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Hacker Ethics Essay

914 words - 4 pages

The issue whether computer hackers are technological innovators who push the boundaries of development or just reckless criminals who endanger companies and individuals is very controversial. Computer hacking is prohibited by law. But this fact does not lead to the conclusion that computer hackers are criminals. A good starting point while elaborating this issue would be to try to answer the following question: what motivates computer hackers and what are the consequences of their actions?Computer hacking has its own history. It has its own heroes and black sheep, which the society of hackers has named them "crackers". The word "crackers" derives from the word criminal hacker. Those are computer hackers, whose actions leads to no higher good; instead they cause damages to various companies and individuals. For example when someone through his work violates the copyright law.Lately there has been reported in media about a group of "pirates" who have stolen movies from other companies and they sold them on a black market. By doing so, they have caused damage to the affected companies and the only thing that motivated them to break the security systems of the companies was to find a way to profit for themselves. These were groups of people who actually worked within the IT community in different states, and then joined there "forces" to a common interest: their own individual profit. So they did have a goal and a plan. In one way, also these group of people did alert the movie companies that their system is not secure enough and that it needs to be improved, which is my argument why even computer crackers do have an important role on a further technology development, but in their case, their knowledge and skills were not used to a higher good for the society and information technology, but only for their own narrow interest.The other group of computer hackers, also labelled as "white hackers", symbolising with white their positive nature, are people who are not motivated by their personal profit. Most of them, do not have formal education in computer sciences. They are just young people of different profiles with a common hobby: "computers".However, it is a fact, that their work did have unpleasant consequences for many companies and individuals. But beyond the temporary losses, I believe that it is exactly those people who have raised the awareness of companies that like to claim that their security system is 100% safe about their weaknesses and not rarely provided them also with solutions to their security problems. For example the case of Adrian Lamo in USA, who cracked down security systems of Microsoft. Instead of "disappearing" he informed them about the flaws of their systems and...

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