I have been reading here a bit

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I have been reading here a bit

Post by quest1426 on Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:41 am
([msg=53419]see I have been reading here a bit[/msg])

I have been a member for a while, but I have not been able to participate much because of offline activities and I have been in college for these past 4 years, about to start two more (hopefully the last two as I am becoming too old for this). But I have been reading and saw the 15 pages of comments regarding everything from updates, advertising, fan pages, and stuff like that.

I think, and I know my opinion is probably not worth much, that you may want to change the way you do the challenges? Maybe create a flash game for each individual and maybe a full game with all of them. In the game, instead of everyone asking for spoilers and all that junk, becuase even though almost everyone has posted the exact information of how to solve every single challenge on this site in more ways than one, there seems to be more people who feel it is not necessary to read anything not directly aimed at them, there could be some clues, not saying how to do something, but maybe a book laying around, a newspaper article on a computer screen that the player could click on that would give them the information they need, if only they learn what they are supposed to. Maybe they have to interact with a few characters in the game that could give them knowledge that they have to decipher themselves.

I know developing that could take a heck of a long time, especially creating an overall story that can encompass all the missions, and developing the characters, backgrounds, how to give the user information that is not even technically the answer, voice overs, animation (which could be tweens much of the time), Action script (which is actually much easier now), and putting it all together in the best way, meaning the best compression type for the web due to bandwidth issues.

-- Sat Feb 12, 2011 12:51 am --

huh? I ran out of space. Okay,

Beyond the games idea, there could be other things. How about starting a fan page challenge that could be like that one game EA had many years ago that I fail to remember or find through google, but basically you signed up, received an email, then had to look at the email via select all to see a hidden message telling you to go to whatever site and find the clue there. The game also incorporated phone calls.

The site could create a game such as this, using different fan pages, having to accomplish whatever challenges, and so on, and there really should be some incentive to play the game, such as win whatever.

The reason I say fan pages is becuase when you start facebook and you have an email list of a huge amount you can import it to facebook and have a huge friends list. Then suggest the first page of the fan page game to all of them, those who play can share the fan page with others, and those can do the same, and so on.

This is basically viral game play. In any case, you can have hack this site banners all over these things, as well as affiliate banners for CPAs or whatever that actually appeal to them.

This creates a higher hack this site fan base, and maybe a little extra cash.

-- Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:02 am --

more space... .

So anyway, I dont know much about the site due to the fact that I have actually only had the time to come here every once in a while and I am only up to like challenge 8 or something. But I do know online business a bit, FBML now, which is not really much to learn, just confusing without any real study material, the normal stuff everyone knows, html, php, css, javascript a bit, bit of ajax, simple stuff. No real programming experience outside of the boring Java courses in college. Two of them, both boring and quickly took care of those beginner programs to get them out of the way. Not to say that Java is boring, just the classes. Same with C++. boring.

In the end, I like the site, see that everyone is saying it has been a bit slow lately, but there are much more ways to get boosts than just articles. The problem lies in how many people want to do something about it. If the members themselves just are the type to go "oh wow, learn to hack, oh wait, everyone help me pass the challenge, I dont want to learn if I have to read" then you wont achieve much.

But if you round up the members that really have a passion for learning, and want to know every detail about everything, then you can find each of their skills, their expertise (because what geek with glasses, or cool guy who hides the fact that he is a math genius does not have some kind of expertise) and then really do something.

I myself have no expertise. I wanted to know it all, and I am constantly caught up in learning a bit about everything, until it gets boring, then go on, and come back later. So that explains why I know a lot about websites, but not site security that much.
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Re: I have been reading here a bit

Post by fashizzlepop on Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:05 am
([msg=53420]see Re: I have been reading here a bit[/msg])

We're less into games and more into General Knowledge exercising. Yes, the challenges are pretty crappy, and they will be fixed in the recode. There is no chance for this to turn into a flash game, no matter how much you want to live through a Live Free or Die Hard scene.
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Re: I have been reading here a bit

Post by quest1426 on Sat Feb 12, 2011 1:17 am
([msg=53421]see Re: I have been reading here a bit[/msg])

wow was that an insult? I think you got the wrong idea. You say challenges of the mind, less into games. Games are challenges of the mind. well, thanks for the input. It seems as though you have everything worked out and that you see your challenges as something other than games. By very definition they are not. in any case, I never live through pipe dreams so your speculation of someone trying to live whatever you think they are trying to do is completely out of line. I look at it from a marketing point of view, not a personal hack dream point of view. Whatever though, you are smarter, like the grinch. have fun with your site.
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Re: I have been reading here a bit

Post by Goatboy on Sat Feb 12, 2011 3:42 am
([msg=53427]see Re: I have been reading here a bit[/msg])

quest, stop being a little bitch. Granted, fas might have given a bashing to your idea, but your idea sucked anyways.

Hacking in real life is NOTHING like in video games. Even if we made the in-game challenges mirror real-life hacking scenarios, what's the point? By then it's just yet another layer of abstraction that we have to deal with. Ideally, we would set up individual physical boxes for every user to mess with and be able to re-image them at a moment's notice, but this is in no way feasible for all but the smallest user bases (less than 10 people). We make do by simulating challenges and strictly limiting what is an allowable "win". This is to protect the site from actual attack, but it makes the missions less realistic.

Ignoring the massive amount of time it would take to create this game, there are other issues as well. First off, we would need to find EVEN MORE developers who are good at design, security, and game logic. That person is worth his weight in rubies. We would probably need to upgrade our hardware to handle all the extra traffic generated by this game. We would need to patch the game every time we want a new mission, making it bigger. There are just so many issues with this that it's overall not a good idea.

Aside from those mentioned, it's also an ideological issue. I already said that we want the hacking challenges to be as realistic as possible, so I won't repeat that here. But part of the challenge is the hunt. You will almost never have the answers laid out in front of you in the form of little hints or helpful NPCs when you're attacking an actual application. If you do, your first thought should be "honeypot" and you should reconsider your attack. By making our users read through the forums, not only are they getting a variety of responses from people with different views of the world, but they are also getting a taste of what is known as ishi no ue ni san nen which in Japanese means "sit on the rock for 3 years". This is a saying that I've tried to live by since I first heard it in 9th grade. It teaches perseverance, patience.

Anyway, this post is long and beginning to ramble, so suffice it to say that while your idea might work for something like newgrounds, we are not newgrounds and have no need for a "hack simulator" flash game.
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Re: I have been reading here a bit

Post by pretentious on Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:07 am
([msg=53432]see Re: I have been reading here a bit[/msg])

quest1426 wrote:there seems to be more people who feel it is not necessary to read anything not directly aimed at them

And that's why i think it's quite rational to have a level of cynicism(that could be taken as an insult). Especially when dealing with the kinds of people who think that hacking is just like playing Pokemon on a game boy advanced.
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Re: I have been reading here a bit

Post by fashizzlepop on Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:17 am
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pretentious wrote:just like playing Pokemon on a game boy advanced.

*Game Boy Advance

;)
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Re: I have been reading here a bit

Post by quest1426 on Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:25 am
([msg=53436]see Re: I have been reading here a bit[/msg])

I get your point, hate being talked to like crap on the internet where you cant just punch the dude in the mouth, but my intent is not the same as some newgrounds kiddy crap. your points about resources and lack of skillful people who can create this is not founded. I guess I dont need to explain myself, though simulations are used in military training constantly. These are games that are created to build awareness, increase thought process and more. I was not talking about dumb ass pokemon at all. I was speaking of using external resources to create an immersive environment that used the same thing the challenges do. Yet the cynicism is aimed at me as though I am an idiot who is not looking at it for what it is. In the end, it is not my site, and as with everything, technology advances, and then everything here becomes irrelevant. I was simply stating some marketing tactics that would increase your traffic, monetization ability, and the use of external resources to handle the process without buying extra equipment and so on. The honey pot idea you speak of was not my direction either. in any case, be sure you watch bloggers, all the answers to your challenges are everywhere, and so I wonder why people still waste time asking for answers when google has them.
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Re: I have been reading here a bit

Post by Goatboy on Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:40 am
([msg=53437]see Re: I have been reading here a bit[/msg])

Again, you demonstrate a complete misunderstanding of this site and its goals.

Starting with your last point first, you mention that the answers are out there on various sites. Youtube, blogs, and hell even a torrent of the HTS source code from 2007 is out there. You act like the point of the site is to get the highest score. This is not a competition where those with higher scores are better than others. This is a place to learn, and to practice what you know in a safe, legal environment. The people who are cheating by looking up the answers are only hurting themselves.

Moving backwards from that, you say that you are helping us monetize, and get more traffic. We don't (as far as I am aware) want more traffic; We want higher quality traffic. We aren't out to make money (none of the staff gets paid); We are out to teach. Making this site more like a video game is going to attract mostly the kind of person we don't want: those who think that hacking is like what the see in The Matrix. We want thinkers, people who are comfortable with source code and who don't mind working on the command-line. We want people who can figure out problems by piecing together information and filling in the other holes with logic. We don't want people who need a game to help them.

As a side note, you didn't really mention much in your first post about higher traffic or more money, but rather only a few lines concerned it and the rest seemed to be describing the game.

Again moving backwards, you mention the military's use of simulations. Let me make something clear to you: Shooting people and exploiting code are two very different concepts. Flying a helicopter (where you have a good chance of dying if you fuck up) is not the same as trying out SQL injections. The only reason we need simulations here is because it's impractical to keep a separate box for each person. As I said before, wrapping the challenges up in a flash game is just another layer of abstraction we don't need.
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Re: I have been reading here a bit

Post by quest1426 on Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:50 am
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Again I understand that, and I only mentioned the fact that the answers were everywhere because they were. Obviously I am not very far in the challenges myself because I was trying to learn, not use answers that did not even give an explanation as to why. Okay, I also was not talking about massive traffic from people who werent quality either, but again I was looking at it from a marketing point of view. monetizing a site doesnt mean pay the site users, it means upgrade a site. As for simulations, you look at it as a war zone, but it is not, it is meant as a teaching tool. Also the reason they use simulations in more than just military tools. I am explaining, and you are explaining for nothing, this should have been dropped with the last post. by the way, for those who have stated it, I do know what hacking is as I have had to sit through network security, ethical hacking, and unix lectures for the last two years, and I have had to write more on encryption, physical and logical security, WANS, LANS, WLANS, VLANS, VPNs, Subnetting, Network Layer Switches, and packet sniffing than I would have liked. So if you believe I do not know what it is, that means you believe I am actually some 16 year old kid behind his moms computer. That is not the case. I also know that "hacking" that people come here for has nothing to do with corporate network hacking in any way and that if half of those interested were to ever find out what kind of resources it actually takes to try to successfully hack a 128 bit encrypted network to gain information would probably just get up and walk away. The other half have no use for the kind of information they would get anyway even if they had the ability. They would probably just stick to warwalking and look for routers that still used WEP for easy access to free internet and whatever dumb shit people share on their wireless network.
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Re: I have been reading here a bit

Post by Goatboy on Sat Feb 12, 2011 4:57 am
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As a marketing person, you should know that you can't just go up to a company and say "You need to do X so you can Y" if you don't know the company. I have explained to you why the flash game is a bad idea for HTS, yet instead of defending the idea itself, you are only giving us more reasons why you yourself should be seen as credible.
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