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Journals - Essay Example

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Computer crimes can be committed in a variety of ways including gaining unauthorized access to someone's computers, reading confidential files, deleting or modifying data, defacing websites or sending bogus requests for web pages etc. These are some of the common ways in which computer is used for illegal activities…
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Journals
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Journals One: Computer crimes can be committed in a variety of ways including gaining un ized access to someone's computers, reading confidential files, deleting or modifying data, defacing websites or sending bogus requests for web pages etc. These are some of the common ways in which computer is used for illegal activities. In 2000, a fifteen year old boy from Montreal, Canada called Mafiaboy was sentenced to supervised use of computer since he was charged with unauthorized access to CNN website and causing denial of service attacks. The Canadian law doesn't allow names of minors to be leaked out and thus the boy was nicknamed Mafiaboy. Once arrested in 2000, his computer using rights were severely restricted and he was denied access to the Internet.
Mafiaboy's motivation was nothing but entertainment for himself and a proof of his capability. The authorities later found that he didn't even have the genius skills that other hackers possess. But he was someone who wanted to prove to himself that he could pull off something major. Crime hurts society and while in some rare cases motivation for crime may find ethical justification, in most cases the societal and economic damage far outweigh any ethical justification. In this case for example the boy slowed down the website which is accessed by millions around the world every second. The website contains vital information on world affairs and by denying people a right to access the website in a timely fashion, this boy caused economic as well as societal damage with loss of time and money. It is amazing that in most computer crime cases, system managers fail to detect the crime because of their subtleness. A third-party or the offender normally reports these crimes. It is very likely that the same thing happened with this case as well where users reported the slow respond they received when accessing the site instead of the system managers detecting it. It is vital that there are some special detection devices installed to nip these problems before they develop into serious system collapse.
Two:
As a computer professional, an employee usually has access to large amount of data and may even be able to access information, which is confidential or personal. In such a case, it is important that a person understands the repercussions of accessing such data or sharing with it anyone. My senior supervisor is a highly regarded computer professional at our firm. He works as the network administrator and basically controls the entire LAN in the company. He also has access to personal computers and every kind of information that is available on the intranet. This has always been a serious concern with the senior management because any professional with such massive access and power could become dangerous and a possible threat as well. But lately the management has calmed down after it became absolutely clear that Mr. Smith's integrity was unquestionable. This is all due to his actions few months back when he gained access to some personal files on our CEO's computer. He realized that our CEO had been sharing some trade secrets with another person in New Jersey. The computer professional had no idea who the other person was but he knew very well that trade secrets are not to be disclosed to anyone except those whose computers are registered on the company larger network. Since the other person's email address was not registered and neither was his computer connected with the company's network, it was always a possibility that our CEO was sharing trade secrets with someone who was not supposed to know. Mr. Smith was caught in a serious dilemma now. He didnt know what to do but refused to speak to anyone about it till he had a course of action in mind. He knew that if he let it go, it would be unthical wrong since he was an employee and is responsible for the interests of others. After much deliberation, Mr. Smith decided to conduct a background check on the other person before he spoke to the CEO. It was a good idea since what happened after that was unexpected. Mr. J.A., the other person who was being contacted, was indeed Mr. Allende, the new CEO of our New Jersey setup. He had been hired only recently and hence his computer was not yet registered on the network. It was a huge relief and once Mr. Smith knew the truth, he approached the CEO, told him the whole story and asked him politely to be careful about sharing information through personal email addresses. Since then, CEO trusts Mr. Smith even more. He apologized and also asked Mr. Allende to have his email address and computer registered on the network. It has taught all of us an important lesson: Whistle blowing is not exactly the best approach. It should be treated only as the last resort after all other options have been exploited because in some cases, it can backfire.
Reference
1. "Boy arrested for CNN.com 'denial of service' hack has tough limits on Internet contact". April 19, 2000. Accessed online November 27, 2006 from http://archives.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/04/19/dos.investigation/index.html Read More
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