Questions and Answers
Who is (or was) the most famous hacker? Why is he famous?
The names of hackers are not generally well-known. They usually use
pseudonyms, but above all there is a very active community of hackers
who keep in constant contact in order to exchange information on
weaknesses and how to exploit them. What is more likely to be
remembered is the name of the virus, worm or programme created for
intrusion, and its effects: for example the worm MyDoom which spread at
the beginning of 2004 infected an estimated one million computers and
will surely remain in the memory of those who had to get rid of it.
Do we know of any damage or accidents of a military nature?
In 1997 the "Eligible Receiver" operation was carried out without warning
as a large scale simulation to test the vulnerability of the information system
and network of the United States Defence Department against possible malicious
attacks. A "red team" made up of staff from the department unveiled several
safety vulnerabilities, even in critically important infrastructures, and
revealed how it was possible to collect vital information using computer
What can I do to be aware in good time of an attack or infection?
It is difficult to realise "in good time" that there are virus infections. The
important thing is take constant action that prevents attacks and limits the
risks, by reducing weaknesses to the minimum. So it is a good idea to install
an antivirus programme and a personal firewall, and regularly update the
operating systems and programmes you use.
How can I solve problems which might occur?
Specialised sites describe in detail how to remove viruses and worms. The
precise solution obviously depends on the specific type of intrusion you have.
In some cases the drastic but possibly only solution is to completely reinstall
your computer. In these cases it is essential to have a periodic procedure of
copying the contents of the hard disk onto an independent and separate support,
in order to avoid losing forever all the information contained there. So in
this case too the solution is prevention.