Example Of Hacking And The Society Essay
The development of technology, especially the Internet, is continuously improving as we explore its full potential. However, apart from the advances that it offers there are consequences to its features. People’s privacy and security becomes the primary concern of this development. Cybercrime has become apparent as the progress of the Internet continuous. These are crimes that are being committed to intentionally harm, be it physically or mentally, individuals or groups. Also known as computer crimes, it includes child pornography, financial theft and fraud, extortion, and copyright infringement. Among these, one of the most vicious cybercrime that is affecting the society severely today is hacking.
Hacking is the unauthorized use of the computer in gaining access to data. Since most of the information is organized electronically for most systems such as schools, banks, and the government, hacking has become a progressive crime. Because the cyber-world is increasing, it has also put even the tiniest of our secrets “vulnerable to malevolent computer hackers” (Coyne & Leeson, 2005).
HISTORY OF HACKING
Hacking is not a term that is attached to illegal works before. At the onset of computer-based programs in 1960s, hacks are used to mitigate performances of computer-operated systems. This includes train systems and open source operating systems like the UNIX. However, by the following decade, hackers were able to realize its potential for personal agenda. Intercepting telephone systems was the first way of hacking, this was called phreaking. John Draper, also known as, Cap’n Crunch, discovered that the plastic whistle that comes with a box of Captain Crunch Cereal is identical to the tone programmed to the switching system of AT&T to make long distance calls. In aid to this activity were Steve Wozniak and Apple Computer Founder Steve Jobs (Coyne & Leeson, 2005).
Because of these continuous hacking attacks, the National Information Infrastructure was designed to “telecommunications, transportation, and technological systems” (Coyne & Leeson, 2005) in America. Before the 21st century, hacking was restricted to the Americans and West Europeans. But in 2000, a computer virus from the Philippines was able to get into the systems of websites such as, Yahoo!, Amazon, and other corporate websites, called the ILOVEYOU virus. It targeted the operating system of computers and spreads by sending itself to email addresses in Windows Address Book. This cost companies billions because of lost business.
MODERN ERA OF HACKING
Because of its huge impact to the economic sector, more secured and safe networking was developed. Firewalls have been established to prevent possible hacker and virus attacks. However, even as technology develops, hacking activities also increases with it. Although modern frameworks for networks allows for safer transactions within companies and businesses, cyber-attacks did not slow down.
In 2014, several brutal and high-end cyber-attacks have been listed. These attacks are not only directed to corporate espionage, but also to cyber-terrorism. One of this is the attack on eBay which leaked millions of personal information, username, passwords, and phone numbers. Although it was reported that financial information is stored separately and encrypted. The Syrian Electronic Army claimed the attack and declared that these are “hacktivist operations” and are not meant to target people’s private accounts (McGregor, 2014).
Furthermore, from the popularity of social media, hacking has become apparent; from simple password grabbing and username changing. However, in August 2014, collections of nude photos of celebrities were uploaded and scattered throughout the internet. This event was mostly referred to as The Fappening. The photos were said to have come from the cloud storage service of Apple, ICloud. Although the authenticity of the leaked photos was questioned, several celebrities confirmed that it was, in fact, them in the leaked photos.
Another latest hacking activity that which stirred controversy all over the world is the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment. This caused the company’s computer system to shut down and expose its employees’ personal information, including Social Security Numbers. The hacking was said to have started from the denouncing of the movie The Interview. The movie was said to have uncontested support to terrorism and a letter sent by the Pyongyang government. North Korea also threatened for countermeasures if the company will push through its showing. However, Sony ignored this. On November 24, a month before The Interview’s release date, the hacker group Guardians of Peace took over the Sony’s internal computer system. The hackers were able to control twitter accounts of Sony. Unreleased films from Sony hit torrent sites. From this, the FBI launched their investigation. Several attacks followed which includes leaked salaries of employees and executives, as well as other private matters within the company. North Korea denied having any connection to the attacks that happened to Sony, however claims that it was just right for them. The group demands for The Interview’s pull out, but the company refused. Moreover, attacks continued and several controversial emails from the executives of Sony were leaked (Weisman, 2014).
MOTIVATIONS OF HACKING
According to Imra Awan, the primary motivation of hackers in engaging on such activity is the fun and thrill that it offers. It is also that “the association of hackers as potential cyber terrorists is often glamorised by the media” (Awan, 2014) which gives the hackers the air popularity and image that they often want to achieve. Likewise, terrorist organizations have also launched their own versions of hacking over the internet, called electronic jihad, in which chatrooms and forums are used to exchange knowledge on hacking. Also, spreading of propagandist movement and recruitment have commenced over the internet targeting vulnerable individuals to create “ideological relationships” which are key tool to radicalize the youth.
Every minute, thousand gigabytes of information are exchanged over the World Wide Web. Although hacking is now seen not only as social problem, but also as a national security issue and global problem, it has caused uproar on the social media. Most of the small-time data hackers that have been terrorizing companies over the years are juveniles or teens with impeccable knowledge of computers and its processes. In an article written by Steve Lohr in his interview with Rayid Ghani, chief scientist on President Obama’s re-election campaign, Ghani said that most students or teens who engage on hacking activities are “mostly unaware of the opportunity for such social applications” (Lohr, 2013).
Hacking has created the image of having greater power over other individuals. It has given hackers the air of playing high and mighty because of the private information that they can get from us. Mostly, this has resulted to extortion as shown by the cases presented in this paper. The attachment of terrorism to certain individuals has also created a stereotype over people. Within this social-construction, cyber-terrorism and hacking is proven to be a threat. It is also pointed out that there are dangers within the propagation of technology. It is on our own accord to keep our private information safe. It is also in us to use the Internet on our own risk.
Awan, I. (2014). “Debating The Term Cyber-Terrorism: Issues And Problems”. Internet Journal of Criminology. Retrieved from http://www.internetjournalofcriminology.com/awan_debating_the_term_cyber-terrorism_ijc_jan_2014.pdf
Coyne, C.J. and Leeson, P.T. (2005) “The Economics of Computer Hacking”. Journal Of Law, Economics And Policy, 1(2), 511-532.
Lohr, S. (2013, July 25). A Summer of Data Hacking Social Problems. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/25/a-summer-of-data-hacking-social-problems/?_r=0
McGregor, J. (2014, July 28). The top 5 most brutal cyber-attacks of 2014 so far. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaymcgregor/2014/07/28/the-top-5-most-brutal-cyber-attacks-of-2014-so-far/
Weisman, A. (2014, December 9). A timeline of the crazy events in the sony hacking scandal. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/sony-cyber-hack-timeline-2014-12
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