Computers and other technology have become an integral part of our everyday life; computers are in our cars, in our phones. even in our refrigerators now.
As the world becomes ever more dependent on computing technology, cybersecurity is becoming a more serious issue that needs to be addressed because there are always hackers that will try to find backdoors and cripple our systems.
To understand the gravity of what hackers can do, you need to know the history of hacking. Here is a brief guide to what hacking is and why we should be wary of what hackers do.
The History of Hacking
Before computers, the term hacking meant to cut through something with heavy or rough blows. Now hacking carries a connotation of finesse and sneakiness.
It was attributed to technological know-how for the first time in 1955 but didn’t come to be associated with cybercrime until the Jargon File in q975 where it stated that a hacker was, “A malicious meddler who tries to discover sensitive information by poking around.”
There were quite a few people who were considered hackers even before computer hacking. You can find out about one of the most infamous hackers before computers at cyberexperts.com
The First Hacker
The first officially recognized hacker was Robert Tappan Morris. He was a graduate student of Cornell when he created the Morris Worm. It was a computer worm that was not initially created to be malicious in any way.
However, Morris made an error in the code when writing it. The code was supposed to only duplicate for a certain amount of computers on ARPANET, a government precursor to the modern internet.
But instead, it began duplicating exponentially and disrupted computers for days. Although he didn’t do it intentionally, estimates say that his worm caused a loss of anywhere between $100,000 to $10 million in those few days.
Important Moments in Hacker History
Phone Phreaking was a hacking activity before the internet. This was pioneered by John Draper, dubbed Captain Crunch. He found out that the cereal gave whistles that used the same frequency that was used for long-distance calling.
Phreakers we able to get free long-distance calling this way.
The government at the time decided to pass the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) of 1986 to combat hackers.
The 1990s gave rise to what we understand modern hackers to be. People like Kevin Poulsen, Kevin Mitnick, Robert Morris, and Vladimir Levin duped radio stations for new cars, staged digital bank heists, and stole proprietary information from big companies.
However, since the turn of the century, there have been so many new types of hackers that have come to the internet. Some have been malicious and others have been sponsored stat actors, like Project Aurora.
There have, however, been groups of self-proclaimed “Hacktivists” like Anonymous who have been working to protect everyday citizens from companies and government interference.
The history of hacking is always changing, and it is truly a mixed bag of actors. Hacking will always be something we have to be wary of, but with this guide, you now know why cybersecurity is so important.
Make sure you’re protected online. You’ll never know when hackers might be prowling the web.
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