Battle against the dark side...

One of my students made a very interesting comment the other day...about wanting to engage in battle against the dark side.

So what does it mean to engage in battle against the dark side? There are very direct and flamboyants ways to do so. Presuming you work for the government, you may have these exciting jobs:

  • hack the computers of the enemy to steal info and plant malware in case of cyber-warfare
  • monitor the behavior of the enemy as they attempt to hack your systems and find ways to shut them out
Presume you don't work for the government? There are other ways to combat the enemy and even though they do not sound as glamorous, they are none-the-less critically important to the safety and well-being of the nation.
  • keep your own systems safe from the bad guys so they can't be used as a springboard to launch other attacks
  • improve the tools and training used by others in the field so that collectively there is a greater impact on the infrastructure as a whole
  • educate the computer illiterate on safe computing
One interesting issue about the dark side...that all depends on your perspective:

When sponsored by a government, the exact same behaviors go from being illegal to being completely legal. For example: if a U.S. civilian hacks the U.S. Department of Defense, it is a crime. If a U.S. soldier, while under orders, hacks the Russian Ministry of Defence, it is simply good military strategy and perfectly legal in the eyes of the U.S. Government. But...the Russians might not find it so entertaining...