Official Response to Malaysia Financial Hack

If you have been following the news, you’ve probably heard the reports about the most recent hack of The Republican Bank of Malaysia.  Word is also spreading about someone in custody for this attack, claiming to be a member of ARK.  We do not know the identity of the person in custody, and thus cannot say whether or not they are a member of ARK, but what we can say is that the attack was not organized by ARK.  The work we do is not as hackers but as artists, and our organizational structure is built on the directive that our members do their work autonomously.  To be clear: We are not hackers, we are artists.

That said there is a reason why ARK is always mentioned when attacks like this happen and it is one of the primary reasons ARK was created – we are living in a culture of fear, particularly driven by two specific types of fear: fear of the unknown and fear of responsibility.

Fear of the unknown is an age old human condition.  It is out of this fear that humans first began organizing themselves into the small communities which grew to be the nations of today.  It was thought that by coming together in these groups we could eliminate that fear, but instead the fear has only grown with the populations.  Today fear is the primary cause of war, which perpetuates the fear into governing policies that limit the freedoms of citizens.  Fear of the unknown creates the desire to control the unknown, which is the foundation of government.  Even more institutions of commerce have been erected based off of that fear.  People spend good money so that they do not have to be afraid, and yet even with all the ‘protections’ of the modern world, that fear continues.  A society based on fear, particularly one whose economic base is significantly driven by fear, simply is not a sustainable social order.  We see the evidence of this in every news report today, and as the social order disintegrates the fear increases.

Which brings us to the second fear – responsibility.  These institutions rather than face their own responsibility for perpetuating and even more capitalizing on that fear are quick to pass the blame.  While ARK in no way condones the attacks which have been made on governments and financial institutions, it is easy to understand why they are being targeted.  It is the fear turning in on itself.  We know that these things are failing on their own without the aid of hack attacks.  How many banks have gone under in the last year alone?  How many governments have dissolved into chaos?  This is not the result of tech savy gamers, but of the failure of those instituions to own up to their responsibility in not creating a sustainable social order.  The hacks are but another excuse for them to not take responsibility for their actions.

ARK is a scapegoat because to this point we have remained unknown.  The institutions are thus able to use their media outlets to put the responsibility and the fear onto us.  But we are mere artists.  What does it say about a society that is afraid of its artists?  We recognized the fear that was evolving around us and it was for this reason that we made the decision to take the responsibility for our image and go public with our efforts.

There was a great debate about whether we should move forward with this in light of the recent events.  Some among us fear that the latest arrest is a creation of the media and those that back it to bring ARK down, and that by going public and opening up our membership, future attacks could achieve just that.  But on the whole, we are determined not to be driven by fear in our actions.  And so we move forward as planned.  We will be making work from The Repository available to the public on November 1st, and our membership is still open.  If you are an artist we hope you will join us.  If you are concerned about our society and its future, we encourage you to stay tuned to the work we are doing.


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