Understanding the Brain of a Hacker

One of our Singapore's well known brands "Eu Yan Sang's" website was hacked yesterday morning, and the hacker [probably an Indonesian] replaced the website with some comments saying that his country was not to be blamed for the haze, but we should blame the wind instead. Read more about it here:


Well, in that case, if I tied a grand piano to your foot and threw it over the ledge of a skyscraper, you shouldn't blame me, you should blame gravity right? But the real question on my mind is:

What goes on inside the brain of a Hacker? And why would you put such godly skills to waste?

I believe that everyone knows what hackers do. They get past the security of your systems, and obtain unauthorised access to the information in those systems. And most of the time, they tend to let the entire world know what they have done, most of the time, by prominently defacing the website.

Image taken from google search

Personally I find it a complete waste of your skills and efforts. You spend days or even months cracking your head and fingers trying find find a way through a locked door, and the moment you manage to open it, you start celebrating and screaming to the entire neighbourhood that you managed to break into the door? That's a pretty stupid criminal if you ask me.

Most hackers out there are pretty harmless and are just trying to prove a point: That they are smarter than the system. They want to show the world that they can beat the system and they are proud of being able to do so.

But if I were a hacker, I would definitely put these skills to "good" use. First, I would just sit quietly and observe what they do in their servers. Next, I would make the subtlest of changes to their information. Something that they would not be able to identify until it was too late, but at the same time, would be quite devastating to the organisation.

For example, if I were to manage to hack into an online e-shopping website, the best thing that I could think of was not to try to steal their customer's credit card numbers [if they were a reputable organisation, there wouldn't be any stored in their servers anyway], but to find their top-selling, most expensive item, and change the price to $1.

Being a reputable company, they would have to honour the sale to any lucky buyer who managed to spot my "promotion" before the organisation realises it.

From the words of one of my favourite movie characters:

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