A Profile of the Demographics, Psychological Predispositions, and Social/Behavioral Patterns of Computer Hacker Insiders and Outsiders

A Profile of the Demographics, Psychological Predispositions, and Social/Behavioral Patterns of Computer Hacker Insiders and Outsiders

Bernadette H. Schell (University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada) and Thomas J. Holt (The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-323-2.ch705
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Abstract

This chapter looks at the literature—myths and realities—surrounding the demographics, psychological predispositions, and social/behavioral patterns of computer hackers, to better understand the harms that can be caused to targeted persons and property by online breaches. The authors suggest that a number of prevailing theories regarding those in the computer underground (CU)—such as those espoused by the psychosexual theorists—may be less accurate than theories based on gender role socialization, given recent empirical studies designed to better understand those in the CU and why they engage in hacking and cracking activities. The authors conclude the chapter by maintaining that online breaches and online concerns regarding privacy, security, and trust will require much more complex solutions than currently exist, and that teams of experts in psychology, criminology, law, and information technology security need to collaborate to bring about more effective real-world solutions for the virtual world.

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