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