Hacker\'s Hell
To deal with hackers who break through office systems through the Internet it is
important for information managers to understand their enemy well. If they have
sound background knowledge about hackers, they might be prepared to deal with
them in a much more effective method. Hackers are very educated often mostly
university or high school students who try to break through systems for which
they have no authorization. They deal poorly with people, have few friends and
less relationships, but at the same time are very smart. Therefore they revert
to computers because they know computers will not reject them. With bulletin
board communication they can form social relationships but those are behind the
screen, where hackers feel shielded. (Pfleeger, pp.12-13) Hackers justify the
crime of cracking through systems by stating that nobody gets hurt in this
situation. Hacking can be done without having a conflict with any human. Hackers
also usually work in groups, and when they do so they become more dangerous to
office systems. By sharing information they manage to put together a solution
that would allow them to break in a office system. The news media has labeled
hackers as mere children who play pranks. (Pfleeger, p.13) Even Amy Wohl who is
a noted information systems consultant states that "the hacker risk is the
smallest of the computer crime risks." (Ray, p. 440) Amy Wohlís statement is
incorrect because due to the hacking of automated office systems millions of
dollars in damages have occurred. According to the American Society for

Industrial Security (ASIS) the increase attacks by hackers through the Internet
has jumped to 323% since 1992. Total losses to the U.S. industry are
approximately $2 billion per month. Thus it is very essential for information
managers to know about the different problems hackers can create for automated
office systems through the Internet. (Anthes "Hack Attack.", p.81) One of
the main problems that hackers can cause is that they can break into office
electronic mail (e-mail) messages. This can be especially dangerous for those
office systems who use electronic mail as their main source of communication..

Electronic mail on the Internet is as confidential as a postcard. After the
sender transmits the message, it travels from one network to another until it
reaches its recipient. Therefore, hackers can easily break into electronic mail
while it is traveling towards its destination. Further, when it reaches the
recipient there will not be any evidence of tempering with the e-mail. (Rothfeder
, p. 224-225) Another tool that hackers use is called a sniffer. A software
which can be easily planted in an organizations system, works like a concellead
recorder and captures e-mail messages as they are exchanged. (Behar, p.35)

Hackers value e-mail because it contains valuable information. They can find
anything from secret strategic plans to log-in passwords required to get into
the office system. Once they have this vital information, hackers can have
access and cause major damage to the office system. (Rothfeder, p. 225) One of
the victims of e-mail hacking was Wind River Systems. A software company, Wind

River Systems has a communication system where they exchange e-mail with
customers on the Internet. By trying a few passwords on the office system,
hackers were able to access the system of Wind River Systems in California and

France. When a expensive bill for accessing the Internet came to Wind River

Systems, they found that hackers had gotten in their communication system. Wind

River Systems discovered that due to the intrusions hackers obtained programming
codes which could have the potential to hurt future performance of the company.
(Behar, p.33) Penetrating electronic mail is just one way hackers intrude and
destroy office systems. Banks who have established office system that provide
online banking services to clients also face problems. One of the first Internet
banks, Security First Network had to stop hackers from electronically breaking
into account files in the first few months of its operations. In addition,

Citibankís office system was also hacked when a Russian hacker electronically
transferred $11 million from New York to Finland, Israel, and California. These
incidents leaves many banks in doubt whether they should have systems that are
capable of providing customer service on the Internet. Instead, banks such as

Chase Manhattan are collaborating with companies like Checkfree, Intuit, and

Microsoft. The reason is that these companies offer private consumer banking
networks that have powerful security schemes. Thus the cost of office automation
would be justified because hackers will not find it easy to break into the
banking networks protected by such firms as Microsoft. In contrast, other
financial institutions such as Bank of America