It is no secret that as technology advances, new hacking problems arise. Hacking, or the illegal and unauthorized access to a file, computer or network, is viewed differently across the board. Some people perceive hacking as a crime while others see its potential as a public service. Whether we see eye to eye about the risk it poses, we must all be aware of the implications that it brings with it and how we may be better equipped at counteracting it.
In this ever developing world of technology, people find more and more ways to take advantage of the people and programs around them. Within the next 5 to 10 years, it is believed that self driving cars could become a target for hacking in an effort to kill innocent people when they are not expecting it. Smart homes may also become a hub for attacks because hackers can invade the home’s security system and disable it, or they can implant malware so the system no longer performs its intended function.
Hacking elections are also a paramount concern because voters expect elections to be honest and fair processes. With the transition from paper ballots to electronic voting, however, a bug target is produced. In the future, it is possible that people will hack in the election systems and select who they want to win, instead of leaving it up to the voting population at large. This could easily lead to incompetent leadership, corruption and chaos in the future.
No matter how robust security may become, there will always be a hidden door in the network which hackers will find a way to open. But do hackers who find a security weakness have to publicize it? The general consensus of the discussion was that it depends on the hacker’s intent and what they do with the information. The best ways to solve the open door problem in the security system are either to publicly announce it without revealing the door so that the company can fix it, or privately tell the company of the backdoor problem and help them solve it. In a situation where it would be private would be information which was very important to secure, like medical files or social security numbers.
A few examples given in the text were a hacker who disclosed files to a journalist to publicize that the medical center was able to be hacked. The discussion mostly focused on the action of the man and the information he disclosed. Once he released the information to the journalist, he went too far and broke the law. The second situation focused on Goatse security collecting over 100,000 email addresses. The big problem agreed upon by both groups was the no warning of information gathering or password. On the other hand, one group did mention although the hacker went about contacting AT&T the ethical way, the hacker did not have to collect such a large quantity of emails. Another example was when a security researcher discovered a flaw in the internet domain of a system. He kept the problem secret and collaborated with several other companies to develop a patch for the hole in the domain. By also employing a time of 30 days to fix the problem, it helped encourage companies. Both groups agreed this was the better way of handling a hole in the domain of the system rather than publicly announcing it. It also forced the company to fix the hole and reduced the outbreak as well as future problems while simultaneously tightening security. It was decided that it is also morally correct to give companies that have a hole in their system a warning before publicizing the problem, which can later be used to hack other precious information.
Several factors play a role as to whether the violation of a website’s terms and agreements is a crime. For example, the contract written as “terms and agreements” is often ignored by the users of a website. This results in people genuinely not being aware that they are breaking the terms and agreements, which can hold up as a valid legal argument in court. Additionally, if one were to commit such breach of contract, the severity of the crime should be held in mind as well.
A violation against the terms and services would essentially depend on the amount of information which goes on the site and the amount of information that was breached. A comparison to this would be a banking site and a social media outlet. If one were to have a copyright infringement, it should not be considered as severe as one releasing bank details of other users on a website. Each of these matters are illegal, however they should have their different consequences accordingly.
There should be a stronger push towards making the terms and service agreements more comprehensive and user-friendly. There is reason so many issues arise when breaking the contract on a website – the terms and services are time consuming to read and are not written in layman’s English. More articulate terms will cause less confusion.
In conclusion, hacking is something a greater number of tech users will experience as time goes on. But with that being said, users can take simple steps to increase security and protect themselves from cybercriminals.