Jayson Street – Hacking and Social Engineering and Why There Are No “Black Hat” Hackers

TechSpective Podcast Episode 063

What is a hacker? This is a question that has been debated for decades in the field of cybersecurity. The media confused hacker with cybercriminal early on, and it was difficult to correct this error and separate the terms. I even wrote back in 2005 that the debate was lost and that the word “hacker” had already been co-opted, and that we had to give up and stop fighting. Not everyone agreed or agreed today.

Jayson Street, my guest for this episode of the TechSpective podcast, is one of those people who continue to fight to get the word hacker back. Street explains that hacking and hackers predate the computer age and that there is nothing inherently malicious or criminal about hacking. As he explains in the podcast, he’s pretty comfortable on this hill, and it’s a hill he’s ready to die on.

We also talk about Jayson’s activities as a “professional bank robber” – and the crucial role social engineering often plays. For fans of 80s movies, we also manage to refer to “Fletch” and “Beverly Hills Cop”.

If you want to learn more about Jayson and his take on hacking and cybersecurity, check out his website. It contains links to sites like iR0nin, books Street has written or contributed to, and video clips in which it appears like this clip from National Geographic:

Check out the full episode to learn more about hacking and hackers. We also touch on the fact that we both live in Texas and the challenges of surviving the COVID-19 pandemic in a state that actively rejects science and logic as an ideological principle. We both can’t wait to pick up on the cybersecurity events in person and get to meet face to face in Las Vegas for Black Hat, as we both had the common sense to get the shots.

The podcast itself is audio only, but the video of our conversation is also available on YouTube if you prefer:

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James F. So