(Pic: Hack Day India)
PUNE: Want to see a network-attached bread toaster gaining control of a computer? Or, learn how to wiretap an internet telephone call? Then, Pune is the place to be on December 9. For those who think of hacking as malicious attack on computers, this could come as a shock. But for those self-professed hackers who understand the term as an exercise in playfulness, cleverness and exploration, here is welcome news.
Indiaâ€™s hackers are going to come together and discuss their pastime at a day-long convention in Maharashtraâ€™s technology hub this Sunday. Corporate leaders have been invited and cops will be there too, just in case.
â€œNot all hackers are out there to harm the society. There are many of them who are doing excellent work in their domains and we feel that a hacker should be judged only by his skill, intention and willingness to share his knowledge,â€ Rohit Srivastava, convenor of Clubhack 2007, said.
The media world over may have focused on the criminals among hackers, but the act itself is not aimed at crime. Richard Stallman, the global guru of free software movement, once roughly defined hacking as exploring the limits of what is possible and crossing it.
Mr Srivastava told ET that for the first time the countryâ€™s hackers would come together during the forthcoming event for a serious chat on their role in creating awareness about computer security and freedom. â€œFor some reasons, hacking has been associated with negative connotation all over the world. So, hackers never came in front of the public and worked in closed groups,â€ he said.
Now, he hopes, Clubhack will give them an annual platform to express themselves. The day-long convention, expected to receive 200 hackers, will have 13 speakers giving various insights on hacking. â€œThe lectures at the convention are divided into three parts â€” proactive, hactive and reactive â€” focusing on learning to be safe, learning to hack and learning to investigate. We are targeting the security professionals, CTOs, CIOs, cyber lawyers and law enforcement professionals,â€ Mr Srivastava said.
Fun sessions would include, in addition to the toaster and internet phone-tapper, a bluetooth peeping session and demonstration of a vulnerability in Firefox browser, which enables an hacker to get password and credit card details of a surfer.
â€œAny appliance controlled by a microprocessor is susceptible to a hacking attack. This includes the in-vogue intelligent homes, which is very easy for a hacker to break into. For example, a hacker can break into the video peephole system, and make it play an video of a person other than the one standing at the door. Such attacks, though unknown in India, have been executed in some parts of the world, and we need to be informed and armed against them,â€ Mr Srivastava said.
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