Kevin David Mitnick is an American computer security consultant, author and hacker, best known for his high-profile 1995 arrest and later five years in prison for various computer and communications-related crimes... (wikipedia)
Computer hacking really results in financial losses and hassles. The objectives of terrorist groups are more serious. That is not to say that cyber groups can't access a telephone switch in Manhattan on a day like 9/11, shut it down, and therefore cause more casualties.
Social engineering is using manipulation, influence and deception to get a person, a trusted insider within an organization, to comply with a request, and the request is usually to release information or to perform some sort of action item that benefits that attacker.
My primary goal of hacking was the intellectual curiosity, the seduction of adventure.
The key to social engineering is influencing a person to do something that allows the hacker to gain access to information or your network.
New security loopholes are constantly popping up because of wireless networking. The cat-and-mouse game between hackers and system administrators is still in full swing.
A hacker doesn't deliberately destroy data or profit from his activities.
If you go to a coffee shop or at the airport, and you're using open wireless, I would use a VPN service that you could subscribe for 10 bucks a month. Everything is encrypted in an encryption tunnel, so a hacker cannot tamper with your connection.
Think about it: if you were running a multi-million dollar company, and your database of customer information was stolen, would you want to tell your clients? No. Most companies did not until the laws required them to. It's in the best interest of organisations - when they're attacked and information is stolen - to tell nobody.
Companies spend millions of dollars on firewalls, encryption, and secure access devices and it's money wasted because none of these measures address the weakest link in the security chain: the people who use, administer, operate and account for computer systems that contain protected information.
I was fascinated with the phone system and how it worked; I became a hacker to get better control over the phone company.