Should hackers help the Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I)?
Hackers are commonly known as bad people and anarchists who aim at stealing confidential information from businesses, Companies, and personal computer devices. In addition, they have previously been known as threats to cyber security by U.S. intelligence services and other agencies that enforce the law. However, many software companies pay huge sums of money to hackers who succeed in finding and exploiting their vulnerabilities within their programs (Candy & Wang, 2006).Example one hackers firm has succeeded in cracking San Bernardino shooters iPhone without requesting for assistance from Apple’s Company. Moreover, their investigation solution will be taken to F.B.I. but not to Apple.
As a result, hackers and hacking business is a benefit and a loss and hacking is a general term referring to modification of computer hardware and software by hackers. Thus may have good intentions and bad intentions on computer systems and other internet-enabled devices. They are losses to people as they crack passwords of personal banking accounts, military networks, and infrastructure. Others are a benefit and should be given away by the government, since they patch established vulnerable attack sites before attackers intrude them and take advantage of the information obtained. To distinguish between good and bad hackers, it is important to explain different types of hackers and their work.
Types of hackers
White hat hackers
White hat hackers are good, ethical, and experts in security who do penetration testing among other methodologies to secure information systems of a company. They have no aim of performing malicious acts with obtained information. They are IT Professionals who rely on the evolving technology to identify and battle hackers (Singh & Bhardwaj, 2011).
They aim at pushing their limits in analyses, shielding, and establishment of security figures. They are also referred as moral programmers since they determine the defensive nature of a set up currently. They perform defenseless appraisals and entrance tests.
Black hat hackers
Black hat hackers are bad skillful people who break into others computer systems and networks with a malicious intention of creating viruses using their knowledge of criminal activities for personal benefits. They take advantage of computers weak areas and exploit those (Singh & Bhardwaj, 2011). . They demonstrate qualities of white hat and grey hat hackers. They freely surf the internet in search of vulnerable frameworks to crack and misuse. They act as if advisers to the chair about the location of vulnerabilities found and hack the sites without getting approval from the boss. He may offer to repair and maintain helpless sites uncovered to make little changes. They struggle to outdo white hat hackers. They take advantage of human errors and laziness to input passwords attack vulnerable machines.
Script kiddie’s cracker
They are similar to black hat hackers who make use of borrowed programs in attacking networks and defacing websites in order to make names. They resemble amateur or simply non-expert hackers who use prepackaged automated scripts such as tools and software written by real hackers to break into people’s computer systems. They have little knowledge on the working of the scripts (Singh & Bhardwaj, 2011). They are hackers motivated by politics and religion to revenge by exposing wrong doers and harassing their targets.
State sponsored hackers
They are hackers specifically owned by the state to control cyberspace security. They have much time and are well funded to identify target corporations, governments, and civilians.
Spy hackers are hired by corporations and organizations to steal confidential trade information with an aim of infiltrating competition. They may act as outside hackers or are employed as mole. Their tactics resemble those of hachtivists with a single agenda of serving the goals of their clients for a payment.
Cyber terrorists are motivated by political beliefs and religion with an attempt to create chaos and fear by interfering with infrastructure. They aim at spreading terror and committing murder. They are grey hat hackers who break into others computer security frameworks to innovate. They do not ask for approval from owners and perform criminal acts like theft, vandalism, fraud, and extortion of master cards. They convey worms and establish malignant destinations to meet their wishes.
Negative effects of hacking processes
Viruses are self-replicating programs created with a mission of damaging computer systems. They infect computer files by attaching copies of replicated copies into the computer. They are malicious in that they demonstrate annoying pop-up messages on the screen and cause the computer to slow down and crash (Bachman, 2014). They delete important files, programs, and attempt to access passwords, credit card numbers and bank details. Viruses infect computers by downloading files that are infected from the internet, attaching emails from infected files and through plugging flash memory sticks with infected files to the computer.
Preventing virus infections
The above software virus infections can be prevented by using up-to-date anti-virus software, using genuine copies of software, opening email attachments from trusted sources, scanning flash memory with anti-virus software before attaching into the computer. Lastly, downloading software from trusted legitimate websites (Clarke, Clason & Cordell, 2003).
Hacking and hackers are prevented through installing firewalls, user-ID, and robust passwords and data encryption. Firewalls offer a shield between computers and internet and block unwanted data from hackers from infecting the computer (Bawane & Shelke, 2014). Moreover, computers cannot connect to unwanted websites. User-ID’s and robust passwords are word numbers, which identify specific users and log onto their computer systems. They give access to certain files in the computer. Robust passwords are hard to guess and are a combination of eight characters. Data encryption makes files in the system unreadable when users are not aware of passwords to UN-encrypt them. Viruses include Trojan horse programs, logic bombs and sniffer programs (Smith, 2002). Trojan horses are programs executed at the start of programs. Logic bombs activate after meeting a certain criteria. Sniffer programs collect information and intercept them with an aim of remotely operating other computers. Code red virus break data systems security and leave them vulnerable for hacker attacks.
Best practices to stop hacker attacks are to frequently change passwords and avoiding clicking on email links. Disabling all preview panes in boxes and reading emails in plain texts as well as not opening email attachments closes chances for hackers attacks (Bawane & Shelke, 2014). Moreover, users should disable java, JS and Activex and avoid displaying email addresses on the website. Computers should not be allowed to save passwords and upgrading security levels for internet explorer. Firefox and chrome should be switched off when not in use. Users should consider saying no to tasks for read authority on odd stuff connected to the internet, edit authorities, avoid reading and editing operations from other places than desktop folders and say no to application tasks for different authorities.
Benefits of hackers
Hackers are used by organizations to test the efficiency of the network, validate protection of confidential data and information. Hackers uncover possibility of loopholes and potential vulnerabilities available in a network that are harmful to an organization. Ethical hacking, white hat hacking and red team are terms used when testing for security in networks (Palmer, 2001). Ethical hackers find weak areas of security in a network and potential threats. They suggest potential measures required in checking critical conditions. Hackers create awareness on protection and security in all levels, identify vulnerabilities, and suggest security procedures that are effective for the threat. They support current and future IT activities.
Hackers are beneficial to firms and organization such as Twitter, New York Times, and Apple. They have established minor issues with data users and the organization. Moreover, all organizations are prone to attacks and cannot ignore the presence of hackers to penetrate perimeter of attack and gain the lost advantage. Professional hackers reduce the risk of attack by informing managers of possible attacks and implements possible measures. Hackers help organizations to identify importance of network security through their hacking experience (Palmer, 2001). They demonstrate ways that attackers can use to access resources of the company and use them. White hat hackers offer solutions to encrypt data, secure hardware, and use of anti-malware, firewalls, and anti-viruses. They conduct hacking algorithm to access confidential data repositories and resources of network lacking authentications. They afterward report possible threats found and offer solutions for the threats with an aim of securing resources of the organization and its perimeter.
Hackers have positive and negative effects to organizations and individual users. Hackers have a negative effect of intruding systems and causing harmful attacks such as viruses in computer systems. Hackers steal confidential information from systems such as credit card numbers and use them to steal people’s passwords for malicious practices. However, there are identified benefits of hackers in an organization; they are used to identify threats and vulnerable systems prior to attacks. They give solutions to posed threats and establish a long lasting security measure. As a result, white hat hackers should be employed in organizations and governments to identify presence of black hat hackers among other malicious hackers and thus help the actions of F.B.I. Identified ways of avoiding attacks such as using firewalls, support that white hat hackers should be included in the organization and government due to their expertise in prevention of attacks.
Smith, L. (2002).The Negative Impacts of Hacking. Congressman Lamar Smith 21st District Of Texas. Retrieved From Https://Lamarsmith.House.Gov/Media-Center/Columns/The- Negative-Impact-Of-Hacking
Palmer, C. C. (2001). Ethical Hacking.IBM Systems Journal, 3 (40), 769-781.
Bachman, M. (2014). The Risk Propensity and Rationality Of Computer Hackers. International Journal Of Cyber Criminology, 1 (4), 1-14.
Singh, G., & Bhardwaj, M. (2011). Types of Hacking Attack and Their Counter Measure. International Journal of Educational Planning and Administration, 1(1), 43-53.
Clarke, Z., Clason, J., & Cordell, M. (2003). Historical Approaches to Digital Media. LCC 6316.
Bawane, M., & Shelke, C. (2014). Analysis of Increasing Hacking And Cracking Techniques. International Journal of Application Or Innovation Engineering And Management, 2(3), 1-4.
Candy, I., & Wang, T. (2006).Hackers, Users, Information Security. Workshop on The Economics Of Information Security (WEIS), 1-22.