Hactivist Offers 100k to Hack Evil Corporations

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The infamous (and very talented) hacker Phineas Fisher has offered $100,000 to people who hack into oil companies, banks, and other companies. There’s a catch: the hacks better be used to help fight the climate crisis or inequality. Since hackers like to remain anonymous Fisher will pay bounties for the hacks using Monero or another cyrptocurrency. Fisher doesn’t just preach that hackers should use their knowledge to fight evil in the world, Fisher does it too. Fisher’s previous hacks have exposed illegal government spying programs, hit Turkey’s authoritarian ruling party, exposed corporate spyware vendors, and other targets including stealing directly from an offshore bank like a modern day Robin Hood.

“I think hacking is a powerful tool, and hacktivism has only been used to a fraction of its potential,” Phineas Fisher told Motherboard. “And a little investment can help to develop that, the golden years [of hacktivism] are yet to come.”

In their new manifesto, Phineas Fisher also claimed to have hacked an offshore bank and called on other hacktivists to join in the fight against inequality and capitalism. The hacker said that in 2016 they hacked the Cayman Bank and Trust Company from the Isle of Man, an island between the UK and Northern Island. The hacker said they were able to steal money, documents, and emails from the bank. They declined to reveal how much money they stole, but said it was “a few hundred thousand” dollars.

“I robbed a bank and gave the money away,” Phineas Fisher wrote in the manifesto. “Computer hacking is a powerful tool to fight economic inequality.”

Read more.

Etsy Encouraging More Women to Hack

The online craft marketplace Etsy has started funding a school that teaches people how to hack and use technology. That’s fine in itself, but what makes it good news noteworthy is that they are openly encouraging more women to get into the tech space and is having a positive impact.

After having one female student in all of its past three classes, the current batch at Hacker School now has 23 women out of 53 students, said co-founder Nicholas Bergson-Shilcock. That’s still under half of enrollment, but some 661 women applied for the summer program, with an enormous bump following Hedlund’s announcement. “If anything, the admissions standards went up,” Bergson-Shilcock said.

Etsy ended up raising its grant amount to $7,000 for 10 students, to allow for taxes, and signed on Yammer and 37signals to provide four more grants each, for a total of $126,000 offered for female students who asked for financial assistance.

Read more here.

Thanks Jen!

Random Hacks of Kindness

Random Hacks of Kindness is a chance to get tech people together with creative people to make the world a better place. One in Toronto is happening on Dec. 4th so if you can make it, do it. The world will thank you.

We will need Hackers, storytellers, software engineers, programmers, university students, marketers, web content creators, emergency planners,international policy and development students, teachers, librarians, videographers, event planners, organizers, project managers and YOU. Creating humanitarian software in a hackathon is a very special collective collaboration.
Participants can select from a number of problem definitions. (These will be posted in the new few weeks.)
Video screens and online tools like IRC, blogs, wikis and more tools will connect the world. You could be collaborating with any of these countries to solve problems and brainstorm. Yes, there is even some healthy competition in store.
Help us make this global event RHoK. RHoK 2.0 is happening in Toronto (Canada), Chicago (USA), Berlin (Germany), Bangalore(India), Mexico City(Mexico), New York(New York), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Aarhus (Denmark), Nairobi (Kenya) and Lusaka (Zambia).

Check out Random Hacks of Kindness.

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