A Closer Look at Cyber Crooks

I work from my home, the most peaceful workplace I can think of so far. As a Homemaker and part time Freelance Writer, I submit articles and subscribe to various respectable writing newsletters and do endless research online. But before signing up, I read privacy policies, some brief while others boringly lengthy.

I am just one among millions of unknown but honest Internet users. Why, to my mind, would I worry so much about anyone in the Internet community making me a target for nasty tricks or harassments?

Nonetheless, I feel safe just knowing that the websites that interest me run a committed sense of policy on security.

But when my computer screen started flashing as if gasping for air and slowly died down months ago, I blamed electric current fluctuations. But when my files disappeared and my computer turned alarmingly uncooperative, I referred the case to the expert, my husband.

For the first time, I was hit by a computer virus.

It was not as simple as unplugging the computer connection, sleeping on it for a few days while a computer surgeon works on the damage so everything could be good as new.

I saw months of hard work on research, completed manuscripts stashed in my hard disk, long hours spent online, time, money, and effort my spouse has invested in setting up the whole system, all go down the drain and turn into nothingness.

Going through the process of repair and reconstruction is painfully tedious, time consuming, and costly.

I was angry. I took it as an attack on my person. The perpetrator has no heart.

A series of disturbing yet quite interesting cyber intrusions that followed prodded me to quench my curiosity and do a personal research on what inspires the behavior behind the waste of skill, time and resources involved in these damaging cyber pursuits and other elctronic petty crimes that make life miserable for honest internet users.

CYBER OFFENDERS

Anyone who enters your home without your consent is committing an offense theoretically. Your computer system is an extension of your boundaries and must not be infringed. When someone gains unauthorized access to your computer in any manner or utilizes the computer technology in performing a felony, he/she commits a cyber crime.

The Hacker is always the first person that comes to mind in relation to cyberspace violations. After all, who else can be as knowledgeable and bold enough to break into someone else’s computer system?

Hackers used to have nobler objectives for their being. In the earlier days of the Computer technology, they were the computer experts/geniuses who tested computer systems, with the owners’ consent, for loopholes and recommended better programs or fixed the errors themselves to frustrate any effort to exploit the defective system by more dangerous ‘creatures.’ They even had the Hackers’ Code of Ethics.

There are two types of Hackers: The Ethical Pros, the highly skilled professionals who hire out their skills to organizations concerned about their own network’s safety. They represent Hackers of earlier generation. The other type is the CyberRambos or plain crackers-despised by the Elite Hackers, Crackers crack/break systems for superficial reasons. (UC San Diego Psycho. Dept.: Computer & Network Resources)

But by what many Hackers have become these days, it is difficult to ascribe their destructive behaviors to nobility instead of outright violation.

And by whatever name they are called, these cyber felons have become simply faceless and nameless ‘hackers’ to their victims.

ON MOTIVES

An online article by David Benton entitled: ‘What’s Inside a Cracker?’ from SANS (SysAdmin, Audit, Network, Security) Information Security Reading Room, states seven psychological profiles of malicious hackers as documented by Canadian Psychologist Marc Rogers M.A., Graduate Studies, Dept. of psychology, university of Manitoba and a former Police Computer Crimes Investigator:

Newbie/Tool Kit (NT): new to hacking, have limited computer/programming proficiencies; rely on ready-made pieces of software (tool kits) that are readily available in the Internet;

Internals (IT): disgruntled employees or ex-employees proficient in how the company’s internal systems work;

Coders (CD) and Virus Writers: programmers who’d like to see themselves as elite; they write codes but not for personal use. They have their own networks to experiment with

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