Hackers 3440 - Essay Example

Since the introduction of personal computers in the 1970’s, the art of computer

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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.