For obvious reasons, we here at Keeper write a fair amount about the dangers of hacking. “Hackers,” as we describe them, are criminals: people who use flaws in security to illegally get hold of users’ personal information and–often–use it for purposes of theft. Manipulating a system to steal someone’s money or entire identity is wrong, and that’s what we want to protect you from, dear Keepies.
But hacking in-and-of-itself is not a bad thing. In fact, finding the holes in a website’s security can be a very, very good thing. Especially when that website has over 1.15 billion users. What website could we possibly be referring to?
As you may know, Facebook declared a while ago that they would reward anyone to expose a hole in the site’s security with $500 USD. But when Khalil Shreateh, a Palestinian programmer, found such a hole, Facebook went back on their word. When his report was repeatedly ignored, Shreateh resorted to posting an unauthorized update to the timeline of none other than Mark Zuckerberg himself.
In response, a crowdfunding campaign was started to reward Shreateh, and proceeded to raise over $12,000. The overwhelming response proves what Facebook chose to ignore: that the services hackers can provide to huge groups of people are invaluable. We need hackers to keep us safe.