Professional Computer Hacker – Best IT Jobs of 2011 Series
Hacking represents an interesting conflict of interest in the technological world today; on the one hand it is the bane of life that is a major threat to important data while on the other it is used extensively to maintain security and position by numerous firms. In the light of the latter, hacking has its advantages to the world of technology and is thus becoming a popular career choice. Sadly, the image of a hacker is greatly exaggerated and many look to it as a glamorous career choice that gives them power over the world: the reality is far from it. A hacker needs to be familiar with numerous computer languages and codes to be able to prove his worth and this takes a great deal of dedication and effort.
First, you need to understand the difference between a ‘hacker’ and a ‘cracker’. Crackers conform to the traditional image of hacking as they steal information from computers by breaking the security barriers. Crackers gain unauthorized access to computers and use the information they receive for their own selfish intentions. Cracking is illegal and an unjust means of earning money.
Second, professional hacking is a legitimate career choice that involves checking computer systems for security vulnerabilities. Good hackers are well-versed in numerous computer languages and are able to detect the weak elements of operating systems, thus providing an indication of potential security gaffes that could be used by awaiting crackers to invade the system. Hackers thus have a crucial role to play in modern society as they cut down the risk of malicious attacks on computers by using the same techniques that are used by crackers.
Professional hackers believe hacking to be an art form that is an expression of complete curiosity regarding computer systems. Hackers are usually technology buffs who attempt to learn more about how computers work by breaking apart the foundations that hold computer systems together.
You may have heard of famous professional hackers like Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson who went on to create Linux, the free operating system that is used by many people around the world. This shows that hacking is not about destroying a computer and stealing information, it’s about taking apart a system to understand how it ultimately functions and using this information to improve the quality of systems in use.
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Finally, hacking is the ability to change the way a system runs so that it performs better than originally intended. In this way, hacking helps better the technological world and helps it to develop. All the technology you make use of today has been reworked and improved by professional hackers, so it is better suited to meet your requirements; if hacking did not exist, every day software and computer systems would be extremely vulnerable and susceptible to crackers!
The term professional hacker is merely a glorified version of a computer programmer which is well-versed in computer languages and has excessive knowledge about computers and how they function. The same people who create operating systems can hack into them and check for security breaks. Professional hackers have to get into the mindset of potential crackers and identify areas of weakness to avoid invasion and the resulting theft of information which can be deadly to any firm.
Professional hackers are also known as ‘ethical’ hackers as they enter systems with the prior permission of the firms involved, unlike crackers who enter without authorization.
The Inside Scoop
Though the word hacker conventionally brings to mind images of shady criminals working in dingy rooms, ex-crackers are gaining prominence in the field of professional hacking as well! Take the case of Joe Magee, a twenty-three year old ex-cracker who was recently hired as the Chief Security Officer of Top Layer Networks, a security products company!
This company is among many who are realizing that hackers have immense skills that, when used positively, can improve the way we look at computing and make it more efficient.
Magee’s life story is heavily entwined with computing; his parents bought him a Mac after watching him analyze the family VCR. Soon enough, Magee became a computer whizz, curious to learn everything about computing. Magee started his first computer-oriented job at fourteen with Philadelphia’s Globe Times and from then on continued to provide his immense technical acumen to numerous firms.
Magee’s story is an inspiring one that describes exactly what you need to become a successful professional hacker: dedication and an immense interest in all aspects of computing. Evidently, hackers are of great use in a world where technology is quickly becoming intricate part in all aspects of life; it is thus a promising career choice for those interested.