From Hacking to Cyber Terrorism
Information technology (IT) is evolving everyday and our day-to-day life is becoming more and more dependent on it. In this twenty first century, we cannot imagine ourselves without emails, online banking systems and health care systems and without World Wide Web. In other words, evolution of IT has given a modern, technologically advanced and convenient life to the society. But, over the time we are also observing explosive growth in the darker side of the IT - regarding hacking and cyber crimes. Activities like unauthorized computer intrusion, denial of service (DOS), stealing computer passwords and secure data; causing damage to computer systems and databases and causing damage to individuals/society are not very rare these days.
As we go further on this paper, we will see different aspects of hacking, from harmless (simply looking around thru web) to dangerously harmful (cyber-terrorism). Irrespective of harmless or harmful, we need to understand is it ethical and how does it impact the global world. This paper is intended to discuss the ethical issues and moral values involved with this darker side of information technology. This paper also includes discussion on the good side of hacking and how hacking can lead to serious cyber crimes and causes harm to world community.
What is a computer hacker?
The definition of the computer hacker can be described as follows,
1. In programming, a computing enthusiast. The term is normally applied to people who
take a delight in experimenting with system hardware (the electronics), software
(computer programs) and communication systems (telephone lines, computer networks
2. In data (information) security, an unauthorized user who tries to gain entry into a
Computer, or computer network, by defeating the computers access (and/or security)
Hackers are usually young men, have excellent skills in computer programming and network and can make computer do anything they want. Some hackers are malicious, whilst others are merely naïve and do not cause any real harm. Their motivations for hacking includes financial gain, revenge, ideology or just plain mischief making 1. There are different categories of hackers - algorithm hacker, system hacker, password hacker etc.
What is cyber terrorism?
Cyber terrorism is a new class of threat to the world. This is one of the extreme cases of hacking. Here, instead of physical terror efforts are focused upon attacking information systems or resources especially using World Wide Web. Cyber terrorists use computer systems and software to create violence and loss by breaking security of target systems or by stealing/corrupting computer systems. Unlike hackers, Cyber terrorists usually work under political or ideological influence and always more harmful than a hacker. However it’s always possible that a hacker can turn into a cyber terrorist by...