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Some Facts about Hackers

Date: May 12, 2003

vspace="0" As is known the last year more than 80 thousand cyberattacks (hackers attacks, identity thefts, etc.) has been fixed. Their number has sharply increased in comparison with 2001, by then it has been fixed about 58 thousand such infringements (hardly more than 20 thousand - in 2000). U.S. Networks become targets of the malefactors more often. In 2002 it has been fixed about 27 thousand cyber attacks.

Unfortunately the official statistics for the present does not allow to receive authentic data on characteristic of persons’ who perpetrate digital attacks on computer systems.

The studies of Computer Crime Research Center which have been conducted in April, 2003 show that exactly Personal qualities and environment gradually determine motivation of deciding to commit a crime by using computer technologies. Motivation includes the process of origin and formation of motive of criminal conduct and its purposes.

Many persons including high-skilled experts and amateurs are involved in the computer crimes. Delinquents have a different social status and level of education. They can be divided into two big groups:

1. Persons maintaining business and working relationships with a victim.
2. Persons maintaining no business relationships with a victim.

Officials abusing their official position can be referred to the first group. They are clerks, security officers, inspecting officials, persons dealing with organizational questions and engineering-technical staff. According to our research, the part of programmers, engineers, operators and other organization officials obtaining illegal access to computer systems made up 41,9%. In 20,2% of cases, other officials committed such crimes, former organization officials making 8,6% [7]. Representatives of other organizations engaged in service maintenance and repair of systems constitute a potential menace.

Persons possessing considerable knowledge in the field of computer technologies and being mostly guided by mercenary motives can be referred to the second group. This group also includes experts-professionals considering security of computer systems as a challenge to their professionalism. Some of them gradually begin to enjoy such activities and conclude that it is possible to combine material and intellectual incentives.

In spite of the fact that all originators of computer attacks used to be named "hackers", they are various and have different ability^; and damage from their activity can be various also.

Depending on the kind of activity subjects of illegal access to computer information can be divided into:

- Frickers – people specialized in using telephone systems to avoid the payment for telecommunication services^;

- Carders pay their expenses with other's credit cards^;

- Collectors collect and use computer program products, intercept various passwords and also phone call codes and numbers of phone companies having an access to computer networks of general application for example Internet^;

- Cyber-crows – deliberate offenders specialized in penetrating into computer systems of financial, banking payments. They use computer technologies to get numbers of credit cads and other valuable information for the purpose of profits. They often sell obtained information to third persons^;

- Computer pirates are specialized in illegally breaking protective systems of licensed computer program products distributed then at prices, which are noticeably lower than those of legal manufacturers.

Differentiation of the typical models of computer criminals, their study and collection assist in cyber crime revealing and investigation.

Computer Crime Research Center

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