This weekend marks the 20th anniversary of the Defcon hacking convention in Las Vegas. Each year, the convention brings together people from around the world to discuss security and innovation.
Although the term "hacker" generally has a negative connotation to the general public, the actual meaning is something very positive. The true definition of hacker is someone that develops true mastery of a product and uses or modifies it in innovative ways. As HowStuffWorks states:
"Hackers were visionaries who could see new ways to use computers, creating programs that no one else could conceive. They were the pioneers of the computer industry, building everything from small applications to operating systems. In this sense, people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were all hackers -- they saw the potential of what computers could do and created ways to achieve that potential."
In this sense, hacking is a very good thing. It helps push technology to the next level. Hackers are the reason that we have laptops, phones, and electricity. It's because people constantly try new and innovative ways of using the world around us. There are only a select few who give an entire community a bad rap. Let's focus on the majority that use technology for good. As they say "With great power comes great responsibility" :)
Even if you cannot make it to Vegas this year to celebrate innovation and learn about security at Defcon, try to think about hacking in a positive light. Who knows, maybe you have a little hacker deep inside of you and one day will bring the new big idea that will change the world!
Peace and Love,
Over 1,300 students from 100 schools participated in the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition in San Antonio, TX. The Department of Homeland Security was one of the sponsors of this large event where the hacking teams from the colleges competed against each other to determine the 2012 winner.
This event was important for several reasons. The annual event brings security awareness to the world, it entices students to gain security skills that will help them through their careers, and it educates thousands of individuals which will in turn make the world a safer place.
Congratulations to the University of Washington for winning the 2012 NCCDC!
First Place (2 Time National Champion) – University of Washington
Second Place – United States Air Force Academy
Third Place – Texas A&M University
At-Large: University of Alaska Fairbanks
Rocky Mountain: United States Air Force Academy
Southeast: UNC Charlotte
Northeast: Rochester Institute of Technology
Southwest: Texas A&M University
Mid-Atlantic: Towson University
Midwest: St. Cloud State University
North Central: University of Wyoming
Western: Cal Poly Pomona
Pacific Rim: University of Washington