For teh lulz: Is Hacking Any Good For Gaming?

For teh lulz: Is Hacking Any Good For Gaming?

OPINION

There has been a recent bout of hacking aimed at gaming related sites; both Anonymous and LulzSec have recently hit headlines for their disruptions. Is this in any way beneficial to gamers at all? Or should we clutch our identities to our chest and make a dash for it?

To the gaming community the past few weeks were led up to with excitement and anticipation as the video game expo, E3, kicked off in Los Angeles. While we were introduced to a brand new console, a new handheld gaming device, and more motion controls than we could possibly handle; a group of hackers were putting their stamp on several gaming related websites.

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LulzSec, short for Lulz Security, is a hacker group that popped up back in May of this year and has since claimed responsibility for internet attacks on Nintendo, Sony Pictures, EVE Online, Bethesda, and other various gaming websites. The group uses a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack on websites they claim have very poor protection against such intrusions. A DDoS attack floods the target website with so many false external communications requests that the site cannot process legitimate internet traffic, rendering the website useless for the duration. While the group uses other methods of crippling different sites, the DDoS attack seems to be their most popular and effective attack.

We live in a day and age where the internet is just as much a necessity as your cellphone. What would you do for a week without the internet? We rely on the internet for our communication with other people, we rely on the internet for real time information, and we also rely on the internet for gaming, face-to-face chatting, weather updates, and so much more. Would you be able to go a prolonged period without updating your Facebook status? Perhaps our biggest need for the internet comes from none of the things I just mentioned but deals in the financial realmÖbanking.

If you have a bank account itís usually safe to assume that you also have access to online banking. Debit cards, credit cards, bank account numbers, stock purchases, etc; all extremely important activities we embark in on the internet. These activities make the internet sacred to us, and thus we treat it as such. This makes LulzSec hacking the websites we use on a daily basis an annoyance. Not only is it an extreme nuisance to go to Club Nintendo to check out the latest free swag you can collect, but itís incredibly dangerous when instead of Nintendo itís the PlayStation Network being hacked - as was the case with hacking group Anonymous. A collective service that houses your personal information, credit card numbers, birth dates, social security numbers, addresses, and just about everything else you regard as private. What happens when those hackers gain access to everything they need to steal your identity? Iíll tell you what happens. A nuisance becomes a threat.