Hackers for Charity members use their computer skills for community service projects, including a gaming tournament at Rare Drops video game store in Huntington, where the proceeds go to a charity of their choosing.
Myles Satterfield, president of the group, said last semester they partnered with the Golden Key Honor Society to collect school supplies for Hurricane Harvey victims. Each October, Hackers for Charity works with the IT department as part of National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
Satterfield said sometimes the group gets judged on their name.
“We do get some backlash; sometimes people don’t want to take the time to hear us out,” Satterfield, senior digital forensics and information assurance major, said. “That’s actually another part of our plan. We want to show and define what hacking means. There’s good hackers. There’s obviously bad hackers. We want to bring awareness to the good side and how powerful the use of our skills can be.”
Hackers for Charity is the only student branch of the larger organization that was started by Johnny Long, a former cyber security employee.
“He wanted to help give back,” Satterfield said. “He started this organization, and it was supported by hackers worldwide. They funded him and his family to go to Uganda and help people there.”
Satterfield said anyone is welcome to join, not just students with computer and technical skills.
“We do have some technical people involved with our groups and would like to use our skills to do things such as teaching how to stay safe online,” Satterfield said. “We’re actually open to anybody, any student that wants to get involved with our charity events. We’re not just hackers.”
After he graduates in May, Satterfield said he hopes the group can continue to grow its members and strengthen its skills as the cyber security industry also expands.
“Cyber security is growing as a whole in the market,” Satterfield said. “It’s becoming bigger, there’s more vulnerabilities. Hopefully that will trickle down into the organization, and the organization can use it newer members, its newer mind, to become stronger. I want them to be even more active in the community. They can use what they know to teach people basic skills. Hopefully it will keep growing and build upon the groundwork that I’ve set down.”
Hackers for Charity meets at 2 p.m. every Tuesday in the Engineering Building.
Amanda Larch can be contacted at [email protected]