There is no shortage to the potential motivators of hackers; however, motives can be distinguished by the various roles that hackers assume. In the reading to follow, this researcher will present an assessment of Sarah Gordon’s interview regarding various perspectives pertaining to psychological differences between cybercriminals and traditional real world criminals. Additionally, a comparison of hackers versus virus writers and the various roles of hackers will be discussed.
Lu, Polgar, Luo, & Cao (2010) hypothesized that computer security is not as much about the aspect of technology, instead it is more concerned with the mental and social science activities of the individuals who utilize computer technology. The authors supported this point of view by stating that computers only channel the transgressions of the individuals who exploit them. Xu, Hu, & Zhang (2013) attributed the upsurge of hackers to the popularity of the internet and the prevalence computer systems. The authors maintained that a notable portion of the hacking community is intelligent college-age individuals who begin hacking out of curiosity and end up exploiting their talents to commit cybercrime (Xu et al., 2013) Originally, hacking did not have a negative connotation. Deriving around the late 1950s, the expression hacker referred to an exceptionally adept programmer and convergent thinker that could formulate innovative solutions to overcome constraints of primitive computer systems (Bachmann, 2010; Lu et al., 2010).
The Role and Motivation of a Hacker
The motivation and intention of hackers is what distinguishes white hats, black hats and gray hats from each other. Xu et al. (2013) explained that white ...
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...rnal of Cyber Criminology, 4(1), 643-656.
Gordon, S. (2008). Studying the psychology of virus writers and hackers: An interview with Sarah Gordon. PBS:Frontline. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/hackers/whoare/psycho.html
Holt, T. J., Strumsky, D., Smirnova, O., & Kilger, M. (2012). Examining the social networks of malware writers and hackers. International Journal of Cyber Criminology, 6(1), 891-903.
Lu, Y., Polgar, M., Luo, X., & Cao, Y. Y. (2010). Social network analysis of a criminal hacker community. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 51(2), 31-41.
Turgeman-Goldschmidt, O. (2008). Meanings that hackers assign to their being a hacker. International Journal of Cyber Criminology, 2(2), 382-396.
Xu, Z., Hu, Q., & Zhang, C. (2013). Why computer talents become computer hackers. Communications of the ACM, 56(4), 64-74. doi:10.1145/2436256.2436272
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