Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Digital Underworld

Not all of my book is upbeat and about the benefits of computing. Chapter 12, called "The Digital Underworld" is about hacking. It starts off cheerfully enough with an introduction into the world of the phone phreakers and early student hackers playing innocent pranks on each other and sysadmins. 1984 was the pivotal year; Neuromancer was published, WarGames was released, 2600: The Hacker Quarterly was first published and legions of young men started hacking from their bedrooms. These early hackers were driven by curiosity and the intellectual challenge of breaking into systems but they were quickly joined by those who were driven by greed. Criminals had realized it was safer to hack into a bank than to tunnel into the vault. In 2011 in addition to organised cybercrime we are faced with the prospect of cyberwar conducted by officially sanctioned cyber forces such as US Cyber Command and the Chinese Cybermilitia Unit. Hacking has come along-way since Captain Crunch and his plastic whistle.
Want more information? Here's a good article called Crime and malware: A short history of computer fraud