Digital Hactivism – Cool, but still a Federal and/or International Crime

Digital Hactivisim: Taking cyberwarfare tools and applying them to attacks on socially acceptable targets.

There, that is what it is. However, taking part in it can still lead to criminal charges at the local, state, federal and even international levels.

Someone burns down the meeting place of NeoNazis. Everyone cheers. However, we still know that the act is still arson and a crime. That is the crux of digital hacktivism. Traditionally, they attack targets that make people cheer. However, it is a farce.

A few years ago, they attacked both Westboro baptist and the people that were advocating for the survivors of Sandy Hook…within weeks of one another. The shot-callers of digital hacktivisim attacks don’t always give their supporters accurate information as to the target of the attacks, nor the reason why they are doing them.

Pulling off a successful attack requires as many people as you can get in multiple locations throughout the globe, attacking a single target at once. The objective is to overwhelm the website or computer network’s digital defenses so they become useless and expose vulnerabilities of the underlying computer systems or networks.

It is generally harder to enlist support for an attack than to pull it off. With hacktivism, the organizers understand the nature of the attack is illegal, but popular. So, they sell the popularity of the attack, enlist junior members and educate them in there methods and then set things in motion.

Additionally, not keeping your system protected, can enable them to enlist your computer system as a bot and your computer system will automatically become a pawn in their mission. Firewalls, system updates, anti-virus, -malware and training on cyber-defense are all necessary components of successful networked computer usage.

“Wait,” you say, “My system is not networked.” Unless you are reading a printed copy of this article, the system you are reading this on is vulnerable. You need to defend it, sometimes from yourself. That is why cyber-defense training is so important.  Proper usage of email, messenger, web browsing, firewalls, proxies, wifi- and wired network-security, and ultimately encryption, among other topics should become mundane words in your vocabulary. Many of these are not lofty topics.