Novelty of an Overloaded Transformer
Hacking the System as the Nihilist Approach to Uncaptured Insurrection
1 - Hack For The Joy – An Introduction
Once upon the time, hacking was all about the spontaneous emotions as raw, uncaptured and wild. It was never about the meaningful action, nor for some cause, the act of hacking was merely for the fruit of extreme thrill, challenge and stubbornness against all authority. It was the indescribable defiance of resistance that reached out and smugly slamming at the system where it hurts. Moreover, a hacker often find themselves align with how an Egoist saw themselves. A hacker had no nationality because there are no borders on the vast array of networks. They had no societal constructs like race, gender and class because anonymity shields them from all intrusive puncturing. Most importantly, hackers earn their respect among each other through demonstration of personal skill and experience, not based on materialism. You could never own a network, there is always somebody out there wield similar power to take over what you deemed to own, thus you can do the same toward them. All hackers mutually understand this fundamental knowledge. Hackers were the Union of Egoists who could wield unchecked and uncaptured individual power to destroy a system, for joy and thrill. A hacker is their own master thriving on the phone line or the computer network. But time has changed and hacking becomes a commodity that is recuperated by all elements of society.
Like all illegalist praxis, once the system find its use in exploitation of the population, it is actively being used as the means of societal control, effectively normalize all struggle and rendering any resistance as useless attempt to crash the system. While the term hacker originated from bourgeois institution like MIT, the concept of hacking predates civilization. There is always somebody out there, whether in the free wild or under a mossy basement, putting together something that were not designed to work together, and make it functions in completely unexpected way, for the rare, raw and real sense of joy. Most of the hacks had no purpose and they were done for the sake of doing. The system turned this reality around and slam a label (civic hackers), badge (pentesters) or class traitors (NSA) on everything to control, commodify and criminalize the act of hacking. Even among the first forerunners of hackers themselves divided with the concept of cracker as to fruitlessly attempt to define somebody who hack for 'bad', or script kiddie as someone who hack without understanding the tool nor technique they used. Ironically, many of the so-called cypherpunks fall under both of these categories, where they would hack to resist the authority but without understanding of why their so-called meaningful hacks turned out to be a wasteful attempt at changing the system from within. Thus, the cypherpunk movement is a self-explanatory example of fruitless talents aiming to hit the system but ending up hurting their own, an expected movement particularly popular among right-libertarians. The petty attempt to slap some label on hacking or moralize it, has been ridden through out the history of hacking.
This article won't name the bourgeoisie and class traitors who work for the system directly or indirectly. However it will give examples of hackers on the illegalist side, to analyze and dissect their actions, and what necessity of steps would-be hackers among readers can learn from their mistakes. Even so, no critique could amount their actions because the act of hacking is never captured, as the main purpose of this article is to observe hacking as an action of joy, and not to capture nor impose these moment onto the readers, you as the readers must discover this journey through your own uncaptured knowledge and experience.
2 - Never The Same – Every Hack is Its Own Masterpiece
As mentioned earlier in the article, hackers and Egoists share common methods and struggle through out their journey toward pains. Hacking is the informal nihilist approach to the society, how it should interact with the environment, and how a hacker should analyze the circumstance, forming their best scenario for future thrills. A hacker’s thrill is never captured, it was sent and gone in the network, every packet is spent, along with the instant but impermanent happiness that had profound impact on the target. An act of hacking itself is the unique and uncaptured moment of joys that every hacker explored nihilistically and digitally battering a target.
Hacker only utilize new techniques and tools unless they stop proving useful for a hacker’s targeting. Even when hacker used exact same technique, every target is the new chapter of exploitation and refreshed challenge and joy. As the world is ever changing, so is the hack. But a hacker’s goal is never about changing the system, but to act as a form of extracted vengeance, often without intention of meaningful purpose. While the mainstream media saw hacking as the sadistic action toward a person or a property, hacking has existed and function exactly as many forms of expropriation, extracting the stolen values and redistribute them toward the masses. In a way, the act of flooding a network with SYN packets have more use in existence than a CEO exploiting some designer’s sweatshop. Because overloading a transformer or pipeline could have profound impact on the real world, better chance of taking the lives of class traitors.
3 - No Hack Is Organized – Hacking within Organization Get You Captured
Here lies two examples of two well known characters among the scene of anarcho-hackers, Anarchaos and Phineas Fisher. One is captured and one is free. One hacked within the organization of Anonymous, and one is an individual who carried out their acts on their own term. Both had profound impacts from their hacks. The author of this article acknowledge that giving known hacks as examples of nihilist approach does not completely on the path, but they are the best examples of joyous hacking to punk the system.
Anarchaos, also known as Jeremy Hammond, was an Anonymous and Lulzsec member. Prior to AnonOps, he was known for founding the hacker’s tutorial website HackThisSite and gave a speech at DEF CON. Anarchaos participated in Lulzsec’s op called AntiSec, as the main event that led up to Stratfor hack. Precisely because of Stratfor event that Anarchaos was caught, partially because of Lulzsec’s leader Sabu became an informant prior to founding of AntiSec, which was a honeypot to entrap many hacker groups. Stratfor server compromised by Lulzsec was a honeypot set up by Sabu and an FBI informant. Anarchaos was caught because he trusted an organized group.
Phineas Fisher, an anonymous hacker who called themselves revolutionary anarchist and blackhat. They are known for hacks such as FinFisher, Hacking Team and AKP. All of these hacks had shown exceptional experience and techniques required to carry out sophisticated targeting. Moreover, Phineas Fisher had done these attacks as individual and depended on no trusted contact. When the Spanish police arrested two unaffiliated persons, Phineas Fisher retired their name and went underground, but no doubt they are still free and well spent their days to hack the system.
As seen that taking the insurrectionary and individual approach to hacking would last your struggle longer than stayed or depended on organized group to survive. When it is up to their term in order to safeguard you from the walls closing down, it will never happen, because a hacker’s nature will never allow them to trust anyone, and opening up bigger chances for them to turn on each other. Hacking is the long and depressing self-discovery pathway that ones must experience on their own, far away from others for their own survival.
On personal experience, the author of this article had survived organization and roam free as an individual. Once every while, they shred the names and adopt new identities. It is painful to live this way, at the same time it is the blessed living that survival also equates to resistance, as vengeful self-discovery rather than giving some sense of purpose. It is pure masochistic joy and thrill to send a police precinct into darkness, letting them taste their own medicine. The author acknowledge that they could have done more to mess up that precinct, such as setting it on fire by overloading the gas line, or shut off the HVAC, but there is plenty of other times to create mournful widows of class traitors.
4 - Cathartic Hacking – Treating The Target Like Shit
Digitally battering your targets should never be taken lightly, nor having any mercy on them. Capitalism’s and leviathan’s reach is no bound, and they have no mercy toward the land and creatures. Why should then there be any mercy toward the destroyers? The only clear uncontested answer shall be, that utter destruction upon capitalism and its structure is the only solution. Hacking delivers unreached and uncaptured power on the table, for those who seek to wield this as the means of resistance, both as individual or collective.
The problem with many of these so-called successive hacks is that they left no profound impact or damage on the physical world. Lulzsec and Anonymous went all out as a fiery flame, only to be discovered as a speck of dust that left no imprint to the real world. Stratfor is still operational and HBGary back to business. To the extend of Phineas Fisher, one of their hacks were profound because they took $10,000 worth of Bitcoin from an online bank, and donated to Rojava Plan. However there are still plenty of rooms for hacks that have impact on the physical world, through property and personal damage.
While media lamented that Stuxnet as the forerunner of cyberweapon, those who had been in the battlefield for long time remembered differently. In the 80s, CIA overloaded a Soviet pipeline with timed malware, or called logic bomb, delivered to the terminal of the pipeline control by physical medium. Both Stuxnet and CIA’s logic bomb had profound impact on the physical world. Both event created environmental and property damage, the Soviet pipeline’s explosion was one of USSR worst industrial disaster, and Stuxnet wasted dozens of Iranian’s nuclear fuse rods. More recent but familiar event were 2003 Northwest Blackout, where an employee set off a modified worm crashing one of the mainframe that control electrical terminal and shut down the entire grid. 11 dead. Or the Russian shut down Ukrainian grid in the Eastern region. And the latest attack where NSA shut down Venezuelan electrical grid. As these shown by real example how hacking could strike the system where it hurt the most, there are unlimited potentials waiting to be discovered. There is still chances and times for anyone to strike back at the system, using the means of hacking.
5 - Novelty Of An Overloaded Transformer – The Uncaptured Joyous Art
Hacking doesn’t require specific intelligence to explore it, as hackers span across anyone, however hacking does require extensive art of observation, where observation could be by visual, sound or other senses. The author of this article urge its readers look at hacking like an art and not a pre-programmed action, because even delivering physical damage with styles take creativity. Know your target, while an example like vehicle can be moved, most of the time your physical target does not move or change. The more stable a target the more it depending on the system, and usually compromising the box only take one attack surface. Many times your target’s weakness located in the most obvious places, and you shall never overlook them. The author overloaded an electrical transformer in a North American city, where the ICS terminal for this specific grid was discovered through a search engine called Shodan. The author also infected the terminal with embedded malware that automatically sending commands to overload infected terminal, and soon another transformer in another part of the region was exploded in midst of the night. The sheer joy was a small segment from random unexpected exploding transformers.
Anarchists as hackers could bring repeated deadly blow to capitalism and its society, potentially and profoundly changing the entire landscape of resistance. However the depressing reality is that many of so-called anarchist hackers happened to work within the system, embolden themselves in the legality, sometime even embrace the system and create negative societal impact toward the oppressed group. Overtime many so-called anarchists who work within hackerspace or startup to build or make things, they could have spent their times much better in development of resistance and defense against the system, rather they are coddling with the conformity of how the system dictated their productivity. Truth is that many in the Left refused to move outside their shell, moreover they are comfortable inside the conformity that they afraid once leaving it, that they cannot prove themselves useful to anyone. This is the absolute false thinking that set many legal hackers in the perpetuated psychological prison. They do not need to prove their experience and skill to anyone, nor to their target, but themselves. As mentioned, hacking should be the joyous art of uncaptured emotion, and not to leave any mark behind. The only such legacy a hacker could leave behind is when they remotely turn off the braking system of a Crown Vic while it was on the highway with a pig in it. Let them taste their medicine for your own enjoyment. Make your joy and thrill real.
6 - Nihilist Hacking – And The Insurrection
Nihilist hacking is the act of jacking yourselves into the network and pump your mind full of instant yet short-lived joys. It is important to weaponize those joys toward the sense of survival. While the Left prioritize purposes as their means of hope, nihilist hackers should always be doing their acts as purposeless and only for the sheer violence of resistance. Resistance against the pigs coming down to your home and take away your family. Resistance against the military lining you and your friend up against the wall one by one. Resistance against fascists herding you into death camp. Violence is resistance, and resistance is survival.
As Phineas Fisher put it, “Hacking gives the underdog a chance to fight and win.” While the states are capable of causing terrors through technology, hacking brings these terror back to the states. An individual hacker could do more damage to a single group or organization than an organized union ever could. When syndicalists and communists debate among themselves in union hall on how to bargain the boss, a nameless nihilist hacker could already be doing that by overloading the gas pump at a filling station and blow up the valve, thus killing the boss and any collaborator in the process. It only takes few lines of code to grant these magic toward the hatred. A chain of insurrections could all begin with a single command sent.
Hacking should never be used to oppress the commons. Instead, hacking must be utilized to bring absolute destruction to any element that aimed to attack and repress. Hacking brings death to your enemy, and when done right you could repeat this without being discovered. A hacked joy is never caught, and it stayed uncaptured.
Blackhat – who hack for expropriation, survival and illegalism. The author of this article and mentioned hackers fall in this category.
Whitehat – someone who hack for the system, to defend and strengthen it against blackhats. Majority of legal hackers fall under here.
Grayhat – who hack for thrill but sometime work within the system, or can be seen as the fence-riding of hacking.
Civic Hacker – someone who hope to bring societal change by working within the system. The techno reformist, often get paid to do so.
Pentester – a whitehat who get hired to hack the system so they can understand how to protect it better.
Cypherpunk – hackers who sought to resist against some authority but they later end up defending it. Best example of this is Wikileaks.
Script kiddie (skid) – supposedly those who have no understanding of how a technique or tool works. Ironic that all self-taught hackers began as a skid.
Phreaker – a phone hacker. Phreaking is another example of how hacking predates the internet development.
Cracker – its original meaning was for blackhat, modern definition is for those who reverse engineer copyright protection like DRM in proprietary software and release as warez.