What Color Hat am I Wearing?

I was just at C|Net’s News.com.com.com and ran into this headline: Microsoft Meets the Hackers. It talks about a “Blue Hat” conference MS just recently had with — uhmm — hackers friendly towards the new “Big Blue”, I guess. Here’s a snippet:

The demo was part of an extraordinary two days in which outsiders were invited into the heart of the Windows empire for the express purpose of exploiting flaws in Microsoft computing systems. The event, which Microsoft has not publicized, was dubbed “Blue Hat”–a reference to the widely known “Black Hat” security conference, tweaked to reflect Microsoft’s corporate color.

While it’s nice to see that MS is finally starting to become somewhat cool by opening itself up — just a little bit — to the public, I’m starting to get annoyed with all the [Color] Hat names which have been started to get associated with Hackers. Up to now, here’s what I’ve seen:

White Hat — Ethical hackers
Gray Hat — A hacker (or cracker) who’ll hack a system in order to bring its flaws to the attention of its makers.
Black Hat — A cracker who’ll hack a system with malicious intent.
Red Hat — Either a Linux company or communist free (as in speech) software loving hackers.
Blue Hat — Hackers sympathetic to Microsoft.

(“One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish…)

I’m starting to feel like I’m reading an altered version of Dragonlance. Why don’t the hackers come out and say what this hat color coding trully is: a character alignment a la Dungeons and Dragons. I mean, c’mon people! Why not just come out and say whether you’re Lawful Good, True Neutral, or Chaotic Evil (or any of the points in between),and just get over the fact that you use a strange mix of D&D, Star Wars, and television commercials to invent this entire hacker-lingo? Who are you trying to fool, your imaginary girlfriend? Heck, I’ll bet it was one of these hackers that came up with that stupid color coded system for the terror threat level. Seriously, is it ever going to hit “green”?


Anyway, I’ll stop here. I just drove in from Tampa and I’m ready to hit the sack.

Share your thoughts