Nov 8, 2017 in Informative

Contemporary Computer Intruders

When someone hears the word "hacker", one might immediately imagine in mind a criminal. Criminal, who is sitting at a computer and typing, with a screen reading "Access Denied." It is the mainstream illustration of a modern day hacker. Nowadays, hacking is more prevalent as it has been before. More and more viruses are coded, bigger amount of worms crawl the internet, and Trojan horses are finding new ways to allow back door access into computer systems. Consequently, nowadays, the hackers’ activity radically varies from before (Soderberg, 2008).

First of all, the notion Script Kiddies has appeared. It refers to people, who use some "point-n-click" tools, which endanger systems, without actually knowing what is going on.

These are persons, commonly kids, who are appealed by the supposedly unending powers that hacking could give them. As they have not so much knowledge about computers, these kids really know nothing about hacking, but instead follow recipes or "scripts" invented by real computer nerds. Almost all of these tools are easy to use; through them the "script-kiddy" directly types the IP address of the object. Main remarkable feature of such kiddies is that they should have a lot of calmness. These days, many systems will resist most attacks due to quick response of security management that can quickly find the problem and repair it. Therefore, if the script-kiddy is attempting a particular system, he has to try plenty of scripts against the system before he finds working one (Wall, 2007). As a rule, the script-kiddies load the most frequently used scripts and proceeds to run it on victims via Internet, until they get someone accessible to the script. There are many script-kiddies on the Web, due to the easeful use of these programs. This has provoked a definite "background-radiation" on the Web. Any computer affiliated to the Internet with a high-speed connection will probably see a direct number of attacks on their system from these kiddies.

Nowadays, nearly, 57 percent of computer users in the world say they are applying the unlicensed software. That contains 31% users that do it every day; and another 26 percent that admit pirating only seldom. These shocking findings have been derived from the survey of the Business Software Alliance organization. It contains approximately 15,000 PC users in 33 countries building up 82 percent of the worldwide PC market. Software piracy has a number of forms, intentional and unintentional. Normally, when we hear a phrase “software piracy", it comes to mind the context connected with crackers providing something criminal. However, it could be people, who accidentally violate property rights without knowing. People who "crack" are called "crackers." They just remove the copy protections, infused in software programs. For instance, a typical approach is to buy a legal copy of Photoshop or Microsoft Office, and make a cracked version, so that the licensing code cannot recognize illegal copy. Then a cracked version is distributed around the world via file sharing sites.

There is also existed such type of contemporary computer crime as hardware theft. As usual, it is the act of stealing or destroying computer equipment. Black market dealers are the most widespread crime groups bargaining in stolen computer components. Their victims are selected only after they get an order for a particular client. Grey Market players, on the contrary, are often legitimate businesses with strange and illegal activities. Most frequently, these businesses are those which specialize in made-to order computers. Unfortunately, hardware theft is increasing as the profitability sharply outweighs potential danger.

Forerunner hackers have been extremely qualified and known the inner working of security mechanisms. Moreover, penetration required a lot more experience. Formerly, the core motivation was to show the awareness and skills to a narrow audience. Rarely, there was an aim to cause harm and wreak chaos. Nevertheless, this situation has turned to the worse. Hacker’s penetration made today is done with the financial aim as a motivation. Moreover, there are new organized crime bands which act only in the Web domain, setting up botnets, and selling their services. The conclusive step for the dissolution of countries’ security is cyber terrorism. For instance, Al-Qaeda's main mission for 2010 and 2011 was to disconnect America's security systems. Further, other countries are completely aware of the attacks that are happening in their security systems. The current serious threat from global hackers was compromising of global warming statistics and data in 2010. The institute that stores this data was changed to the point where the information was unreliable. During last eight years China has been under dangerous attacks of global hackers. They have destroyed essential and crucial functionality related with banking, daily business, and e-commerce.

Chinese Professor Yu Xiaofeng is an expert of non-traditional security at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou. He gives some very decisive perspective on how global hackers have an intense contradictory influence on the world's global security, private information that is kept online, passwords that are unprotected, and financial private data. Professor Yu Xiaofeng underlines that in the age of information, a national security would be at critical risk if its data systems were hacked or the flow of information were disrupted. Professor knows for sure that the perspective for global hacking does exist and always be present; it is the contemporary face of terrorist attacks. In a worse result, a security crack could beget to the collapse of the energy supply and breakdown of the financial system, not to mention a disintegration of the national defense capacity. Overall powers of the world are threatened by global hackers. For instance, several Russian banks and the Royal Bank of Scotland were hacked in 2009 and 2010. Cyber terrorism is a unified community problem, what may be more important is that some communities refuse to realize that terrorism has no limits concerning whom they attack.

One more contemporary crime, which has developed from ordinary spying, is “cyber espionage”. In fact, cyber spying can now be considered as important part of world economic competition, and confidentially monitoring the computerized data of potential opponent countries may also be considered vital for national security. Furthermore, cyber espionage is a far cheaper way for both non-state and state actors, with private corporations, to obtain detailed informational patterns on competitors and opponents. Cyber spies may use stolen data for any number of purposes, including horrification, blackmailing, or efforts to foresee or intervene the intent of political opponents. Cyber espionage, which allows the extraction of huge amounts of data electronically, has now replaced the nature of counterintelligence, by enabling a reduced dependence on conventional spying operations (Meserve, 2007).Now web space offers new, low cost and low risk opportunities for espionage, including satellite links and wireless local networks.

To recognize the origin of contemporary cyber crime, it is necessary to understand initial motives of digital criminals. There are six primary elements of motivation classified for computer intruders. They are: dullness (informational voyeurism), intellectual challenge (mining for knowledge, i.e. pure hackers), avengement (insiders, disgruntled employees, etc.), sexual satisfaction (stalking, harassment, etc.), economic (such as criminals) and political one (terrorists, spies, etc.) (Britz, 2009).

The least destructive, but not less insidious, is a category of hackers that are considered to be as data voyeurs. Their motivation spans from curiosity to boasting and sensationalism. Luckily for the people’s security, these individuals are the easiest to be identified as they share their own slang, lifestyles and ethics. As a rule, these hackers have proclaimed themselves to be the seekers of data. Such hackers think they have some moral obligations to report of the protection holes to system administrators. However, they decline any individual who uses the knowledge for nefarious purposes.

Possibly, the most dangerous individuals to the information system security are ongoing and former employees, or the so-called “insiders”. Insiders have a valid access to the computer information but have surpassed that authorization. Some insiders outflank security measures for their personal or financial greed. Most of the insiders know about "holes" in the security system and often take advantage of weaknesses "just to see if they can get away with it." The most common approach of accomplishing computer fraud likely is altering or distortion of input transactions (and/or documents), including alteration of input and output, communications systems; computer operations; data file manipulation; operating systems.

 Thus, a major threat is posed by individuals that do this occasionally. In such a way, many more violations of the institutional security come from some inaccurate log-in practices than do any intentional attacks. Employees, posting the passwords in obvious places, allow others to shoulder surf using some unified names for passwords or spilling them to strangers. Thus, they cause a greater risk to the information security.

Further, the last two classifications of hackers are not as widespread as those previous intruders mentioned above. Their cases appear to be investigated at a higher rate. Hackers in these categories are interested in the personal or political greed. Criminals using the information technology to breach some traditional illegal statutes for their personal gain are appearing fast. Illegal hacking may be targeted at the information which has some values on its face or directed at the data which may be used to other criminal action for further.

In summary, there are many motivations for crimes using computers or internet. But most of the crimes could exist in different forms without both the computer and the internet. What has changed is the radical decreasing of cost for carrying out criminals using computers or the Internet, the conspicuous enlargement of accessible victims, and the capability to create any web site looking like the real thing belonging to a major legitimate institution.

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