Hacking: The White, the Black and the Gray Areas


Mandy Moody
ACFE Social Media Specialist

Wired.com senior editor and author shares insight into the life of a cyber criminal at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival

Being always on the alert for how fraud awareness, specifically compliance and ethics, shows up in my everyday life, it didn’t take me long to spot the one session I had to attend at the recent South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Tex.

Kevin Poulsen, Wired.com senior editor and author of the new book Kingpin: How One Hacker Took Over the Billion Dollar Crime Underground, spoke in an interactive session Friday about the evolution of white hat hacker and FBI consultant Max Butler to the black hat fugitive and cyber underworld leader known as, “Iceman.”

While the book reads like a Hollywood movie script and Poulsen’s session felt like a glorified roast of an accomplished, yet dangerous, hacker, I couldn’t help but wonder about the pros and cons of hacking.

As a university prank that inspired the world's largest social network and a hobby that led to the creation of Apple, hacking can also manifest as a Russian gangster killing for cyber underworld notoriety or a tech savvy teen swindling the savings account of a struggling single mom.

Where do you stand on hacking? What are some of the benefits and/or risks that you see in your field? Leave your comments below.