Eric Shaw, along with his colleagues J. Post and K. Ruby, undertook an innovative 1999 research study to help define the traits and personality profiles of insider crackers, those existing within corporate and government agency walls. The Eric Shaw research team found that insider crackers tend to be introverted individuals with a history of significant family problems in early childhood. They also tend to have an online computer dependency that significantly interferes with or replaces their direct social and professional interactions in adulthood. Insider crackers also seem to have an ethical flexibility allowing them to justify their exploits, and they were found to have a stronger loyalty to their computer specialty than to their employers. Moreover, the Eric Shaw research team found that insider crackers have a sense of entitlement; they think that they are special and thus owed the recognition, privilege, or exception to the normative rules governing other employees with regard to online behaviors.
Schell, B.H., Dodge, J.L., with S.S. Moutsatsos. The Hacking of America: Who’s Doing It, Why, and How. Westport, CT: Quorum Books, 2002.