It’s time to close this chapter of our industry’s past. To distance ourselves from the World Wrestling Federation and comic book superheroes.
We’re talking about hacker handles: Dildog, Thomas Dullien, Matt Blaze etc.
When the Internet was young and fancy-free, hacker handles had their place. They afforded anonymity and supported the curious to explore the limits of this new frontier. They felt cool. Mysterious.
No more. When you’re at a security conference how does it feel when you refer to a hacker by her handle? Maybe a little awkward?
What’s more, Google’s Project Zero has shown that handles are dangerous when leaked.
“I retired my hacker handle in 2006. It wasn’t easy. I worried I’d feel exposed at conferences. Instead I felt a lightness almost immediately after going through with it. I was free! From the constraints of an identity that didn’t really fit me any longer. Free from a box that I’d built around myself without realizing it. If I’d known how good it would feel, I would’ve done it much earlier.”
– Alexander “Solar Eclipse” Sotirov, Co-Founder & CTO
Come out of the Shadows
Today, we’re launching a bounty on hacker handles. To participate, you reject your handle in the comments section of this post.
The bounty on offer: an exclusive invitation to an Italian dinner preceding the next Empire Hacking event, to be catered by yours truly. Expect tasty goodness.
Once you retire your handle, you can earn points in two ways. First, you can post old tweets of yours that turned out to be wrong. The more erroneous, the more points you’ll earn. Second, you can refer your friends. Public outing is encouraged. It’s for the common good.
If, after three months, no one has seen you using your handle, and you’ve earned enough points, you’ll receive a black hat challenge coin.
Please note, if you retire your handle and change to another one later, you’ll owe us money. The fine will correspond to the number of points you’ve accrued so far, and the severity of the offending handle.
We’re calling for the retirement of these handles to help us launch the program:
- Thomas Dullien
- Gynvael Coldwind
- Matt Blaze
- Ian Beer
- Simple Nomad
- Space Rogue
- Solar Designer
- Dark Tangent
- Taylor Swift
- Travis Normandy
Join our bounty program
Nominate yourself, hacker friends and peers who still use handles. None will be turned away.