Essay, Research Paper: Hackers

Computers

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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 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 justhack pages”. Another major
hack that occurred was on April 1 1981 by a single user.This hacker who was
situated in an east coast brokage house was interested in the stockmarket. SO he
purchased $100,000 worth of shares in the stock market. Then hehacked into the
stock markets main computers and stole $80 million dollars. The hackerwas
eventually caught although $53 million dollars was not recovered. On
Wednesday,March 5 1997 The home page of the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration'swas recently hacked and the contents changed. The group known as
H4G1S. This groupof hackers managed to change the contents of the webpage The
hacking group changedthe 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 nextmonth, 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 ofdigital terrorism. Our
privileged and highly skilled members will stop at nothing until ourpresence is
felt nationwide. Even your most sophisticated firewalls are useless. We
willdemonstrate this in the upcoming weeks”. The homepage of the United States
Air Forcewas recently hacked and the contents had been changed. The webpage had
beenchanged 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 havechanged it and shown their views on the political
system. One other major hack whichwas 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 hackedinto the site and down loaded
this information because he was interested and wanted toknow more about them.
This boy was fined a sum of money. In conclusion it can be saidthat 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 timeare not. Real hackers do not delete or destroy any information on the
system they hack.Hackers hack because they love the thrill of getting into a
system that is supposablyunable 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 they are portraid. 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 most 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 show what good hackers can do. The
entire Unix GNU community is run by hackers. 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 OS’s on the planet. Many
would say that Linux is buggy simply because its free, but it’s 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
artical */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 administator to
never even know that the hacker was in the system in the first place. The
Hacker’s 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 it wasn't run by profiteering gluttons, 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.

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