Hackers and Security. What are the effects of Data Encryption and Firewalls?

Over the last several years, the computer industry has grown to an all time high of technology and knowledge. With the existence of hackers, swift precautions are being taken. The placement of firewalls and the task of data encryption are becoming a necessary fact of business for those with confidential information. And still, this is not enough. Hackers have become so involved with the tasks of cracking firewalls and decoding encryption, it seems that privacy is a virtue of the past. People are no longer safe as they once were. The presence of encryption and firewalls are growing stronger, but so are hackers. In the following report, you will read what a true hacker is, the effects of firewalls, data encryption, and how they are being broken.

Hacker /n. / 1. A person who enjoys exploring the details of programmable systems and how to stretch their capabilities, as opposed to most users, who prefer to learn only the minimum necessary (Rootshell).
Over the last few years, computer security has received a great deal of more attention than it has in the past. Computerized break-ins and criminal activity, have become fairly common occurrences in both commercial and academic circles. Hackers are becoming more common, and quickly learning new techniques and methods, which no longer leave computer systems as 'safehouses'. The question of "what kind of person is a Hacker?" cannot be answered simply. Hackers vary in race, style and preference. Since every person is different, therefore so are hackers, "Each Hacker has their own style and methods" (Rootshell). According to the Hackers Code of Ethics, a true Hacker is one who shares:

1 The belief that information-sharing is a powerful positive good,
and that it is an ethical duty of hackers to share their expertise by writing free
software and facilitating access to information and to computing resources
wherever possible.
2 The belief that system cracking for fun and exploration is ethically OK as
long as the cracker commits no theft, vandalism, or breach of confidentiality.
3 The belief that there actions are not illegal, but those that will further knowledge. (The New Hackers Dictionary)

Although the code of ethics is evident, its guidelines are not always followed. Some Hackers use their abilities to damage and corrupt - this is what society believes. Through media, Hackers have come to be known as 'damaging criminals', who strive to create chaos. True Hackers use their abilities for good and purposes which can further their own knowledge and learning. Other individuals who choose to take an illegal path are not considered as a 'true' Hacker.

Firewall /n. / A dedicated gateway machine with special security precautions on it, used to service outside network connections and dial-in lines. (The New Hackers Dictionary)
The idea of a firewall is to protect a cluster of more loosely administered machines hidden behind it from Hackers. The typical firewall is an inexpensive Unix based system, kept clean of critical data, with several modems and public based networks on it and one carefully watched connection. This connection specifically monitors; threats against the server, callbacks made, and possible hacking attempts
(Hackers Handbook). Basically, a firewall is something that protects critical information from outside users without the proper software and/or login and password devices. For Hackers, a firewall is one of the tougher devices to crack. Since Firewalls are always different, there are no standards for breaking down and exploiting the system. Through programs called port scanners, and firewall phreaking, hackers are able to find vulnerable ports (open holes in the server) which can then be sent certain packets of data, called nuking, that can crash and disable the system. According to Dan Farmer, of Sun Microsystems,

Every day, all over the world, firewalls and hosts are being broken into.
The level of sophistication of these attacks varies widely; while it is generally
believed that most break-ins succeed due to weak passwords, there are still a
large number of intrusions that use more advanced techniques to break in. Less
is known about the latter types of break-ins, because by their very nature they
are much harder to detect. (Hackers Handbook)

Executives and CEO's seem to have their minds set on the reason security breaches. They can't come to the realization that Hacking is being done, and that it is not