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Hackers mindsets

Hackers are more than people usually think. Depending on their mindset hackers may protect of attack. It´s important to break the stereotype

Photo of Harold Fandiño
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Sketch 1 (1,500 characters)

When I was trying to show the dichotomy between the mindsets behind the two extremes of hackers that want to either protect or do mischievous actions I remembered the sensation of falling when I saw Vertigo, a movie by Alfred Hitchcock. This idea was interesting to depict; somebody is falling into a technological world where connections are broken. On the other side of the spectrum I wanted to show a healthy world where connections are still present. This is the background of the sketch. To represent the hackers’ presence and actions I used two hands, one that tries to help the person and the other that pulls her into de chaotic world. It is essential to show both forces in a single frame, where people can compare the ideas they are accustomed to. As the background puts the context of technology, it could be useful to add some narrative that I want to develop in a short animated sequence to show the actions of the hackers through their hands.

Sketch 2 (1,500 characters)

This sketch has more information than the first one. I see it as a triptych that could be divided into a sequence of three frames of a storyboard, telling the actions of a user of technology, a hacker protecting and a group of hacker attacking. After changing the features of the hacker ethos star proposed by the OpenIDEO team I chose six characteristics that are opposite between them: Group-Independent, Prestige-Anonymity, Professional-Hobbyist. Then I highlighted the features they could have and I chose two to represent that may differ from the stereotyped idea of hacker. The first, a group of anonymous hackers who hack for hobby and want to protect people, and the other one an independent professional hacker who is public about his hacking activities. (The image labeled Objective is the same but upside down). I wanted to show the universe of the typical user of technology as a window where we discover people behind, the hackers, who work to define his/her reality. The idea of circuits broken and components of chips similar to viruses to the left side is opposite to the healthy circuit where the hacker protecting the user is present. I chose to write a big title above “Both are Hackers. Some may harm you, others protect you.” But maybe is too big and could be more useful as a shorter text at the bottom so the composition helps focus viewers on the illustration rather than other elements.

What have you learned through this sketching process? (1,000 characters)

After reading about the topic I learn a lot about defining concepts that help guide the process of designing visuals around interesting re-conceptualizations of believes in society. After I chose the topic of Hackers and Hacking I realized that they are too similar but their mindsets of ways to approach their skills is different, this idea was depicted in the word map section. Showing this contraposition as a matter of chaos and order was key to present subtle variants in the stereotyped versions people have about cybersecurity and hacking. It is important to make more iterations in the sketching process but the concept is well defined and the direction towards a polished version are here to be developed.

Tell us more about you. (1,000 characters)

Hi! my name is Harold Fandiño, I live in Bogota Colombia. I am finishing my studies in film and television and love animation and the technology world. Here you can see a show reel about my work.

Why are you participating in this Challenge? (750 characters)

I had the opportunity to see an ad about this challenge and I felt affinity to this kind of project. I love to tell stories through a visually compelling way and since a child I have studied myself programming and topics about artificial intelligence and computer science in general so this challenge is a perfect match of things I like and skills I have.


What is your experience with the field of cybersecurity?

  • I have minimal experience and/or knowledge in the cybersecurity field.

What best describes you?

  • I’m a visual design undergraduate student.

How did you hear about this OpenIDEO Challenge?

  • OpenIDEO email / social media

Location: City


Location: State / District


Location: Country

  • Colombia

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Dima Boulad

Welcome to the challenge Harold Fandiño , and thank you for your contribution! How would you consider pushing your sketches further? We've had a large number of very interesting submissions so far and we will be going through them one by one in the Review phase. In the meantime, we invite you to browse other submissions and join the conversation around cybersecurity on the platform!