English Composition II
May 7, 2010
My field of study is Computer Information Security Networking; I chose this field because I enjoy working with computers and creating a safe environment in accessing data. One of the common problems in this field is hacking. Throughout my essay I plan on explaining what motivates hackers, what the definition of hacking is? What effects’ hacking has on society? And the solutions that could help people with hacking. The Oxford English Dictionary defines hacking as "cut or chop roughly; mangle: cut (one's way)" to its present definition as "gain unauthorized access (to data in a computer)". Banks (1997:11) defines hacking as "something that boring mainframe computer operators did to improve performance and battle boredom." Here banks focus on boredom as the reason of hacking. A more technical definition of hacking according to Digital Guards data base (2001) is "unauthorized use, or attempts to circumvent or bypass the security mechanisms of an information system or network." Darlington (2001) believes hacking is not limited to accessing data or information but also includes an attack on the privacy of all people. Almost all different opinions agree on the illegality of hacking. On the other hand the word hacker is the agent of hack or hacking and it was defined as a person who enjoys accessing files whether for fun, imposing power or the interest related to the accessed files or data according to Taylor (1999). While Marotta (in Taylor, 1993) has a negative view of the hacker as a data lord, a barbarian who takes what he wants. Himanen (2001) defines hacker as any person who performs illegal actions whether they were related to computer or not which means the usage of a device apart from its functionality. Seems hacking according to Himanen is related to any illegal or unauthorized action. Seebach (1999) finds hacker as a person who feels delighted and full of joy when being able to access a system and break the security utilities but Himanen (2001) doesn't consider hacker as a thief. This definition looks at the hacker as a normal person who is only practicing his knowledge and ability to access what he wants. Williams (2002) goes in the same direction and finds hacker as a knowledgeable person who never stops reading and exploring new technology for the sake of improving himself and might perform illegal actions but his first priority is to look and search for more knowledge. Digital Guards data base (2001) gives the hacker a definition of "a person who enjoys exploring the details of computers and how to stretch their capabilities". Clear from the definitions mentioned above that there is a controversy that encounters the judgment and definition of hacking, controversy aroused because it's hard to decide exactly what the aim is behind hacking or how to know the mentality of the hacker. That's why the ethics and motivation of hackers should be paid attention and discussed then understanding the hacker will be much easier. Hacker is part of the society, a computer professional who wants to use technology for his own benefit Taylor (1999). Seems hackers are experts and professional people who were behind the technology we are enjoying at the moment but at no time and suddenly they began to think about their interests and benefits they can achieve from what they invented. Levy (in Taylor, 1999) described hackers in regard to the history; she divided the life history of hackers into three generations: the first generation of hacking was made of experts of computer programming who never stopped improving their skills then misuse them, the second generation was made of computer hardware developers who found hacking and accessing data and information for free as an appealing idea while the third generation included developers of games architecture. Recently the fourth generation...
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