Byron Ng made a name for himself this week by publicizing Facebook photos of Paris Hilton found through a loophole in the social network. Last year he made a name for himself by for publicizing the torrent file of most of the last Harry Potter book before the book was released last fall.
The key word here: publicizing.
“I don’t know how to program, I can set up a computer and I can fix a computer. Playing with URLs isn’t really hacking,” Ng said in an interview with SAI, which yesterday called him a hacker. Wrong, says Byron (and many SAI commenters).
The 33-year-old freelance computer technician from Vancouver freely admits that he’s getting the attention for other people’s hacks.
“I’m the one that’s articulated it into something the AP can digest. Those type of people [hackers] dislike talking to media and they extremely dislike media of all kinds. They like to keep it and play with it.”
So Byron is now famous. Any blowback? Not really, he says. He said he hasn’t been contacted by Facebook after exposing the security loophole. “Facebook hasn’t contacted me. I guess they don’t care.” (Byron did send us the links to the pictures that he got of Paris Hilton and her family to prove that said loophole isn’t closed yet, though it is a bit harder to use than it had been.)
The only real downside to his newfound fame, says Byron, are people who criticise him for seeking it.
“They’re upset because they still want to use (the loophole) and it doesn’t work anymore,” he said. “Some people characterise it as attention getting. Maybe it is or it isn’t. Whoever comes first, right?”
Photo of Byron Ng from the Vancouver Sun.