Meet the ASU Hacking Club

‘Join in the journey to a perfectly hacked world’: ASU Hacking Club’s goal is to teach new hackers the basics of the subject

A person types on computer with an illustration of the pitchfork in binary code

A modest, brutalist website lights up the screen, reminiscent of a time when the internet was crafted by hand with simple code. While the word ‘hack’ is plastered all over the web page, a call to action sits at the bottom:

“To join the fray, get on our Discord. The invite has been embedded in your browser client. Find it.”

The ASU Hacking Club has been known by many names. Until most recently, the on-campus group was known as “pwndevils,” while those most “leet,” or elite, are also inducted into the more exclusive hacking team, “Shellphish.” 

Zion Leonahenahe Basque, president of the club and a Ph.D. student studying computer science — and undoubtedly a “leet” hacker — is a proponent for the club’s recent rebrand.

“The transition from pwndevils to the Hacking Club was a deliberate attempt to give us a different image to the public,” Basque said. “We wanted to completely redesign how people thought about our club on campus. We wanted to become this type of iconic, semi-exclusive, enigmatic hacking club.”

Basque, a Hawaii native, Laboratory of Security Engineering for Future Computing researcher and hardened Shellphish veteran, wants to be clear, however, that you don’t have to be an expert to join the club.

“I joined this club when I was a freshman at ASU. I had never done security stuff before,” Basque said. “Hacking is not about being the smartest…