Hackers create their own social network

'House of Hackers'

Hackers now have their own social network, backed by GnuCitizen, a high-profile "ethical hacking" group.

The network, called House of Hackers, has signed up more than 1000 members since its launch earlier this week, according to the site.

GnuCitizen set up the network in order to promote collaboration among security researchers. The site's founders said they use "hacker" in the complementary sense.

The term "should all express admiration for the work of the most skilled, creative, clever, unique, provocative, intelligent, intense, intriguing and interesting people among the human society," said GnuCitizen in a message on the House of Hackers website.

"From our perspective, a hacker is a person people express admiration for his/her work, skills, creative edge, cleverness, uniqueness, intelligence, etc," said GnuCitizen founder Petko D. Petkov in a blog post.

"We do not promote criminal activities. The network is designed to enable its members to exchange ideas with each other, communicate, form groups, elite circles and tiger/red teams, conglomerate around projects and participate in a hacker recruitment market."

Petkov said the ability to create groups on the network could be useful for setting up ad-hoc penetration testing teams. He suggested organisers could use the site's events features to test the water for planned events.

GnuCitizen is encouraging businesses to use the site to seek out security researchers for jobs or particular projects.

The network is built on Ning, a site allowing the creation of ad-hoc social networks, and programmers can create customised add-ons using the Google-backed Open Social API, meaning the add-ons are reusable on other sites.

GnuCitizen was founded in 2005 and has been credited with some high-profile security research of late, including vulnerabilities involving SNMP and BT Home Hub Wi-Fi routers.

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