So you want to be Anonymous? Get Pricked, Don’t Be a Prick

I gave blood photo courtesy of iwona_kellie's Flickr photostreamGuest blogger Mrs. W was inspired by some of the happenings at DEFCON this year and decided to share her thoughts with Naked Security. Over to you…

A few hours after Mr. W got back late Monday night from DefCon 19 and started telling me stories, I deeply regretted not having gone.

One event in particular caught my attention. One of the DefCon Goons, BarKode, has been diagnosed and was hospitalized (now discharged) with a rare disease that destroys his red blood cells.

He needs blood and he needs a bone marrow match, so DefCon arranged for a blood drive and for the Be The Match Foundation to sign folks up.

I heard the Red Cross just wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming turnout, filled their BloodMobile in less than an hour, and had to come back for more.

Maybe I couldn’t go back in time to attend the conference, but I could join everyone in spirit going forward. So I initiated the process of becoming a bone marrow donor.

I received my cheek swab kit a couple days ago and I’m dropping it in the mail today. Last week I went to Canadian Blood Services and donated again for the first time in years.

I’ve been meaning to for a while; I just stopped making the time for it. So you want to anonymously have some impact on the world? Forget exploiting vulnerabilities in websites and leaking their databases.

They won’t give you cookies and juice afterwards, you run the risk of ending up in jail, and your individual action amounts to ripping a tiny corner of a poster off their wall, very often with a lot of unnecessary collateral damage. Big frickin’ deal…


Instead, you could single-handedly save a life. Give blood. Sign up to be a bone marrow or stem cell donor. It may or may not help Barkode, but it’ll help someone like him.

Joining the marrow donor registry is easy. Both Be the Match (if you’re in the US) and One Match (in Canada), will send you a testing kit free of charge once they determine you’re eligible.

No doubt the same goes for organizations around the world, and they are all interconnected.

And if you need more convincing, watch or rewatch Jim Gilliam’s lovely talk, “The Internet is My Religion.”

Who’s with me? Are you already signed up? If not, will you commit to giving blood and/or signing up as a marrow donor?

P.S.: If you want to keep tabs on BarKode’s status, go here:

P.P.S.: Bravo to all the con-goers who pitched in to help. You’ve inspired me. Keep it up. 🙂

Mrs. W.

Creative Commons photo of “I gave blood” photo courtesy of iwona_kellie’s Flickr photostream. Creative Commons comic courtesy of