Archival Material: Interview With Saudi Hacker ‘Robin Hood’ AKA Abu Walid

January 15, 2013

On September 5, 2001, the Saudi newspaper Al-Riyadh published an interview it conducted with the Saudi hacker “Robin Hood” aka Abu Walid.[1] At the time of the interview, the 23-year-old hacker spoke about what he called his “hobby” of targeting websites in order to expose their vulnerabilities, both in the Arab world and the West. Abu Walid noted, however, that when targeting Jewish and American websites, specifically, he aimed to cause maximum damage. Abu Walid is thought to have hacked thousands of websites during his relatively short hacking career.

Following is an overview of the September 2001 interview, which was conducted by Sahar Al-Ramlawi:

The Saudi Abu Walid, 23 (at the time of the interview), is a student in the faculty of economics. His Internet hacking “hobby” began a few years earlier, when pure chance and curiosity introduced him to the field. Abu Walid said that, in his opinion, the phenomena of Saudi hackers appeared after the Internet was officially introduced in the kingdom. Hacking, he added, was a matter of boasting and competition among hackers themselves, as well as a mean to boost one’s self-esteem. Abu Walid began using the Internet five years ago, and found interest in Internet security related topics three years later. He said that he spends at least 13 hours a day at the computer, at times staying up for three consecutive days without sleep.

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