What motivates a computer criminal? The answer is: MEECES. What does MEECES stand for?
Money: Stolen credit cards become currency for certain crime rings and social groups of carders who trade them for access to other compromised credit card databases.
Ego: Spanning the entire spectrum of the community from black hat to white hat hackers, ego is the drive to solve a problem, look inside the code, see how something works, and then get it to do something it wasn’t created to do.
Entertainment: The bored teenager syndrome is not as strong as in the days of big disk drives and mainframes, but it remains a motivator. “You’ll still see a hacker break into a system, trash it up and sit back and watch the system administrator scurry around trying to save it,” Kilger says.
Cause: Think hactivism, mostly Web site defacements and distributed denial-of-service attacks for politics and ideologies.
Entrance into social groups: Hackers achieve this by sharing their successful break-ins with the groups they want to be included in.
Status: This is the strongest motivator among all hackers, crackers and carders because their main emphasis is on skills. The higher profile the target, the higher their status.