Hacking as an Addiction
The rising number of computer addicts rise proportionally with the rising number of “computer hacking addicts”. Statistics shows that in 2003, there are around 5.3 million computer addicted users which increased by 18% in a spanned of two years. Of this number, around 25% engaged in computer hacking. (Nikodyz, Ariss & Kurtz, 2005)
Because several studies showed similarity of the symptoms of computer addicts compared to that of alcohol or drug addicts, computer addiction has been tagged as a behavioural problem. Computer addicts likewise become computer hackers. Hacking can also be additive when one person becomes finds it fun to solve the challenges arising from computer hacking. Researches estimates that every 2 seconds, there is a new victim of computer hacking and 73% of them are Americans. These have become more intense with the widespread use of the internet because most hackers used this to send malwares, email scams, identity thefts, phishing and the like. Although some companies know that they have been hacked, they do not usually admit of such because they are afraid that their customers trust in their capability to secure their records will diminish. On the other hand, some were not able to detect that they have been hacked. (US College Research, 2011)
Like any other addiction cases, policy makers should venture on finding treatment for addicted hackers, however, they must also phases incarceration depending on damage they have done because although their addiction could be treated, because on the averaged, it is estimated that it cost around $128 each time a person is victimized. Unlike in other types of addiction where the a person’s state of mind is changed, like in drug and alcohol addictions, it cannot be though that a hacker is not in his right mind when hacking because hacking cannot be done by ordinary people. Hacking needs some skills. Thus incarceration of hackers cannot be truly dismissed.
Nykodym, Nick, Ariss, Sonny and Kurtz, Katarina (2005). “Computer Addiction and Cyber Crime”. Retrieved on 2012 March 2 from http://www.na-businesspress.com/JLAE/nykodym.pdf
US College Research. (2011). “Cybercrime”. Retrieved on 2012 March 2 from http://www.uscollegesearch.org/blog/resource-articles/criminal-justice-info/cyber-crime