The idea of hacking and hackers goes way back to the first technology enthusiasts who wanted to learn about new technology and were curious about how it worked. They were the same types of people who today are interested not only in acquiring all sorts of technol- ogy but also in learning how to customize and tweak it to do new things that the original designers never intended. In the early days (pre‐1970), these hackers may have been found taking apart and learning about the inner workings of radios and early computers. As technology progressed, these individuals moved to more complex and advanced systems available at the time. Fast‐forward to the 1970s, and the mainframes that were present
on college campuses and corporate environments were the target of interest by new gen- erations of hackers. Later, in the 1980s, the PC was the newest piece of technology, with
hackers moving to this environment. In fact, the 1980s saw hackers starting to engage
in more mischievous and later malicious activities; adding to the situation was that fact
that their attacks could now be used against many more systems because more people had access to PCs. In the 1990s, the Internet was made accessible to the public, and systems became interconnected; as a result, curiosity and mischief could easily spread beyond a small collection of systems and go worldwide. Since 2000, smartphones, tablets, Bluetooth, and other technologies have been added to the devices and technologies that hackers target. As you can see, as technology evolves, so do hackers’ attacks in response to what’s available at the time.
When the Internet became available to the public at large, hacking and hackers weren’t too far behind. When the first generations of browsers became available in the early 1990s, attacks grew in the form of website defacements and other types of mischief. The first for- ays of hacking in cyberspace resulted in some humorous or interesting pranks, but later more aggressive attacks started to emerge. Incidents such as the hacking of movie and gov- ernment websites were some of the first examples. Until the early 2000s, website defacing was so common that many incidents were no longer reported.