DIGITAL AMERICA

Hackers

// Posted by on 05/28/2015 (5:56 PM)

This weeks reading was very eye opening for me. I am not one to watch the news every day but in the past few semester I have taken courses that require me to become more knowledgeable in what is going on in the world around me. I guess growing up in this digital age I assumed that the technology had always been around and was not new to people. One mind-blowing fact I learned this week was that there are people being paid to hack into others computers to see what they are doing. While reading this week I went back and forth as to whether I agreed with the idea of Stuxnet and how it was hacked. It also made me go back and forth on my thoughts about Snowden as there are people from both situations that were thought of as trying to sabotage our nation.

The difference between Snowden and Stuxnet to me is that Snowden was trying to help our country and Stuxnet was a virus aimed to attack another country. As an American I agree with both because they are both helping to protect our country. Nuclear warfare is not a new fear for the United States. We have feared this type of attack for a long time. This is the reason why Stuxnet was created. The government was trying to protect our country against this type of attack. The reason that I went back and forth as to whether I agreed with hackers is because of the fact that they are paid to do try to hurt others work. I realize though that the creators of Stuxnet were also hackers so I guess I am still undecided if the idea is positive for the greater good or negative.

I can only imagine the scramble that the creators of Stuxnet were in when they realized that hackers had started to decode their system. It amazes me that there are people who are paid to hack these systems. Moreover it is crazy to me how much money people are paid when they do find a zero day in a system. I think that this is a good skill to have but only if it is used for the right reason.

I liked the idea of the Idefense that we read about. This was where hackers could turn in the information they had discovered about zerodays to a safe place. I think that there should be more incentive to have people do this because I am sure many people are selling to the black market just because they get the most money. As the world is changing and technology is advancing I think that more people should get involved in the information technology system as it seems that it is a career that will always have an opening.


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Comments:


Lois said...

Hi Kaitlyn,
I’m curious to what you think about zero days? If there is a vulnerability in a software program, how does the developer of the software protect themselves? It seems almost impossible!

Do you think zero days is something that will eventually be deciphered by computer experts to protect companies like Microsoft which so many of us use daily.

You are correct in that the IT field is constantly changing and the skill set needed for folks to enter this field is making it quite competitive.

I guess with anything, there is money to be made by the “bad guys” and the good guys are fighting the battle :( I don’t see this changing as we continue to evolve and grow our digital world!

// 05/29/2015 at 6:49 am

Rosatelli said...

Hi Katilyn,

Creating safe places for bad stuff online, and cultivating incentives to keep people doing the right thing, is really important. But, what happens when your government is a client for purchasing zero days? These case studies on digital culture are not meant to be black and white issues–is this good or bad–but, instead, they should challenge us to grapple with the complex issues that digitizations has wrought on our lives. The zero day market affects us, even though its completely invisible to everyone in our class. How can we create a framework to discuss these types of vulnerabilities that tackles big questions about what it means to be American in the 21st century?

// 05/29/2015 at 8:53 pm

Kaitlyn said...

I think that the idea of a zeroday is scary. I know that there is almost always an exception and a way to get around something so I guess it only makes sense that a creator of computer software may miss something. I think that there should just be a better way to handle a zeroday when they are found. Like I said in my blog post I think that there should be more places like Idefense so that these zerodays are not sold on the black market and exposed for negative use.

// 05/29/2015 at 9:28 pm

BonnieG said...

Kaitlyn, upon reading the first few sentences of How the digital Detectives Deciphered Stuxnet, I initial thought the U.S. had their hand in it. When countries like Iran, China, or North Korea are mentioned in the news regarding hacking, my first thought, is the U.S. had played some part with the hacking.
Snowden wasn’t a hacker, but rather a whistle blower. Did he help the country by revealing secrets, only time will tell? Did Stuxnet help the country by developing sophisticated malware, yes, because it was a learning tool for future malware attacks.
I agree all of that money spent, to find a hole in the system. Makes me think, that I should have elected another major. Stuxnet turned out to be the malware of all malwares, the first malware aimed specifically at damaging specific physical infrastructure. I agree the creators were probably like OH S_ _ _ t..

// 05/30/2015 at 6:36 pm