Google Security Researcher urges more inclusive language to replace ‘black hat’ and ‘white hat’

Google Security Researcher, David Kleidermache, sparked a debate among the infosec community recently on the inclusiveness of the language used among the technology communities.

Controversy arose around these terms, with many calling it a virtue signal to the extreme.

Others, however, believe it’s a continued step in the right direction to break down barriers and to break away from accidental micro-aggression among the infosec and larger tech community.

It’s important to take terms that don’t cause accidental negative connotations. One could surely believe that a whitelist — precedented with being “good” or “allowed”, could be associated to white skinned people. Whereas, blacklists, which are inherently negative, would end up being associated to African Americans”

Throughout many online community forums, several recommendations as to how to rephrase these terms came about. The dominant choice among the communities, however, was clear.

Moving forward, online communities believe that the term white hat hacking should be replaced with baseball cap hacking and that black hat hacking should be replaced by flat bill hacking

The communities found themselves drawn to these terms as they believed them to be unique and free of any potential racial associative connotations.

“Baseball cap hacking is a great term. Baseball is a very traditional, everyday man working within the confines of society.”

Flat bill hacking? It sounds great. Whereas more conventional billed hats, like baseball hats, are curved, flat bills are a bit more rebellious, and a sign of working outside the confines of our more accepted day to day actions. I can’t think of a more inclusive, intuitive phrase that we could use”

At press time, The Satirical scoured online discussion over another of David’s concerns about the phrase“man-in-the-middle attack” and how we can better accommodate less sexist, genderist, aggressive and classist language. Online communities appear to be congregating around an initial recommendation to replace the phrase with “person-who-may-or-may-not-be-of-a-binary-gender-in-the-in-between incident”, or a PWMOMNBOABGITIN incident.