The last twenty and thirty years has been an exciting time in the world of computers, a world which people my age seem to take for granted. The technology behind such powerful machines is advancing at a rapid rate, and likewise with the power of the internet. I would imagine most of you own or at least have used a computer at one time or another in the last several years. The advancement of this technology is so rapid that consumers are finding it hard to keep up with the latest gadgets and machines. Just try buying a computer tomorrow - within 8 months or less, it will have become somewhat outdated. So with all this information at our fingertips, it has become easier and easier to use our everyday technology for malicious purposes.
Viruses are an excellent example of how people have used computer technology to create a dangerous and uncontrollable piece of software that causes great amounts of damage. Many people will give the term “hacker” to the individuals who create these viruses, and the mainstream media has created stereotypes for these people. You hear about it on the 6 o’clock news, you read about it in the papers - how such individuals have “hacked” into networks and computers, causing as much damage as possible. I believe this to be grossly inaccurate.
The term hacking has been considerably abused and misused in the last 20 years. Consequently, the technology community that originally used the word has stayed hidden, rising to the surface of the mainstream internet only to face the charges brought against it by the authorities. 99% of the time these accusations are misdirected; the true hackers are above the level of malicious activity.
Hacking is simply the informal manipulation and modification of technology to increase our productivity and to make the world a better place. I say informal because the companies who produce the technology are constantly making changes to it, in a formal and more organized manner - and that’s not really hacking....