Computer Crime in the 90's


It's the weekend, you have nothing to do so you decide to
play around on your computer. You turn it on and then start up,
you start calling people with your modem, connecting to another
world, with people just like you at a button press away. This is
all fine but what happens when you start getting into other
peoples computer files. Then it becomes a crime, but what is a
computer crime really, obviously it involves the use of a
computer but what are these crimes. Well they are: Hacking,
Phreaking, & Software Piracy.
To begin I will start with Hacking, what is hacking. Hacking
is basically using your computer to "Hack" your way into another.
They use programs called scanners which randomly dials numbers
any generating tones or carriers are recorded. These numbers are
looked at by hackers and then used again, when the hacker calls
up the number and gets on he's presented with a logon prompt,
this is where the hacking really begins, the hacker tries to
bypass this anyway he knows how to and tries to gain access to
the system. Why do they do it, well lets go to a book and see
"Avid young computer hackers in their preteens and teens are
frequently involved in computer crimes that take the form of
trespassing, invasion of privacy, or vandalism. Quite often they
are mearly out for a fun and games evening, and they get
entangled in the illegal use of their machines without realizing
the full import of what they are doing" , I have a hard time
believing that so lets see what a "hacker" has to say about what
he does "Just as they were enthraled with their pursuit of
information, so are we. The thrill of the hack is not in breaking
the law, it's in the pursuit and capture of knowledge." , as you
can see the "hacker" doesn't go out to do destroy things although
some do. It's in the pursuit of knowledge. Of course this is
still against the law. But where did all of this start, MIT is
where hacking started the people there would learn and explore
computer systems all around the world. In the views of
professional hacking is like drugs or any other addictive
substance, it's an addiction for the mind and once started it's
difficult to stop. This could be true, as hackers know what they
are doing is wrong and they know odds are they will be caught.
But as I mentioned some hackers are just above average criminals,
using there skills to break in banks and other places where they
can get money, or where they can destroy information. What a
hacker does at a bank is take a few cents or even a few fractions
of a cents from many different accounts this may seem like
nothing but when all compiled can be alot. A stick up robber
averages about $8,000 each "job", and he has to put his life and
personal freedom on the line to do it while the computer hacker
in the comfort of his own living room averages $500,000 a "job".
As for people destroying information, this is for taking some one
down, destruction of data could end a business which for some is
very attractive. It can cost a company thousands of dollars to
restore the damage done.
Now that you have an understanding of what a "hacker" is, it
time to move on to someone closely associates with a hacker. This
is a Phreak, but what is that. For the answer we turn to the what
is known as the "Official" Phreakers Manual "Phreak [fr'eek]
1. The action of using mischievous and mostly illegal ways in
order to not pay for some sort of telecommunications bill,
order, transfer, or other service. It often involves usage of
highly illegal boxes and machines in order to defeat the
security that is set up to avoid this sort of happening.

[fr'eaking] v. 2. A person who uses the above methods of
destruction and chaos in order to make a better life for all. A
true phreaker will not go against his fellows or narc on people
who have ragged on him or do anything termed to be