Should You Hire a Hacker to Protect Your Computer Systems?

Essay by wesdentonUniversity, Bachelor'sA, February 2008

download word file, 5 pages 2.0

The question of whether or not to hire an experienced hacker to protect an organization's IT systems is a difficult choice. Some who answer this question will emphatically say no, while others may be more keen to the idea because of a hacker's ability to bypass a system's security. The mainstream media often portrays hackers as shady individuals who break the law and who are capable of such horrific abilities such as starting a nuclear war by using a telephone, as was the case of a computer hacker named Kevin Mitnick. Before we answer this question however we must define what a hacker really is and learn the characteristics of good, bad and ambivalent hackers. Some individuals are attempting to reverse the bad connotations that the word hacker brings to mind by stating that a hacker is a person who enjoys working with computers, while it is really a cracker who are the ones we should be concerned about.

More important than what we call these individuals by applying labels, it is more important to find out why they do what they do.

In computer terminology a hacker is a person who is often a highly skilled computer programmer who is able to accomplish tasks that others cannot. Whether this is through an innate knowledge of technology, or simply from spending an enormous amount of time with computers, hacker skills are highly valued throughout the world. "Hacker may mean simply a person with mastery of computers; however the mass media most often uses "hacker" as synonymous with a (usually criminal) computer intruder." [2] A hacker as an individual who breaks into computer systems is a person who often has a nickname which they are known to other hackers as. The hacker community is quite enormous and is found throughout...