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Crime Security IT

Modest Proposal For Stopping Hackers: Get Them Girlfriends 566

Posted by timothy
from the so-basically-you're-saying-a-lobotomy dept.
kierny writes "Hackers/crackers who get arrested are typically male and young adults — if not minors. Why is that? According to research by online psychology expert Grainne Kirwan, it's because the typical hacker 'ages out' once they get a girlfriend, job, kids, and other responsibilities that make it difficult to maintain their hacking/cracking/hacktivist lifecycle. Could that finding offer a way to help keep more young hacking enthusiasts out of jail?"
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Modest Proposal For Stopping Hackers: Get Them Girlfriends

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  • by leaen (987954) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:14PM (#40675541)
    I dated a robot
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @01:48PM (#40676843)
      Dear Sony;

      You have put out almost nothing but shitty, proprietary crap for over a decade now. Your music CDs install rootkits on computers. You remove advertised features from the PS3. You sue people who have committed no crime just to shut them up. In response, you've been under relentless assault from hackers.

      This will continue until you change your ways, or you get us girlfriends. Either way, we're cool.

      -Anonymous
  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:15PM (#40675547)

    This is as retarded as the last story. Timothy must be taking his stupid pills today.

  • by happy_place (632005) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:15PM (#40675553) Homepage
    The Girlfriend(tm) could solve a lot of problems young adolescent males have... someone should patent that...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cpu6502 (1960974)

      Solve problems? Ha! The Girlfriend (especially when upgraded to The Wife) creates tons MORE problems which is why males no longer have time for more fun activities like gaming and hacking. Too busy installing cabinets or working to pay off the bills.

      So far I have yet to meet any happily married males (or females for that matter). Even the ones who CLAIM to be happy fill their conversations with backstabbing comments about their spouse. Who needs that?

      • by Githaron (2462596)
        You haven't gotten around much, have you?
      • by poity (465672) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:34PM (#40675835)

        or..could you be attracting maladjusted people as friends?

        • by poity (465672) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:41PM (#40675943)

          you know what, that was needlessly rude of me. I take it back, sorry man. (I've been on /. too long)

        • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:45PM (#40675995)

          What? My fellow coworkers/engineers? They ALL tell me tales about the "stupid thing" their husbands or wives did last weekend or last month. They claim to be happily married, but certainly don't sound it.

          • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @01:07PM (#40676287) Homepage Journal

            Are they stupid thing as in funny anecdotes, or stupid things as in making people angry?

            I do the occasional stupid thing, and I'm sure my wife tells people about them. But no different then my friends telling the stores of the time my BBQ burst into flames.

            I know a lot of happily married men. The trick? marry someone you can do thing with without becoming annoyed.

            Of course, there are people who aren't happy, but they need to get out of the relationship. Unless kids are involved. The they need to suck it up* and create a happy and stable home life.

            * Meaning general annoyances. Clearly if abuse is going on, they need to get themselves and their kids out of that situation.

            • by Reziac (43301) *

              "there are people who aren't happy, but they need to get out of the relationship. Unless kids are involved. The they need to suck it up* and create a happy and stable home life."

              The problem is you can't force or fake happiness. And marital stress always devolves onto the kids as stress that the kids have no outlet for. If your marriage is unhappy, you can bet it's making your kids unhappy, even if they claim otherwise (kids will say what they think pleases the parent, not what the kid actually feels).

              Someti

          • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @03:19PM (#40677879)

            They ALL tell me tales about the "stupid thing" their husbands or wives did last weekend or last month. They claim to be happily married, but certainly don't sound it.

            Think for a moment about what type of story is more interesting to tell.

          • by Tom (822)

            You don't have the whole picture, so you shouldn't judge.

            People like the Gottmans (John and Julie), Helen Fisher, etc. have a much better idea of things, because they've been studying love and relationships for decades.

            I've only read a couple of their books and seen some of their talks. But I can give you the summary: The mark of a good relationship is not in never saying anything bad about each other, nor even in the number of bad things said - it is in the relation between the number of good and the numbe

      • by Anarchduke (1551707) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:56PM (#40676131)
        Being married is not an experience that is easy to convey. I am happily married even though there are times my wife drives me crazy. Marriage takes effort, its a kind of job. Its worthwhile, but it takes work to make a marriage work.
        And you are right, marriage - and especially children - creates a lot of problems to deal with. So I can see how this would stop hacking. On the other hand, good luck with that. You are suggesting going up to a girl and saying, "Hey, you're pretty cute. How would you like to date an anti-social computer geek that has learned to relate to women through 4chan?"
        • by jeko (179919) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @01:48PM (#40676829)

          I read one of those "human interest" interviews once with some 100-year-old couple that had been married for about a millenium. They asked the couple if they had ever considered divorce.

          The couple replied "Divorce? Never! Murder, sure, but never divorce." :-)

      • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @01:02PM (#40676217) Homepage Journal

        I've been married to my wife for 22 years. I am very happy.

        I suggest living with someone for a year, then if you get married don't have kids for about 7 years.

        Any time during that period you find your self excessively complaining about your spouse,I recommend that you calmly end the relationship. You aren't happy, and you aren't doing anyone any favors by being miserable.

        I hate the stupid pop culture idea that marriage is supposed to be misery and pain. IT's a crock. I blame dumb ass shows like "Everyone loves Raymond", "Home improvement", etc...

        Why do any of those men stay with the horribly screeching wives?
        And why do those women stay with horribly insensitive, and often abusive, men?

        • by Applekid (993327)

          I hate the stupid pop culture idea that marriage is supposed to be misery and pain. IT's a crock. I blame dumb ass shows like "Everyone loves Raymond", "Home improvement", etc...

          Why do any of those men stay with the horribly screeching wives?
          And why do those women stay with horribly insensitive, and often abusive, men?

          And woe to those that use popular media as a guide to how one should live their life.

          I seem to recall reading a book that claimed a lot of depression and personal happiness issues stem from people comparing their lives to fiction. They watch movies with extraordinary people having extraordinary adventures and wish their lives weren't so boring. They watch exceptionally funny television shows and wish they can be so witty. They watch attractive people with perfect bodies in porn and wish they had perfect bod

        • by godel_56 (1287256) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @03:20PM (#40677887)

          I suggest living with someone for a year, then if you get married don't have kids for about 7 years.

          By which time she's infertile.

  • Agreed (Score:5, Funny)

    by slazzy (864185) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:15PM (#40675563) Homepage
    Probably the most effective idea yet. A girlfriend is a lot more fun than a computer, at that age anyway.
    • maybe for a couple of minutes, an epic hack can last a decade or more.
    • Re:Agreed (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:27PM (#40675701) Journal

      Taking care of peoples basic needs would stop a lot of bad behavior. Prostitution is negatively correlated with rape. Heroin maintenance programs reduce the damage caused by drug seeking addicts. A guaranteed basic income [spiegel.de] can dramatically reduce the problems associated with poverty.

      Too bad our society cares more about appearing "tough on crime" than effective solutions to our problems.

      • Re:Agreed (Score:5, Insightful)

        by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @01:43PM (#40676767) Homepage

        You're right about needs, but money is not a need, because it's an abstract concept. Quality of living is a need. The concept of poverty, in a developed world, is a very contrived and nonsensical artifact of capitalism. We have enough resources to feed, house, clothe and entertain the whole world several times over, yet our societal systems create false scarcity as the hypothetical carrot-on-a-stick to keep people enslaved and working.

        It doesn't matter how much money is being thrown around, or how big the numbers grow, if someone isn't pulling their weight, they will cause a shortage somewhere else. The illusion of money only takes our eyes off the real issue of distributing resources. After all, why associate with millions of other people if we only seek to break them down and take what's theirs ? Building, not pillaging, should be the goal of any society. Wealth means nothing if you spend every waking moment in misery and frustration.

        • > You're right about needs, but money is not a need, because it's an abstract concept.

          While I partially agree with you, you are missing some key concepts.

          Please show me how to live in the western world without money. Because without it you are going to have a crappy life especially when you get sick.

          While Money indeed is mutli-dimensional, it is significantly more then "just an abstract concept"

          The three levels of money are:
          - Money is a token
          - Money represents time & experience
          - Money is an exchange

    • by JeffSh (71237)

      I don't agree with your thesis. I had a lot of fun with technology when I was a kid. Worse is the feeling I get that tells me Slashdot is one of the few "safe places" where I may actually get someone else to agree with me instead of just saying "hu hu hu sex is fun, let's make stupid jokes about it."

      signed,
      well adjusted 30-something male, job, kids, all the normal things.

      • by phorm (591458)

        Indeed. Copular interactions are fun, but the frustration of trying to figure out the opposite (or in some cases same) sex, coupled with the pain of breakups, etc.

        Computers were safer and more fun...

    • Re:Agreed (Score:5, Funny)

      by shutdown -p now (807394) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @01:27PM (#40676569) Journal

      A girlfriend is a lot more fun than a computer, at that age anyway.

      Not really. You can only hack a girlfriend once, and even then there are some associated difficulties (as Hans Reiser has found out).

  • "This guys a hacker, he's in New York, all we have to do is get him laid and we won't have any trouble!"
  • by WMarkFelt (2673461) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:18PM (#40675593)
    This approach has been used to rehabilitate terrorists as well. This idea is hardly new. http://bigthink.com/ideas/17036 [bigthink.com] "This is based on the belief that you’ve got to give these young men a stake in society and it’s been reasonably successful, although Al-Qaida is so cunning." It has some merit, but its an expensive and difficult process.
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOsPam.gmail.com> on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:20PM (#40675617) Journal
    If someone is bothering you, you take their life away from them.

    If someone who has no life is bothering you, you give them one so they have no time to bother you.
  • FTA "why not turn to older, more mature ex-hackers to educate younger hackers about the risks", because some one in that mindset is not going to listen to their elders.
    • Really? I listened to experienced hackers when I was young; younger hackers listen to me, if I am saying something interesting.

      The real issue here is that we are assuming that hacking is a bad activity and that older hackers should be steering wayward youth toward the conservative, endorsed-by-corporations lifestyle.
  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:24PM (#40675677)

    That's my takeaway from this.

    Then again that's my takeaway from most discussions.

    • by Millennium (2451)

      I don't think that would work.

      That Significant Others tend to have a strong calming effect on a person and his or her lifestyle is well-known, and this proposal is really just another application of that. But the effect comes from having a strong, stable, intimate social connection and the resulting feelings of responsibility. People don't generally use prostitutes for social connection, and so legalization wouldn't have that effect.

      • We're talking teen-agers here. Emotional connection is probably not as big a factor as looks. Subsidize their prostitutes and I guarantee the hacking will decline.

  • Excuse me (Score:4, Funny)

    by sa1lnr (669048) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:25PM (#40675687)

    A modest proposal?

  • And Girls? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    That's right... and when it comes to girl hackers, simply unstoppable :).

  • HEY! Not cool. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:28PM (#40675723)

    First, implying that this is only a problem for men is stupid. Women without responsibilities get into trouble too, often with consequences far beyond simple criminal mischief. Secondly, getting saddled with a relationshp does decrease the tendancy towards crime -- but then so does getting a car, a job, a house, etc. It'd be more accurate to say that criminals commit crime because they have less to lose.

    That's a terribly obvious thing to say, and it also provides no insight into what to do to achieve it. Should we institute arranged marriages? A chicken in every pot, and a car in every garage? Should we force employers to hire people with a criminal record? Please, do tell. I'm all ears.

    • Re:HEY! Not cool. (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:49PM (#40676033) Journal

      It'd be more accurate to say that criminals commit crime because they have less to lose.

      Except the biggest criminals are the wealthiest. I did the math a while back, and the wealth lost in the 2008 financial crisis exceeds that of *all property crime put together by several orders of magnitude*.

      If you are concerned about crime, focus at the top. Politicians and CEOs do far more harm to this country than drug addicts and gang bangers.

  • Conservative Islam is really hung up on the old sex thing: and it bleeds over heavily into the whole jihad youth thing we see with Al Qaeda, and Muslim inner-city troublemakers.

    The Saudis accidentally stumbled across the solution: get them a root. Wife, kids, a job, responsibilities -- it's amazing how regular sex will tame the most savage beast.

  • by gnujoshua (540710) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:29PM (#40675735) Homepage
    If we want more female hackers in the future, then we shouldn't present our ideas in a way that makes it seem like we assume all hackers in the future will be male. Also, I know a lot of openly gay hackers, so I find the title of the article dumb for that reason as well.
  • Good luck... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nighthawk243 (2557486) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:29PM (#40675737)
    You know how hard it is to find a girl who likes guys who are overweight, work on computers, have an affinity for Cheetos, Mountain Dew, and avoiding showers?
  • They can be great for curbing bad behavior, assuming that the girl herself isn't a delinquent that just exacerbates the problem.

    The other problem is that settling down too fast causes the person committing to woman to virtually freeze their education and career.
  • by hessian (467078) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:30PM (#40675751) Homepage Journal

    Back in the early days, hackers were young hobbyists.

    The people who are most dangerous now are simply criminals who've learned to operate computers.

    Teenage and young adult hacking is part of the learning process and should be encouraged as part of the growth process. Most of those people will go on to futures in computer science.

    The criminals will not.

  • by Sloppy (14984) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:36PM (#40675845) Homepage Journal

    Getting "a life" damages young mens' productivity/creativity/drive. Film at 11.

    You could use life against "hackers" (that word in the bad sense) but could also use it against anyone else who is doing things you don't happen to like, too. Politically active for the wrong party? Get 'em a girlfriend. Work for a competitor? Here, have a wife. And if those things don't work, b&e their houses and puncture their condoms for some Surprise Baby Drama.

  • I know a few people who are really skilled technically, but choose that they want nothing to do with a relationship. Male and Female both. These people would have more fun trying to social the outreach program rather than taking it seriously.

  • by DdJ (10790) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:39PM (#40675895) Homepage Journal

    It all makes sense now! They're prepping for a massive cyber-war in the mid 21st century!

  • by bobetov (448774) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:40PM (#40675923) Homepage

    I just wanted to congratulate TFA's authors for this incredibly novel approach to finding a girlfriend - drafting all of society into a plan to find them dates. Ingenious!

    A bit desperate perhaps, but still... genius!

  • by PatDev (1344467) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:41PM (#40675937)

    And from where exactly do they propose we get these girlfriends for the crackers? If we accept the supposition that these are all a bunch of young persistently-single men, then clearly these men are either a) not putting in the effort / participating in activities conducive to getting a mate, or b) insufficiently desirable to any potential mate met thus far.

    The common thread in both cases - there is no woman (also, why all the heteronormativity?) interested in him. So do they propose that we kidnap some women from the street and tell them that they're taking one for the team?

    Women are people too. Just because it would solve your problem if a woman were to screw this guy, doesn't create an obligation for any particular woman to screw him. I guess you could hire a bunch of escorts, but is it really worth the cost of a decent hooker providing a "girlfriend experience" for long enough to fool the guy into thinking he actually has a girlfriend?

  • Yeah but... (Score:4, Funny)

    by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:50PM (#40676049)

    We've already seen how this ends up:

    http://i.imgur.com/q0ycr.png [imgur.com]

  • by rbrander (73222) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:53PM (#40676093) Homepage

    The best way to eliminate terrorists was actually invented by Yasser Arafat and some of his advisors, who themselves had invented Black September, the terrorist group that murdered Israeli athletes at the 72 Olympics in Munich:

    http://m.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/2001/12/hoffman.htm [theatlantic.com]

    When they weren't needed any more...they married them off. Told them to go into deep cover in Jordan, found pretty Palestinian girls to marry the "heroes", have kids, be "sleeper agents"...and never gave them a mission. Interviewed years later, few were willing to accept one any more.

  • by tekrat (242117) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @12:54PM (#40676101) Homepage Journal

    First of all, where are you going to find girls that are interested in geeks? Are you going to import mail order brides from China or something? Half the hackers in the world are already in China!

    Secondly, despite being overweight, unshaven, sloppy, smelly, ugly themselves, hackers have a very high self-opinion of themselves, and, after having watched a gazallion hours of pr0n on the internet, will be remarkably picky about the looks/abilities of the potential girlfriend. They aren't going to settle for just anybody. Ideally, this person needs to look like Jeri Ryan and should have the brains of Jeri Ellsworth (come on, I think that was a pretty clever match-up)...

    And lastly, such girls don't exist, so, finding them, and then, what, paying them to date and have sex with these guys without blowing their cover? It just won't work, it will never work, and the whole idea just doesn't add up at all.

  • by tverbeek (457094) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @01:13PM (#40676383) Homepage

    Don't assume that just because they discovered girls at the same time they quit hacking it's the reason why. Maybe they started paying attention to girls (or girls started paying attention to them) because they got bored playing with tech toys? Or that both happened for the same reason: adulthood?

  • by Hentes (2461350) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @01:17PM (#40676437)

    The article is full of prejudice, misinformation and bullshit. First of all, the hackers causing real damage aren't your stereotypical basement dwellers: most of them are either part of a criminal organisation or a state agency. The young kiddies who do it for the lulz, as a challenge or to support an ideology are only the visible tip of a huge iceberg, as they are the ones who are either too careless to cover their trails or directly announce their deeds. Most of the time they cause little harm, and sometimes can even be valuable when pointing out vulnerabilities which could have lead to the loss of sensitive data in the hands of a more mischievous hacker. If you want to stop them from growing up to be blackhats, the most important thing would be legislation that doesn't send them to jail for pointing out that a door is open. If you don't want them to become outcasts, don't cast them out. Provide them with ways to use their skills within the boundaries of the law. Sending a shoplifting kid to jail is a sure way to turn him into a robber, and the iron fist approach will not work any better on adolescent hackers.

  • by FlynnMP3 (33498) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @01:26PM (#40676549)

    I wonder what would be more effective in this thought provoking conundrum?

    Yeah I suppose you could get them girlfriends...or you could just take away their computer and give them an iPad instead.

  • by antdude (79039) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @01:27PM (#40676573) Homepage Journal

    I am an over 35 years old virgin male nerd/geek who never had a date/lady mate before (blame my multiple disabilities I was born with). I also barely have time for fun (used to play computer games a lot). I do security testings for work though. Maybe I will finally get a woman one day or not... :(

  • by Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) on Tuesday July 17, 2012 @04:13PM (#40678563) Homepage

    It doesn't have to be get them a girlfriend or put them in prison.

    Put them in prison and they automatically have (umm I mean, become) a girlfriend!

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