Hackers in Their Truest Sense

Have you ever wondered why there are companies hiring and training hackers to help develop their security systems? And how at the same time there are hackers reported to have penetrated this and that, invading personal spaces, attacking your personal data, accounts and etc.? Don’t you wonder why a hacker becomes a hero then it becomes a villain? Or do you truly know what a hacker is?

When a person was able to log in to one of your account because he have known your password by accident or you’ve left your account open in a public used computer, you often say “I’ve been hacked!”, truth is, it’s not really hacking.

As defined in Wikipedia, a hacker is someone who seeks and exploits weaknesses in a computer system or computer network. Hackers are programmers that are able to infiltrate to computers may they be the criminals called black hats, or computer security experts referred to as white hats.

Though there are still other types of hackers defined, like gray hats, the elites, script kiddie/ skiddie, neophyte, etc. The major types are the two stated earlier.

Black hat hackers are those who break into computers and get some confidential information primarily to steal some bills. On an interview made by frontline, an unnamed young guy was caught breaking into NASA’s computers and was able to get hold of $1.7 million worth source code. There is also Reid and Count_Zero who was able to hack Windows and made software that enables you to control computers running on Windows 95 and so on, just to prove how weak the security is in Microsoft. And there’s Curador who stole an estimated 26,000 credit card numbers and posted it online.

There are also the White hat hackers that break securities but it is to test their own security. Just like Chris Davis, the one who caught the 18 year-old Curador who was bragging about being able to hack through e-commerce sites; unfortunately, he was an easy target for Chris where it only took him an hour to track him down. Mari Frank who first became a victim of identity theft invented the Identity Theft Survival Kit. And of course, Steven Lipner, a senior security analyst of Microsoft who leads in resolving security issues of Windows keeping up with viruses that has been developed every month (on Frontline interview with hackers).

A perfect definition of a hacker still flies in mystery as people still can’t agree about what it really is. There are hackers who are actually breaking through computers just to explore, play with the system as they have seen it as a challenge on their part. That if they see something closed, they want to open it up and find how it was doing it (Count-Zero on frontline).

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