Monday, November 19, 2012

Intruding because they can

Curiosity, intellectual challenge, boredom; these are factors that motivate exceptional technical minds to delve into the ethically grey area of non-malicious cyber intrusions (Dittrich & Himma, 2006). Those exceptional minds tend to fall into the category of gifted students whom schools have difficulties providing appropriate challenges (Gallagher & And, 1997). Stemming from the difficulty of challenging these students is that they, according to Gallagher and And (1997), perceive their courses to be “a crushing bore.”

Combining all three elements, brilliant minds, boredom, and a ready made challenge to puzzle out, provides an ideal situation for student hackers to target the grading system. Behind that technical wall is a collection of information pertaining to their peers, which has the ability to appeal to the bored student’s non-technical curiosity. Just like cyber convict Adrian Lamos attributing his corporate network jaunts to looking for a relief to boredom, the students may try to just look around the grade system (Dittrich & Himma, 2006).

Dittrich, D., & Himma, K. E. (2006). Hackers, Crackers, and Computer Criminals. Bidgoli, Hossein: Handbook of information security-Information warfare; social, legal and international issues, 154-171.

Gallagher, J., & And, O. (1997). Challenge or Boredom? Gifted Students' Views on Their Schooling. Roeper Review, 19(3), 132-36.

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