exciting activities. More to come in 2016. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Blackhat: Hackers - Blackhats, Whitehats, Grayhats and Bluehats

A black hat hacker is an individual with extensive computer knowledge whose purpose is to breach or bypass Internet security. They are computer security hackers that break into computers and networks or also create computer viruses. The term “black hat” comes from old westerns where the bad guys usually wore black hats and the good guys wore white ones.“Black hat,” “white hat,” and “gray hat” can also refer to behavior. For example, if someone says “that seems a bit black hat,” that means that the action in question seems unethical.

I. Read the paragraphs below and make a guess. Complete the blanks with the expressions below:


A) ______________________are also known as crackers or dark-side hackers. They violate computer security for personal gain (such as stealing credit card numbers or harvesting personal data for sale to identity thieves) or for pure maliciousness . They fit the widely-held stereotype that hackers are criminals performing illegal activities for personal gain and attacking others. They’re the computer criminals.

B) ______________________  also identify security weaknesses; but, instead of performing malicious attacks and theft, they expose the security flaw in such a way as to alert the owner that there is a breach so they can fix it before someone can take advantage of it. They are sometimes paid consultants or actual employees of a company that needs its systems protected. They’re the “ethical hackers,” experts in compromising computer security systems who use their abilities for good, ethical, and legal purposes rather than bad, unethical, and criminal purposes.

C) ________________________  don't work for their own personal gain or to cause carnage, but they may technically commit crimes and do arguably unethical things. They might attempt to compromise a computer system without permission, informing the organization after the fact and allowing them to fix the problem. While they didn’t use their access for bad purposes, they compromised a security system without permission, which is illegal.

D) ________________________  educate Microsoft engineers and executives on current and emerging security threats as part of continuing efforts to help protect our customers and secure our products, devices, and services. They serve as a great opportunity for invited security researchers to informally connect with Microsoft engineers who are passionate about security, furthering a bidirectional exchange of ideas at the event.

Inspired by the informative site:


Answer key: Black Hats, White Hats, Gray Hats, Blue Hats

II. Work in pairs:
1. How do you compare Black, White, Gray and Blue hats? Are they all criminals?
2. What should their punishment be?

3. How can this kind of crime be addressed?
4. Watch the movie segment and decide:

  •       What kind of hacker does the segment show?
  •       What crime did he commit?
  •       What were the consequences of his act?
  •       What should his punishment be?
  •       Should the government reduce his sentence if he decides to use his knowledge to prevent other hacker attacks from happening? Explain it.