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Hackers, crackers, etc. - treated like heros?

By Peter Spande ·
IT professionals are fascinated by hackers, crackers, etc. On the one hand, this is interesting coding. On the other hand it makes so many people's work more difficult, takes away from the time people can devote on other aspects of their work. Are we fueling the fire or just getting to understand the enemy? Is this IT's version of the Sopranos?

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they do get treated well....

by wawadave In reply to Hackers, crackers, etc. - ...

theey do seem to get treated well perhapps this is for the wrong reasons.

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Catch me if you can!!!!

by kevaburg In reply to they do get treated well. ...

Ever seen the film? We have a lot to learn from these people. Wrong-doers should be punished severely but those that want to genuinely reform should be welcomed into our community with open arms. What better way to protect against unethical hackers than to have an ethical hacker on your side?

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Hero/Villain = Love/Hate = Fine Line

by JustaMe@Work In reply to Catch me if you can!!!!

This particular topic is ammusing at best. Hackers, crackers, avwriters, phreaks, etc are no more heros that they are villians. Nore are they any worse / more acceptable that govenrment agents, either our side or theirs (which ever our/their side might be for any of us). Think of them as some would a layers. . . an evil, nescessity.

The term "hacker" has lost its original meaning over the years (at least in the technology world). Now days, there are some many people that are dropped into the catagory of hackers, despite the fact that they have only a remedial understanding of technology let alone can only dream of coding in assembly.

If not for hackers, hundreds of thousands of bugs and whole would exist in every piece of software. We could debate the concept that "if there were no hackers to uncover the exploits, we would never need to patch them". This is true, but at some point someone would discover it. Now, here is something for the security community to think about:

Which weould you rather have"
1-A number of unknowledgable scriddies attempting to attack your environment, using methods that were discoverd as the result of some hacker posting the vulnerbility to Bugtraq
2-Insecure code in your environment, which is never discovered because its never been tested/investigated/hacked/counter engireered?

Being in the security arena (you guess which hat), it is not what you see that you need to be most concerend with, but that which you do not see.

I say allow the hackers to continue. Allow them to test the waters. Are they making things more difficult for us? Sure, but like I tell my kid: The only way you get better it to be challanged. The same applied with the Infosec arena

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hackers waste time

by avid In reply to Hero/Villain = Love/Hate ...

the time we spend fighting hackers could be put into developement a new technology instead of being wasted on better security. your argument points to you being a hacker, so i can see why you defend their point of view. and if you are a white hat, then the black hats are providing you with employment. so i know where you are coming from. but i must disagree that hackers are important or neccesary. they are breaking the law in most cases and most are unethical. i would rather spend my time building new technology rather than spend it finding new ways to keep these useless piles of sh@!, that we call hackers, from breaking old technology. maybe we in the PROFESSIONAL world should come up with new terms for them that is more fitting, like thieves and cowards. this may stop our youth from wanting to follow in the foot steps of these criminals.

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well...

by 0Troy In reply to hackers waste time

New technology is constantly being created. And certain vendors are doing just what you suggest, Making new technology instead of fixing old technology. For example, no longer does microsoft support versions of windows before NT (2000 is soon to join those ranks). If "new technology" is so much better, why are there the same problems with it?

Developers need to learn from their mistakes before making new ones.

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Re:hackers waste time

by nishanthnair In reply to hackers waste time

"the time we spend fighting hackers could be put into developement a new technology instead of being wasted on better security. "

This suggestion is like saying disposing US army and missiles and use those money to feed the poor ... :) As we all know this cannot happen bcoz we must be prepared for a security breach....Same is the case with computers..
For a bank , it is worht the amount spending in fighting hackers than to find accounts hacked one fine day morning ..

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apples and oranges

by avid In reply to Re:hackers waste time

I do get your point, but you can't really make compare the two. i know that we will never be a eutopian society where everyone is more concerned with doing what is right instead of doing what they want, but we need to develope better and harsher laws to govern the consequences of hacking and similar crimes. I contract out to several banks. we recently went through a FDIC security audit and had to make some more changes. these changes were very expensive and time consuming. most of the changes were really not necessary but had to be in place because of employees that might be potetial hackers. i know most of these employees personally. not a single employee their has the slightest understanding of hacking. this, and many others, are examples of the paranoia and expense created by hackers. i know they will always be with us, but i think there would be fewer of them and also that they would choose their targets better, if we lumped them all into the same category, both legally and ethically, and gave them very stiff punishments.

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you might be right but who is to blame

by catfish182 In reply to hackers waste time

You do bring up some good points. They are breaking the law. Regardless how you look at it it is a criminal act. BUT is it really anyone here who makes hackers out to be more then what they are. I think its 2 things, the media and the internet. I say its the media due to the reports you hear glamerizes the lone person doing all those bad things to such a big company. Most people love to hear of a big rich company getting the stick. thats what hackers do. I say the internet because they go there to meet others because they cant go anywhere else. Most of these 'hackers' are kids looking for a way into the IT world. (i say kids even though im only 33)Though hacking they have a direct portal to tech and they can use it. No one is telling them "no you dont know how to use it" they have free reign. Imagine you can go to 2 stores both which hold your favorite things. One store says "you can look but dont touch" while the other store says "play with it, work with it, do what you want". Which one would you go into? What we as IT (IS, whatever it is) need to do is be aware of people that are interested and try to help them in some way. Also if your reading this and saying "O he is a hacker, i know it" well 2 things.... 1 no im not. 2 thats the atitude that is making people act like that.

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only the ones without real knowledge care to put others down

by dgenerous1 In reply to hackers waste time

point blank im a hacker, that doesnt mean i go out of my way to hurt other people, but it does mean i know tat others dont like me because i have skills they could never have. Some of the best programers in the world right now are hackers. they take some peice of software that there using and break-it so they can get to know it better and maybe fix anything that amy be wrong....need i remind you about the win98se login security??? i think not, but it was hackers that cased it to be changed, not the corprate world. Calling us theives and criminals, well there are some whom get that god complex and need to be dealt with, but the rest of us who do the world good by posting our finds on bugtraq and give aid to companies like maccaffe and symantec should not be kept in the same pile as the bad eggs. yes i defend my brethren, but we also punish ourselves too. Keep in mind that the common viruses thats let loose is because someone isnt listening to us and then after the talking doesnt work proof needs to be seen, but of course any scriptkiddie could make a terrible virus from just cobbling someone elses droping worm and a system format command. oh yeah, the professional world means anyone who is paid for their sevices and i get paid to check others security...form the outside.

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God complex?

by richard.lutes In reply to only the ones without rea ...

Look in the mirror

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