November 16th, 2012
The Risks and Dangers of Computer Hacking
Computer hackers become more intelligent every day. Companies attempt to make technology hacker-free, which is not plausible. All this does is provide the hacker with more assentive to figure out how to get around it. The growth of technology causes new threats and new problems. The consequences hackers face can be extremely severe, or minimal if lucky. Many “elite” hackers get off with minimum consequences such as probation. Sometimes, on rare occasions, if the hacker is skilled enough, the FBI will drop their sentence as long as they agree to work undercover for them. Hackers thrive for a challenge; many of them hack just to see if they can actually achieve it. In today’s society, people are becoming more and more reliant on technology, causing the hacker industry to rise. Despite “professional” opinions, every piece of technology has a weak point. Computer hacking in many individuals start at an early age and seems like innocent fun. As the hacker gets older, they realize it has turned from a little fun into a horrible addiction. A computer hacker is defined as “a person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn the minimum necessary” (Stone, 1999). To a hacker, the internet is a playing field. Computer hacking is a game to which it is their mind against the system. The internet is their tool to gain access to passwords, files, programs, and other valuable information. In addition, all hackers are linked in some way even if they never meet face to face. Hackers tend to cooperate to take down websites, companies, etc. which makes them harder to track. Today’s society believes that every hacker is a “bad” hacker. The media has distorted the word “hacker,” to assume that all hackers want to steal data, deface websites, and exploit important information. In fact, there are three different kinds of hackers; white hat hackers, black hat hackers, and script kiddies. The white hat hackers, or “ethical” hackers, are actually opposed to abusing computers. They are the ones who try to secure systems instead of break them. Sometimes, they break into systems to alert the owners and make them aware of their security flaws. Likewise, a black hat hacker is someone who compromises the security of a computer without permission, normally with malicious intent. Usually, these types of hackers use their knowledge of technology to exploit the vulnerabilities of computer systems for personal use, instead of revealing it to the public or the manufacturer. Many black hat hackers hack web pages for financial gain, stealing credit card numbers, bank account numbers, etc. In some cases, black hats cause extreme damage and/or make threats over the internet ("Cyber laws india," 2007). Next, a script kiddie is a hacker, usually somewhat amateur, who compromises files on others’ computers or sends out attacks on computer systems, using widely distributed computer programs or scripts instead of their own. With the addition of more computer security programs, it’s making the task of script kiddies far more difficult, causing them to evolve and discover ways to get around them (McFly, 2011) Kevin Mitnick, a “computer terrorist,” was one of the most dangerous hackers of all time. Mitnick was arrested in 1988 and was denied bond. While he was in the constraints of the Lompac, California jail, he was not allowed to use a telephone except to call his wife. They compared giving a telephone to Kevin was like giving a gun to a hit man. After a sentence for the Pacific Bell incident where he stole computer manuals, he was able to alter his credit information and removed his probation officer’s number from the case. Also, he removed the records of his crimes from police computers. Kevin Mitnick definitely has a rather large computer crime record (Judson,...