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, whichever way one sees it. This underground culture will not disappear anytime soon. In fact its constantly growing as the number of users on the Internet keeps on increasing, this is a website href=http://www.coainc.cjb.net/*(http://www.coainc.cjb.net/)*/a href* just one site where a person is offered introductions into hacking and to join a hacker group. In short I will briefly 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 own system. (This is very complicated to explain, the simplest way to put is the hacker sends a commend through the Internet to the server and the 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 may try to get into a system is by using a program called a WORM. This program is specially programmed to suit the need of the user. This program continually tries to connect to a machine at over 100 times a second until eventually the system lets in and the worm executes its program. The program could be anything from getting password files to deleting 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 your system. This is mainly because hackers use a phone line to access the system. If it is possible for one person to access the system then it is possible for a hacker to gain access to the system.
One of the main problems is that major companies need to be networked and accessible over the net so that employees can do overdue work or so that people can look up things on that company. Also major companies network their offices 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 that stops other connections from different servers to the firewall server. This is very effective in stopping hackers entering the system. Though 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 between 14 and 18. These computer geniuses as they are known have expert knowledge on what they are doing and also know the consequences. Though the consequences do naturally 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 attack on the web page of the Indonesian government, focusing on that country’s continued oppression of East Timor. The attack was online for about 3 hours from 7.00 PM to10.00 PM (Portuguese Time) at the web site of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Indonesia. The hackers did not delete or change anything. The said We just hack pages. Another major hack that occurred was on April 1 1981 by a single user. This hacker who was situated in an East Coast brokerage house was interested in the stockmarket. SO he purchased $100,000 worth of shares in the stock market. Then he hacked into the stock markets main computers and stole $80 million dollars.
The hacker was eventually caught although $53 million dollars was not recovered. On Wednesday, March 5 1997 the home page of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s was recently hacked and the contents changed. The group known as H4G1S. This group of hackers managed to change the contents of the webpage the hacking group changed the webpage and left a little message for all. It said Gr33t1ngs fr0m th3 m3mb3rs 0f H4G1S. Our mission is to continue where our colleagues the ILF left off. During the next month, we the members of H4G1S will be launching an attack on corporate America. All who profit from the misuse of the Internet will fall victim to our upcoming reign of digital terrorism. Our privileged and highly skilled members will stop at nothing until our presence is felt nationwide. Even your most sophisticated firewalls are useless. We will demonstrate this in the upcoming weeks. The homepage of the United States Air Force was recently hacked and the contents had been changed.
The webpage had been changed completely as the hackers had inserted pornographic pictures saying, this is what we are doing to you and had under the image screwing you. The hackers have changed it and shown their views on the political system. One other major hack that was committed was by a 16-year-old boy in Europe. This boy hacked into the British Airforce and downloaded confidential information on Ballistic missiles. The boy hacked into the site and down loaded this information because he was interested and wanted to know more about them. This boy was fined a sum of money. In conclusion it can be said that hackers are sophisticated and very talented when it comes to the use of a computer. Hacking is a process of learning not following any manual. Hackers learn as they go and use a method of trial and error. Most people who say they are hackers most of the time are not. Real hackers do not delete or destroy any information on the system that they hack. Hackers hack because they love the thrill of getting into a system that is supposedly unable to be entered. Overall hackers are smart and cause little damage to the system they enter.
So hackers are not really terrorists in a way they are portrayed. As long as there is technology there will be people wishing to know more about it and there will be people breaking into files. Never the less many hackers want nothing more than to find the beauty in system, or network. To hackers vast networks, and the inside of a firewall that was meant to keep them out, are the most beautiful sights on Earth. In every aspect of life there are people who exploit others. Murders, robbers, or any other criminals come from every walk of life. Even hackers have some, but like the general population, it is a small percentage. Most people would call the whole Linux community hackers, because anyone who has the knowledge to run UNIX must be a hacker. This shows what good hackers can do. Hackers run the entire UNIX GNU community. They all contribute toward a free operating system.
They all work out the bugs, and then distribute it for free. Hackers got tired of paying for an OS that did not work well. So they all worked together today Linux is one of the fastest growing OSs on the planet. Many would say that Linux is buggy simply because its free, but its made by the same people who can get into any computer, or write any program to fit their needs. All Hackers are not good; but then again, all people are not good. In any case, the hacker community as a whole has done many things for end uses. First of all they help companies make there transactions securer, more on that can be found at *a
href=http://www.netscapeworld.com/netscapeworld/nw-08-1997/nw-08-cybersleuth.html*this article */a href*Second they help develop new code, and help work the bugs out of old code. And lastly, all hackers really want to do is learn. Even if it means breaking in to a computer. Most hackers break in simply to learn. Very few will touch any data. A hackers goal is for the systems administrator to never even know that the hacker was in the system in the first place. The Hackers Manifesto by the Mentor, is a classic example of how hackers feel that the rest of the world does not understand us. It shows how hackers were once shunned from society and created their own underground society. In fact 2600 Magazine has been published since the early eighties. Many articles are in this magazine about how hackers are merely misunderstood. I will conclude this essay with this most famous article: Hackers Manifesto By: +++The Mentor+++ Another one got caught today, it’s all over the papers. “Teenager Arrested in Computer Crime Scandal”, “Hacker Arrested after Bank Tampering”… Damn kids. They’re all alike. But did you, in your three-piece psychology and 1950’s technobrain, Ever take a look behind the eyes of the hacker?
Did you ever wonder what made him tick what forces shaped him, what may have molded him? I am a hacker, enter my world… Mine is a world that begins with school… I’m smarter than most of the other kids, This crap they teach us bores me… Damn underachiever. They’re all alike. I’m in junior high or high school. I’ve listened to teachers explain for the fifteenth time How to reduce a fraction. I understand it. “No, Ms. Smith, I didn’t show my work. I did it in my head…” Damn kid. Probably copied it. They’re all alike. I made a discovery today. I found a computer. Wait a second, this is cool. It does what I want it to. If it makes a mistake, it’s because I screwed it up. Not because it doesn’t like me… Or feels threatened by me.. Or thinks I’m a smart ass.. Or doesn’t like teaching and shouldn’t be here… Damn kid. All he does is play games. They’re all alike. And then it happened… a door opened to a world… Rushing through the phone line like heroin through an addict’s veins, An electronic pulse is sent out, A refuge from the day-to-day incompetence is sought…
A board is found. “This is it… this is where I belong…” I know everyone here… even if I’ve never met him or her, Never talked to them, may never hear from them again… I know you all… Damn kid. Tying up the phone line again. They’re all alike… You bet your ass we’re all alike… We’ve been spoon-fed baby food at school when we hungered for steak… The bits of meat that you did let slip through were pre-chewed and tasteless. We’ve been dominated by sadists, or ignored by the apathetic. The few that had something to teach found us willing pupils, But those few are like drops of water in the desert. This is our world now… the world of the electron and the switch, The beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing, Without paying for what could be dirt-cheap, If profiteering gluttons didnt run it, and you call us criminals. We explore…and you call us criminals. We seek after knowledge…and you call us criminals. We exist without skin color, Without nationality, Without religious bias… And you call us criminals. You build atomic bombs, You wage wars, You murder, Cheat, and lie to us, And try to make us believe it’s for our own good, Yet we’re the criminals. Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for. I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual, but you can’t stop us all… After all, we’re all alike. +++The Mentor+++