posted on May, 16 2008 @ 09:56 AM
I am a computer programmer and a hacker, and this is my perspective / opinion on it.
Firstly, hacking is usually done for several main reasons. All of these reasons are significant and widespread:
1. For fun
Yes, a lot of hackers create viruses and such just for fun. Just to see how it'll work, just to see how many computers they can infect, just for the
sheer thrill and excitement of it.
2. Out of hate
Many hackers really really hate Microsoft. The reasons for this are beyond this thread, but because we really hate them, we create viruses to
disadvantage the people who use their software, so they'd switch to something better, make Microsoft look like a joke ( goal accomplished), etc.
3. Status / Bragging rights
There are a lot of hacker groups and organisations. They frequently take down large websites, and create complex malware, for the sole purpose of
gaining status, being known, etc - fame if you will.
Quite a few competing companies use proxy companies to hire skilled hackers, to take down their competition's websites, to make malware for their
software, to exploit security holes in it, etc.
One widely known example of this (within the hacker community), is the RIAA creating a proxy company to hack The Pirate Bay.
5. Financial Gain
A lot of hackers create specific viruses which steal things like personal details, credit cards, website & bank account info, etc, etc - solely for
Now I come to the interesting part. Let me explain it very carefully.
When you purchase an expensive (or any) piece of software, you expect it to work. You expect it to work, and you expect it to get the job done, as
specified and advertised. You never expect it to do something completely unexpected, and you would certainly never expect spending large amounts of
money on other software, just to use that original, expensive piece of software - especially since such an arrangement was never made known to you.
Imagine a company, who's very expensive software is very widely used. They make a lot of money from it, but due to fierce competition from the open
source side of things, their profit margins and corporate customer base are dropping.
Now, ideally, the company would overhaul it's software, to enable it to compete more aggressively with it's competition...but suppose that this
option is impossible by the very nature of their software, because it must be proprietary, because they must make a lot of money from it, to make a
lot of deals, to monopolise the market to create the insane profits they had in the first place.
Something must be done though, they need to make more money - they need to grow. If only there was some way to suck more juice from their software
without it appearing so?
Well hang on...what if they purposely create problems with their software, and what if these problems can be easily fixed not by the software itself -
but by another piece of software, which they sell separately, for yet another high price.
Now we're thinking like businessmen!
I am of course talking about Microsoft Windows. Who thought, that in today's day and age, you could buy something so expensive, and not be able to
use it, without another very expensive piece of software, called a security suite. Nowhere - absolutely nowhere, on the windows box, documentation,
product info, etc does it say that you need this other software to use it, and yet we all know the obvious fact that you do.
How did people become so complacent about this over-time? How is it not obvious, what Microsoft has been doing over the last few years, releasing
their own very insecure operating systems and security software side by side - but as two separate products, with two separate price tags,
designed to be ran together.
How can nobody see who gains the most from this? How has it not become obvious, as more and more security problems were invented?
At first there were just viruses, then firewalls, then adware, then spyware and keyloggers, now a typical security suite contains dozens and dozens of
different security tools - and a price tag to match.
The morale of the story is to of course not use any Microsoft software, nor any proprietary software where possible.
The best software is free software. The best free software is open source.
[edit on 16-5-2008 by Manincloak]