Computer Hackers

Computer hackers in today\'s world are becoming more intelligent. They are realizing that people are constantly developing more hack-proof systems. This presents the hackers with a bigger challenge and a bigger thrill. The government is realizing this and is working on making harsher laws to, hopefully, scare the potential hackers. With the increase in hacking and hacker intelligence, governmental regulation of cyberspace hasn\'t abolished the fact that it\'s nearly impossible to bring a hacker to justice.

Kevin Mitnick, a hacker who has yet to have a harsh punishment when caught, can somehow lower his punishment for his hacking crimes down to a couple months probation. When Kevin was seventeen, he was caught for breaking into a phone center in Los Angeles. He was tried and sentenced to three months stay in a juvenile detention center and a year probation.

Kevin is a very intelligent man. He could use his computer skills in a good way by stopping other hackers. He didn\'t, so he faced the law many times. In all those times, he never spent more than a year in prison (Shimomura 1). Kevin was also a Phreak; a phone freak. He studied the phone system. He soon knew how to make free phone calls from payphones and how to crash a system. Kevin Mitnick has yet to be harshly punished for these crimes, which are very numerous (Shimomura 1).

Another major player in the hacking industry is an unidentified man, identified by his pseudonym, or nick-name, Deth Vegetable. His group of hackers, Cult of the Dead Cow (cDc), is one of the oldest hacker organizations still in effect today. He is the leader and founder of (Cult of the Dead Cow).

Cult of the Dead Cow is a leading group in the hacking industry; another leader that has fun with what they do. (Vegetable 1). They are a notorious group of hackers who have a couple problems; one of which is drugs. At a convention that the cDc holds for "some of the most notorious hackers from around the world" (Vegetable 1), one of the members of cDc said "Drugs and hacking go hand-in-hand" (qtd in Vegetable 3). Deth Vegetable said "Taking Drugs is like hacking your brain" (qtd in Vegetable 3).

This is the way hackers are, they have fun in hacking, and the more they hack, the more fun they have. "If hacking is taking an electro-chemical computing device and altering it for your own enhancement, then taking XTC [, a type of drug,] is doing the same for your brain. At least that\'s the rationalization" (Vegetable 3). Hacking is just another way to receive a build up of adrenaline in the body. Hackers will receive the thrill and chills of the rebellious act and then have all that adrenaline, making themselves feel really good (4).

Hackers also gain many possessions from hacking. One thing that they gain is knowledge. Not just knowledge of how to hack, but knowledge of the systems that they are hacking into and knowledge of different security precautions that people take to try to keep hackers out. There are a vast number of different systems that hackers have to know in order to hack into them. Hackers will read up on the different programs. They will also go to conferences to learn about new techniques, and new ways that one can break into a system with out a lot of work (Sterling 73).

A hacker can receive anything he/she wants from hacking into other computers. They can download, or copy to their computer, applications, games, and many different kinds of powerful programs for the computer. They can make credit card numbers.

They can also make calling card numbers. If a hacker dials into the telephone companies computers and hacks into them, they can reek havoc on the telephone system. Phone numbers can be changed. The type of phone that a phone number has can be changed; i.e. a regular house phone can be changed into a pay phone. When a person tries to dial out, they get a request for money. Many things can happen by hacking into a telephone company (74).

Being a rebel, and knowingly doing something that is wrong, is just the kind of thing that