Hackers

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Hacking: "Slang word for a computer enthusiast. One who breaks into the computer system of a company or government." 1 Most hackers break into computers not to wreak havoc, but simply to explore and share information with one another. A small minority, however, do wish to create mischief. These individuals are the ones who have the public fearing hackers. They are genuinely responsible for the Media calling hackers criminals. These individuals and gangs purposely break into computers for personal financial gain, or to turn your six thousand dollar state of the art computer into a six thousand dollar paperweight. A hacker via RoadRunner can easily glide into an unprotected PC.2 There; they can potentially get credit card numbers and other valuable goodies. “Instead of thinking 'criminal' or 'vandal' when hearing the word hacker, we want the public to think of 'knowledge seekers' and 'curious wanderers'.” 3 “Destruction and unethical ignorance has plagued the underground too long, let's bring back the old school ways of creation and system penetrating for the knowledge that it is holding, not for the destruction of that knowledge nor the possessors of it.” 3 -www.hackers.com A stereotype that is casually applied to a hacker, is that they are geeks, doofs and nerds. They have few or no friends and spend the majority of their time in front of their computers. In actuality a hacker could be a CEO of a multinational, or the person sitting next to you on the subway. Obviously there are some things all hackers have in common. All are able to do advanced calculations in math, are well versed in computer languages, and have a good grasp of their Native language. They must have a state of the art computer that they know inside and out. They also have access to, or knowledge of secret codes and computer languages. Hackers have many tools in their “toolbox” for breaking into computers. An example of this is a Password Sniffer. This is a program, which is secretly hidden on a network. The sniffer is programmed to record, in a secret file, logos and passwords. In the span of a week, these tiny, planted programs can record hundreds of user names and code words and their associated passwords. This information is then sent back to the hacker. Last year an advisory from Carnegie Mellon University's Computer Emergency Response Team warned that, because of a rash of sniffing attacks, tens of thousands of passwords had been stolen and were presumed to be compromised.

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