A Workaround Hack
An illustration of imagined hacker reaching through a laptop screen to grab credit card details and credentials
Sketch 1 (1,500 characters)
Used pinterest to gather up visual intel on the project : https://www.pinterest.co.uk/tspill/re-cybersecurity-visuals/
Then went to focus on the idea of what the hacker does ... in an easy to understand and hopefully emotional way. Having had my stuff hacked last year, it felt like a hidden robbery ... so I wanted to show a way of bringing this to life.
Thinking about animation. Wanting to show the reveal in some manner.
Use pinterest to zero in on project.
Hands and screens. Thinking about magicians hands and visual tropes around mobile phone use.
Everyone loves cats on the internet ... and they're sneaky. Although it does look like the cat is just sitting next to the laptop + what will cats do with the ID & cards?
Was thinking about characters and how to show the nodes as more than just dots.
Trying to think about the space between the hacker and the target ... a "tube" that connects them?
This was what I was originally thinking of ... a hand going through the screen, like a pickpocket's trick. The character is reminiscent of internet meme characters like pepe the frog. Not sure what the speech bubble would say ... figured ellipsis would work for now ... perhaps something more realistic and fitting to the context. Also figured that the character could be swapped out to match threat.
The hand reaches around in a pose similar to someone giving a fake hug, and reaching around to grab credentials. Went with an emoticon like smiley face ... it could be something else.
What have you learned through this sketching process? (1,000 characters)
I learned that making something abstract into something easy to understand is not as easy as I had anticipated. There's a number of ways of showing "a hacker" and I prefer those that are abstracted so as to not fall down a "representation hole." I also didn't really have a final destination for my illustration. I figure it might be animated or colourful?
Tell us more about you. (1,000 characters)
I worked on icons & branding for a leading mac anti-virus vendor about 20 years ago. Since then I've built websites and videos. I like to draw and have been looking after my kid this summer so have not had much chance to do anything creative. I only had a short period of time to get something together today. Hope you like it. I also made a Pinboard for this project: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/tspill/re-cybersecurity-visuals/ ... I was born in New Zealand, went to school in New York and now live in London, UK.
Why are you participating in this Challenge? (750 characters)
I saw this challenge listed on Cory Doctorow's post on BoingBoing.net (https://boingboing.net/2019/07/29/openideo.html).
I've made commercial film posters and done quick illustrations for tech companies, I've also built and designed websites. So this feels like something that ties into my diverse interests ... including showing core story concepts (Movie Posters), illustrating dystopias (Orwell's 1984), concise drawings (Sketch notes) and creating something visually sharable & emotive (emoji). I'm also interested in exploring this cultural blindspot that's grown up and surged in my lifetime from WarGames (1983) to Cambridge Analytica (2017). I'm sick of seeing the same visual cliches used everywhere. It keeps it hidden & dangerous.
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 professional visual creator freelancer.
How did you hear about this OpenIDEO Challenge?
London, Borough of Hackney