GhostShell, On the Record – Psychological Factors

This post is part of an extended interview conducted by and with the hacker formerly known as “GhostShell.”

In “Dark Hacktivism,”  GhostShell wrote, “Always remember to play the part of a normal human being,” We asked whether he felt he was playing the part and about his other comments in Dark Hacktivism on psychological factors.

I believe it is extremely important that we take into account the psychological aspect of a hacker. Most people wouldn’t do it. Why is that? It’s because we’ve been conditioned to think that way by society. We’re afraid of the consequences. It’s how I lost some of my best recruits. They couldn’t handle the pressure.

Since 2012 I’ve personally trained hundreds of people and time and time again I hit a wall with them. Everyone reaches a point where they give up. The reason behind that is mostly fear. But in some cases they cared so less about any consequences that the after effect was them being lazy or indifferent. Some people can handle the pressure while others don’t. I wanted to learn more about that so I went and studied psychology and psychiatry. They tend to overlap in some areas so it makes it easier to assimilate all the information. I did sociology in my first year of college so that was helpful as well. It was easier for me because I understood what panic attacks wore, how depression manifests itself over long periods of isolation, stress and high levels of adrenaline building up in your body after standing for long periods of time in the same place and how to get rid of them, insomnia awareness and so on.

Let’s just say that knowing and being aware of these aspects in advance can help you somewhat but in the end everyone has a breaking point.

As for the whole “act like a normal person” comment, it has to do with a lot of things and it’s not just about me.

You know how in school you’re taught specific information? And you have to memorise it and then repeat it back to your teacher and the better you are at doing that the smarter you apparently are. On the principle that if I know a certain set of lines and you know a certain of lines and the people next to us know a certain set of lines then that means were all geniuses. Right? Now take that concept and apply it to our everyday lives.

A majority of people within a country that dress the same, look the same, talk the same and act the same will obviously stare and judge those that are different from them. It’s nothing childish like discrimination, humans simply on a general basis are wary or afraid of what they don’t know or don’t understand. Something or someone out of the ordinary draws their eyes.

In order for an individual to either explore, invent or just break something in a unique way they have to distance themselves from the herd mentality. If it was so easy to let’s say openly attack and leak governmental data then everyone would be doing it. However once you’re in that state of mind by default you distance yourself from your peers. It’s not as easy as switching online identities so one of the key factors is to try and pretend to still be part of the herd.

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