Blessed are the Geeks, for they shall internet the earth

Where is the line drawn between hacker and professional
Douglas Chick

When in control of your own network as many network administrators are, itís sometimes difficult to remember that you are only a god in your own domain. The line between yours and someone elseís network is the serial port of your router. Because you can, doesnít mean you should. So why do we? Most computer people respect the boundaries of someone elseís network and may sometimes take a peek over the fence, but they donít typically cause another computer person any unnecessary work.

Everyday I see attempts from hackers and viruses trying to bully their way into my network. Sometimes if I have time, Iíll intrude into their world to show them that they are not as anonymous they think. Sometimes, depending on how aggressive that were, I might change a password or two, maybe stop the odd service. Most of the time Iím just aggravated and wish that I could just e-mail their info to someone else, but there isnít really anyone else.

Adolescent hacking seems to be mostly harmless. Adolescent hackers are those that are testing the new found knowledge while perusing a career in computers. Cleaver ones finds worm holes in the net immediately. Less clever ones however, go on to peruse careers with the government. (I may regret saying that.) Iím always demonstrating to the group that I work with how easy it is to access other computers on other networks and how others can easily access ours. I also point out that there is an unwritten law that states: you may look, but never touch. In other words: If youíre the reason another Network Administrator has to stop studying for his or her next job, then itís going to be your ass. 

The hackers that Iím the most concerned about are from the Asian countries. They seek out any and everything that they can and they can do so at night while youíre home asleep. I believe that they are encourage by their government to do so.  Iíve had hundreds if not thousands of hack attempts in the past couple of years. Most originating from Asia. In many cases Iíll see an IP originating from the government that immediately follows, as if they are tracking them. Whatever game is being played no one is letting us in on it. But Iíll save that for another story. Networks are only as secure as the administrator experience. And because computer networks are expanding faster than people are being trained, (most training themselves.) The knowledge for security is being rapidly deluded. Most companies are small and the Network Administrator is the Security Admin, Mail Admin, Router Admin, Tech and help desk person. When this is the case, it is impossible to maintain a secure network.

Now that I effectively strayed away from the subject, where do you draw the line for yourself? Are you a hacker or computer professional? Maybe you bounce between both worlds. Because all of these laws about cyber crime are politically motivated and can only be enforced in this country. It is more likely that we are going to get in trouble than the real dangerous hackers. Remember, big brother is like a traffic cop, he only tickets the speeders that are the easiest to catch.



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