thrill achieved with gambling, people can become dependent on the rush of endorphins.
“If you’re using your addiction to hack your biochemistry,” Rimar said. “It doesn’t solve the long-term problem. For Kevin Mittnick (once one of the FBI’s Most Wanted because he hacked into 40 major corporations just for the challenge), hacking became an addiction, and it put him in prison.”
Though computer hacking cannot be physically addictive because it doesn’t feed your body the chemicals drugs and alcohol release into the brain, it is possible that it is still mentally addictive. Instead of neurotransmitters like dopamine being artificially released by a substance, computer hacking releases a pleasurable reward by simply engaging in the activity. And although hacking is not recognized as an addiction, there are certain compulsive and impulsive aspects to it that “would warrant further investigation as to whether it is addictive,” professor and author Mary Aiken of the American Psychiatric Association told the BBC.
Europol’s main concern is that the somewhat obsessive behavior of hacking will lead to cyber crimes, especially in young people. The argument is that computer hacking, like using drugs recreationally, is innately deviant.
Teens may become increasingly submerged in hacking and its subculture, proliferating what many world governments consider to be online criminal activity. To avoid criminal repercussions, the report suggests that young hackers need a role model. Their guidance will show them how to acknowledge their actions and its effects on people, potentially ending the threat of cyber crimes.