Hacktivism is the act of hacking, or breaking into a computer system, for a politically or socially motivated purpose. The individual who performs an act of hacktivism is said to be a hacktivist.
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
A hacktivist uses the same tools and techniques as a hacker, but does so in order to disrupt services and bring attention to a political or social cause. For example, one might leave a highly visible message on the home page of a Web site that gets a lot of traffic or which embodies a point-of-view that is being opposed. Or one might launch a denial-of-service attack to disrupt traffic to a particular site.
A recent demonstration of hacktivism followed the death of a Chinese airman when his jet fighter collided with a U.S. surveillance plane in April 2001. Chinese and American hacktivists from both countries hacked Web sites and used them as "blackboards" for their statements.
Whether hacktivism is a crime may be debated. Opponents argue that hacktivism causes damage in a forum where there is already ample opportunity for nondisruptive free speech. Others insist that such an act is the equivalent of a protest and is therefore protected as a form of free speech.
Continue Reading About hacktivism
- The SANS Institute article, "What is Hacktivism?", examines specific acts of hacktivism and the individuals who performed them.