If you have been an active developer in the software community for the past ten years then you are sure to have heard of open source programming.
If you are not a programmer and you are reading this article then I will take a second to describe what open source is.
After the brief description you will then be able to understand how the connection between hackers and the open source community is becoming intertwined.
Keep in mind, I am not saying that open source software is a bad thing and it will cause your computer to become corrupted; I am actually saying the exact opposite.
Due to the great code contributions from the open source community, black hat hackers are able to improve their products as well.
So in the following article I will give a breakdown of the whole scene and how the good guys can take these ideas and stop the black hat hackers in their tracks.
What Is Open Source Software?
As I said before in the article, most people who work in the software community will have heard of the open source movement and the software that they create but there are a lot of people out there who have not heard of it.
So we are going to do to a quick run down here.
For the most part, the open source community is about people who like to contribute to a project to make a tool that they need.
When you are dealing with software, you often have two choices – you can either build the software yourself or you can purchase it from someone.
The problem with building the software by yourself is that it is going to take a long time to do.
This is time that is going take away from the original project that you were building the tool for.
But the advantages of doing it this way are that you get the software that you actually need.
It will be configured the exact way that you want it to be.
When you purchase the software from someone else or another company then again you are dealing with the good and the bad.
The good part about purchasing the software is that you are able to have it right then and there.
There is no need to wait for development, it is already available for you to use.
The bad part about dealing with software that you purchase is that for the most part you have to take it as is.
There is no way to configure it because most of the time, they do not offer you a way to compile your own version of the program.
This is where open source comes in to play.
Open source software is a way to solve both of these problems.
With open source software you have a community of people that are developing the program.
This means that the program gets done a lot faster than it would be if you just had the one person creating it.
Also, unlike the software that you purchase, you are able to configure it the way that you want.
You can do what is called a fork of the project and do whatever you like to it.
At this point, you are then able to use the software however you like.
And this is where the black hat hackers come in.
How The Bad Guys Use The Technology That Is Available To Them
With so much code being out there, and software that is built on that code, there are a number of tools for both the good guys and the bad guys to use that puts them in a better position than they would be if open source didn’t exist.
Every technical tool out there has an open source equivalent.
This means that a black hat hacker is able to take a tool and make it work for them.
For example, taking an open source server and using the technology that is underneath to create a bot network.
All of this stuff is very dangerous and is achievable by the use of open source.
But that does not make open source itself a bad thing.
I cannot stress that enough.
When you have an exchange of knowledge, sometimes the bad guys get that knowledge as well but you cannot dictate the betterment of the community because of a few bad apples in the bunch.
Luckily for the good guys, since the bad guys are relying on the same knowledge base then it is easier to stop what they are doing.
You can just look at the source code of the tool they are using and see how it works.
After that, you will be able to block a lot of what the bad guys are doing.