The internet offers a lot when it comes to building up a community. In the past if you wanted to meet people who had the same interest as you, you would have to go somewhere in town and meet up. If you lived in a small town then there was a good chance that you may be the only person with those interests. You would have no-one to share data with and be able to learn from. But thanks to the internet that is no longer a concern that you have to worry about. There are many places where you are able to meet new and exciting people. Of course, most people only think about social networking web sites such as Facebook, Myspace, or Twitter when it comes to meeting people now. But there are some places that are not considered social media web sites where you can meet and interact with people as well.
Of course it really all depends on what your interest are in where you are going to meet these people. For example, if you are into cooking then there are probably a lot of cooking forums where you could go to meet up with people. The same thing as if you were into model trains. But if you are into computers then there are several off the beaten path web sites or applications that will allow you to meet people. One of these places is a web site called Pastebin.
What is Pastebin?
That is a good question. What is Pastebin and what it makes it different from any other social web site? Pastebin is a throwback web site of sorts. Instead of allowing instant messaging or other types of chat features, people communicate on there in the form of notes. When you are trying to imagine this, think of Post it notes that you stick on the refrigerator at your home. Do that and then you will get a good idea of what the web site is about. But that was not the original intention of the web site.
The original intention of the web site was to allow programmers to be able to share code with one another. If you had a pretty interesting piece of code or if you needed help with your code then you would place the snippet on the web site and then send the link to someone else. Then this person would either marvel at your genius or try to help you with your code. They could do this because it is easy to be able to modify the code that is on the page. Once they finished modifying the code then you could easily go back and take a look at it. But once programmers saw that they could leave tiny notes in the code to be able to communicate with the person that they were sending it to then it became a habit. More and more programmers started to use the web site as a normal communication tool between them and the programmer community at large.
How it switched to the bad guys
The one thing that you can say about most black hat hackers is that they are programmers. Maybe not all black hat hackers are programmers but most of them are. So being programmers they are going to utilize some of the same tools that programmers use in part of their schemes. This is understandable and happens more often than not. Most of the tools that a black hat hacker uses are also often used by the good guys as well. The same thing goes with Pastebin.
With Pastebin, black hat hackers are able to leave the code of their exploit relatively anonymously. And code from the attack is not the only thing that they leave on Pastebin. They also leave username and passwords from the attack, the information about the servers that were attacked, and more often than not their particular manifesto. (Recently, the notorious hacking group, LulzSec, were alleged to have claimed responsibility for a hack on the 2011 UK Census via Pastebin, a claim that the group themselves deny). The reason why they post this information on Pastebin is because they want the world to know about this attack. So usually along with that they leave a message as well. This way the world will know why they did what they did.
Most hacks that are done by serious criminal hackers are not left on a web site like Pastebin. They are supposed to be stealth moves that are not meant for public consumption. But for the attacks done by script kiddies or real hackers that have a point to get across, Pastebin would appear to be one destination for them to help get their point across. Of course thats not to say that Pastebin is overun with bad guys – it isn’t – and there are still plenty of programmers using the site for legitimate reasons such as sharing code and getting debug help.