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Hacking Essay, Research Paper


By: Annonymous

Computer hackers in today’s world are becoming more intelligent. They are

realizing that people are constantly developing more hack-proof systems.

This presents the hackers with a bigger challenge and a bigger thrill. The

government is realizing this and is working on making harsher laws to,

hopefully, scare the potential hackers. With the increase in hacking and

hacker intelligence, governmental regulation of cyberspace hasn’t abolished

the fact that it’s nearly impossible to bring a hacker to justice. Kevin Mitnick,

a hacker who has yet to have a harsh punishment when caught, can somehow

lower his punishment for his hacking crimes down to a couple months

probation. When Kevin was seventeen, he was caught for breaking into a

phone center in Los Angeles. He was tried and sentenced to three months

stay in a juvenile detention center and a year probation. Kevin is a very

intelligent man. He could use his computer skills in a good way by stopping

other hackers. He didn’t, so he faced the law many times. In all those times,

he never spent more than a year in prison (Shimomura 1). Kevin was also a

Phreak; a phone freak. He studied the phone system. He soon knew how to

make free phone calls from payphones and how to crash a system. Kevin

Mitnick has yet to be harshly punished for these crimes, which are very

numerous (Shimomura 1). Another major player in the hacking industry is an

unidentified man, identified by his pseudonym, or nick-name, Deth Vegetable.

His group of hackers, Cult of the Dead Cow (cDc), is one of the oldest

hacker organizations still in effect today. He is the leader and founder of (Cult

of the Dead Cow). Cult of the Dead Cow is a leading group in the hacking

industry; another leader that has fun with what they do. (Vegetable 1). They

are a notorious group of hackers who have a couple problems; one of which

is drugs. At a convention that the cDc holds for "some of the most notorious

hackers from around the world" (Vegetable 1), one of the members of cDc

said "Drugs and hacking go hand-in-hand" (qtd in Vegetable 3). Deth

Vegetable said "Taking Drugs is like hacking your brain" (qtd in Vegetable

3). This is the way hackers are, they have fun in hacking, and the more they

hack, the more fun they have. "If hacking is taking an electro-chemical

computing device and altering it for your own enhancement, then taking XTC

[, a type of drug,] is doing the same for your brain. At least that’s the

rationalization" (Vegetable 3). Hacking is just another way to receive a build

up of adrenaline in the body. Hackers will receive the thrill and chills of the

rebellious act and then have all that adrenaline, making themselves feel really

good (4). Hackers also gain many possessions from hacking. One thing that

they gain is knowledge. Not just knowledge of how to hack, but knowledge

of the systems that they are hacking into and knowledge of different security

precautions that people take to try to keep hackers out. There are a vast

number of different systems that hackers have to know in order to hack into

them. Hackers will read up on the different programs. They will also go to

conferences to learn about new techniques, and new ways that one can break

into a system with out a lot of work (Sterling 73). A hacker can receive

anything he/she wants from hacking into other computers. They can

download, or copy to their computer, applications, games, and many

different kinds of powerful programs for the computer. They can make credit

card numbers. They can also make calling card numbers. If a hacker dials

into the telephone companies computers and hacks into them, they can reek

havoc on the telephone system. Phone numbers can be changed. The type of

phone that a phone number has can be changed; i.e. a regular house phone

can be changed into a pay phone. When a person tries to dial out, they get a

request for money. Many things can happen by hacking into a telephone

company (74). Being a rebel, and knowingly doing something that is wrong,

is just the kind of thing that hackers do. The adrenaline rush that comes with

doing something totally against the law, and knowingly doing so, is very

intense. Hackers enjoy this feeling and get addicted to it. It is a great feeling

that a hacker gets when they do this and this is why they are addicted

(Vegetable 4). Hackers have to avoid the law. What they are doing is very

illegal. The United States government passed the Computer Fraud and Abuse

act in 1986. This law states that one can’t intentionally break into a computer

system, and then it gives the consequences of such an act. This was a

follow-up law to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986. This

law "outlawed the unauthorized interception of digital communications"

(Sterling 195). These laws really haven’t done much to prevent hackers from

hacking. They most likely have decreased the number of hackers though.

Young hackers may have been scared about getting caught, so they didn’t go

into the hacking industry. There is a plus side to these laws, but hackers don’t

see it that way (190). Hackers do have consequences because of the laws

that the government has passed, but not many of them. Most hackers are

good enough to cover their backs, and their trails, and their phone calls. If a

hacker is caught, he can face a long time in jail. Unfortunately, this usually

doesn’t happen. A hacker covers his tracks so good, that there isn’t much

evidence to convict them. So hackers get off with a little jail time, and a little

probation. The system isn’t fair for the people who want to catch the hackers.

Until someone develops a hack-proof system, hackers are still going to use

all of their resources to hack into the system (Sterling 193). The hacker has

resources or tools, to perform different tasks. A hacking tool will help a

hacker hack. It takes some of the grunt work out of hacking. Some of the

different tools used are: war dialers, [all-color] boxes, and many different

password crackers. A war dialer is a program that will call a given list of

numbers, and will record which of those numbers have modem, faxes, or any

other computerized communication device hooked up to the line. Each of the

different boxes does something different. The basic idea behind the boxes, is

to issue an audible tone that switches the phone lines to re-route calls. There

is a password cracker for every kind of password available. The name is

self-explanatory, but a password cracker is a program that runs through

every possible combination of letters until it finds the right password;

assuming of course the password cracker is a sophisticated one. Every major

hacker develops his or her pseudonym, or nick-name. It is thought up of by

themselves or another hacker, but reflects something major that they have

done. For instance, the hacker Captain Crunch, got his name because he was

able to re-route long-distance phone calls with a whistle the he got free from

a box of Captain Crunch cereal. Without nick-names, a hacker wouldn’t be

complete (Vegetable 2) Hackers also need to hide some of the tools that they

use. Tools such as the different color boxes. If a federal agent broke into a

hacker’s house or apartment and found a blue box and knew what the box

did, then a hacker could be sent to jail or put on probation. Hackers hide all

of their tools in safe places, and hopefully un-findable places. They do this to

save themselves when the police or federal agents attempt to gain evidence

against them (Sterling 175) Even with all of the laws that the government has

passed hackers have yet to be stopped and brought to justice. The more time

that the government takes to find a way to stop hackers, gives the hackers

more time to increase their knowledge and skill in the area of hacking. If the

government doesn’t hurry up, they are going to get buried by hackers, and

when that happens, the world will not be a fun place to live in.

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