hacktivism

Hacktivism is the act of hacking, or breaking into a computer system, for a politically or socially motivated purpose.

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.

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.

This was first published in June 2007

Continue Reading About hacktivism

Glossary

'hacktivism' is part of the:

View All Definitions

Dig deeper on Hacker Tools and Techniques: Underground Sites and Hacking Groups

Pro+

Features

Enjoy the benefits of Pro+ membership, learn more and join.

0 comments

Oldest 

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCloudSecurity

SearchNetworking

SearchCIO

SearchConsumerization

SearchEnterpriseDesktop

SearchCloudComputing

ComputerWeekly

Close