Computer Crime Hackers and Security Measures from Research Assistance

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Abstract

A diffuse group of people often called "hackers" has been characterised as unethical, irresponsible, and a serious danger to society for actions related to breaking into computer systems. In this essay I try to construct a picture of what is and includes a computer crime as well as a portray of hackers, their concerns, and the way in which hacking takes place. What I intend to argue is that, in their majority, hackers are learners and explorers who want to help rather than cause damage. Furthermore, my research also suggests that the general practice of hacking is a part of larger conflicts that we are experiencing at every level of society and business in an information age in which many people are not computer literate. These conflicts lie on the issue of whether information should be made publicly available or not (centralise or decentralise government) and on issues of law enforcement. Hackers have raised serious issues about values and practices in an information society.

Introduction

It is true that computers and telecommunication networks have become a growing aspect of our society and of course of our lives. This type of technology is used to support unlawful as well as legal activities. Personal computers and especially the Internet consist of a collection of tools, which attract people from all social classes. People like housewives, workers and chief executives. Nowadays criminals are a group of people that are also attracted by today's technology. The Internet can be used for criminal purposes in different ways: from a simple ‘blackmail' to the most perplex crime like money laundering. "Technology can be applied as easily by the criminal and terrorist as it can by the authorities; and very often the criminal has greater desire to profit from that technology than have the authorities themselves" . Furthermore, companies, institutions and private lives, especially in western countries, are prevalent by computers, Internet and other relevant technologies. Business operations without the support of digital technology do not exist. For instance, banks distribute funds through computer networks. Banks and credit card companies are quickly adopting automated payment systems. The computers are the essential basis of this cashless society. Millions of computers are needed to operate these automated payment systems (networks). On the other hand, criminals for different reasons can use similar networks also: to hide unlawful software or to distribute illegal material such as child pornography. In these two cases we can see two opposite sides of the use of information technology. From the hacker's, and generally persons' who are related with the "digital crime", point of view computers help to carry out ‘illegal activities'. From the business perspective computers are means of accomplishing ‘legal activities'. But what is really legal and illegal in today's society? There are certainly some acts like pornography, which is illegal, but sometimes we must ask ourselves about what is legal and what not. As mentioned above Internet not only attracts individuals with different social status but commercial organisations as well. This is a great motivation for criminals whose aim is to make profit using unlawful actions. These could be computer hackers, fraudulent traders, software pirates and many more.

In this essay I will try to discuss about computer crime and hackers and how the society should take measures for the protection of individuals and organizations. This paper is a report of what I have discovered in the early stages of hacking. I have concentrated my attention in answering some questions such as: what is hacking, who are the hackers, what motivates them and what is the future of hacking. I give also some useful details about computer crime especially its definition and some important categories of it. In the second section, I will try to cover some issues such as system security. This...
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