Professor Brad Edwards
Figure Error! No text of specified style in document.-1 Old Cedar County Jail
29 April 2012
Hackers: “How did they get there”
The computer freezes, strange images appear on the screen, passwords stolen, personal information compromised, now what? What are they doing to my system and why are they even there? (Figure 1)
There is a phrase “Five finger discount” that can be used for this type of behavior that steals personal and sensitive information. Why are we so scared when we hear the term hacker?
“Hacker” by definition is an expert at programing and solving problems with a computer  . . . a person who illegally gains access and sometimes tampers with information in a computer system . (Merriam-Webster)
Today’s technology where we live in world using a computer for almost everything that we do and control our everyday living with just a push of a button and jeopardize our identity and security. Everyone who owns a computer fears viruses, Trojan Horses, and even script worms that embed themselves into the system emails, games, graphics and communication. This is getting to be all too common in this digital world in which we all live in. (Figure 2)
Jon Zonderman, author of the book “Beyond the Crime Lab, The New Science of Investigation” wrote:
“One of the hottest new pieces of office automation equipment is the facsimile machine, commonly known as a FAX. Because of its speed- a page of text can be
sent in four to six seconds. . . Fax is becoming the technology of choice for transmitting documents, including sensitive documents such as contracts, proposals, and bidding information. (144). . . Anyone, be it a law enforcement official or a “hacker” can gain access to the information and read it or alter it, merely by correctly dialing the access code into the system. This can be done either by gaining knowledge of the access code or by using a device that continuously dials new combinations of numbers in an effort to find the correct access code. After that, it is a matter of breaking the password security that insulates each user in an electronic-mail system”. (Zonderman)
With these amazing speeds of computer equipment, computers can do just about everything that it is programmed to do. Since email has become the new communication for personal and business correspondence transfer, this technology has affected the use for the United States Postal Service. Electronic mail is a fast reliable source to receive information but can also be a nightmare for the sender as well as the recipient. One of these nightmares can begin with what is called a “Trojan Horse” which can be just as nasty of a virus if it is not caught in time or deleted. Disguising itself as software or even a simple picture to download through email is just one of the many tricks these can play on the receiving end. Once this Trojan horse is activated, it can also call home to its provider and intercept everything on the victims computer that include passwords, financial information and even your MBR known as the “Master Boot Record” which is the heart of the computer system boot sector which tells the operating system when and where to process information.
Hacking a computer system can lead to uncertain outcomes about how well the information on the hard drive is secured. Using anti-virus software such as Norton, Eset, Kaspersky etc., (Figure 3) can prevent some of the most dangerous computer viruses, Trojan horses and malware if they are kept up to date using their update sites and built in data retrievers. “Hackers” use certain viruses, Trojans, rootkits, spyware, and keystroke logging to penetrate through security software that has an uneven balance of protection. Most internet security suites come with firewalls that help monitor internet activity, both outbound and inbound traffic being received from a computer. These software’s have almost everything in protection