Romania and "hackers"

Hello there, it's been a long time since I have written something here. It's not that i ran out of ideas, it's my busy schedule that takes all my time (you know, last semester at the University and all).

The topic that I want to talk about now, it's regarding "hackers". I use the quote sign, because real hackers are few (even now, after 20+ years of Internet), so I'll talk about the other ones, like script kiddies, spammers, phishers and the ones alike. We can categorize them however we want: by their type, by their abilities,  by the amount of money that the earn, by their popularity (remember Gary McKinnon) or by their country. The last category interests me, so let's get it going.

Romania is apparently a country like any other. We're known mainly because of Dracula's Castle and Dacia Logan manufactured by Renault. We have recently (meaning 20 years) escaped from the communist regime that was imposed by Ceausescu, and some still regret those days (unfortunately too many, if you ask me). I was too littler to remember those days, but I enjoy the liberty that I have now, so I am indifferent to the remarks of the ones that state that then were some good times.
It's hard to live in such a country. The middle class is almost not present, we have either poor, other rich people. The minimum salary is 173.82 EURO, which isn't much at all. The thing that will amaze you, is that we have an impressive amount of luxury cars everywhere you look. Romania is the land of cars, not the land of choice IMHO. However, between luxury cars, very beautiful women (and i really mean beautiful), palinca, our hospitality and other good things, we have our really nasty things. You can't survive in Romania if you're not a "hacker" of some sort. Believe me, it's impossible. From the moment when you arrive until the moment you leave, you must think like a Romanian, else you're going to end up bad. Everybody is up to get you (and no, I don't suffer of paranoia). If you don't know somebody when you're ill you can end up dead because of the health system, you will pay at least 3 times more for a cab if you don't look twice, you will be sucked of time when you'll go to pay your bills (yes, we still do that, paying online is still a luxury) and many other problems. The biggest problem that I as a youth see, is that of a proper education. Having the mentality that we have (a balkanic mentality, even tough we're not exactly in the Balkans, only 6% of our territory is) is our worse problem, and you can see it everywhere you look: bad roads, poor service, poor education, poor health system, no responsibility and even bad leaders. It's hard to really accomplish something with this reality that you see everywhere around you. But enough about Romania, and let's start talking about...
Romania and "hackers". Our mass access to Internet started about year 2003, until then it was difficult to have your own Internet line. I still remember the days of my high school when I was going to an Internet Cafe near me, payed by the hour, saved as much information as I could, copied it on a floppy and them study it at home. It was painful, but I remember of that period with a smile on my face. 
Nowadays everybody has access to the giant network called Internet. We have hi5 profiles, silly statuses on yahoo messenger, we check our e-mail for the last spam that our family sent us, but very few are using the Internet properly. The problem with the access given to the masses to the Internet, is that we started having spammers  and phishers around us, people that live and make good money by phishing others for money. I don't have a problem with them necessarily, but I have a problem with the fact that they call themselves hackers. This is what makes me crazy. They never compiled a linux kernel, they didn't ever programmed the hello world program, they don't know how to compile a program without the proper #include files, they have no idea what penetration testing means, but they call themselves hacker. This is ironic. The  national media encourages the term hacker, and they praise with it. This is bad. At least the media should set things right, but they don't. Let's take Antena3 - "Romania ranks second in the top countries from which attacks are launched to obtain data". Since when is phishing considered an attack? I agree with malware, viruses, trojans, or even targeted attacks, but sending an e-mail with a link and then waiting for someone to login to your bogus webpage or selling an airplane (yes, it did happen) through ebay it's not something what i consider an attack. This is just my opinion. Our romanian hacking sites are few (rst and [in]security-romania from my knowledge) and their quality is not extraordinary, so let's get real.
I wish you all the best and stay safe... until next time!

PS: After writing this post, I stumbled upon this: http://garwarner.blogspot.com/2010/04/nicolae-popescu-romanian-hacker-at.html. It explains how things are going in my country. The leader, Nicolae Popescu, is in liberty even tough he is on of the ringleaders of the group. How can this happen you may ask? The answer is simple: in Romania everything is possible if you have money (and of course, you know the right people [which you do, if you've got the money]).

PPS: Do you see the amounts that cops confiscated from them? It seems that it pays out to be a phisher in my country... or NOT! Your liberty values more than any amount of money in this world!


  1. actually, the term hacking isn't really right ... even if attacks were the case.

    but the big question: WTF were they(the ring mentioned in the PS) doing with only 10 blank cards? something does not smell right ...

  2. @nicu
    Using the term hack in this context is just not right and the media just reported that they have found only 10 blank cards, but i don't think it's the truth ;)