Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hacking Has Been Gamified

Hackers have always been seen as a shady subculture that almost everyone with an internet connection has encountered in some form. Most hackers never gain notoriety though unless they hack major companies or release devastating viruses across the internet.

While most hacking activities have always been underground (for obvious reasons), is bringing hacking to the mainstream. The site is luring hackers in utilizing the same engagement methods as many games, a leader board system. The site claims to be the hacker community’s “first elite hacker ranking system.”

The system allocates points to successful hackers based on the popularity of their chosen targets. Hacking Yahoo! earned one member 37.5 million points, propelling the code-wizard to the top of the leader-board. Hackers win more points for more complex attacks. The website gives veteran hackers greater incentive to compete with one another, encouraging ever more difficult hacks on the fattest targets. It also encourages a new generation of hackers to pick up the trade or raise the overall likelihood of future cyber-attacks.

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