Student: Computer Security and Hacker Essay

Submitted By mbrooks1012
Words: 1825
Pages: 8

Honor Among Thieves and The Hacker Ethic - Information Technology Essay
The rights of a person have been well defined by law and sanctions such as the United Nations, however how are they able to protect the rights of these people when they are on a un moderated medium such as the internet?

A question like this brings up many grey areas of the law that have allowed the proliferation of what seems to be the most feared type of person on the internet – often referred to as Hackers. To be hacked into means that your security measures have been compromised and that they have access to your information system. With the increasing dependence of computers to store sensitive data ranging from credit cards to correspondence, the need to protect the users of these computer sytems rises also.

In order to work on society to becoming better managed in protecting their interests, work needs to be done on not so much the hardware involved, but the peoples attitudes towards them. Even if a Computer was in the ideal world properly protected, a slip of the passwords or allowed physical access can bring the whole security subsystem down.

All of the worked up controversy has to be put away that they (hackers) are the most powerful computer users that exist as well. If there was an Information system developed involving a large network of computer systems, who would be the most potentially dangerous person? The hacker infiltrating the system sequentially, or the System Administrator that oversees the entire maintenance of the systems with a completeness of this view much like the Popular series “Big Brother”.

In this tv show, a group of people are put into a house that is a spiers bug dream – with about 120 Cameras and other nifty inventions, the every move of the person is tracked. You would think that such would be an outrage, yet this is not the case. Being the highest rating show by far on that network, The show can pull millions of dollars each time it is shown to the millions of viewers tuning in.

The reason this has been mentioned is because a virus or a large “break in” by a hacker receives similar attention. The “Mellisa/I love you” virus has been the most recent and had the largest effect of any other virus before it. Reported on the news, and reaching practically everyone, this virus spread itself by embedding itself on the infected machine, and sends out emails to everyone on the persons address book on the computer. With an exponential type of effect such as this, the virus could spread to millions of people in days (and it did).If this virus had other intentions though, like data collection on the computer and sending it back to a central source, the level of profitable information received back would rival any other source of voluntary collected information in the world.

When a virus is found one way or another on a common users system though, the first reaction is almost knee jerk like, being on how to remove the present virus. If there was potential to receive a virus in the first place, I feel that how it had became an problem in the first place needs to be addressed just as importantly.If a company were to do this, that is obviously unethical as their means are for profit. It is a different kettle of fish when a hacker presents a similar situation.

The aurora of a hacker is a mystical one that has eluded many of their victims. To say that they are rude and arrogant would be far from the truth. A well-known hacker by the name of Kevin Mitnick bared these ethics out to the court in what appears to be a quite truthful testimony.
He aired his previous hacking experience was mostly of social engineering (using pretences of other people to intimidate low level employee’s to do what they will) and that security systems were much easier to bypass by using this method. All of the time he had spent hacking also, he said in his testimony as not to make a single dime at all1
This is far in contrast to something