Examining The Modern Cyber Crimes Of Hacking Information Technology Essay
Today's rapidly developing world demands highly efficient computer programs with minimal security threats (Lehtinen, Russell, and Gangemi, 2006, p. 63). This is mainly due to the fact that computer has become an integral part of everyday life that is playing its role not only in solving educational and technical issues; but it is also contributing to the economic growth of a country by helping in almost every field of profession. Therefore, the lesser the threats of failure or theft in computer programming, the more secure and progressive will be the daily profitable dealings in business (Bocij, Greasley, and Hickie, 2009, p. 542). This fact has made the researcher to point out the important role played by the Information Systems Consultant in bridging the gap between the needs of the hour and possibilities in computer programming to the level of customer satisfaction and sense of security.
Other than failure and the inadequacy of the program, hacking is the most gruesome threat of the day. According to Sood (2001, p.42), it means "breaking into computer systems". It is usually referred to as an unauthorized access for the sake of the exploration of a program in the most possible capabilities (Morley and Parker, 2009, p. 376). However, started as a challenge to the privacy of the digital programming, it has turned into the most dangerous threat against the security and safety of everyday life (Strebe, 2004, p. 20). Dhillon has also emphasized these two reasons for hacking:
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1. To get benefitted from the information stolen
2. To challenge the security of one's organization (2003, p.76-85)
Information System Consultant:
An information system is a bridging data system that connects the world of computer science and business. "An information system's ability to organize information so that it provides fuel for a smart business decision, is the real value of computer-based information systems" (Staire, Reynolds and Reynolds, 2008, p. 3).
An Information System Consultant is the person who is in charge of this correspondence. He is representative of the organization who takes in the queries and complaints of the customers, considers the options, talks through the possibilities with the program designer, and makes the changes possible. His job also involves an up-dated knowledge of the current inventions and technologies (Yakhno, 2004, p. 433). Thus, an information system consultant plays a challenging role in keeping up with all the newest technologies to foretell future problems.
Hacking and Cracking are the threats that an Information System Consultant has to face the most. He has to be vigilant enough to notice even the smallest crack that can let a hacker into the program. Thus, it is his duty to think over as, according to Dhillon, he has to plan newer strategies to serve protected accessing programs with vigilant focus on the likely threats of data theft and data loss during information transference (2003, p.76).
Hacking: Greatest of the Modern Cyber Crimes:
The researcher believes that hacking has become the greatest of the cyber crimes of the day. The programmers and executives have fought against data hackers to avoid loss and destruction of the organization (Khare, 2006, p. 265). The problem had started in 1983 when the notorious '414s' had started hacking programs, and now the toll is touching peaks. Whether it is a bank robbery, theft of the precious data bases or leakage of the important military secrets and chemical formulas, hacking has become the chief operating trick.
Thus, the researcher thinks that, being the protector of an organization, it is the primary duty of a consultant to save the company from hacking attacks. He has to build a programmer-to-customer bridge to meet the customer satisfaction. He can surely achieve this by suggesting innovative ideas to the programmers and by satisfying the customer queries properly. Lehtinen, Russell, and Gangemi have justifiably regarded him a savior and warrior against the hackers with the aid of information system developers and the organization (2006, p. 250-255).
Hacking Attacks against Information Systems
Hacking is a threat based on intentional conduct (Kiefer, p. 11). According to Beaver and McClure, other than ethical hacking, "Hacking an operating system (OS) is a preferred method of the bad guys. Os attacks make up a large portion of hacker attacks simply because every computer has an operating system and OSes are susceptible to many well-known exploits" (2010, p. 15). They have also mentioned some of the possible hacking attacks against operating systems, including:
1. Exploitation specific network protocol implementations
2. Stacking built in authentication systems
3. Breaking of file security systems
4. Cracking passwords and weak encrypted implementations (Beaver and McClure, 2010)
As an information system runs with correspondence to an operating system, it is also liable to such attacks. Thus, a hacker can damage an information system in the following ways:
He can achieve an unauthorized access to the precious information stored in a computer of online account by stealing its password. This can lead to horrible losses a bank robbery, etc. The blackmailing gets strength through it.
The services of a company can be delayed or terminated by causing network overloads and automatic generated messages. This damages the customer-ship of an organization and leads it to bankruptcy (Stewart, Tittel, and Chapple, 2008, p. 78).
The hacking attackers can inject malicious software into an information system that can corrupt the running files and can cause loss of precious data as well as malfunctioning of organization's programs. This can lead to interception of confidential information.
The hacking may also cause sniffing by cutting off the private and reliable accesses to needed information.
The attackers can also do spoofing by misrepresenting someone else through fake ids. Such activities can damage personal reputation of clients and may lose the company of important and precious customer-ship.
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The precious data of an organization can be stolen to use it against it. The tender quotations can be cheated and the secrets can be revealed that can cause enormous loss to the company.
Prevention against Hacking Attacks
The possibilities as well as the incidents of recent hacking attacks have made it a compulsion for consultants and programmers to fight against it by devising resistant programs. To avoid a hacking attack is almost impossible, as pointed out by McClure, Shah and Shah, "Nothing can be truly secure. Error is at the heart of every security breach and, as the saying goes: To err is human" (2003, p. xxvi). They emphasized the fact that one can truly avoid a hacking attack only by keeping his internet and modem disconnected, that will obviously make the communication and 24/7 online business impossible.
Thus, there are various programmers and consultants who are in favor of beforehand anti hacking tips and suggestions to prevent the malicious activity and the loss of data and information. These include:
The total connectivity of the system with the internet or LAN exposes it to insecure connections. This exposure renders it at the mercy of innumerable security hazards as the chances of the intrusion grows. Therefore, now the programmers suggest that the total ubiquity of systems should be avoided and a program should be designed to reveal only as much information as necessary at the moment (Kelly and Casey, 2009, p.340).
The introduction of Public Keys Infrastructure has made it possible to involve third party that takes care of particular issues without any threat to privacy. This innovation forbids the customer need to contact various peer-to-peer networks; rather they have to trust only one particular and recommended authority. For this purpose, various Security outsourcing organizations can also be contacted to provide the solution of security and safety concentrating on the issues only (Kelly and Casey, 2009, p.340).
The programmers and software houses can generate newer operating programs with a revision of network protocols because the earlier designs of the operating software had not taken into consideration the possibility of internet threats. This root cause of hacking can be minimized by designing programs as Linux (Kelly and Casey, 2009, p.340).
The use of biometric identification can also prove to be really helpful in nullifying the possibilities of hacking attacks. This sort of identification involves the recognition of certain biological parts of a customer, such as finger prints, iris, DNA, etc, that makes each person unique. Such systems can allow access to unfamiliar stimuli. Thus, by setting up such authentication programs on access terminals, possible hacking threats can me minimized efficiently.
However, there are some limitations to the use of such programs as well, as Kelly and Casey (2009) has pointed out that:
As Biometrics does not allow any pseudonym authentication, the people will be asked for iris scans, fingerprints or DNA test every time. These facilities are usually quite expensive. Is it possible to provide such facilities everywhere in the world on cheap rates?
As a new password is issued if the previous one is lost, what a man can do to compensate the damage in the case of loss of any biological feature, such as an eye or a finger? How will the computerized program identify him?
Anti-hacking software firewalls and other such programs can also be developed to ensure safety and security of confidential data as these soft-wares block the unauthorized access efficiently.
IT Insurances can also be adopted to lessen the magnitude of the economic loss.
However, as mentioned earlier, it is impossible to ensure an unbreakable security; the researcher conforms to Khare's (2006) following recommendations:
By creating awareness among the users, especially regarding the level of reliance and trust. The customers should be made aware that they should not trust anyone with their passwords and private information, so that no one can play upon them to cause him loss.
The new programs should be designed keeping in view the already posed threats to various securities. The innovation in the program design will make the hackers to try and find new ways to break it, meanwhile newness can be continued. Thus, a continuous process of inventing and introducing innovations can help the information system consultants more.
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According to some programmers, the problems sometimes arise due to the complexity of the systems as these make it impossible for programmers and consultants point out the source of disruption. It takes them longer to detect and identify the problematic point; meanwhile hacking party can cause them irreparable loss.
Role of an Information System Consultant:
An information system consultant can bring all these suggestions possibly into the acting side. As he works as an advisor to the organization, the programmers as well as the customers, he can point out the possible hazards more quickly than anyone else. Thus, he becomes a sort of 'vigilant eye' in maintaining the secrecy and safety of information possible.
Thus, the researcher thinks that a consultant can play a challenging role in mechanizing the security of information systems efficiently. Therefore, the organizations must train such individuals who possess the knowledge of business, computer skill as well as the ability for programming so that they may devise and recommend solutions to the programmers on the basis of received responses of the users.
To summarize, modern security systems are not that secure that they can provide safety from every type of hacking and cracking attempt. The most susceptible attacks come from hackers who consider it their challenge to break into the security systems of various programs. Their aims range from mere privacy threats to severe security hazards (Beaver and McClure, 2010). An information system consultant can play a vital role in this regard. He plays the role of a bridge between the security problems and solutions. His interaction with the programmers, organizer as well as the customers makes him more aware of the every possible issue that can be raised. Thus, he can utilize his own knowledge, skill as well as intuition to suggest and recommend the most reliable and effective attempts in safety assurance. He can devise various techniques as well as feedback mechanisms to know the demands as well as the problems and suggestions of the customers quickly (Kelly and Casey, 2009).
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