Hackers cost governments, corporations, and even normal people billions of dollars per year. You might ask, sure, there are those out there for profit, but what about the college student who was just doing it for fun? Profit or fun, it's still theft. In some cases theft of money, in others, theft of information. Just because a person uses a computer should not impact the severity of their punishment. A murderer's punishment is not affected by which weapon he chooses to employ, so why should a thief's punishment be affected? Usually, information is stolen for the express purpose of making money, either directly, or through the sale of the information obtained, or by blackmail.
In today's fast-paced computerized world, knowledge is indeed power. Through the miracle of the Internet, information can be shared and accessed around the globe, instantaneously. At any given time, millions of people's credit card numbers, social security numbers, and other private data are flying through phone lines near your house. The downside to this technological marvel that we all use, whether we know it or not, is that thieves, disgruntled network administrators, and other unsavory characters can make an easy living off of the Internet, maybe even stealing from you. How? It's all in a day's work for them. One Russian hacker spent a few years bleeding money from the Citibank corporation here in the states from his cozy little house in Russia. His labor was rewarded with $10.4 million dollars in several bank accounts around the world. Unfortunately for him, his labor was also rewarded with arrest. (Caryl, par. 2) However, even though he committed the crime many years ago, he is still in Russia, awaiting extradition. Because of the slow response of the bureaucracy, Russia has bred many hackers. (Caryl, par. 7) Russian hackers do not tamper with systems in Russia, because the Police take swift and vicious revenge for such actions.