Name: Aiden Pearce
- Incredibly skilled hacker.
- Experienced hand-to-hand combatant.
- Skilled at social engineering.
- Fiercely protective of family.
- Possesses the Profiler.
WARNING! WE ARE PROFILING A VERY NEW GAME! USUALLY I DON’T WORRY ABOUT POSTING SPOILERS BUT BE AWARE, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS AHEAD.
Aiden Pearce is a fearsome hacker, former Fixer, and ruthless vigilante. His morals lie somewhere within a very broad gray area, and are difficult to justify at times. His decisions and choices are influenced heavily by the death of his niece, which he carries guilt for as it was a result, in part, of his own illegal actions. He swears to protect his remaining family, and though his fanaticism may alienate them, to some extent, they are still the driving force behind his vigilantism. Skilled in hacking of all types, hand to hand combat, gun usage, and social engineering, as well as a smattering of parkour skills, Aiden is a difficult man to contain or control. Fiercely private, people who look around for him more often than not end up dead. We’re going to take a look at the skills and abilities of such a formidable foe, and see how we can pick up a few of them ourselves.
With his wide range of skills, focus on strategic manipulation of his environment to his advantage, and his light build and mobile style, Aiden is definitely a Rogue Saboteur.
Normally we’d profile Aiden’s martial arts options first, but in this case, his most dangerous weapon is his skill with computers, and The Profiler. Now, we are going to have to admit that, in some ways, the version of Chicago that Aiden inhabits is a bit unrealistic, and there’s quite a bit of silly, CSI-esque “hacking” that goes on in the game. That said, computer hacking, and the hacking lifestyle in general, are still well within the reach of the everyday person (you!). If you’re reading this, you’re probably on a device that you can learn hacking of some type on. Here’s some good links to start with:
Here’s a good intro to the hacking mindset. This how-to is a bit lengthy, but it’s incredibly good for introducing you to the hacker mindset, hacker culture, and basic methods.
This site is awesome. As the name may imply, it’s a site built FOR you to hack. It offers you a crash course in multiple types of security exploits, and then provides you with a playground to test them out on. Check it out!
Little Brother is an awesome work of fiction by Cory Doctorow. What’s that, you say? Fiction? Yes! You may not learn hacking skills outright here, but if you enjoyed Watch_Dogs, you will definitely enjoy this book! It also gives you a solid grasp of hacking culture, internet movements, and other information age mainstays that will become a part of your life on this path. Check it out, it’s free if you need it to be! (I suggest buying it if you are able, though. Cory’s stuff is worth paying for.)
Aiden’s moves are not flashy, or subtle. He dispatches opponents effectively and efficiently, and moves on. My art of choice for him would definitely be Krav Maga. Krav Maga is a no-frills combat style. I’d be hesitant to even call it a martial “art,” since it is really pretty much just “martial.” Of course, any military-style hand-to-hand combat training would be effective, too, Krav Maga is just one of the few styles you can encounter pretty widely outside of the military.
Additionally, I would recommend familiarizing yourself with the local shooting range, and take some classes there. Contrary to what you may expect, if you’ve never been to a well-run range, gun people are very nice, welcoming, and eager to educate others. If you walk in knowing nothing, but possessing a willingness to learn, any range operators worth their salt would be happy to help you out. It’s a win-win for them, you rent and purchase guns and ammo from them, they run classes on proper operation of firearms. Plus, once you’re a regular, you can usually get a heads up on when they get new stuff in.
What is social engineering? Social engineering is effectively hacking people. It’s using a combination of deception, social expectations, and human nature to get information, access, or privacy as desired. Like all skills, it is something that must be researched, developed, and practiced. For an overview and some starting points, you can check out the Wikipedia article.
Some of the first real “hackers” were extremely skilled social engineers. These were people going through old manuals, memos, and handbooks, gathering what info they could, and using this information to leverage their way into telephone and early networking systems, usually by using overly helpful call center operators. Hacking is cool, and all, but typically when you hear about hacking in the news, it’s actually social engineering. “My account got hacked!” is usually something closer to “I gave up my password and username to someone or something and I’m embarrassed to admit it!” Humans are, were, and probably always will be the most vulnerable part of any decent security system. Learn how to hack people, and more often than not you don’t even need to hack computers.
To get started in learning more about social engineering, go check out http://www.social-engineer.org/ Read the blogs, listen to the podcasts, and get involved!
That’s it for today, folks. Sorry this is up a little later than I intended, I’m still kind of catching up from the real life stuff that sidelined me last week. At least it’s up on the proper day! The Aiden Pearce workout will be up on Friday, at the proper early AM timeslot. Until next time, remember to live boldly, change the world, and continue to be awesome!
Dan “DaRatmastah” Wallace