Hackers versus Business and Financial Institution Computers: Who will win the battle?

Essay by caved357University, Bachelor'sA+, July 2003

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"Hackers are not just geeks from War Games. The reality is a lot scarier." (Gregory Pleshaw, December 11, 2000) Most people think of hackers as being innocent kids looking for kicks by invading other people's computers. Hackers are responsible for much more and it is far worse than playing war simulations from government computers. Hackers are responsible for global scale terrorism, theft of identities, and even theft of personal property. It is not always easy to catch a hacker before he or she (yes, women are hackers too) is finished wreaking havoc on their prey. Software companies and large corporations spend billions of dollars defending themselves and others from the repercussions of a hacker's wrath. Make no mistakes that hackers are extremely complex and terrifically misunderstood components of modern society. (Winn Schwartau, 2002)When financial institutions are attacked by hackers, they find themselves in a bad position for reasons such as:

a. A hacker can attack customer accounts for amounts that are so small, the institution as well as the customer can be unaware of their presence.

b. If enough customers are attacked, the hacker can get away with the theft of millions of dollars.

In the movies, hackers usually attack large banks by holding them ransom. They threaten banks by demanding large ransoms in return for non-destruction of their building structures, computer systems, or key leadership. In these movies, the hackers are just about to get away with the money until a hero foils the whole plan. Hackers affect business in the same manner. Big businesses fall victim to the hackers' wrath by losing large accounts with other businesses, losing or gaining funds in their corporate accounts (which may cause blame for embezzlement), and the same structural or personnel damage found in financial institutions. Again, an unsung hero foils...