Computer Crime (1508 words) Essay

Computer CrimeIt’s the weekend, you have nothing to do so you decide to ?
lay around on your computer. You turn it on and then start up, you
start calling people with your modem, connecting to another world,
with people just like you at a button press away. This is all fine
but what happens when you start getting into other peoples computer
files. Then it becomes a crime, but what is a computer crime really,
obviously it involves the use of a computer but what are these crimes.
Well they are: Hacking, Phreaking, ; Software Piracy.
To begin I will start with Hacking, what is hacking. Hacking is
basically using your computer to “Hack” your way into another. They
use programs called scanners which randomly dials numbers any
generating tones or carriers are recorded. These numbers are looked
at by hackers and then used again, when the hacker calls up the number
and gets on he’s presented with a logon prompt, this is where the
hacking really begins, the hacker tries to bypass this anyway he knows
how to and tries to gain access to the system. Why do they do it,
well lets go to a book and see “Avid young computer hackers in their
preteens and teens are frequently involved in computer crimes that
take the form of trespassing, invasion of privacy, or vandalism.
Quite often they are mearly out for a fun and games evening, and they
get entangled in the illegal use of their machines without realizing
the full import of what they are doing” , I have a hard time believing
that so lets see what a “hacker” has to say about what he does “Just
as they were enthraled with their pursuit of information, so are we.
The thrill of the hack is not in breaking the law, it’s in the pursuit
and capture of knowledge.” , as you can see the “hacker” doesn’t go
out to do destroy things although some do. It’s in the pursuit of
knowledge. Of course this is still against the law. But where did all
of this start, MIT is where hacking started the people there would
learn and explore computer systems all around the world. In the views
of professional hacking is like drugs or any other addictive
substance, it’s an addiction for the mind and once started it’s
difficult to stop. This could be true, as hackers know what they are
doing is wrong and they know odds are they will be caught. But as I
mentioned some hackers are just above average criminals, using there
skills to break in banks and other places where they can get money, or
where they can destroy information. What a hacker does at a bank is
take a few cents or even a few fractions of a cents from many
different accounts this may seem like nothing but when all compiled
can be alot. A stick up robber averages about $8,000 each “job”, and
he has to put his life and personal freedom on the line to do it while
the computer hacker in the comfort of his own living room averages
$500,000 a “job”. As for people destroying information, this is for
taking some one down, destruction of data could end a business which
for some is very attractive. It can cost a company thousands of
dollars to restore the damage done.
Now that you have an understanding of what a “hacker” is, it time
to move on to someone closely associates with a hacker. This is a
Phreak, but what is that. For the answer we turn to the what is known
as the “Official” Phreakers Manual “Phreak [fr’eek]
1. The action of using mischievous and mostly illegal ways in
order to not pay for some sort of telecommunications bill,
order, transfer, or other service. It often involves usage of
highly illegal boxes and machines in order to defeat the
security that is set up to avoid this sort of happening.
v. 2. A person who uses the above methods of destruction and
chaos in order to make a better life for all. A true phreaker
will not go against his fellows or narc on people who have
ragged on him or do anything termed to be dishonourable to
n. 3. A certain code or dialup useful in the action of being a
phreak. (Example: “I hacked a new metro phreak last night.”)”
The latter 2 ideas of what a phreak is, is rather weird. A Phreak
like the hacker likes to explore and experiment, however his choice of
exploring is not other computer but the phone system as a whole.
Phreaks explore the phone system finding many different ways to do
things, most often make free calls. Why do they do this, ” A hacker
and phreaker will have need to use telephone systems much more than an
average individual, therefore, methods which can be used to avoid toll
charges are in order. ” . A phreak has two basic ways of making free
calls, he can call up codes or PBXs on his phone and then enter a code
and make his call or he can use Electronic Toll Fraud Devices. Codes
are rather easy to get the phreak will scan for them, but unlike a hacker
will only save the tone(s) number instead of the carrier(s). Then he will
attempt to hack the code to use it, these codes range from numbers 0 – 9
and can be any length, although most are not more than 10. Electronic
Toll Fraud Devices are known as Boxes in the underground. Most are the
size of a pack of smokes, or than can be smaller or bigger. I will not
go too deep. They are electronic devices than do various things, such
as make outgoing calls free, make incoming calls free, simulate coins
dropping in a phone, etc. People who “Phreak” are caught alot these
days thanks to the new technology.
Software Piracy is the most common computer crime, it is the
illegal coping of software. “People wouldn’t think of shoplifting
software from a retail store, but don’t think twice about going home
and making several illegal copies of the same software.” and this is
true because I myself am guilty of this. The major problem is not
people going out and buying the software then making copies for
everyone, it’s the Bulletin Boards that cater to pirating software,
that really cause the problem. On anyone one of these boards one can
find an upwards of 300 – 1000+ of pirated software open for anyone to
take. This is a problem and nothing can really be done about it. Few
arrests are made in this area of computer crime.
I will now devote a brief section to the above mentioned BBS’ ,
most are legal and do nothing wrong. However there are many more that
do accept pirated software, pornographic pictures, animations , and
texts. As well as a trading area for phone codes, other BBS’, Credit
Card numbers, etc. This is where a majority of Hackers and Phreaks
come, as well as those who continue to pirate software come to meet
and share stories. In this is a new world, where you can do anything,
there are groups that get, crack, and courier software all over the
world some of them are called:
INC: International Network Of Crackers, THG: The Humble Guys, TDT: The
Dream Team. As well a number of other groups have followed suit such
as Phalcon/SKISM (Smart Kids Into Sick Methods), NuKE, and YAM
(Youngsters Against McAfee) these are virus groups who write and
courier their work anywhere they can, they just send it somewhere,
where anyone can take it and use it in any manner they wish, such as
getting even with someone. All of these activities are illegal but
nothing can be done, the people running these boards know what they
are doing. As it stands right now, the BBS world is in two parts
Pirating and the Underground, which consists of
Hackers/Phreaks/Anarchists/Carders(Credit Card Fraud)/Virus
programmers. All have different boards and offer a variety of
information on virtually any subject.
Well from all of this reading you just did you should have a
fairly good idea of what computer crime is. I didn’t mention it in
the sections but the police, phone companies are arresting and
stopping alot of things every day. With the new technology today it
is easier to catch these criminals then it was before. With the
exception of the BBS’ the police have made some major blows busting a
few BBS’, arresting hackers and phreaks. All of which were very looked
up to for knowledge in their areas of specialty. If I had more time I
could go into these arrests but I must finish by saying that these are
real crimes and the sentences are getting harsher, with alot of the
older people getting out the newer people are getting arrested and
being made examples of. This will deter alot of would-be computer
criminal away.

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