Patrice Riemens on Tue, 14 Dec 2010 06:32:28 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Dutch hackers community condemns DDoS attacks, advocates ethical hacking

(fwd from nettime-nl)

Hacker community condemns denial of service attacks, advocates ethical

In response to recent press covering of denial of service attacks on
numerous websites and the arrest of a teenager from the metropolitan
area of The Hague, the hackerspace Revelation Space in The Hague, The
Netherlands, calls for a meeting about ethical hacking. Present at
this meeting on December 18th 2010 will be, among others, IT lawyer
Arnoud Engelfriet (legal consultancy firm ICTRecht), veteran hacker
Hans van de Looy (Madison Gurkha) and internet journalist Brenno de
Winter (,

The arrested teenager, who was allegedly involved with the attacks on
websites of MasterCard and other companies that obstructed Wikileaks
activities, was known to visit the hackerspace and was a regular in
the online chat room for the hackerspace. This motivated members of
Revelation Space to bring attention to the subject of 'ethical

Disrupting websites with a 'Distributed Denial of Service'-attack
(DDoS) or by any other means, does not align with the ethics of the
hacker community. Koen Martens, founder of the hackerspace, responds
to the actions of "Anonymous": "I liken a denial of service attack to
slapping someone in the face when you run out of arguments to prove
someone wrong"

A hacker is a creative and curious individual, someone who wants to
find out how things work and perhaps tries to find flaws in their
design. An ethical hacker will act responsibly with the  knowledge
gained and will not abuse this knowledge. An ethical hacker is aware
of the consequences of his or her actions or the sharing of the gained
knowledge, and will always strive to operate within the boundaries of

As such, the attacks on sites such as MasterCard have nothing to do
with hacking. Anyone can download, install and start a computerprogram
and then become part of a coordinated online crime. There is no
creativity involved: DDoS attackers generally use existing tools
without realising how these function.

Although legal action is part of a proper response to the action of
this minor 'script kiddie', it must be acknowledged that everyone has
made mistakes in their youth that they are not proud of.

The young man and his accomplices should not be excluded from the
community. They should be shown a better way to reach goals. One of
the participants of the hackerspace admits that as a teenager he also
did not always consider the consequences of his actions, and explains:
"What really helped me was the interaction with real hackers, people
with a sense of ethics. We can do much more for this young man, in the
context of hacker ethics, than the people who raise him."

The event will be held on Saturday, December 18th, from 12:30 till
18:00, CET, in Revelation Space, Binckhorstlaan 172, Den Haag, The
Netherlands. The meeting is organised in cooperation with the Hxx
Foundation, the Utrecht hackerspace 'Randomdata' and the Dutch chapter
of international hacker collective 2600.

Contributing to the meeting are internet journalist Brenno de Winter
(, and podcast 'the security update'), ICT-lawyer
Arnoud Engelfriet (legal consultancy firm ICTRecht), veteran hacker
Hans van de Looy (Madison Gurkha), Jurre van Bergen (ethical hacker
with a special interest in government sites) and Walter van Holst
(IT-lawyer with consultancy firm Mitopics and board member at European
umbrella organisation for civil rights EDRi).

Everyone is invited to this session. Members of the press are
explicitly invited to attend. Please note that the main language will
be Dutch.

Revelation Space is a 'hackerspace', and is part of a world-wide
movement. A hackerspace is a space where curious and creative people
('hackers') meet to share ideas and work on projects. Many of these
activities are in the area of technology, and deal with IT,
computernetworks, electronics and wood- and metal-crafting. But
visitors also concern themselves with and discuss society in general.

'Script kiddies' is IT-jargon for people, usually teenagers, who use
existing and freely available software ('scripts') to perform
mischievous pranks they perceive as admirable. We contrast this with
'hackers', who on the basis of knowledge and skill come up with
creative solutions and tricks, as well as with 'crackers' who
(illegally) break into computersystems. Both the activities of script
kiddies as well as those of hackers and crackers are considered in a
constantly changing ethics.


Revelation Space
Binckhorstlaan 172
2516 BG Den Haag

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