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Abstract This thesis explores the relatively new criminal phenomena of computer crime or as it is more commonly termed hacking The foundation for the examination is based on how well traditional psychological theories of crime and deviance explain this new behaviour Dominant theories in each of the categories of psychoanalytic learning and control are discussed The thesis concludes that for the most part traditional psychological theories are deficient with regard to explaining criminal computer behaviour It is argued that differential association and social learning theory may be partially effective in explaining the initial involvement and continuation of criminal computer behaviour Psychological Theories of Crime and Hacking Todays society is in the midst of a technological revolution With advances in computers and telecommunications most businesses and many individuals have become dependent on computers and networks to carry out everyday activities Howard 1997 Sterling 1992 Howard 1997 indicated that as of 1996 13 million hosts systems were accessing the Internet It has been estimated that by the year 2003 the number will have risen to well over 200 million Denning 1998 The rush to embrace the new technology has also introduced a new category of criminal activity and behaviour commonly known as hacking Goodell 1996 Littman 1995 Hacking is a criminal activity that relies on the dependence of computers and networks including the Internet Hutchison 1997 Rasch 1996 Stoll 1985 Those individuals engaged in hacking activities have been termed hackers Howard 1997 Taylor 1998 The term hacker has had many connotations over the years It was originally associated with outstanding and radical programmers in the computer science fields usually from Berkley Stanford or MIT Chandler 1996 Today it commonly refers to an individual engaged in a form of criminal behaviour hacking Hacking can be formally defined as either a successful or unsuccessful attempt to gain unauthorized use or unauthorized access to a computer system Howard 1997 Society is now attempting to come
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