This essay has a total of 2847 words and 11 pages.


Hackers, Good or Evil??

Since the introduction of personal computers in the 1970's, the art of computer hacking has grown along with changing roles of computers in society. Computers have taken over our lives. People could not function without them; our electricity is run by computers, the government could not function without computers, and there are many others. Hackers are people who illegally gain access to, and sometimes tamper with, information in a computer system. Due to recent media coverage and corporate interest, hackers activities are now looked down on by society as criminal. Despite the growing trend of hacking, very little research has been done on the hacking world and its culture. The image of a computer hacker has grown from a harmless nerd into a vicious techno-criminal. In reality most hackers are not out to destroy the world. The hackers in today's society are not bored teenagers.
Imagine this, you are driving along the road and suddenly you see something spectacular. Now imagine that you are not allowed to deviate from your course to check it out. This is what a so-called “hacker” faces. Just imagine that you saw an injured person on the side of the road. In this analogy you are not allowed to help the injured person. A hacker is not allowed to explore like everyone else in the world. A hacker is not allowed to help fix potential security holes. The term hacker can have many meanings. The most visible to the public is the person pirating software, and breaking into corporate networks and destroying information. This is the public misconception of a hacker. Back in the Unix days, a hack was simply a quick and dirty way of doing something.In fact hackers are well educated people, In "Hackers intensify fears of industrial espionage," Mark Gembicki reports "the typical hacker used to be 14 to 16 years of age, white male, somewhat of an introvert . . . However, this is no longer the case. . . Our hacker profile . . . [is that] the hackers are around 30-33, white male again, professional" (Drumheller). Many of the hacker's today are probably the grown-up fourteen to sixteen years old from the past. Except now they make enough money to purchase expensive computer equipment. They are well educated and have an interest in technology. The majority of the hackers of today are thirty years old and well educated, they are not all out to destroy computer systems and break into national security. Although hacking is a growing trend in our society, it is not one that is accepted in the United States or any other country for that matter. Hacking is an international phenomenon that cuts across race, gender, ethnic background, sex, and education level. Hackers have always been considered different and have never been accepted in society. Hackers in those days were basically just computer experts. Nowadays hacker means the same thing as a cracker, a person who pirates software, and malicious hackers. The media, of course, never prints the good things hackers do. Most hackers provide a service to companies, by letting the company know about security holes, before a rival exploits it. Most hackers want nothing more than to simply learn. A hacker has an extreme thirst for knowledge, but not in the traditional subjects. Technology, and anything new interest hackers. In fact most security experts start out but learning and “hacking”. The bad view of hackers is not completely false. There are hackers out there that will do there best to harm any system hey can, national security documents the bad hackers as dangerous, they may gain access to classified information. Patricia Irving, president of a small business which creates biological and chemical defense technology, says "‘Our technologies are being used for national security type purposes, and the U.S. government has a concern about what might be happening' in countries that might not be friendly toward the United States or with terrorist groups inside and outside of this country". Both governments and companies are forced to pay large amounts of money to try and make their sites safe and impossible for hackers to break into. However most hackers are not going to harm a government or business. Genuine hackers hack only for the joy of knowledge. A rush, like no other, is felt after finally gaining access into a site or a computer. They feel most information should be free. They do not look at hacking as stealing. They see hacking as borrowing information. However the good hackers do understand the rights of privacy and the good hackers do not mess with peoples private matters. Hackers believe knowledge is power. Therefor they are in the constant pursuit of power. Hackers are a growing trend, or problem, which ever way one sees it. This underground culture will not disappear anytime soon. In fect its constantly growing as the number of users on the internet keesp on increasing, this is*a href=http://www.coainc.cjb.net/*(http://www.coainc.cjb.net/)*/a href* just one site where a person is offerd introductions into hacking and to join a hacker group.
In short I will brifly describe the basic methods and , present alilte of the FYI on hacking it self. Hackers may use a variety of ways to hack into a system.First if the hacker is experienced and smart the hacker will use telnet to access a shell on another machine so that the risk of getting caught is lower than doing it using their ownsystem.(This is very complicated to explain, the simplest way to put is the hacker sends a commend through the internet to the server and teh server on which the telnet is located on executes the command actions), the ways in which the hacker will break into the system are:
1) Guess/cracking passwords. This is where the hacker takes guesses at the password or has a crackprogram to crack the password protecting the system.
2) Finding back doors is anotherway in which the hacker may get access to the system. This is where the hacker tries to find flaws in the system they are trying to enter.
3) One other way in which a hacker maytry to get into a system is by using a program called a WORM. This program is speciallyprogrammed to suit the need of the user. This programme continually tries to connect toa machine at over 100 times a second until eventually the system lets in and the wormexecutes its program. The program could be anything from getting password files todeleting files depending on what it has been programmed to do.
Regarding protection The only way that you or a company can stop a Hacker is by not having your computer connected to the net. This is the only sure fire way in which you can stop a hacker entering yoursystem. This is mainly because hackers use a phone line to access the system. If it ispossible for one person to access the system then it is possible for a hacker to gainaccess to the system. One of the main problems is that major companies need to benetworked and accessible over the net so that employees can do overdue work or sothat people can look up things on that company. Also major companies network theiroffices so that they can access data from different positions. One way which is used to try to prevent hackers gaining access is a program used by companies called a Firewall.A Firewall is a program which stops other connections from different servers to thefirewall server. This is very effective in stopping hackers entering the system. Tho this is not a fool proof way of stopping hackers as it can be broken and hackers can get in. Though this is a very good way of protecting your system on the InterNet.
Alitel bit on consequences, and hacking cases. Some of the major hacks that have been committed have been done by young teens aged betwean 14 and 18. These computer geniuses as they are known have expert knowledge on what they are doing and also know the consequences. Tho the consequences do notreally enter there mind when they are doing it. This hack occurred on February 10,1997, and again on February 14, 1997 Portuguese hackers launched a political attackon the web page of the Indonesian government, focusing on that country's continue

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