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Hackers: 21st Century Cattle Rustlers

November 9, 2011

I was talking to my husband Homer yesterday and telling him about this cool poll on Wisegate:










Homer told me that what’s going on with hackers today is a lot like what the ranchers of the 19th and 20th centuries faced with cattle rustlers. (He grew up on a cattle ranch here in Texas and has a deep understanding of that history and culture.)

As the west got settled and cattle ranching flourished, rustlers showed up, banded together and stole cattle. It was a serious problem. In order for any of the ranchers to survive they had to band together – even though some of them were competitors. They realized that no one rancher had enough manpower to deal with roving bands of rustlers; they needed to create a force that was greater than that of their enemy. They couldn’t go it alone.

It worked. The ranchers put a serious dent in the rustling. They even retrieved a lot of stolen cattle. And when the rustlers saw that stealing cattle was no longer easy, they started looking elsewhere to cause trouble.

Fast forward to today. Hackers are banding together, learning from each other, and devising new ways to cut through security systems (modern versions of barbed wire) to wreak havoc. But the ranchers and cowboys of information security now have Wisegate — a place where they can come together, bring their collective brainpower and create a force to solve this problem.

The connections and conversations that happen on Wisegate every day help our members understand on a very practical level the best ways to protect their companies from attack. Just like in the old days, there’s power in numbers.



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