A Snapshot of Computer Hacking
Computer hacking has been around for over fifty years. Anytime new technology comes to the fore front, there are individuals who want to expand upon it. Hacking in general terms, is simply taking a technology and trying to improve upon it without the permission of the owner.
I want to point out two terms that I will use throughout the paper, hacker and cracker. A hacker is a person who has extensive computer knowledge and enjoys tackling technical issues. The goal of hackers is not to cause damage to the computer system or network while infiltrating it. They are there to try and learn and improve upon the program. A hacker believes that information should be free, so they commonly share how they went about doing the infiltrating. A cracker is a person who uses his knowledge for personal gain against the law. EX: stealing account numbers, distributing viruses etc. It is safe to safe to say that all crackers are hackers, but not all hackers are crackers. This is an important distinction. Most people don’t realize the difference, largely impart by unawareness and the media. According to Tellis (2000) “The basic difference between hackers and crackers is: Hackers build things, crackers break things”.
Many times, companies will employ the hackers who break into their systems. Taking them from what may lead to a lifetime of crime, and changing them into ethical hackers. Ethical hackers also know as White Hats, are professionals that write codes to check the integrity of programs on behalf of the owners.
The first computer hackers surfaced from MIT. (Focus Editors). The term hacking was borrowed from members of a model train club, who reconfigured the switches and rails to make the trains go faster. A few of the club members decide to use their knowledge on a high speed computer in their lab. They used a slower computer to hack into the high speed one. This allowed them to use the computer without the administrators knowing.
In 1971, a computer hobbyist named John Draper discovered that the toy you get in a box of cereal made a whistle at 2600-hetrz. This is the same tone used by telephone companies. He was able to use it to make unlimited long distance phone calls. He took on the name Captain Crunch, after the cereal he found it in. He was consequently arrested numerous times over the next couple years for phone tampering.
In 1975, two people began making “blue boxes”, devices used to expand on the 2600-hertz whistle, which created more tones. This allowed others to hack into their phone system. Who where these to people? Their names are Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, who later founded Apple Computers in 1977.
In 1983, the movie Wargames releases into theaters. It is about a teenager who breaks into a super computer at NORAD and almost starts WWIII. The computer’s name is WPOR. This is a spoof on the old computer at NORAD, BURGR.
In 1984, Eric Corely founds an...