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Motivation behind Hacking Attacks

Since the Internet protocol suit was designed for the use of researchers in universities and in labs, the users were trusted parties and thus there are many vulnerabilities in the protocol suits that is being exploited by the hackers. Many different types of threats to the confidentiality, integrity and availability of electronically-stored information all exist and suitable security measures are necessary to mitigate them. A lot of hacking results because of young kids intruding systems and resources for fun.

Some of these hackers write malicious scripts and upload them over the web where naive users mistakenly use them and unskilled users can download them as a part of online resources or tools and face the consequences. There are very few universities, military and other organizations which have employed methods to cater these network security threats and thus hackers have a wide field to play and operating system and protocols have many short comings that can be easily instrumentated. These hackers have different motives behind their actions ranging from inner satisfaction to material gains.

Large corporate organization and telecommunication networks are the target of these activists. Industries should employ tools and techniques to minimize risks their data bases and corporate information faces. Government intervention for policies and penalties is required to be accepted world wide. Table of Contents Executive Summary Description Historical Background Patterns of Hacking Attitudes Patterns of Hacking Targets Type of Hackers Criticality of Target Organization/Industry Suffering Security Measures Reference Description

Wherever the confidentiality of information is challenged electronically or by human activities they are considered to be deliberate acts of espionage or trespass. It’s the unauthorized access to a collection of data belonging to an individual or an organization. There is a significant limit to information any one could collect by browsing through web for market research, thesis writing or general knowledge. When a person tries to cross these limits his acts go beyond the legal boundaries and such efforts could get him in serious troubles.

The controls that provide access rights to enter a system should not in any case be bypassed, as doing so is considered a crime world wide. People put layers of protection against those that try to do away with security and enters others property with out proper access rights. When the actual act of espionage or trespass occurs in case of compromising a computer system or a network it’s called a hacking activity. In the initial times word hack was associated with exploiting the undiscovered features of the system but later on it gets popularity with a negativity added to its meaning.

Media and magazines have glamorized the whole concept of hacking, encouraging young individuals specially students to try their hands at it. In reality, to master hacking one has to have exceptional knowledge and understanding of computer and operating systems, network architecture, application software and consistency for trying. Public perception of hackers is mixed, and that “hacking” and “being considered a hacker” can be quite appealing to students who are going through developmental periods in which they are defining themselves, as well as challenging authority and rules.

There is often a Robin Hood mentality to early actions, though it is unclear exactly who “the poor” are, and how they are “being compensated”. The media often presents these individuals in a glamorous light. Adolescents may fantasize about their degree of technological skills and, lacking the social skills required to be accepted well by others, move online in search of those who profess to have technological skills the students desire. A simple search using the term “hacker” with any search engines results in hundreds of links to illegal serial numbers, ways to download and pirate commercial software, etc. (David M. Stone, 1999)

Historical Background Fame struck hacking in 1983 when six teenagers form Wisconsin and are known as 414s using their area code as identity they broke in a system runny Digital Equipment Corporation’s VMS operating system and though they claimed their intent to be completely harmless but they caused $1500 worth of damage. Their spokesman said that their motive was just to enter a restricted area and staying their undetected. The incident caused the State department to pass laws against hacking. Their targets included Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Security Pacific Bank (Philip Elmer-DeWitt, p.

75). Another hacker, Mark Abene of Masters of Deception group, was responsible for encouragement among young individuals to exploit telephone system vulnerabilities. When anti-virus system gained popularity, Dark Avenger, a Bulgarian virus writer came up with a polymorphic code in 1992 that was designed to defeat pattern recognition mechanism used by anti virus programs. In 90s, the Australian group Realm were the first computer hackers that were being executed for hacking they targeted US Defense and Nuclear research computer in 1980s.

Jonathan James, a sixteen year old downloaded $1. 7 million of software that controlled International Space station’s life sustaining elements along with intercepting US department of defense’s electronic messages for their nuclear program. He was the youngest US hacker sentenced. Valdimir Levin, a Russian is considered to be a mastermind behind $10million worth of robbery at Citibank. Kevin Mitnick was once the most wanted man in cyberspace and was imprisoned for four and a half year, having record of committing several cyber crimes.

Robert. T. Morris made the first internet worm. The longest sentence ever issued was to Smith creator of Melissa worm causing $80 million worth of business damage. He is working for FBI now. Every year hackers come up with innovative ways to challenge security professionals and system. Patterns of Hacking Attitudes Hackers around the globe fall into different categories when it comes to their hacking patterns. They have been categorized as being expert hackers or script kiddies. The expert hacker’s have extremely good hacking skills.

When we talk about hacking skills it means that person has grasp over computer technologies and the utilities that run over them. Network as in its present day shape, has in it self a lot of vulnerabilities that can be violated to hacking intentions but to do so one has to have great computer and networking skills and an aptitude to do so. Intrinsic Incentives A normal pattern that has been observed among hackers is their quest for internal satisfaction and this intrinsic motivation drive them strongly to put their days and nights for the fulfillment of it.

They want an inner satisfaction of doing something and staying hidden from the rest of the world. This inner satisfaction could be targeted for driving just fun out of a certain activity and very less any external reward is attached to it. Also another aspect of intrinsic motive could be an individual belonging to a group that has inclination of performing some illegal activities. These groups may have political reasons as well as motives to be identified as terrorists.

It could be a case that hacker himself is not interested in the activity but just because he is been attached to this certain group has to act according to their norms. External Incentives With the possibilities that hackers get via hacking that is breaking in into people’s bank accounts, their private valets, security departments and private information that they can easy sell for great amounts, they get encouragement for maximizing their efforts to sharpen their skills as well as determination for working in an area where there is opportunities for good fortunes. A Combinational Motive

Some of the hackers want both the inner satisfaction of having the feeling that they want to do any thing they like without being getting to be noticed as well as the material gain they could get out of the entire activity. Patterns of Hacking Targets As most of the hackers attach a feeling of self satisfaction with their actions and a feeling of pride and achievement is what they look for besides money, they always try to exploit notable targets, landmarks, oil and gas industries, huge telecommunication networks that serve the purpose of millions and billions of people around the globe.

Type of Hackers Having different motives behind their actions Hackers have been classified into different categorizes. These motives are so unique in each case that the completely change the philosophies and purpose behind hacking. Apart from being expert hackers and script kiddies there are also motivations that vary from individual to individual. White Hat Hackers Individuals that performs hacking acts just as doing something altruistic in nature. They claim that there purpose is to check the securities of the system and warn the administration about their weaknesses.

According to their philosophies they provide corporate and businesses to modify and optimize their security standards that could in longer run benefit their over all performances. They deliberately act on certain ways that make them design and code more secure systems and contribute well to society in general. Grey Hat Hackers Unlike white hat hackers they don’t have any defined code of ethics or conduct they do things just because they want to do and could do legal as well as illegal activities. It’s hard to predict their behavior and they could be expected to go to any limits or restrict themselves just depending on their instincts.

For Gray hat hackers it easy to admit what they are doing. Blue Hat Hackers When anyone outside the computer security community is required to conduct the activities that could verify a product’s fault tolerance, intrusion detection or penetration rate or even the vulnerability of its existence from attacks, such a professional is termed as blue hat hacker. Organizations world wide employ companies or consultants that bug test their applications or systems, conduct comprehensive tests and generate vulnerability reports.

It is supposed to add security measures in a product. Black Hat Hacker It’s the intentional criminal. When a person breaks security of any system, with intent to harm the organization or individual, that system becomes his target and the owner his victim. These malicious intentions could be intended to inject terrorism, credit card fraud, intellectual property theft, identity theft and other crimes including asking ransom for revealing stolen data or black mailing the owners. Software cracking is one of the widely used methodologies of such a person.

Cracking refers to actually breaking in and it’s a strong term. It’s the Black hat hacker who people have to worry most about because their motives are mostly getting advantages out of their actions in terms of material or other gains ranging from barbaric crimes to terrorist acts. Script Kiddies The experts write code and those who just want to have fun or tease others download these programs and with intentions to use others efforts they could use these scriplets. They modify them and play around causing others severs problems at times.

Hacktivist This trend is getting popularity and has been exploited by many militant groups world wide is their access to the internet technologies. Many terrorist have used web to post their messages and emails to communicate their motive. They have posted videos of hostages and messages of their suicide attackers to clearly hide themselves out. Such utilization of communication technologies by people having gain political advantages by using computers refers to the community of hacktivists.

Criticality of Target World has witnessed the role of telecommunication and computer science behind attacks of September 2001, the mastermind plan was not able to be executed unless full scientific support and expertise were not at hand. Similarly different events across the globe contribute towards mastery of hackers and their will to get their target down. Following the collision of an American spy plane and a Chinese jet in April 2001, Chinese and U. S. hackers attacked each other’s websites.

Each camp selected websites that had symbolic values. In the US, the White House’s site was shut down for many hours; there was a virus attack against computers at the California Department of Justice; and Ohio’s Bellaire School District site played the Chinese national anthem displaying Chinese flag. In China, sina. com, one of the most popular portals; the website of Xinhua news agency; and those of local governments were attacked (Nir Kshetri, 2005, p. 554). Large Enterprises

Digital networks of large size business are the targets for long time now hackers have shifted their focused towards these networks because of the potential gain they could have from them. This gain could be financial as well as huge recognition of the damage they have caused which adds to their self achievement and confidence that they have the abilities to act and stay different. Defense System Vulnerability Ironically the defense system across world always shows loop holes in its infra structure and its been really simple for the attackers take advantage.

There has never been a fool proofed system. Security professionals no matter how hard they try they are always at strong threats from these young and skilled individuals from hacking community. Weakness of defense mechanism co-varies positively with the likelihood of an attack. In the conventional world, for instance, a female-headed household is positively related to the probability of being a crime target. In the digital world, hackers in most cases take advantage of unfixed software holes. Due to weak defenses of most computer networks, it is difficult track origins of cyber attacks (p. 555).

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