Ladies and gentlemen, it seems like we will not be seeing another #PewDiePie hack anytime soon. Receiving death threats and, apparently, a reminder that what they did is actually illegal, hackers The Hacker Giraffe and j3ws3r are officially backing down.
The Hacker Giraffe Hangs His Hat – PewDiePie Hackers Quit!
The Hacker Giraffe – Full Story
By now you’re probably familiar with the name “Hacker Giraffe”. He’s the hacker responsible for the PewDiePie hacks targeting printers, Smart TVs, and Chromecast devices.
It seems like we might have seen the last of these hacks, though, as both Hacker Giraffe and his “associate”, j3ws3r, have quit. On Thursday, they posted a message to Pastebin regarding their abrupt end:
“So, here we are. At the endgame. I’m sorry for leaving so suddenly, and I’m sorry for all of you who expected more tutorials, guides, or anything. I can’t do this. It may not look like it, but the constant pressure of being afraid of being caught and prosecuted has been keeping me up and giving me all kinds of fears and panic attacks.”
Hacker Giraffe also shut down both his twitter and his Patreon, making it pretty obvious that he might not be coming back at all. While his twitter might be down, this was the last tweet he made:
While it looks like the hackers’ intentions might have been noble, their methodology certainly wasn’t legal.
Why Noble Intentions Might Not Be Enough
If you’re not familiar with this kind of terminology, White hat hacking does exist. This is a type of hacking that actively attempts to find vulnerabilities and bugs before bad actors do.
In other words, security researchers legally practice White Hat hacking. What The Hacker Giraffe did, while technically similar, was still illegal.
Yes, shockingly, hacking into devices on a global basis just because you can is illegal.
Now, the way most media is discussing this doesn’t fly well with me. See, it cannot be disputed that what these hackers did was illegal. However, it also isn’t fair to completely negate the fact that they did force people around the world to take notice of how secure their IoTs are.
Let me be clear about this one more time: it was definitely illegal. The thing that bothers me more than anything is that the attention is really aimed at the “Subscribe to PewDiePie” pranks they pulled off during the hacks. PewDiePie is a horrible YouTuber, who for some reason still has the highest number of subscribers on YouTube. Recently, it seems like an Indian music video channel, T-series, is set to break PewDiePie’s reign.
If we’re going to think about this logically, the first thing to note is that PewDiePie’s fanbase is mostly compromised of teenage boys. Most likely, the Hacker Giraffe and j3s3r aren’t really adults and had no idea what they were getting themselves into. Again, most likely they thought that seeing as their intention was noble, things would be ok. I mean, just look at this tweet:
Maybe things would have gone down differently if they decided to use anything other than PewDiePie as their prank. Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) has done and said some horrible things in the past, and he isn’t at all new to controversy.
The Hacker Giraffe – Final Thoughts
Oh boy, here goes nothing.
I actually don’t think these kids (because that’s how I see it) deserve what the media is doing. I also don’t think that they should be punished “to the full extent of the law”, even though they definitely deserve to learn their lesson since what they did was illegal. To be honest, I would like to see articles discuss this particular case without branding it as nothing more than a “SUB TO PEWDS!” hack. It seems pretty clear that that part of the whole thing was a joke. In the minds of teenage boys (yup, I really do believe this), it was a funny one.
What do you guys think about this situation? Is there anything that maybe I might have missed that would change my mind? Let me know in the comment section below.
A reader, writer, and avid internet user. Hiba has spent the better part of her adult life looking for ways to have a safer and more user-friendly online experience, all while praising the uses of VPN connections to anyone who would listen.