Are the Hackers Real Menace To Society?

Essay by rossdesbiens666A-, April 2005

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Throughout history, there have been always persons who steal: money, inventions, material goods, etc.. There have also been individuals who steal information and ideas. Because of this, author rights and copyrights were created to respect the propriety of the owner. Despite this, such theft is still present in our society and even more since computers were invented. Many bright individuals decided to join together to penetrate different systems, to take information, and to do what they want through a global information system: The Internet; people named these individuals HACKERS. Are the hackers real menaces to society? This is what this essay will attempt to assess by dividing this subject into five different parts: What is a hacker? ; categories of hackers; their purposes and interests; and famous hackers in history.

The word hacker is a slang term for a computer enthusiast, i.e., a person who enjoys learning programming languages and computer systems and can often be considered an expert on the subject(s).

Among professional programmers, depending on how it used, the term can be either complimentary or derogatory, although it is developing an increasingly derogatory connotation. The pejorative sense of hacker is becoming more prominent largely because the popular press has co-opted the term to refer to individuals who gain unauthorized access to computer systems for the purpose of stealing and corrupting data. Hackers themselves maintain that the proper term for such individuals is cracker.

Here are some main characteristics of hacker:

*He is good at programming quickly

*He enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary.

*He programs enthusiastically (even obsessively) or enjoys programming rather than just theorizing about programming.

*He is an expert at a particular program, or frequently...