Since the introduction of personal computers in the 1970\'s, the art of computer
hacking has grown along with changing roles of computers in society. Computers
have taken over our lives. People could not function without them; our
electricity is run by computers, the government could not function without
computers, and there are many others. Hackers are people who illegally gain
access to, and sometimes tamper with, information in a computer system. Due to
recent media coverage and corporate interest, hackers activities are now looked
down on by society as criminal. Despite the growing trend of hacking, very
little research has been done on the hacking world and its culture. The image of
a computer hacker has grown from a harmless nerd into a vicious techno-criminal.

In reality most hackers are not out to destroy the world. The hackers in today\'s
society are not bored teenagers. Imagine this, you are driving along the road
and suddenly you see something spectacular. Now imagine that you are not allowed
to deviate from your course to check it out. This is what a so-called"hacker" faces. Just imagine that you saw an injured person on the side of
the road. In this analogy you are not allowed to help the injured person. A
hacker is not allowed to explore like everyone else in the world. A hacker is
not allowed to help fix potential security holes. The term hacker can have many
meanings. The most visible to the public is the person pirating software, and
breaking into corporate networks and destroying information. This is the public
misconception of a hacker. Back in the Unix days, a hack was simply a quick and
dirty way of doing something.In fact hackers are well educated people, In
"Hackers intensify fears of industrial espionage," Mark Gembicki
reports "the typical hacker used to be 14 to 16 years of age, white male,
somewhat of an introvert . . . However, this is no longer the case. . . Our
hacker profile . . . [is that] the hackers are around 30-33, white male again,
professional" (Drumheller). Many of the hacker\'s today are probably the
grown-up fourteen to sixteen years old from the past. Except now they make
enough money to purchase expensive computer equipment. They are well educated
and have an interest in technology. The majority of the hackers of today are
thirty years old and well educated, they are not all out to destroy computer
systems and break into national security. Although hacking is a growing trend in
our society, it is not one that is accepted in the United States or any other
country for that matter. Hacking is an international phenomenon that cuts across
race, gender, ethnic background, sex, and education level. Hackers have always
been considered different and have never been accepted in society. Hackers in
those days were basically just computer experts. Nowadays hacker means the same
thing as a cracker, a person who pirates software, and malicious hackers. The
media, of course, never prints the good things hackers do. Most hackers provide
a service to companies, by letting the company know about security holes, before
a rival exploits it. Most hackers want nothing more than to simply learn. A
hacker has an extreme thirst for knowledge, but not in the traditional subjects.

Technology, and anything new interest hackers. In fact most security experts
start out but learning and "hacking". The bad view of hackers is not
completely false. There are hackers out there that will do there best to harm
any system hey can, national security documents the bad hackers as dangerous,
they may gain access to classified information. Patricia Irving, president of a
small business which creates biological and chemical defense technology, says
"‘Our technologies are being used for national security type purposes,
and the U.S. government has a concern about what might be happening\' in
countries that might not be friendly toward the United States or with terrorist
groups inside and outside of this country". Both governments and companies
are forced to pay large amounts of money to try and make their sites safe and
impossible for hackers to break into. However most hackers are not going to harm
a government or business. Genuine hackers hack only for the joy of knowledge. A
rush, like no other, is felt after finally gaining access into a site or a
computer. They feel most information should be free. They do not look at hacking
as stealing. They see hacking as borrowing information. However the good hackers
do understand the rights of privacy and the good hackers do not mess with
peoples private