Anonymous hacks Syrian MoD – where do you stand on hacktivism?
Anonymous has hacked the Syrian MoD website (as reported by Graham Cluley).
It once again highlights the moral dilemma inherent in hacktivism. The official non-Syrian view has to be that it is wrong. But if I was one of the unarmed civilian population of Syria being attacked and apparently indiscriminately shelled by more than 100 tanks, then I would consider it a worthy act.
The cop-out answer is to cite ‘rule of law – we live in a society where the law is supreme, and therefore if an act is against the law it is automatically wrong’.
I don’t accept this. Just because it is the law doesn’t make it right; and just because it is against the law doesn’t make it wrong. Morality is superior to legality; humanity demands that we do not accept evil laws, even if they are legally enacted. Ethnic cleansing, for example, is rarely illegal in the country enacting it.
So ask yourself this. If this hack had been performed by Syrian students with friends and families wantonly killed by Assad’s army, would it be hacking or heroism?
But then turn the coin round. If our own disenchanted youth hacked our own MoD site, would it be heroism or vandalism? There is no simple answer, and may be every one of us has to decide where we stand on each different occasion. In this instance I can only praise Anonymous and hope that none are ever caught or punished because of it. I may come to a different conclusion for a different act of hacktivism.
But one other thought occurs to me.
Presumably the hackers exploited a vulnerability on the site to be able to post up their own content – which means that someone with a financial rather than political intent could have planted malware on their site to infect visiting computers.
Graham Cluley, Syrian Ministry of Defense website hacked
If Anonymous can get in, then I’m certain that the NSA and Mossad and MI5 and the Second Office were all already in there. But will they be able to stay in there now that Anonymous has highlighted the weak security?