You probably haven't heard of Comodohacker. He operates alone. But on Thursday, he scared Google into issuing a warning for all of Iran -- and he wants them to control the internet.
The New York Times got in touch with Comodohacker, who says he's a 21-year-old Iranian student, and asked him about the motives behind his sweeping breach of Gmail this summer. By sniping security certificates from a Dutch company -- essentially the digital ID cards that tell your computer a website's legit -- Comodohacker was able to crack 300,000 Iranian Gmail accounts, prompting Google to warn the entire country.
So why'd he do it? For the Lulz? For the Ayatollah.
The NYT quotes Comodohacker's decidedly nationalistic explanation of the hack:
"My country should have control over Google, Skype, Yahoo, etc.," he said by e-mail. "I'm breaking all encryption algorithms and giving power to my country to control all of them."
Scary stuff. Although he brags about his hacking capers like any other capable digital miscreant, aligning himself with an oppressive regime places him categorically opposite LulzSec and Anon, whose distrust of government borders on anarchism. For the latter two, governments are something to be bludgeoned and vivisected, thrashed into accountability. For Commodohacker, his government is righteous, and deserves the internet. And despite lacking recognition in the public eye, he's clearly great at what he does: 300,000 in a country of 75,000,000 is no small feat -- especially in a society where private communication can be what's keeping you alive. [NYT]