(CNN) ‚ÄĒ Computer hacking was once the realm of curious teenagers. It‚Äôs now the arena of government spies, professional thieves and soldiers of fortune.
Today, it‚Äôs all about the money. That‚Äôs why Chinese hackers broke into Lockheed Martin and stole the blueprints to the trillion-dollar F-35 fighter jet. It‚Äôs also why Russian hackers have sneaked into Western oil and gas companies for years.
The stakes are higher, too. In 2010, hackers slipped a ‚Äúdigital bomb‚ÄĚ into the Nasdaq that nearly sabotaged the stock market. In 2012, Iran ruined 30,000 computers at Saudi oil producer Aramco.
And think of the immense (and yet undisclosed) damage from North Korea‚Äôs cyberattack on Sony Pictures last year. Computers were destroyed, executives‚Äô embarrassing emails were exposed, and the entire movie studio was thrown into chaos.
It wasn‚Äôt always this way. Hacking actually has some pretty innocent and harmless beginnings.
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