Today’s edit is dedicated to self-proclaimed security industry watchdogs, attrition.org. There are many self-proclaimed “not-for-profit” organization that have their existence on the internet as a website or call it a ‘collection’. Such is this group who are known for their not-so-famous website: attrition.org (critics alert: Defining ‘not-so-famous’ is upto you!)
What is great thing about attrition and what were their intentions?
They are on a noble quest. Ethically speaking, it should be mandatory to give credits to the authors for their research and people who copy their work to make money out of it should be questioned for doing so. They claim to be bunch of people who have taken up the noble task of eliminating charlatans in the security industry (Personally, I admire it the most). ‘Eliminating’ because, that is what seems to be their prime target however, they ‘play’ to be unbiased people who display someone’s work as it is and try to find plagiarized material and a person (author) who is found plagiarizing gets a tag of being a charlatan. In their definition anyone who plagiarized is a charlatan. Yes, that is not the dictionary definition but, security watchdog likes to keep it that way!
How many people joined the venture?rned
There were 4 people who joined this venture however, only one person popularly known as “Jericho” seems to be active perhaps others have got a job.
What they turned out to be?
A platform for a step ahead! Attrition moderator Jericho (author, administrator) who is a self-proclaimed journalist said that every book they receive is passed through various professionals who would read every word of the book and refernce check it with anyone who might have published it, later if found ‘guilty’, they would try to establish communication with the new author and ask their famous sequential set of questions, person may or may not take this as a warning but just a gesture from a curious fan and would reply to him, later on the basis of exchanged emails/tweets they draw their self-styled conclusion and put it on display for people to read and oh yes, they also have a section which they call as ‘hall of shame’, practically more like ‘hall of fame’ but, they like to replace the word! Heavy research on the content of the book, reference checking, getting report from professionals, mention in their tweets, mass mail sent to people of the ‘community’ and on top of it publishing the author’s name for thousands to read about and I wonder, so much for an author and that too for free?
Owww!!!! And that happened?
Several examples! People who are mentioned in their ‘charlatan’ list are doing great in this industry! No really! They are! Let us take an instance of Ankit Fadia, who is famous for his show ‘what the hack’ in a TV channel. Manu Zacharia, who is famous for his renowned community called ‘cocoon’. Vaidehi Sachin who authored book called Cyber Terror, without hitting the stalls, sold more than thousands of copies, from the same community. We shall call it United Attrition Charlatan family. Now, that sounds like a standard!
Bottomline: Fame is a *beep*! Any publicity is good publicity! Every controversial person gets a huge fan following when he gets recognition. Attrition has become an awesome publicity tool!
Any recent examples?
Who doesn’t know Rahul Tyagi? I never knew him! Well, if you don’t know him, now you know him! He is a person who would embrace fame anytime! He handed over his book to attrition and smartly made sure that his way in ‘the list’ is guaranteed! After several days of review, research and exchange of emails, attrition finally put his *profile* on their *list* and people who never knew him, now all of them know him!
Bottomline: Curiosity sells the book.
What happens next?
If you know business, you know what happens next *wink*. Rather than investing huge sum of amount in showing how awesome your book is, strategy includes parting some portion of your book as plagiarized and ask them to do their regular labor. They will review the book and publish details of book and also mention your name in the ‘industry’. What happens next? You get famous! Irrespective of how you got famous, there is a huge fan following behind you!
Bottomline: You get rich!
Damn, feeling like daring for a bit. Worried about consequences?
What consequences? Some people rant on your twitter account but hey! A wise man said: It’s not the words but numbers that count! Thousands of people follow you on twitter, no need to pay for SEM!
Bottomline: You save money, get richer!
Personal opinion: On sincere note, their dilapidated condition is due to their own deeds, the unbiased attribute of journalism is misused by the watchdogs, they communicate and discuss rather interview. They write their self-styled conclusion rather leaving conclusion to the readers. They claim and bully on social media rather keeping their firm attitude of professionalism, once on a series of email communication between me and Jericho, he got frustrated and resorted to abuses; wise one said, when you have nothing say, you end up abusing. Many other parameters which has failed their motto and they have failed themselves.
Dropping back to one paradox: Who watches the watchman?
Discuss with Keval Domadia on twitter: @KarmicDice
Author: Keval Domadia
Source: Hacker5 Magazine August Issue