They would sometimes be using the school curriculum as an excuse to hack pertinent information that are government or privately owned. At some point, these students would be challenging themselves if they will be able to create and send unnecessary information (such as computer viruses) to other computer systems. This will provide extreme joy and satisfaction for these students. However, the issue here lies on how can this be prevented by education facilitators?
Creating programs and knowing various techniques of getting into different computer systems is necessary for the curriculum. This is part of the training for the students. If the teachers would stop training the students regarding programming, then what will happen to the future of the computers?
On the Public
Computer hacking is normally done anonymously. It being anonymous creates triggers more actions from the public.
For example, an adolescent who would never consider picking someone's pocket or physically damaging someone else's property or home, might be quite willing to steal people's credit card numbers or destroy poorly protected business or government files, since files and credit card numbers are not tangible entities, and the damage is done anonymously..."(Stone, 1999)
Because of the increasing number of hacking-related cases printed on the newspapers and/or tabloids or shown in various news programs, the public, especially those who may have been thinking negatively, becomes more engrossed into understand the ways and means of computer hacking. These people will become greedier. If they become successful and effective as computer hackers, they can get whatever they want - information and money - with a very low possibility that they will be traced.
More so, these people who may have been angry towards other people, the private sector or even to the government, could initiate some computer virus or could even manipulate some data and/or information in the government and privately owned information. This will of course cause havoc for the target groups of individual.
Again the question here is how can they be prevented? In this highly technological time, anything and everything is printed, shown and accessible in the internet, news papers and television programs. Even the basic methods of hacking are available in the internet. Just by simply typing the word "hacker" with any internet search engine would result to hundreds of links to illegal serial numbers, ways to download and pirate commercial software, etc. (Stone, 1999). So how can the public be assured that their private information is secured?
On the Government and Private Sector
Computer hacking is illegal at some point. However, there are some government and private businesses activities which would require them to hack certain information that will benefit themselves. Like for example in the government where in there are specialized agencies which main task is to hack information from the non-allied countries to track their negative activities (Stone, 1999). This may sound illegal and unethical, but the impact of such activity is benefiting to a large number of populace.
Hacking of information is said to be one of the very reasons why terrorism acts, suicide bombing plots and other deadly threats are detected. By getting into the computer system of some people who are suspects for various crimes, their plans of hurting more people are identified. This act of computer hacking, in turn, has saved many lives.
But the issue here is, if the government itself has been doing some computer hacking activities, however nationalistic it may sound, why prevent other people from doing the same thing? How can the government totally imposed illegalizing or banning the computer hacking activities if they, too, are utilizing it?
In terms of private owned businesses, there are a number of reports disclosing that private companies also have computer hacking activities which is aimed at detecting the plans and programs of their competitors (Stone, 1999).
The income of the private business is determined if they will remain at par, if not ahead, over their competition. The companies, therefore, would find any means possible to ensure that the products or services they are providing the people will remain in demand. Management of these companies will also make everything possible just to ensure that they are ahead when it comes to planning and execution as compared to their competitors. But they will not be able to do so if they do not have any idea of the plans and strategies of the competitors. Hence, computer hacking becomes necessary.
So, again, if computer hacking is illegal, or will be illegalized, will these privately owned companies be penalized also? Of course, they will not be admitting that they have computer hacking activities in their businesses, so does that means that only the small grouped individuals will be charged for committing illegal computer hacking activities even if there are bigger companies who tend to do it also?
Minimizing or Preventing Hacking
Here are suggested ways on how to minimize potentials of computer hacking. This includes:
Establishing, particularly in the schools, clear and acceptable policies for and against hacking, and defining appropriate and inappropriate actions to both students and staff who will be detected doing unauthorized hacking activities. These students, and even the public, must also be well-informed about the consequences of various hacking actions and even on the possible penalties of interacting and forming online relationships with anonymous individuals who claim to be proficient in invading others' privacy (Stone, 1999).
Using of filters and other security tools such as (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hacker_(computer_security),2006):
Maintaining a firewall in the computers, privately owned or not. A 'firewall' is a piece of hardware and/or software that serves as preventive 'wall' in a networked environment. This limits communications forbidden by the security policy.
Having an Intrusion Detection System (IDS) that helps detect unwanted manipulations to systems.
Maintaining Anti-virus software that may consist of computer programs which will help identify, prevent and eliminate computer viruses and other malicious software
Using computer encryption system that is used to protect various messages from the eyes of other or unintended people. Having an encryption can be done in different ways (such as switching the characters around, replacing characters with others, or removing characters from the message).
Maintaining authorization security in the computer system. Authorization controls access to a computer by the use of specialized or personalized authentication systems. These systems can help protect either the whole computer - "such as through an interactive logon screen - or individual services, such as an FTP server."
Having a vulnerability scanner and port scanner. These tools are used to check computers on a network for known weaknesses and ports available to access a computer over a network in a very speedy manner. This way, the movement to and from the computer can be traced on a regular manner thereby preventing other unauthorized access to the system..
Chanen, David. (12 September 2000). "Man accused of hacking into nuclear weapons lab; Federal agents arrested a Bloomington resident they say got into computers in California. National security wasn't threatened, FBI says." Star Tribune. Minneapolis, MN