Hackers Level Up in 2011

April 13, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. hacker (n.) [hak-er] – a computer expert who illegally gets information from another person’s computer
Example:  Many hackers try to access important files in big companies.

2. malicious (adj.) [muh-lish-uhs]  – dangerous or harmful
Example: The box was not allowed inside the airport because it appeared to be malicious.

3. stealthily (adv.) [stel-thee-lee]  – secretly or not openly
Example: I stealthily erased the error in my sales report.

4. infiltrate (v.) [in-fil-treyt]  – to slowly and secretly enter an area
Example: The soldiers infiltrated the enemy camp.

Read the text below.

Hackers who target smartphones and social networking sites are becoming more advanced and frequent, according to reports.

Aside from recording 256 new computer threats last year, a computer safety company also reported that hackers are now attacking social networking sites and internet-capable mobile phones because of their growing popularity.

Smartphones or mobile phones with internet applications have become the new target of computer hackers. Using a malicious code called Trojan, hackers steal personal information from cellphones and stealthily install other applications in them. Last March, a Trojan secretly encoded in a cellphone application was downloaded 50,000 times.

The growing popularity of social networking sites like Facebook has also made them a new prey. Hackers use these sites to spread malicious codes on a much larger scale by infiltrating a person’s account and sending links of infected websites to the person’s friends.

For the first three months of this year, daily computer attacks are 26% higher than last year. Most victims of hackers are from China, Thailand and Taiwan – countries where nearly 70% of computers are infected.

Hackers usually infiltrate personal bank accounts to steal other people’s money, but nowadays, hackers are also stealing information needed to access computer networks of governments and companies. 

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         How do you think can the government control computer hackers?
·         If you were to make a law, what kind of punishment would you give to hackers?

Discussion B

·         What kind of information do you usually input online?
·         Should people continue storing information on the Internet despite the risks? Why or why not?

April 13, 2011