Dr. Hacker, M.D.

If you run a website, blog, or even have an email account you’ve become familiar with spammers and other Internet scamsters.  WordPress does a pretty good job of intercepting them, there are spam filters for email, and a host of tools arrayed against whoever these people are that seem to flood webpages from time to time.

We take a dim view of these people, but maybe we need to examine just what makes them tick a little more closely.  They seem to be incentivized to use their skills for evil, not for good, but maybe we need to turn that situation around.

Most of the stuff that makes it through the various defenses is not so much a virus as just some crap links (which might lead to a virus), “male enhancement” drugs, even LED light bulbs!

The way I look at it, WordPress, hosting companies, ISP’s and everyone else in the email/Internet biz is pretty vigilant about catching this stuff.  It’s almost like an arms race….mastermind pitted against mastermind in a race for superiority.  And I believe the resources of a Yahoo, or WordPress, or Google are more than just a few sharp folks sitting in a cubicle…

Yet despite their best efforts, someone holed up somewhere in a coffee shop in Eastern Europe or wherever it is these people are actually located manages to find a way to exploit a vulnerability that sends the best and the brightest scrambling to patch it.

We need to find these people, but maybe instead of prosecuting them we should offer them a full scholarship to Stanford Medical, or MIT, or some other way of capturing that much persistence and curiousity and turning it to socially beneficial means.

Anyone with the qualities it takes to poke around the guts of the Internet and find ways to open doors that should be locked could probably put their talents to better use than trying to sell Viagra or supposed celebrity nude photos…….

Say, for instance, curing cancer or coming up with cheap renewable energy.  That should be a walk in the park.

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