What can hackers do to our PC? Are they really can break our security? The portrayal of hackers in the media has ranged from the high-tech super-spy, as in Mission Impossible where Ethan Hunt repels from the ceiling to hack the CIA computer system and steal the "NOC list,” to the lonely anti-social teen who is simply looking for entertainment.
Black Hat Hackers -
A black hat hacker, also known as a cracker or a dark side hacker (this last definition is a direct reference to the Star Wars movies and the dark side of the force), is someone who uses his skills with a criminal intent. Some examples are: cracking bank accounts in order to make transferences to their own accounts, stealing information to be sold in the black market, or attacking the computer network of an organization for money.
1 ) Jonathan James
James cracked into NASA computers, stealing software worth approximately $1.7 million. According to the Department of Justice, "The software supported the International Space Station’s physical environment, including control of the temperature and humidity within the living space.” NASA was forced to shut down its computer systems, ultimately racking up a $41,000 cost. James explained that he downloaded the code to supplement his studies on C programming, but contended,”The code itself was crappy . . . certainly not worth $1.7 million like they claimed.”
2 ) Adrian Lamo
Adrian Lamo around computers as a very young child. He had a Commodore 64 when he was like 6 or so. And his first interest in seeing how things worked behind the scenes wasn’t all about technology necessarily, and his interest in what you might call hacking isn’t really primarily about technology…He saids” It’s not sexy when I’m exploring less obvious aspects of the world that don’t involve multibillion-dollar corporations. There’s a certain amount of tunnel vision there.”Last year, Lamo earned the disapproval of his probation officer in the closing months of his two year probation term when he refused to provide a blood sample for the FBI’s DNA database. The Combined DNA Index System, or CODIS, was created to catalog violent criminals and sexual predators, but the 2004 Justice for All Act expanded the system to include samples from all newly convicted federal felons, including drug offenders and white-collar criminals.
3 ) Kevin Mitnick
Kevin David Mitnick (born August 6, 1963) is a computer security consultant and author. In the late 20th century, he was convicted of various computer- and communications-related crimes. At the time of his arrest, he was world-famous as the most-wanted computer criminal in the United States.Mitnick gained unauthorized access to his first computer network in 1979, at 16, when a friend gave him the phone number for the Ark, the computer system Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) used for developing their RSTS/E operating system software. He broke into DEC’s computer network and copied DEC’s software, a crime he was charged with and convicted of in 1988. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Near the end of his supervised release, Mitnick hacked into Pacific Bell voice mail computers.
After a warrant was issued for his arrest, Mitnick fled, becoming a fugitive for two and a half years. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Mitnick gained unauthorized access to dozens of computer networks while he was a fugitive. He used cloned cellular phones to hide his location and, among other things, copied valuable proprietary software from some of the country’s largest cellular telephone and computer companies. Mitnick also intercepted and stole computer passwords, altered computer networks, and broke into and read private e-mail. Mitnick was apprehended in February 1995 in North Carolina. He was found with cloned cellular phones, more than 100 clone cellular phone codes, and multiple pieces of false identification.
4 ) Kevin Poulsen
Kevin Poulsen was among the most accomplished, multi-talented hackers. He worked for SRI International by day, and hacked at night under the handle "Dark Dante”. He trained to be the complete hacker, and even taught himself lock picking.Among other things, Poulsen reactivated old Yellow Page escort telephone numbers for an acquaintance that then ran a virtual agency. When the FBI started pursuing Poulsen, he went underground as a fugitive. When he was featured on NBC’s Unsolved Mysteries, the show’s 1-800 telephone lines mysteriously crashed. He was finally arrested in February, 1995.
Poulsen’s best known hack was a takeover of all of the telephone lines for Los Angeles radio station KIIS-FM, guaranteeing that he would be the 102nd caller, and winning a Porsche 944 S2. In June 1994, Poulsen pleaded guilty to seven counts of mail, wire and computer fraud, money laundering, and obstruction of justice, and was sentenced to 51 months in prison and ordered to pay $56,000 in restitution. It was the longest sentence ever given for hacking up to that time. He also later pleaded guilty to breaking into computers and obtaining information on undercover businesses run by the FBI.
5 ) Robert Tappan Morris
Morris, son of former National Security Agency scientist Robert Morris, is known as the creator of the Morris Worm, the first computer worm to be unleashed on the Internet. As a result of this crime, he was the first person prosecuted under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Morris wrote the code for the worm while he was a student at Cornell. He asserts that he intended to use it to see how large the Internet was. The worm, however, replicated itself excessively, slowing computers down so that they were no longer usable. It is not possible to know exactly how many computers were affected, but experts estimate an impact of 6,000 machines. He was sentenced to three years’ probation, 400 hours of community service and a fined $10,500.
Now we have. . .
White Hat Hackers -
White hat hackers, also known as ethical hackers, or white knights, are computer security experts, who specialize in penetration testing, and other testing methodologies, to ensure that a company’s information systems are secure. Such people are employed by companies where these professionals are sometimes called "sneakers.” Groups of these people are often called tiger teams or red teams. These security experts may utilize a variety of methods to carry out their tests, including social engineering tactics, use of hacking tools, and attempts to evade security to gain entry into secured areas.
1 ) Stephen Wazniak
Stephen Wazniak, one of the founders of Apple Computer and a long-time hacker hero, recalled the days when a young hacker could twiddle the phone system and make a free phone call to the pope without fear that a goofy prank would turn into an international incident. Steve Wozniak got the first inspirations by its father Jerry, which worked as an engineer at Lockheed, and by the fiktionalen miracle boy Tom Swift. Its father stuck on it with the fascination for electronics and examined frequently the inventions of its son. Tom Swift was on the other hand for it the product of creative liberty, scientific knowledge and the ability to find problem solutions. Tom Swift showed it also the large prices, which expected him as inventors. Until today Wozniak returns to the world from Tom Swift and reads out the books to its own children, in order to inspire it.
2 ) Tim Berners-Lee
Berners-Lee is famed as the inventor of the World Wide Web, the system that we use to access sites, documents and files on the Internet. He has received numerous recognitions, most notably the Millennium Technology Prize. While working with CERN, a European nuclear research organization, Berners-Lee created a hypertext prototype system that helped researchers share and update information easily. He later realized that hypertext could be joined with the Internet. Berners-Lee recounts how he put them together: "I just had to take the hypertext idea and connect it to the TCP and DNS ideas and "ta-da!” the World Wide Web.”
Since his creation of the World Wide Web, Berners-Lee founded the World Wide Web Consortium at MIT. The W3C describes itself as "an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff and the public work together to develop Web standards.” Berners-Lee’s World Wide Web idea, as well as standards from the W3C, is distributed freely with no patent or royalties due.
3 ) Linus Torvalds
In 1991 Linus Torvalds was a college student at the University of Helsinki. Starting with the basics of a Unix system, he wrote the kernel — original code — for a new system for his x86 PC that was later dubbed Linux (pronounced linn-ucks). Torvalds revealed the original source code for free — making him a folk hero among programmers — and users around the world began making additions and now continue to tweak it. Linux is considered the leader in the practice of allowing users to re-program their own operating systems. Currently, Torvalds serves as the Linux ringleader, coordinating the code that volunteer programmers contribute to the kernel. He has had an asteroid named after him and received honorary doctorates from Stockholm University and University of Helsinki. He was also featured in Time Magazine’s "60 Years of Heroes.”
4 ) Richard Stallman
Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1953), often abbreviated "rms”, is an American software freedom activist, and computer programmer. In September 1983, he launched the GNU Project to create a free Unix-like operating system, and has been the project’s lead architect and organizer. With the launch of the GNU Project, he initiated the free software movement and, in October 1985, set up the Free Software Foundation. Stallman’s life continues to revolve around the promotion of free software. He works against movements like Digital Rights Management (or as he prefers, Digital Restrictions Management) through organizations like Free Software Foundation and League for Programming Freedom. He has received extensive recognition for his work, including awards, fellowships and four honorary doctorates.
5 ) Tsutomu Shimomura
Shimomura reached fame in an unfortunate manner: he was hacked by Kevin Mitnick. Following this personal attack, he made it his cause to help the FBI capture him. Shimomura’s work to catch Mitnick is commendable, but he is not without his own dark side. Author Bruce Sterling recalls: "He pulls out this AT&T cellphone, pulls it out of the shrinkwrap, finger-hacks it, and starts monitoring phone calls going up and down Capitol Hill while an FBI agent is standing at his shoulder, listening to him.” Shimomura out-hacked Mitnick to bring him down. Shortly after finding out about the intrusion, he rallied a team and got to work finding Mitnick. Using Mitnick’s cell phone, they tracked him near Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
The article, "SDSC Computer Experts Help FBI Capture Computer Terrorist” recounts how Shimomura pinpointed Mitnick’s location. Armed with a technician from the phone company, Shimomura "used a cellular frequency direction-finding antenna hooked up to a laptop to narrow the search to an apartment complex.” Mitnick was arrested shortly thereafter. Following the pursuit, Shimomura wrote a book about the incident with journalist John Markoff, which was later turned into a movie.