www.whyville.net Jun 11, 2006 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Hacking versus Scamming

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Hi Whyville, Iwhaiwnfi here again.

Lately there have been a lot of issues with Whvillians being "hacked". They say they lost their clams, items, or account because of hackers that manipulated them into giving away their passwords. Saying that would be a lie, however. Manipulation is not hacking, it's scamming.

Manipulation is common in Whyville, sadly. People are "doubling clams" and "giving makeovers" all over the place. They offer to raise your salary, make you richer, or even make you a City Worker, just by simply giving you their password. Sounds great, huh? Well, those are common scams that will only result in you losing your account.

These activities are usually called "hacking". People say they were hacked because someone didn't give them the makeover they wanted, or that a hacker stole clams from them at the Trading Post. This isn't correct.

Hacking is a very hard skill to master. It revolves around manipulating codes in a website, or tracking links, to finding the source of a user's password. It can even result in spyware or keyloggers being implanted into people's computers or servers to keep track of what they type, then take the password from that. Hacking is much, much more complex than scamming.

I've studied hacking for a few years now, and even though I haven't gotten a legal way to test what I can do, I at least understand how it works. Usually you can "trick" computers into thinking you entered the correct password by tracing links. Powerfully protected applets can be hacked by using Javascripting and computer cookies. In this way you can make the computer "think" you entered in a correct password, or even send the password to you directly.

So, as you can see, you've all been misinterpreting the usage of "hacking". Hacking is almost an art form, that takes years and years to master. Scamming is just manipulating someone into foolishly giving them your password.

Fortunately there are very few hackers on Whyville. Scammers, however, are in the thousands. Keep your account safe!



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