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Date: Fri, 8 Dec 2006 15:47:09 -0500
From: "Evan Stawnyczy" <ejes@...free.net>
To: researchonhackers@...oo.com
Cc: full-disclosure@...ts.grok.org.uk
Subject: Re: Call For Participants For A Research Study Of
	Hacker Culture

Greetings Tom,

My name is Evan ($LastNameNotDisclosed$).  I currently work at an
Internet security company.  I work alongside security professionals,
hackers, crackers, and the like.

They, like most professionals, are all very ethical, and intelligent
people who I am proud to call my colleagues.

Reading through the thread in response to your email has got me wondering:

What do you mean by hacker?

I have recently discovered that there are a few different meanings to
this term, and therefore a few different 'cultures'.

The one, most negative connotation of hacker, was introduced to me (by
my girlfriend) a few weeks ago.

Apparently (according to her), when most people hear the term "hacker"
they think of some greasy 13-year old boy sitting alone in his room
breaking other peoples computers "because they can" or "to be
destructive" or "because they're spoiled rich kids"... the list goes
on.

Another, more sinister "hacker" I have heard of, is more of a "movie
star hacker".  Some person (usually a guy, but not always *remember
"Mainframe from the classic cartoon COPS"*) who with sinister intent
would break computer systems for profit.

This does extend to the "good guy hacker" who is usually doing it for
money or fame, or at least a reward of some type.

These "hackers" are almost magical beings, with the ability to erase
an entire network with little more than a keystroke.

These "hackers" are (imho) fairy tales.  That isn't to say there
aren't some "hackers" with sinister intent, who "hack" banks for
money, and "hack" the Pentagon for whatever conspiracy that's being
covered up.  I doubt that these hackers are any kind of majority.  And
these are the "hackers" commonly referred to as "crackers," and the
ones you'd probably want to look for in jail, or working for some big
security corporation (see
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1541252.stm mafiaboy)

The "hacker" that I identify with is the definition commonly
associated with the 'glider emblem' (see:
http://catb.org/~esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html#what_is) and is what I
call myself.

My answer to "why?"

Although I am very technically savvy, I would not say that I am by any
means elite (l337 ;) ) or even as elite as some of my colleagues.  I
guess that would be one trait of the "hacker".

They always are willing to learn more and mostly concerned with the
fact that everyone can teach them something.

In fact, any hacker that I have known, or met, has had just that; "an
unquenchable thirst for knowledge". Knowledge of any kind, not just
computers.

You may, if your research points to the type of "hacker" that I am
referring to, want to read this excellent site:
http://catb.org/~esr/faqs/hacker-howto.html

If you are interested, I would happily speak with you further.  If
not, good luck with your research.

Thanks,
-e`

> Greetings,
> My name is Tom Holt, and I am an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina
> at Charlotte.  I am currently conducting a study of hackers and hacking and am seeking
> interested men and women who may be willing to participate.  The purpose of this
> research is to understand the ways that people become interested in computers and
> hacking, their motives for hacking, and how they apply their skills in different settings.
>This study will also consider individuals╩╝ conceptions of hacking and
experiences in hacker
> culture.
>
> To understand this phenomenon, I am seeking individuals who are willing to share their
> experiences and opinions in an interview which can be conducted either in person or via
> encrypted e-mail. Strict confidentiality will be maintained and your privacy ensured.  I have
>  obtained a Certificate of Confidentiality from the National Institutes of Health to further
> protect and ensure your privacy and confidentiality. All individuals who complete an
> interview will be paid $10 for their time, and $10 will also be paid for successful referrals.
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