Once in a while , there is the phobia about our device being monitored, and manipulated, and then it all boils down to a word, “my device is being hacked”. So what is this hacking all about, where did it all start, is our device not supposed to be private? Are there laws protecting us?

Well for a start, what is hacking?

Hacking is seen as unauthorized access to data in a system or computer. It can also be seen as an attempt of gaining access to data on someone else’s computer without permission and most times for illicit purposes.

How did it start?

Many stories attributed to when the first hacking occurred.
Some traced it back to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) Tech Model Railroad Club (TMRC) in the 1960’s when the word hacker was first used and it really symbolizes tech genius who understood the programming language back then and were interested in testing the limits and improvement of existing programs.

In the 1970’s the name John Draper appeared. The most accessible computer at this time for most of the general public was the telephone system.

At that time the telephone was being managed by automated system that used specific analogue frequencies to make calls. Guess what ? John Draper, dubbed captain crunch, used a toy whistle which he got from a Cap’n Crunch cereal. He noticed that the whistle was able to produced the exact tone necessary that is 2600 hertz – to indicate to long lines that a line was ready and available to route a new call.
And this allowed him and other phreakers, as they were later called, aside his own nickname to dupe the network and make free long distance calls.

One of the first internet hackers, and also one of the first to gain mainstream media attention, was Robert Morris, back in 1989. His own hacking was the first “Denial of service” attack in history and it was caused by a worm Morris had developed at Cornell University the year before.
For Morris, he did not intend to cause any harm, but rather to highlight security flaws. But unfortunately, due to a fault in the code, the worm replicated excessively, causing extensive damage that lasted for days.
And the list goes on with several attacks on major corporations which caused severe damages.


Are you Shocked to know that there are several types of hacker including good ones? well don’t be . Hackers are grouped into different categories based on the nature and intent of their hacking.
The first one is


Black hat hackers the “bad guys” of the hacking scene. They go out of their way to discover vulnerabilities in computer systems and software to exploit them for financial gain or for more malicious purposes. They are the type you hear on the news gaining access to peoples data to steal information most times for financial purposes.


These guys are the direct opposite of the white black hat hackers and their motive is to help businesses and corporations to find loopholes in their security network. They help you protect your business and are most times employed by companies to look for ways to protect their website. You can also be a white hat hacker as this set of individuals are legal by becoming a Certified Ethical Hacker from the EC council.


These guys do hacking for fun, as they have all the skills of a black hat hacker and white hat hackers . The difference is that they want to help people and do not care about stealing from people. This type of hackers like to mess around with security loopholes in computers, enjoy the challenges of breaking security gaps. In short they do hacking for the fun of it .


This set of hackers do hacking on business, individuals or corporations they feel have wronged them. They just take out the existing code of malware and virus and modify them to meet their needs. This guys only exist if they are created. Their major aim is to go after individuals that have wronged them and inflict their revenge.


This set of hackers are hired by government agencies to fish out the black Hat hackers and disarm them. And they are particularly ruthless about their task and use any means necessary to take black hat criminals, down to employing the same method used by black hat hackers.


This set of hackers are usually referred to as baby hackers, as their aim is to build their cyberattack skill to the proficiency of professionals hackers.

What laws are meant to penalize or review hackers activities.

Since the inception of hacking activities, several laws have being made by various governments to curb it, especially attacks from the black hat and grey hat hackers.
Here are some various extract from the Nigeria constitution meant to protect us from cyber war fare;
Section 6(1),(2),(3) of The Nigeria Cybercrime Act* expressly portrays hacking as a criminal offence irrespective of the fact that an harm was intended or not,it is also not necessary that the offender had gained access to the computer system for him to be culpable for this offence.
Now *Sec 6(1)* also had stated that any person who without authorization, intentionally accesses in whole or in part,a computer system or network commits an offence.

. *Sec 6(2)* however absolutely criminalizes all acts involving unlawful access to a computer access or network with the intention of either securing access to a data, program, commerical or industrial secret and confidential information;*See R V Edmondson(2013)EWCA Crim 1026.Sec 6(3)* in particular interpretes the fact that an attempted access would suffice for the culpability of the offences stated in *section 6(1)(2)*.Each of the offences attracts 3 years imprisonment or a fine of 5m and 7m respectively.*NOTE*:*The case of Attorney General’s References(No. 1of 1991),(1992)3 WLR 432* has shown that the offences of illegal access isn’t limited to the use of one computer with the intent of gaining access to another computer.The court further held that the offence would be committed even if only one computer was used.
And once more the Nigerian Cybercrime Act of 2015 seems to have covered enough grounds on the offences of illegal access.


Written by Salubi Oghenekewe Blessed.


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