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Computer Crime Essay

1297 words - 5 pages

Computer Crime:The Crime of the FutureEnglish II6 April 1996Computer Crimes Explosive growth in the computer industry over the last decade has made newtechnologies cheaper and simpler for the average person to own. As a result, computersplay an intricate part in our daily lives. The areas in which computers affect life areinfinite, ranging from entertainment to finances. If anything were to happen to theseprecious devices, the world would be chaotic. There is a type of person that thrives on chaos, that is the malevolent hacker.Some hackers act on revenge or just impersonal mischievousness. But whatever theirmotives, their deeds can be destructive to a person's computer. An attack by a hacker notonly affects the victim, but others as well. One case involving a notorious hacker named Kevin Mitnick did just that. Mitnickis a very intelligent man. He is 31 and pending trial for computer fraud. When he was ateenager, he used his knowledge of computers to break into the North American DefenseCommand computer. Had he not been stopped, he could have caused some real nationaldefense problems for the United States (Sussman 66). Other 'small time' hackers affect people just as much by stealing or giving awaycopyrighted software, which causes the prices of software to increase, thus increasing theprice the public must pay for the programs. Companies reason that if they have a program that can be copied onto a disc thenthey will lose a certain amount of their profit. People will copy it and give to friends orpass it around on the Internet. To compensate, they will raise the price of disc programs.CD Rom programs cost more to make but are about the same price as disc games.Companies don't loose money on them because it is difficult to copy a CD Rom andimpossible to transmit over the Internet (Facts on File #28599 1). One company in particular, American On-line, has been hit hard by hackers. Thefeud started when a disgruntled ex-employee used his inside experience to help fellowhackers disrupt services offered by AOL (Alan 37). His advice became popular and hespawned a program called AOHell. This program, in turn, created many copycats. Theyall portray their creators as gangsters, and one of the creator's names is 'Da Chronic.'Many also feature short clips of rap music (Cook 36). These programs make it easy for people with a little hacker knowledge to disruptAOL. These activities include gaining access to free accounts, gaining access to otherpeople's credit card numbers, and destroying chat rooms. The following is an excerptfrom a letter from the creator of AOHell to a user: What is AOHell? AOHell is an AOL for Windows add-on, which allows you to domany things. AOHell allows you to download for free, talk using other people's screennames, steal passwords and credit card information, and much more. AOHell is basicallyan anarchy program designed to help you, the user, and destroy AOL, the enemy: ...

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