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Hackers' bragging rights at stake at

Screenshot of home page
Screenshot of home page

Is hacking cool if you have to advertise you're doing it? Isn't the whole point to be on the DL? Well, some are throwing out that notion and going for the glory on, "the world's first elite hacker ranking system."

On this site, hackers are obliged to "submit proof" of their website hacks in exchange for "Ranking Points" that can earn them "a place on the leaderboard of legends. The bigger the site, the bigger the points." The sites, times and dates for hacks are listed under each username.

Feeding off the gamer part of hackers, the site then allows them to use those points to "duel" with others on the site "and protect your legacy in one on one digital combat."

The New York Times reported that the site has already taken in evidence of more than 1,200 hacks. The Times' Riva Richmond gives us some more behind-the-scenes insights:

The site was created by a hacker nicknamed Solar to bring a little accountability to the online forums and chat rooms where hackers gather to learn tricks of the trade, buy and sell contraband and form alliances. There, eBay-style ratings systems meant to establish reputations are routinely abused, morality tends to be fluid and anonymous young people often talk big while carrying a small stick.

RankMyHack offers a way to separate the skilled from the so-called script kiddies by verifying hacks using codes that participants must plant somewhere on sites they have compromised.

So far, the top ranking hacker on the site is a user named Mudkip, who has nearly 4 million points hacking just 16 sites. But one of the sites was, which gave Mudkip 1.6 million points as the site with the highest amount of points possible.

The closest hacker to Mudkip is Rafael, who has 1.7 million points. His biggest hack: on August 14, for 1.2 million points.

The site also provides a resources page that gives links to mainstream hacking resources, forums and tutorials. They're not even paint-by-numbers hacks as much as links to sites that alert the average web surfer to dangers that lurk outside and give them tips on how to fortify against it.  

Hacking doesn't mean that these sites have been damaged, only that the hackers have been able to breach defenses. Just because they can, doesn't mean they took advantage of those vulnerabilities.

As Richmond writes, "Solar argued that the hacks would occur regardless, and that the site was positive because hackers did not need to do damage to prove they had infiltrated a site."

There are already some interesting theories about the site itself.

VentureBeat muses, "Of course, it would be really brilliant if were a fake site created by law enforcement to entrap criminal hackers." CNET ascribes some kind of money motivator to users: "There also appears to be some sort of monetary compensation for hacking. In the site's membership rules, it says that users who enter hacking competitions will receive 'payouts' from Rank My Hack via PayPal within seven days of a competition's closing date."

What do you think?

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