Hackers and the Internet

Along with the wondrous possibilities created through Internet use, security concerns resulting from expanded hacker capabilities are arising with the development and popularization of the Network.

In the early days, for instance, hackers had to first hack into computers systems from telephones companies in order to hide the path between the final hacked system and their own modem. Today, hackers simply have to zigzag the Internet to hide their tracks and directly break into computer systems through the remote access used by most major companies. Moreover, in the same way that you can become best friends with an Eskimo you met in an Internet chat room, you can be exposed to the threat of a criminal located at the other side of the planet getting or intercepting your social security number and other precious information needed to empty your bank account.

Indeed, the very principle of the Internet, as it was defined more than 30 years ago in its early ARPANET development, was to allow users to share information, rather than to conceal it. This makes the Internet vulnerable as it depends on some "vitals organs," such as the 13 root name servers, which are located throughout the world and contain master lists of Internet addresses and direct data traffic. In addition, software, on which the Internet also depends, almost systematically, if not essentially, contains bugs that are exploited by hackers to gain access to web servers and personal computers.

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Sandberg, J., Hayden, T. (Feb. 21, 2000). Holes In The Net. Newsweek, p. 46, sec. Science and Technology.

Komando, K. (Apr. 1, 1999). Hackers and Crackers. Popular Mechanics, sec. Technology.



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Last revised April 16, 2000