Sit back and enjoy! The Internet, like any other new media historically, provides new methods of engaging in illegal activities. Unfortunately, many of these common interests include pornography writing, picturing , trading Warez pirated software , trading illegal MP3 files, and engaging in all kinds of fraud such as credit card fraud.
Hacking, on the other hand, is a greatly misrepresented activity as portrayed by the wider media and Hollywood movies. Although many hackers go on from being computer enthusiasts to Warez pirates, many also become system administrators, security consultants or website managers. This type of hacker enjoys learning and working with computer systems, and consequently gains a deeper understanding of the subject.
In reality, nobody really fits into either camp neatly. The factors that affect the motivation of someone who is drawn to illegal hacker activities are not always clear.
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It is well known, for example, that few hackers are motivated by financial gain. Some of the factors that may motivate a person into becoming a hacker are curiosity, money, spying, anarchy, and money. Understanding the motivation behind attacks can help organizations understand more about the risks they face so that they can tackle them. This is the most likely reason an organization gets attacked.
Criminals are looking to gain financially in three main ways: Data breaches to feed identity theft. Criminal gangs are well-organized and operate on a commercial basis — there is a supply chain, those that steal data are unlikely to be the same criminals who commit the identity theft and fraud. The dark web provides a marketplace for stolen credentials — with those that have stolen personal data selling it on to those who wish to commit fraud. Cyber-attacks with financial demands: A modern take on blackmail, this can affect organizations of all sizes as well as individuals.
Criminals use techniques such as phishing and vishing to tease out enough information to enable them to mount an attack. A variation of this attack is invoice fraud when an email is received that looks like it is from a legitimate supplier and is advising of a change of bank account details — unfortunately, the bank account details supplied are those of a fraudster. Hacktivism involves breaking into a system for political or social reasons.
Until relatively recently, this was seen as the domain of underground organizations such as Anonymous. The recent US election has put the focus on the role that governments might play in furthering their aims through hacking activity.
The importance of Ethical Hacking - Education Today News
Hackivists look to access information that can damage their intended target. Hacktivists also mount cyber-attacks to stop their targets carrying out their normal activity, known as Denial of Service or DoS attack. Governments and political bodies are often the targets of DoS attacks.
If someone objects to your operations, you could find yourself at the wrong end of a hacktivist attack. Those who hack for intellectual stimulation are not necessarily criminals. While white hat hackers work with or for companies and are a force for good, other inexperienced hackers motivated by intellectual challenge can cause harm.
All about Hackers
In addition to the motivations already mentioned, hackers could also be motivated by revenge or wish to spy to gain a commercial or political advantage. The depth and variety of techniques employed by hackers to illegally enter a computer system are vast, for this reason, I intend to provide a brief overview of some of the more common techniques involved, without going into to much detail on any particular technique.
Hacking a system is a two-step process, Gathering Information and Launching an Attack. A dedicated hacker may spend several months gathering information on the intended target before launching an attack armed with this new information. There are many attacks employed by hackers. Here is an overview of just an example of the more common: Denial of Service DOS : A denial of service attack is basically an act of sabotage against a service running on a port on a targeted system.
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The aim is to disable the service. Password Cracking: A password cracker is a program that attempts to decrypt or otherwise disable password protection. Often simulation tools are used to simulate the same algorithm as the original password program. Unfortunately, many system administrators neglect to do so frequently enough, leaving their systems open to attack. Hacking is discussed in the context of being a method for system development.
Finally, it is argued that this system development method under certain circumstances may yield superior software artifacts. When not so transfixed, they often sit at tables strewn with computer printouts over which they pore like possessed students of a cabalistic text. They work until they nearly drop, twenty, thirty hours at a time. Their food, if they arrange it, is brought to them: coffee, Cokes, sandwiches.
If possible, they sleep on cots near the computer. But only for a few hours - then back to the console or the printouts. Their rumpled clothes, their unwashed and unshaven faces, and their uncombed hair all testify that they are oblivious to their bodies and to the world in which they move.
They exist, at least when so engaged, only through and for the computers. These are computer bums, compulsive programmers. They are an international phenomenon" Weizenbaum, The popular image of the computer hacker seems to be part compulsive programmer preferring the company of computers to people, and part criminal mastermind using his or her technical prowess to perpetrate anti-social acts. But this is at best only half the story.
A number of people I know who are proud to be called "hackers" are sensitive, sharing, social and honest. Part of the confusion surrounding the word "hacker" stems from the fact that it as been applied to at least three distinct communities. The "original" hackers were computer professionals who, in the mid-sixties, adopted the word "hack" as a synonym for computer work, and particularly for computer work executed with a certain level of craftsmanship.
They subsequently started to apply the noun "hacker" to particularly skilled computer workers who took pride in their work and found joy in doing so. Then in the seventies, assorted techno-hippies emerged as the computerized faction of the counterculture of the day. These were grassroots activists who believed that technology was power, and as computers was the supreme manifestation of the power of technology, they believed that they should be put into the hands of the people.
While these activists did not speak of themselves as hackers or identify closely with the master programmers that populated the first wave, the term was thrust upon them in when they first were celebrated by the publication of Steven Levy's landmark Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution Levy, , and then again by the first Hacker's Conference hosted by the Point Foundation and the editors of the Whole Earth Review. What characterized the second wave hackers was that they desperately wanted computers and computer systems designed to be useful and accessible to citizens, and in the process they pioneered public access terminals, computer conferencing, and personal computers.
Finally, in the second half of the eighties the so-called computer underground emerged, appropriated the terms "hacker" and "hacking" and partly changed their meaning. To the computer underground, "to hack" meant to break into or sabotage a computer system, and a "hacker" was the perpetrator of such activities. Popular media's fascination with things subversive and spectacular has long ago ensured that it is the latter rather than the former definition that reign supreme.
However, the strong association between the word "hacker" and the "computer criminal" has the unfortunate side effect that it hides the "other side" of hacking, the side that involve skilled craftsmen who believe that a computer is more than a means of production - it is, among many other things, an instrument for creation, communication, mastery, artistic expression and political empowerment. In the outset, however, it should be noted that the three hacking communities are not completely disjunct. The hacker of the sixties was not beyond appreciating lock-picking skills, both those addressing physical locks barring access to computer rooms, and software protection schemes such as password files and encryption schemes, and he also believed that information was born to be free - including the source code he had written and the knowledge he had about the inner workings of various systems.
Secret Service raid on the computer underground , funding was provided by John Gilmour of Sun Microsystems , Mich Kapor co-creator of Lotus , Steve Wozniak co-founder of Apple Computer and other well-to-do second wave hackers. As far as politics go: Today's generation-x hackers share with their artisan and activist hacker predecessors a distrust in authority, and a tendency to position themselves outside bourgeoisie society's norms and values. Some commentators Anderson, ; Rosteck, considers hackers of the anarchist variety to be radical partisans, very much in the same manner the Russian nihilists in the 19th century was considered to be part the radical political movement of that time.
Others Kelly, have attempted to co-opt hackers as the avant-garde of neo-laissez-faire economic liberalism.
Ethical Hacking Essay
In this essay, I shall try to put some perspective on these two claims. My main purpose, however, is to instigate a discussion on hacking as a valid method for developing software for information systems. In the s, people working with computers had much in common with artists, artisans and craftsmen. There was room for creativity and independence. Management methods of control were not yet developed. There was no clear division of labor. Skilled programmers, like all good craftsmen, had intimate knowledge and understanding of the systems they worked with.
A humorous account of the state of affairs in those early days is rendered in Ed Nather's The Story of Mel. It first surfaced as a Usenet message in When it finally was cast in ink in Raymond, it was heralded as "one of hackerdom's great heroic epics". This did not last.
By the mid-sixties, management wanted to bring computer work in line with other industrial activities, which essentially meant that they wanted programming to be part of a managed and controlled process. To accomplish this, they turned to a more than fifty year old fad, called "Scientific Management" Taylor, Scientific Management was invented by the engineer Frederick Winslow Taylor, and aimed at taking away from workers the control of the actual mode of execution of every work activity, from the simplest to the most complicated. Taylor's argument was that only by doing this could management have the desired control over productivity and quality.
The methods advocated by Taylor were to increase standardization and specialization of work. In the computer field, this spelled, among other things, the introduction of programming standards, code reviews, structured walkthroughs and miscellaneous programming productivity metrics. The most profound effect of application of Taylorist principles to computer work was the introduction of a detailed division of labor in the field.
Computer workers found themselves stratified into a strict hierarchy where a "system analyst" was to head software development team consisting, in decreasing order of status and seniority, "programmers", "coders", "testers" and "maintainers".
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Then, below these on the ladder was a number of new adjunct positions created to serve the software development team: "computer console operators", "computer room technicians", "key punch operators", "tape jockeys" and "stock room attendants". Putting the different grade of workers in different locations further enforced the division of labor. Most corporations in the sixties and seventies hid their mainframes in locked computer rooms, to which programmers had no access.
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This isolated programmers from technicians, diminishing their social interaction and cutting off the opportunity for the exchange of ideas. It also prevented programmers from learning very much about the workings of the machine they programmed. As noted in Braverman, and Greenbaum, , at the core of this process was dequalification of computer work, the destruction of programming as a craft, and the disintegration of working communities of programmers - all in order to give management more control over computer workers.
The emergence of hackers as an identifiable group coincides closely in time with the introduction of various Taylorist methods in software development.