Computer Scientists and Hacking

This is a discussion on Computer Scientists and Hacking within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Hello. I'm a 1st year Computer Science student and we've been given a group assignment to create a presentation. Our ...

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    Computer Scientists and Hacking

    Hello. I'm a 1st year Computer Science student and we've been given a group assignment to create a presentation. Our group is researching whether or not Computer Scientists can afford to tolerate the actions of hackers (by "hacker" I mean those who break into computer systems/crack programs/computer misuse). I'm looking to find out how hackers affect computer scientists - how their actions annoy you and what you have to do to protect your systems from their attacks.

    Thanks,

    Dan

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    MFC killed my cat! manutd's Avatar
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    Sorry, but I've got to say it: hacker: one who inovates in creative ways.
    cracker: one who breaks into computers maliciously.
    As for me, their actions do annoy me. However, white-hat hacking does help the security of your systems.
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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Echo manutd. Crackers. Crackers. Write that down 0x3E8 times!

    Crackers are a fundamental part of IT development in the same sense parasites eventually lead to a host developing defenses against them through evolution. It doesn't stop them from being a pain though. But black-hats have been fundamental in IT security development.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    I know I know! But I called them "Hackers" because the supervisor for this assignment has called them "Hackers" (but with the same meaning as the word "Crackers").

    How exactly do black hat hackers help computer security? And wouldn't white-hat hackers have the risk of actually impairing a system, even if their intentions are to locate security holes in a system to inform the organisation that runs it?

    Thanks for the replies.

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    MFC killed my cat! manutd's Avatar
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    Whitehat - Yes, if they accidentaly DOS the system. However, the benefits far outway the drawbacks.
    Blackhat - Benefit is questionable. Some say that at least they reveal the vulnerbilities, but I've actually had an active war with a cracker over my network...I got him, most annoying thing, though.
    Silence is better than unmeaning words.
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    Crazy Fool Perspective's Avatar
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    Without hackers, there wouldn't be a security industry... think of all the jobs there.

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    One good example of crackers helping the industry even when they don't want to was the attack some years ago on grc.com that lead eventually to the discovery of a serious bug on CISCO routers.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    You may also want to mention those that "social engineer" their way into systems. This method of cracking is often overlooked, but it's much more common. Social Engineering would be taking advantage of stupid people(ie, how somebody sent out emails pretending to be paypal so they could get user names and passwords).

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