This article offers a reading of internet-based activism or ‘hacktivism’ as a phenomenon that cannot be confined to the instrumental use of information technologies. It focuses on a subset of hacktivism – the distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack for political ends – that aims at making an internet host unavailable to its intended users. Since the early 2000s these attacks have been increasingly conducted by means of botnets – networks of infected computers that send bogus requests to a target website without the consent of their users. The capacity of botnets to engender a more-than-human politics is analyzed from two distinct theoretical angles. First, drawing from Deleuze and Guattari, the hacktivist DDoS is discussed as an assemblage of signifying and a-signifying components, voluntary and involuntary actions. Second, Gilbert Simondon’s notions of transindividuation and transduction allow for a conceptualization of hacktivism as a sociotechnical assemblage with a high degree of indetermination.

Hacktivism: On the Use of Botnets in Cyberattacks

DESERIIS M
2017-01-01

Abstract

This article offers a reading of internet-based activism or ‘hacktivism’ as a phenomenon that cannot be confined to the instrumental use of information technologies. It focuses on a subset of hacktivism – the distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attack for political ends – that aims at making an internet host unavailable to its intended users. Since the early 2000s these attacks have been increasingly conducted by means of botnets – networks of infected computers that send bogus requests to a target website without the consent of their users. The capacity of botnets to engender a more-than-human politics is analyzed from two distinct theoretical angles. First, drawing from Deleuze and Guattari, the hacktivist DDoS is discussed as an assemblage of signifying and a-signifying components, voluntary and involuntary actions. Second, Gilbert Simondon’s notions of transindividuation and transduction allow for a conceptualization of hacktivism as a sociotechnical assemblage with a high degree of indetermination.
Settore SPS/08 - Sociologia dei Processi Culturali e Comunicativi
anonymous, botnet, DDoS attack, Gilles Deleuze, electronic civil disobedience, Felix Guattari, hacktivism, Gilbert Simondon
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11384/79591
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