The Early Days of Hacking

As the story goes, the earliest hackers were a group of people who were passionate and curious about new technology. They were the equivalent of those modern-day individuals who not only want the latest technology, such as a smartphone or iPhone, but also want to learn all the juicy details about what the device does and what type of undocumented hings they can do. Since the early days things have evolved dramatically: Individuals are more advanced and innovative and have access to newer and more powerful tools.

Hackers or enthusiasts were always working with the best technology available at the time. In the 1970s it was the mainframes that were present on college campuses and corpo- rate environments. Later, in the 1980s the PC became the newest piece of technology, with hackers moving to this environment. The 1980s saw hackers moving to more mischievous and later malicious activities; their attacks could now be used against many more systems because more people had access to PCs. In the 1990s the Internet was made accessible to the public and systems became interconnected; as a result, curiosity and mischief could easily spread beyond a small collection of systems and go worldwide. Since 2000, smart- phones, tablets, Bluetooth, and other technologies have been added to the devices and technologies that hackers target. As hackers evolved, so did their attacks.

When the Internet became available to the public at large, hacking and hackers weren’t too far behind. When the first generations of browsers became available in the early 1990s, attacks grew in the form of website defacements and other types of mischief. The first forays of hacking in cyberspace resulted in some humorous or interesting pranks, but later more aggressive attacks started to emerge. Incidents such as the hacking of movie and government websites were some of the first examples. Until the early 2000s, website defacing was so common that many incidents were no longer reported.

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