Into a hacker's head: Dark side of the IT world

Summary:This series focuses on the hacker, his personality, his motivations, his rewards, his mentality and his risks. The series explores the people behind the hacks, the tools, the targets and the temptations.

For those of you who follow Zero Day, there's something new afoot: A new hacker series. But, this hacker series isn't the standard, "Today this compromise took place" or "Hackers defaced another site." This series focuses on the hacker, his personality, his motivations, his rewards, his mentality and his risks. The series explores the people behind the hacks, the tools, the targets and the temptations. The research for this series has taken me on a new journey into the mysterious and into the enlightening. I've conducted dozens of interviews, compiled a host (no pun intended) of documentation and developed a new respect for security professionals and hackers alike, regardless of affiliation or hat color.

My goal for this series is to inform you and shed new light on this most interesting dark sector of the IT world.

You should come away with new knowledge and ways to protect yourself and the company for which you work. Please enter the conversations, ask questions, provide your own experiences and where appropriate, toss out a few ideas of your own for future posts.

The series begins with an interview with the hacker's hacker and my personal hero: Kevin Mitnick. The series continues with interviews, observations and on-going research into this realm. It also highlights my own hacking experiences with phone freaking, password cracking, airwave hijacking and social engineering.

As a bonus, I also include two stories of my first-hand experience of being hacked.

If you're interested in the underside of hacking, watch for my posts. And, as always, if you have some great first-hand hacking stories, exploits, hijacks or system compromises, contact me and we'll discuss. I'd like to hear stories from both sides of the hack.

I'd like to thank Ryan and Dancho for allowing me to invade their space here on ZDNet with this series. I think you'll find it entertaining, informative and something to anticipate. If you're fascinated by hacking and hackers, stay tuned, it will be an interesting ride.

Topics: Security

About

Kenneth 'Ken' Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with 20 years of experience with Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems in large multi-data center environments.

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.