Computer Hacker Term Paper

Pages: 35 (9646 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Education - Computers

Computer Hacker

Nefarious Notions

III Prevention

Cost to Companies

Concluding Considerations


Nefarious Notions

"The Hacker Ethic: Access to computers and anything which might teach you something about the way the world works - should be unlimited and total.

Always yield to the Hands-on Imperative!

All information should be free.

Mistrust authority -- promote decentralization.

Hackers should be judged by their hacking, not bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race, or position.

You can create art and beauty on a computer.

Computers can change your life for the better." (Levy, (1984 (1996).

"You pay the guy . . . Or we burn your store down." According to Paulson (2006), today's ransom attacks by computer hackers reflect the old protection rackets in Chicago back in the '30s. Back in time, however, hackers constituted a different breed. Before the computer age, a person who made furniture with an ax was known as a hacker. Because nails were difficult to obtain, a blacksmith had to craft them one by one. As screws had not yet been invented, and saws only sliced trees into beams and planks, a carpenter used his axe to hack wood in to table legs, to shape parts so they could be joined together with glue. (Users.telent, 2007)

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Popular contemporary media routinely uses the term hacker to describe someone who endeavors to break into computer systems. Generally, this type hacker could qualify as a proficient programmer or engineer who possesses adequate technical knowledge, comprehending a security system's weak points.

Five practicable characteristics which Raymond purports qualify a person two become a hacker include (paraphrased):

A person who enjoys learning details of a programming language or system

A person who enjoys actually doing the programming rather than just theorizing about it

A person capable of appreciating someone else's hacking

TOPIC: Term Paper on Computer Hacker Assignment

A person who picks up programming quickly

A person who is an expert at a particular programming language or system, as in "Unix hacker" (SearchSecurity, 2007)

To some, the word "hacker" means "a clever programmer." To some, however the term hacker means "someone who tries to break into computer systems." Raymond, albeit denounces using hacker to describe someone who endeavors to "crack" someone else's system or implements programming or expert knowledge in some other manner to act maliciously. Raymond prefers the term cracker is for this connotation (SearchSecurity, 2007)

Hackers Chronology (Hackers Chronology, 2006).

Approximately two years after Alexander's Graham Bell invented the telephone system and it went into operation, a group of unauthorized teenagers were thrown off the network. (Hackers Chronology, 2006).


"Original" hackers developed their skills and explored the potential of computing utilizing. early mainframes at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During that particular time, hacker constituted a complimentary term for users who processed exceptional knowledge of computing. (Hackers Chronology, 2006).


Prior to the ubiquitous use of computers and the Internet, "phreakers," such as John Draper, a.k.a. Cap'n Crunch, utilized the more prevalent telephone networks. He discovers that a toy-whistle permits callers to avoid billing systems for long distance calls.

John Draper (Hackers Chronology, 2006).


" Freedom of Information contra security by obscurity"

(Hackers Chronology, 2006).

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak launch "blue boxes," which can hack into phone systems.


After the 414 group hijacked into the Los Alamo research center, the FBI made its first arrests of hackers.

(Hackers Chronology, 2006).

When the movie War Games is released, it contributed to the public's perception of hackers as it glamorized the hacker.

Plovernet BBS (Bulletin Board System), a powerful East Coast pirate board, operated in New York and Florida.

"Quasi Moto," a teenage hacker, owned and operated Plovernet, which attracted five hundred enthusiastic users. This Legion of Doom bulletin board was reportedly ahead of its time, as it constituted one of the first "Invitation-only" hacking-based BBS. "It was the first BBS with security that caused the system to remain idle until a primary password was entered; and it was the first hacking BBS to deal with many subjects in close detail, such as trashing and social engineering." After this BBS experienced such heavy traffic, a major long distance company began to block all calls to its number [HIDDEN] ). Eric Corley ('Emmanuel Goldstein'), former one-time co-sysop of Plovernet, along with 'Lex Luthor', plan to found the phreaker/hacker group, Legion of Doom. (Hackers Chronology, 2006).


Named after the frequency of John Draper's whistle, Quarterly publication 2600, provided a platform for hackers and phreakers (phone hackers)

During 1984, two hacker groups form:

1. The hacker .a.k.a. Lex Luthor founds the Legion of Doom in the United States to educate new generations of hackers.

2. Chaos Computer Club in Germany. (Hackers Chronology, 2006).

In one of the first arrests of hackers, the FBI busts the Milwaukee-based 414s, named after the local area code. Members reportedly completed 60 computer break-ins, which ranged from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center to Los Alamos National Laboratory.

"Comprehensive Crime Control Act gives Secret Service jurisdiction over credit card and computer fraud."


During January; Loyd Blankenship, Legion of Doom/H member ("The Mentor") is arrested. "He publishes a now-famous treatise that comes to be known as the Hacker's Manifesto."

The following was written shortly after my arrest...

/ he Conscience of a Hacker//

+++the Mentor+++

Written on January 8, 1986

Another one got caught today, it's all over the papers. "Teenager Arrested in Computer Crime Scandal," "Hacker Arrested after Bank Tampering"...

Damn kids. They're all alike.

But did you, in your three-piece psychology and 1950's technobrain, ever take a look behind the eyes of the hacker? Did you ever wonder what made him tick, what forces shaped him, what may have molded him?

I am a hacker, enter my world...

Mine is a world that begins with school... I'm smarter than most of the other kids, this crap they teach us bores me...

Damn underachiever. They're all alike.

I'm in junior high or high school. I've listened to teachers explain for the fifteenth time how to reduce a fraction. I understand it. "No, Ms. Smith, I didn't show my work. I did it in my head..."

Damn kid. Probably copied it. They're all alike.

I made a discovery today. I found a computer. Wait a second, this is cool. It does what I want it to. If it makes a mistake, it's because I screwed it up. Not because it doesn't like me...

or feels threatened by me...

or thinks I'm a smart ass...

or doesn't like teaching and shouldn't be here...

Damn kid. All he does is play games. They're all alike.

And then it happened... A door opened to a world... rushing through the phone line like heroin through an addict's veins, an electronic pulse is sent out, a refuge from the day-to-day incompetencies is sought... A board is found. "This is it... this is where I belong..."

I know everyone here... even if I've never met them, never talked to them, may never hear from them again... I know you all...

Damn kid. Tying up the phone line again. They're all alike...

You bet your ass we're all alike... we've been spoon-fed baby food at school when we hungered for steak... The bits of meat that you did let slip through were pre-chewed and tasteless. We've been dominated by sadists, or ignored by the apathetic. The few that had something to teach found us willing pupils, but those few are like drops of water in the desert.

This is our world now... The world of the electron and the switch, the beauty of the baud. We make use of a service already existing without paying for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn't run by profiteering gluttons, and you call us criminals.

We explore... And you call us criminals.

We seek after knowledge... And you call us criminals.

We exist without skin color, without nationality, without religious bias... And you call us criminals.

You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us and try to make us believe it's for our own good, yet we're the criminals.

Yes, I am a criminal. My crime is that of curiosity. My crime is that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like. My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me for.

I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto. You may stop this individual, but you can't stop us all... after all, we're all alike.

+++the Mentor+++

(Hackers Chronology, 2006).

After hacking at&T's System for months, Herbert Zinn, seventeen-years-old, is arrested in September. Experts say Zinn almost crashed the entire U.S. phone network.

"Brain," the first known MS-DOS virus, which infected the boot sector of floppy disks is created. Investigators contend this virus was written by two brothers in Pakistan. (Hackers Chronology, 2006).


(Hackers Chronology, 2006).

Robart Morris crashes approximately 6000 computers across the ARPANET with his worm which he claimed is unintentionally released.

In response, CERT (Computer Emergency Response Team) is founded.


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