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Why the ‘Basement Hacker’ Stereotype Is Wrong — and Dangerous

22
Nov
2021
Why the ‘Basement Hacker’ Stereotype Is Wrong — and Dangerous

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“It could be Russia but it could be China, it could be lots of people. It could be somebody that sits on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.” These comments, made during a 2016 presidential debate, may be among the most high-profile and cringeworthy incarnations of what I call the Basement Hacker stereotype. But even years later, the Basement Hacker idea persists. This outdated stereotype and media trope characterizes threat actors as isolated, dysfunctional, lacking formal training or organization, and clothed exclusively in black hooded sweatshirts.

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