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When the subject of cybercrime comes up, many people refer to hackers as the root of it all. While being portrayed in movies and television, hackers have become the main focal point in cybercrime. The definition of a hacker can sometimes be difficult to explain, but Taylor et al. (2015) states that a hacker is an “individual with a profound interest in computers and technology that has used this knowledge to access computer systems with or without authorization from the system owners” (p. 70). This definition does a great job at explaining what the job of a hacker is. Hackers are commonly referred to as criminals, but in actuality not all hackers are. There are people who are professional hackers, but the main difference between them and those who are actually committing a crime is authorization. Authorization is key because the individual doing the hacking must have permission to do so.
There are several types of hackers, which includes crackers, script kiddies, white hat, gray hat, and black hat hackers, and hacktivists. The first type of hacker mentioned are crackers. These types of hackers are malicious hackers. Script kiddies often try to exploit and show whoever they hacked, that the company’s website is vulnerable to being hacked. A perfect example of script kiddies are those who troll social media sites. White hat hackers are referred to as ethical hackers. They often test software by manufacturers and training. A gray hat hacker is “someone who typically behaves in an ethical manner, but sometimes violates accepted ethics” (Taylor et al., 2015, p. 78). One way that they could violate ethics is to hack for profit. Black hat hackers are normally crackers. These hackers typically avoid ethics. Lastly, hacktivists are individuals who use the skills of a hacker to express messages.
Hacking has been no stranger to the different news outlets. Recently it has been found that hackers are able to break into baby monitors that are connected to the internet, which is very frightening to parents. Baby monitors that are connected to the internet are becoming easy targets for hackers because of the lack of security. Many baby monitors that are able to connect to the internet do not require passwords to access them, which makes them vulnerable to being hacked. According to Herb Scribner, who writes for Desert News National, reported “Several parents across the United States have seen their baby monitors hacked in the last five years.” It is scary to know that while you are able to view your child online a hacker could be watching the child too. A solution for this could be to get new monitors that only allow you to hear your child and also child monitoring systems to be securely protected.
Hackers are both interesting and important to understand when it comes to cybercrime. Their can either play a positive or negative role in today’s society. Those who are authorized to hack, such as the government can help gain information which could better protect the United States from future attacks whether it is physical or cyberterrorism. If a hacker who is not authorized to accessing that information, the company can only learn from their security mistakes. They then can learn how to make their security protocols better and prevent future attacks from occurring.
Scribner, H. (2015, September 4). Baby monitors are easy targets for hackers. Desert News National. Retrieved from http://national.deseretnews.com/article/5756/baby-monitors-are-easy-targets-for-hackers.html
Taylor, R., Fritsch, E., & Liederbach, J. (2015). Hackers. In Digital crime and digital terrorism (Third e., pp. 69-96). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson.