Our Privacy Is In Danger

1150 Words5 Pages
Protecting your personal information, both on your personal computer and in other places such as your bank or your job, has become more difficult with the massive growth of the internet and the expertise of some unsavory characters called hackers, crackers or phreakers. Whatever they choose to call themselves, they are theives, plain and simple. Some people still question whether or not hacking should be illegal. I think it's obvious that what hackers do is illegal. A personal computer is personal and the information on it is private. When a hacker invades that privacy, he/she is trespassing and when they take your personal information they're committing a form of thievery (Ludlow). In addition to hackers, we now have marketers invading our privacy through the use of cookies (Rodger).

Cyberterrorism costs companies, goverments and everday people billions of dollars each year. "Cyberwar may be to the 21st century what blitzkrieg was to the 20th (Arquilla)." In 1994, a Russian hacker broke into CitiBanks funds transfer system and transferred over $10 million to his own accounts. A 16 year old English hacker penetrated a highly sensitive military research facility in Rome, New York. Just last year hackers shut down several 911 systems in Florida (Smith). So not only are they costing us money but they're also putting people's lives in danger.

Even though the theft of money is a growing problem, there are other things for hackers to steal. For instance, hospitals have very elaborate network security setups. Why? Many hackers attempt to gain access to people's personal medical files in order to blackmail them, or to avenge some injustice by spreading the person's health problems around. Other possibilities might go as far as to include looking up a patient's current location, in order for gang members to finish off the survivor of a drive-by shooting or other attempted murder. It is for these reasons that medical facilities computer security procedures are second only to the government's (Shoben).

There are even more forms of hacking to go into. One type, called phreaking, is often a side-effect of a computer hacker's work. Phreaking is the manipulation of phone lines and phone services. Over the space of a few years in the early eighties, hackers learned how to make free phone calls, bounce their line around to other places to avoid traces, even damage equipment at the other end of the line.
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