Hackers, virus writers and internet criminals Hackers, virus writers and internet criminals — we use these terms loosely when referring to the dangers we meet online, but what’s the distinction between them and do they have malicious intentions?

When normal computer user hears the term”hacker”, most think of a dodgy internet criminal who breaks into government intelligence files or steal peoples identities and credit card information. For the more technology savvy, but the expression isn’t just limited to people using their ability for offense. By”hackers” they imply computer specialists who can make and change computer code and enter computer systems unnoticed.

Hackers can be broken into 3 head categories based on their aims:

• White hat hackers: non-malicious hackers, like business employees who examine the security of their firm’s computer system by attempting to break into it.

• Black hat hackers/crackers: malicious hackers, also called crackers, who hack into systems with the intent to steal or vandalize.

• Grey hat hackers: in between the hat and the black hat hacker, gray hats occasionally act illegally.

They will for example break through a system without consent so as to put vulnerabilities on display and charge the owner a fee to fix it.

The term”hackers” used in the computer sense appeared for the first time in 1963 at the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) newspaper”The Tech”. It was used to describe pranks between technology. Members of MIT’s Tech Model Railroad Club had started working with a computer and began applying the model railroad slang to computers. MIT became the building floor to the very first computer hackers and their own experiments. In the first days, the 70’s and 80’s, the term”hacker” was used to describe a programmer, passionate about thinking up new ways to use a computer. Computer business executives like Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Bill Gates were hackers back in the afternoon. Nowadays, the phrase is utilized more about people who enter work and systems with code, rather than in regards to applications creators.

Virus Writers
With the emergence of the personal computer in the 80’s, young people with an interest in the new digital world began to experiment with its own possibilities. One way to experiment was to make viruses – computer programs that spread from one computer to another. The intent of this virus author in the morning was frequently not malicious. Many were just curious to observe how much the virus could travel and they were frequently unaware of the potential chaos it might leave behind. Considering that the underground computer grew through the 80’s and 90’s, virus writing becoming more competitive and also the viruses much more malicious. It wasn’t yet a hobby that the virus authors made money off; they had been in it for the challenge and community stature.

Internet Criminals
Here on the Apex Hosting site you will often see the phrase”internet criminals”, as an umbrella-term covering the people we attempt to defend the ordinary user from now. At the turn of this millennium, internet access in the home has turned into a standard commodity and with this followed new functional online chances like online banking and purchasing.
Useful as the new chances were, they also opened the door for a portion of the underground community of hackers, virus writers etc., to take their activities to another. This was true for some, but others put their skills to good use by working for companies or authorities.

The days when virus creators distribute infections with the objective of earning a name for themselves are gone. Nowadays cybercrime is much better organized than ever and is turning into a multimillion dollar”business”.

Additionally, the rising popularity of social networking sites has attracted the attention of cyber criminals which exploit these in every possible manner gaining significant financial benefits.