The Hackers and World-wide Computer (Essay Sample)
The paper was about hackers. It required the student/client to describe who computer hackers are, their motivations (why do they hack?), and classifications of hackers including black hat, white hat, and grey hat hackers. The paper also discussed in brief the various measures individuals and corporates can take to protect themselves from hackers.source..
The word-wide computer network has grown tremendously in recent decades, and its increasingly being used across multiple sectors and for the construction of online communities. Computer communication through private networks and the internet enables vital institutions of modern society to function, including finance, telecommunication, industrial production, transportation, and the media. Computer-mediated communication through the internet has shrunk the physical limitations of distance and time, making it possible for people to conveniently and freely communicate, share information, and express their opinions. Due to this unprecedented phenomenon, new challenges have emerged in cyberspace. Computer viruses, email bombings, and web defacements perpetrated by hackers have become a common occurrence at the domestic and international levels.
Hackers are individuals who exploit cybersecurity weaknesses to gain unauthorized access to computer systems and networks (Cekerevac, et al. 83). The hackers use various techniques to gain illegitimate access to computer networks, such as randomly generating or guessing passwords. Some utilize complex methods such as IP (internet protocol) spoofing in which one computer connected to a network is tricked about the identity of another computer in the network during the communication process (Kumar 2354). Others use social engineering, which entails psychologically manipulating people into divulging confidential information (Kumar 2354). However, the intrusion into a computer system does not necessarily constitute a hack. The three tenets of a computer hack are: simplicity, the act is simple but awe-inspiring; mastery, although simple, the act must demonstrate sophisticated technical skills; and illicit, the act defies legal or institutional rules (Madarie 79).
The hackers are motivated by different reasons, including the thrill of the hacking challenge, curiosity, and the desire to learn for intellectual satisfaction (Madarie 84). The excitement of illicit searches and the technological breakthroughs of gaining power over the computer systems of large organizations such as banks or security agencies is an attraction to hackers. Peer recognition and acceptance into online hacking communities is another motivation for hacking (Madarie 85). Some hackers are propelled by the financial gains derived from extorting their victims. Hacking can offer tremendous financial rewards for the perpetrators. For instance, the cyber attackers of Colonial Pipeline Company, the largest pipeline system in the United States, were paid a ransom of $4.4 million for them to cease holding the organization’s computer systems hostage (Eaton and Volz). In addition, hackers can attack institutional or government computer systems as an act of vengeance or protest.
Hackers can be classified into three distinct categories depending on their motives and nature of activities. These are black hat, white hat, and grey hat. Black hats are cybercriminals who breach computer systems for personal gain or malicious intent (Cekerevac, et al. 85). They seek to profit from targeting individuals, businesses, government institutions, and non-profit organizations. White hat hackers are ethical hackers whose work involves testing existing systems and network infrastructures to identify security loopholes (Cekerevac, et al. 85). White hats are employed by organizations on a permanent or contractual basis to assist them to develop and maintain secure networks. The third category, grey hats, comprises hackers whose hacking practices and techniques may violate ethical standards, but their activities are without malicious intent (Kumar 2356). Similar to white hats, they expose network vulnerabilities. However, grey hats do not engage in formal employment and can even choose to extort their victims as compensation for removing bugs.
Since malicious hackers pose significant threats to individuals and organizations, a proactive approach to identifying and preventing security threats is a critical component o
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