Why hackers do what they do – creative destruction or malice?
- In a world of constant evolution security of our data is very important
- Hackers are not just hi-tech computer wizz kid
With the expansion of technology on a world wide scale, hacking has become an activity increasingly practiced from all the parts of the globe. Unleashing destructive viruses, bypassing computer security protocols, turning entire states upside, this hacking generation simply knows no limits and represents a potential threat for organisations such as banks or governments of world leading countries. In order to understand why hackers do what they do, you only need to be focused on one expression; “The Achievement”.
The reason why hackers do what they do
The hacker wants to achieve what is considered to be practically impossible from a security point of view when it comes to Information Technology related services. The aim is to impress, to be noticed, to accomplish what no one has ever been able to. Some of the hackers want to have their potential acknowledged by companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple or even their country government. Most of these companies are known for their wealth and reputation. When they are hacked, they are likely to cause bearish trends in the stock exchange and currency rates markets, a world which is highly influenced by such actions. If one hacker can demonstrate to the Google technical staff that he is able to hack their systems, there is no way he will not have a job offer in the table, this will be done in order for him to be part of their team, helping them to improve their overall system security. Some other hackers can also practice their activity with the only aim of making money out of weak protected financial platforms, especially banks.
A good example of that fact is the “cyber bank robbery” that took place on February 19th 2013, where $45 million were withdrawn in more than 12 countries in a matter of hours from several ATMs. Banks only noticed the fraudulent transaction hours later. Companies suffer the same issues too. IT Departments that have poor systems procedure to maintain systems become open to attack. These shortcuts in procedure create holes in data, hardware, backup procedures and leave the company data open to being lost or stolen.
Hacking has it’s uses to highlight where weakness prevails and that they should be fixed. In business vernacular this is called creative destruction. Take something that works and break it to make it better. Hacking also provides interesting mixes of invention, like the picture on this post, showing that you can hack an iPad and an old typewriter together to create something unique.
Hackers can also be found in unstable countries, performing actions whose only aim is to make authorities vulnerable. In March 2013, three Egyptians divers were caught by the Egyptian Navy cutting off cables from the country’s main internet services provider; Egypt Telecom. This happens when Egypt is currently facing one of the most unstable period of the 21st century, as a result of former president Mubarak dismissal in 2011.
On the other hand, it has been reported that the Chinese government managed to extract relevant information with regards to the US presidential campaign of 2008 with Johan Mc Cain and Barack Obama as main protagonists. Yet Chinese official deny such actions while the US government claims that the hacking source was located in China. A typical behavior from world leading countries.
The Fragility of technology
Hackers allow us to understand a simple principle of programming, “there is always a way”. Nothing is impenetrable, by spending time on your computer and putting your skills at work, you may achieve what is thought by many to be impossible. It represents a threat for many, and a money making opportunity for others. Causing stocks to drop, having their skills acknowledged, stealing classified information etc. These facts simply allow us to understand why hackers do what they do, regardless of whatever stands on their way, breaching “walls” is an activity that has no secret for them, who can know their limits?
What can you do to be safe?
On your personal and work computer set a password and change it often. Choose a password system to create and remember the myriad passwords for each of your accounts, while keeping the different and safe, then change them often. Don’t open links on emails from people you do not know, or go to web pages you don’t trust. Before you do click on anything, ensure you have a good anti-virus program installed and it is fully patched and updated (A Windows machine can be hacked in 1h 17m).
Image from Etsy – yes it is real and you can buy this hacked typewriter for your iPad!
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