Sarah Gordon Symantec Security Response
Qingxiong Ma Southern Illinois University
Convergence of virus writers and hackers: fact or fantasy?
The theory of planned behaviour (TPB) is one of the most influential and popular conceptual frameworks used to predict human behaviour. In this paper, the authors utilize TPB to define a methodology for examining the ethical belief systems of hackers and for deriving predictors of their behaviours. While related research has been carried out on the psychology of virus writers, research on hackers has not been as well covered Thus, these findings, when compared and contrasted with research on virus writers, offer the reader the first scientifically modelled insight on the psychological convergence (or lack thereof) of the communities. The analysis of these results will allow comparison between the two subject groups, focusing on cognitive factors such as personal obligation, social pressure, and self-control. Findings will consider the expected effectiveness of varied deterrent and educational techniques, as well as offer insight for public policy, legislation and educational efforts.