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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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from an engineering P.O.W...

by spitfed In reply to hackers crackers a "neces ...

is like saying that we need vandals to test the structural limits of our Skysrapers / Brigdes / etc...

Unfortunately hackers are here to stay, are needed in the IT sectors that they ironically helped create, and are now therefore a necessary discomfort.

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Low Grade Hachers

by dcollins1 In reply to Catch me if you can!!!!

Any first year grad can design a virus but do they also know how much damage they cause by there program

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Script Kiddies?

by techrepublic In reply to Low Grade Hachers

Did anyone say that yet?

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The "Dark Side" of Software Development

by amsoft1993 In reply to they do get treated well. ...

As a software developer now network security specialist, I think the facination (worship) of hackers / crackers from IT pros is limited to those in the field who know very little about software development an computer programming. I have seen cracker code, and believe me, most of it is poorly designed and is full of bugs, but if the ultimate purpose is to destabilize a computer or network, it's more than sufficient. It should be required for Administrators to at least have a fundamental understanding of programming, OS APIs and how to programatically access the TCPIP protocol stack.

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A little knowledge please.

by AndeAnderson In reply to The "Dark Side" of Softwa ...

You are correct in saying Administrators should have a fundamental understanding of programming to counter the hackers/crackers.

I, for one, do not have the luxury to spend too much time, or resources, re-learning basic programming to battle hackers/crackers and elected to take a "Certified" course called "Certified Ethical Hacker" which was advertised to prepare corporations to defend against hackers/crackers.

I left the class entertained by some of the stories and by a classroom network that got hit by a virus just after the Instructor finished bragging about how he had never used an Anti-Virus program and had never been infected.

After getting the server reloaded, half of the programs we were supposed to learn about would not work, it was a mix of Windows and Linux, so we were told to find them on the Internet and study them at home on our own.

I found I had learned more about protecting my network on my own than what this so-called "Certified" class taught me. Maybe they should have hired a real Hacker to teach the course instead of just a Book-Educated "Expert."

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Gah, awful class

by jmgarvin In reply to A little knowledge please ...

Typically not only do I teach how to be a script kiddie (using the available tools and such), but I also push for programmatic understanding (buffer overflows are a great start).

It is a hard road and a short course probably can't teach you what you need to know.

My suggestion: If you want to learn how to hack, get the tools, get the programming knowledge, and get the deconstruction attitude.

Keep in mind, some people just aren't hackers. They don't think that way or function at all like that. Some people tread a fine line between being a good guy and a bad guy...and some people can't help but cause trouble.

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Well posted.

by 0Troy In reply to Gah, awful class

I've always been of the mind that one is innately a hacker. They have an innate interest in technology and computers, and a serious case of curiosity.

You may start as an tech, but if you nurture your curiosity, you will evolve into a hacker.

It can be taught, but it may just leave you more confused.

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it can and is taught

by dgenerous1 In reply to Well posted.

true the best hackers are the innate ones but it is not to say that some of the ones out there are just "book" learned kids that want to see how far they can go before they get caught. Curiosity helps but the drive to learn more and a mind that can see how things work dynamicly are the only true prerequisites. and for a definition hacker: (Originally, someone who makes furniture with an axe)
1. A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum
necessary.

2. One who programs enthusiastically (even obsessively) or who enjoys programming rather than just theorizing about programming.

3. A person capable of appreciating hack value.

4. A person who is good at programming quickly.

5. An expert at a particular program, or one who frequently does work using it or on it; as in "a Unix hacker".

6. An expert or enthusiast of any kind. One might be an astronomy hacker, for example.

7. One who enjoys the intellectual challenge of creatively overcoming or circumventing limitations.
"taken from dictionary.com"
with this in mind please refrain from calling the worst of us hackers rather call them as they are: crackers: those whom use there talents to gain illeagal access to others systems, scriptkiddies: those whom use others programs to gain the same efforts as a cracker but dont understand how it worked( imo is the worse out there), and remember next time u download your next anti-virus update it was created by a hacker.

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Agreed, but it has been my experience that...

by jmgarvin In reply to it can and is taught

Those who WANT to be hackers will be hackers, but some just can't get the attitude. I'm not sure what that mythical attitude is, but it seems some people REALLY WANT to be a hacker, but just can't get the mindset.

Let me explain:
Let's say there are two students. One who is already of the hacking mindset and one willing to learn. The hacking mindset student will pick up everything pretty quickly, but need some pushes and deep explanation as things get more complicated. The other student gets stuck with your point 1 (they just can't grasp how to push the system), point 4 (they are too "real" to whip out fast and dirty code), or 7 (they can't quite "find" the limitations).

I found out I loved hacking when I accidentally wrote a "macro" (what were those damn things called???) that brought a friends bbs to its knees. After that, the love affair started.

Some people just aren't built to be hackers. They either are too **** about their coding or just can't see how to push the system to the limits.

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you left out a few

by avid In reply to it can and is taught

1 One who uses programming skills to gain illegal access to a computer network or file
2 a programmer who breaks into computer systems in order to steal or change or destroy information as a form of cyber-terrorism [syn: cyber-terrorist, cyberpunk]
3 (Deprecated) A malicious meddler who tries to discover
sensitive information by poking around. Hence "password
hacker", "network hacker". The correct term is cracker.

not to impune your definitions. i saw them on the same them on the same website that i got these. i only posted these to show how varied the defintions can be. we inthe IT community need to provide more definative terms to the general public so there will be less confusion. after that there will be less ridicule.
i do believe that the original post was referring to the malicious hacker instead of the law abiding hacker.

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