I used to think they’re cool…

Got infected by a trojan today. Battled with it for about 3-4 hours last midnight and another 2-3 hours this morning… and I still think it’s lurking somewhere, smirking. I’ll not dig into details on how I got myself infected; suffice to say I was not a very smart man.

I’m just here to get on my soapbox about my change of opinions on hacker culture. I mean, as a programmer I’ve always fancied hackers as those who are on the edge, like playing the extreme sports in computer programming – afterall, there’s a certain thrill to being “in the know”, to “infiltrate” other people and insert your “little surprise”, etc, etc. I remember remarking once that “hackers are cool” when I overheard from Justin a long time ago that RO got hacked (again). At one point I did my share of research, learned the lingo, and even created a card game based on it.

But man, it sure sucks to be hacked.

I think the last straw that dispelled the illusion is the fact that there’s no noble cause behind them – they’re not some renegates going after the oppressors, whoever they are… they’re just after money, and that really cheapens them to being mere thieves and thugs on cyberspace. Take the one I got infected with, Vundo. Poor hapless Joe (or my mom) is going to download the software and get blackmailed for money to get the machine “disinfected”. I ended up doing a lot of searching to try and find programs that’s actually removing the trojan and not making my computer worst. No benefits to anyone really, worst comes to worst I’ll need to reformat my hard drive (if it pops up again I probably will), everybody loses.

Finally, lesson learned: If you know it’s Pandora’s Box, don’t you fucking dare open it.

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