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I Did What I Believe Is Right

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A Study of Neutralizations among Anonymous Operation Participants

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Topic abstract:

Our knowledge of online activists or hacktivists is growing, but it is still far from complete. The reasons why some of these individuals violate computer laws or how they justify their behavior remains elusive, yet one particular framework that lends itself to understanding a hacker or hacktivist's belief system is Sykes and Matza's (1957) neutralization theory. The present study involved a content analysis of publicly available commentary found online and made by participants in Anonymous operations against United States targets from 2008-2013.

Speaker Bio:

Bill Gardner is an Assistant Professor at Marshall University, where he teaches information assurance and cyber security related courses in the Department of Forensics Digital Forensics and Information Assurance Degree Program. Bill is the co-author of two books: "Building an Information Security Awareness Program: Defending Against Social Engineering and Technical Threats", and "Google Hacking For Penetration Testers", as well as academic articles on on social engineering and cyber criminology. Bill is the Chair of Cyber Security Section of the Appalachian Institute of Digital Evidence, the co-founder of SecurityWV/Hack3rcon, and is a member of the Board of Directors for 304 Geeks and the West Virginia Chapter of InfraGard.


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