0Why Hacking Can Be A Good Thing?

Posted by Guest at 4/24/2012 Posted in:

This is a guest post by David Wise.

Many people view hackers as underground cyber-criminals. While early hackers often looked for ways to circumvent security systems, modern hackers have evolved to offer a variety of legal services. The word 'hacker' is often used to describe individuals who modify or change a system for a new use. For example, the Microsoft Kinect has been altered by hackers to support autonomous robots, information learning systems and more.

There are two common types of hackers in the world: black hat and white hat. Black hat hackers are commonly involved in identity theft, credit card fraud and other nefarious activities. Many types of malware are developed by black hat hacker communities.

White hat hackers use their skills for the good of companies, individuals and governments. For example, white hat hackers may help a company discover vulnerabilities in its products. While this may include traditional software services, it also includes services that aren't traditionally associated with information security. For example, warehouses in Los Angeles rely on a complex supply chain software program to deliver and manage inventory. In some cases, inventory systems can contain bugs or potential exploits. A criminal group could use a software exploit to hide the theft of inventory from a warehouse. However, white hat hackers can often identify potential problems in an existing software package.

One recent case of white hat hacking took place in Iran. Over the past few years, Iran has been developing a nuclear bomb program. One part of this program requires specialized equipment to enrich uranium. Uranium is enriched with a special automated centrifuge.

Last year, a virus named Stuxnet attacked Iranian centrifuges used in the production of enriched uranium. The virus worked by altering the control signals sent to the centrifuges. By sending an alternating set of conflicting demands, the virus was able to make the centrifuges overheat.

No one knows for sure who developed the Stuxnet virus. Many researchers believe it was a collaborative effort between the Central Intelligence Agency in the United States and Mossad in Israel. However, the Stuxnet virus was able to delay Iran's efforts to build a nuclear bomb. In this case, hackers will able to reduce the threat of nuclear proliferation in a war-torn area of the world.

Hackers can play a positive or negative role in society. While hackers are traditionally associated with criminal activities, many of their skills can be used for the greater good of society.

About the author:

David Wise likes to write about technology. When not doing that he is playing Angry Birds, cheering on Jeremy Lin and watching Mad Men.
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