Computer Hacks – Quacks Looking for Cracks

In August of 2003 an 18 year old teen was arrested for springing a version of the MSBlaster worm to internet computers by the millions. It is thought that he may have even triggered the blackout that occurred in the US and Canada in that same period.

Only yesterday someone else released a Zotob worm on computers with Windows 2000 operating systems. Big boys like CNN, The Associated Press and The New York Times were all adversely affected. It is said that little permanent damage was done but the systems of these major companies were brought to a screeching halt as computers kept shutting down and rebooting as if little gremlins had their hands on the switch.

Where does it end? As if the computers and the software were not expensive enough then it becomes the business and expense of everyone to protect the computer. We need blocks to keep the porn away from the kids. We need blockers to keep the incessant ads from popping up in our faces every nanosecond. Then bring on the personal firewalls the anti-virus software, encryptions, spyware stoppers and sometimes a dose or two of antihistamine to keep our noses clear of the dust that goes airborne from the cooling fans when we start up. It takes no computer genius to know at least two things. One is that the next big operating system will cost a great deal more than our last one. The other is that it will not have the many deterrents and blockers we need, built in. Security must be a wonderful business to be in these days.

To get back to the hack, (no rap intended) where does this breed of cyber-monkey come from? Personally, I envision a teenager locked in his upstairs room with dozens of empty Coke cans and Twinkie wrappers strewn across the floor. With a blank stare fully hypnotized by the Xs and Os dancing across the plasma screen they peck and stab at the keyboard with deliberate, rhythmic intent as if they were submitting to a spirit thatave them auto writing skills as a reward for their simple acquiescence. Then when the cyber moon lines up with the planets they know its time. With one click of the enter key they take down the power in half the United States and transfer the funds of millions of Americans to accounts in the Netherlands. How could you stop this person? Would a simple 'Hey, it's a nice day why do not you go outside and find something to do' set them off in a new direction?

As a boy our weekly Sunday edition of the paper had a special section in the funnies called, Jimmy Halto's, "They'll do it every Time." Jimmy would point out various absurdities in our society that may occur from time to time. I never anticipated that the day would come when our entire society would become absurd, if Halto were still punching out his weekly syndication today it might be …